Participatory budgeting directly involves community members in making decisions about the allocation of public money.
Participatory budgeting exposes the community to both the complexity and competitiveness of the budgeting process. It is therefore educational as well as empowering.
The central objective of participatory budgeting is to ensure a better match between community expectations of public services and the actual expenditure on, and delivery of, those services.
Exposure to the difficult process of making choices between projects and services with equal merit may help the community to buy-in to either lower service levels or, in some cases, higher taxes.