In order to fully understand the meaning of the term participatory budget, it is necessary that, first, we proceed to determine the etymological origin of the words that shape it:
-Budget derives from Latin, from the sum of the prefix “pre-”, which means “before”, and from “suppositus”, which can be translated as “put down”.
-Participative, on the other hand, also comes from Latin and consists of three delimited components: "pair", which is equivalent to "part"; the verb "capere", which means "to take" and the suffix "-tivo", which is used to indicate a passive or active relationship.
It is known as budget to the document that is prepared with the forecasts of income and expenses for a certain period . What a budget does is indicate how much money It is expected to spend and what amount is expected to be received, which allows planning financial decisions.
The adjective participatory , meanwhile, is associated with the participation (the fact of getting involved in something).
Before developing the definition of participatory budget , we must know what a public budget . This is the document that estimates the expenses that the state power will make in a given period. In general, the public budget is prepared by the Executive power and approved by the Congress .
When the preparation of the budget contemplates the direct participation of the population , we talk about participatory budgeting. This tool makes it possible for citizens themselves to decide what public money or part of it is going to be spent on.
There are those who advocate at all times because participatory budgets are carried out. Why? Because they consider that they entail and bring with them an important number of advantages, among which we would highlight the following:
-They are synonymous with transparency, since each citizen knows what their tax money is spent on.
- They allow that the neighbors have absolute control of everything that happens in their municipality.
-They are a citizen participation tool, which offers local individuals the ability to collaborate actively in both planning and public management.
-Not less important is that participatory budgets are considered by numerous politicians as an instrument of modernization and adaptation to the times in which we live. - Without ignoring that, in the same way, they come to mean an absolute democratization of what public management is.
Typically, a participatory budget is developed at municipal level . He Local executive branch it summons the neighbors to diverse instances of consultation and debate, from which proposals arise that are put to a vote. The most voted projects, in this way, become priorities within the public budget of the municipality in question.
It is important to bear in mind that a participatory budget does not contemplate the total municipal expenditure nor does it imply that citizens will directly decide the actions of government . A certain percentage or amount of the total budget is usually allocated to the popular vote so that it is the neighbors who choose some of the works to be developed.