This project evaluates the City of Durham Participatory Budgeting (PB) process and its effect on community engagement and civic participation. Participatory budgeting is a democratic process that increases the overall engagement in decision making in a community. The City of Durham launched a PB project to engage more diverse populations in making decisions on the city’s resources in the form of projects that serve marginalized communities.
For the evaluation, the project will do the following:
Assess baseline program performance for events occurring from June 2018 to June 2019, provide a comparative analysis of PB Durham and other PB processes, and identify best practices of participatory budgeting processes in the United States. This analysis will include the 13 key performance metrics adopted by the PB Steering Committee.
The project will investigate the correlation between the program implementation and a potential increase in overall engagement in the City by examining board/commission vacancy rates and city council meeting attendees and identifying future metrics that need to be tracked in order to draw statistically significant conclusions.
The project will analyze the effectiveness of the proposal development phase, including budget delegate stipends, budget delegate attrition, timeline, and committee structure.
The project will ensure key objectives are analyzed throughout the evaluation of program implementation and each phase of PB Durham Cycle 1.
The project will provide recommendations that can be used to increase the quality of program implementation, idea collection, proposal development and voting, including providing an analysis of program participants in comparison with overall City of Durham demographics information such as race, age, income, education level, and homeownership.
This evaluation will support the City of Durham in collaboration with the Department of Public Administration and strive to evaluate whether the participatory budgeting process affects community engagement and civic participation.