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Showing posts from November, 2009

Public Participation

I am increasingly becoming skeptical about the topic of participation
and most recently the idea of strategic planning. These are effective
tools for politicians to engage the citizenry, either to encourage
more votes or to pacify angry constituencies. Often types the same
people participate in open forums and neighborhood town hall meetings.
Additionally, the “new” topic of strategic planning has also become
politicized. Often I see elected officials set up policy goals with
the SP as a way to carry their agenda into the next administration or
further since the plans are 25-50 years in to the future.

For example if you look more closely at Rosario and Rafaela, two of my
dissertation cases studies in Argentina, in their efforts at
participatory budgeting. Honestly a fantastic idea on paper, but in
practice often difficult to accomplish. In Rosario, for example, the
whole PB process, although the staff has 4-10 people working, manages
less than 5 percent of the budget or so, to implement citizen