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Logo: Reinhard Mohn-Preis 2011

Reinhard Mohn Prize 2011

Recife, Brazil: Participatory budgeting guides school and city development


In Recife, Brazil, members of the public have been getting involved since 2001 to help determine how their city develops. Out of a population of 1.6 million people, more than 100,000 adults and young people join local forums or make themselves heard via Internet each year to determine policymaking goals, suggest new programs and monitor implementation of municipal activities.   

The city also organizes forums on specific issues that allow residents to set priorities in 15 different policymaking areas such as culture, education, and senior and youth services. Every other year, moreover, school students join in to make suggestions for improving their educational experience and to help turn their ideas into reality. 
Throughout the year, city employees and volunteers in each of the city’s neighborhoods encourage people to get involved. Recife’s residents elect delegates, for example, who monitor participatory processes from start to finish and who even help determine the city’s budget.

Since the city’s participatory budgeting system was established in 2001, almost 5,000 projects have been selected by ordinary citizens, with a majority of the committed funds going to poorer neighborhoods. According to statements made by Recife’s residents, the situation has improved markedly thanks to the participatory measures, particularly for disadvantaged groups.

Contact Person
Headshot of Frank Frick Frank Frick
+49 5241 81-81253
Headshot of Christina Tillmann Christina Tillmann
+49 5241 81-81335
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