Initial lessons for Scottish PB

Clearly this is not final – I’ve only been in Brazil for a week. Also this stems from talking with with some academics and two São Paulo city public servants, rather than original research. However, this is my current take-home:

  • If we don’t get PB right first time, people will lose confidence in it. 
    • This means we need effective processes so that people know they have made the choices.
    • It also means that what is promised must be delivered.
  • Projects must be monitored as they proceed.
    • Also, due diligence/monitoring must happen at the end of project periods.
    • And that data must be analysed to see what is effective.
  • Don’t rely on revenue forecasts, because what is forecast may not materialise!
  • Annual cycles, i.e. projects that must be started and completed in a year, may be sub-optimal.
  • The current Scottish model of PB should have a deliberation stage before projects are formulated.
    • At the moment, PB process-runners (e.g.LeithChooses steering group) set themes, then invite projects.
    • The Brazilian model involves participatory deliberation on what the themes should be.
  • There should be some data gathered on who participates.
    • This is to show whether PB schemes are truly participatory, and whether they attract votes from people who need the services PB would offer.
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