08 September 2021, 11:33
How to prepare a project for the participatory budget — 5 tips

Participatory budget is an opportunity to change your city or community for budget funds.

However, in addition to a great desire for change, you need to think carefully about the needs of citizens, come up with an idea, and work on a plan for implementing your proposal — a project for the participatory budget.

Tetiana Romanova, regional coordinator of the Transparent Cities program, shares tips on how to develop a successful project. Since 2015, Tetiana has been a trainer and expert in the implementation and development of the community participatory budget, as well as a member of the working group on the implementation of the participatory budget in Chernihiv.

So, what are the 5 simple tips to help make your participatory budget project powerful and competitive? Here they come!

  1. Make a preliminary analysis of your idea for feasibility. Every project starts with an idea. If you have an idea, consider yourself already halfway to success. However, before you start preparing a project, I recommend that you answer the following questions:
    — What resources are available for project implementation (for example, a free land plot on the balance sheet of the city council, an area in the courtyard of a high-rise building, premises for holding educational events, specialized experts or trainers, etc.)?
    — Have similar ideas been implemented in your city or in other cities (ask for examples of implementation for a better understanding of the problem you want to solve)?
    — Does this idea have support with people (a certain community, residents of a high-rise building, etc.)?
    — What problems may arise during the project implementation (identify the risks and be prepared to offer solutions to problems during the implementation)?
  2. Search for partners. The success of your project may require the support of potential stakeholders. Search for partners in the public, state sector, or business.
  3. Consult. If the project wins, you will often contact the specialized department of the city council, which will be directly involved in the implementation of your project. Therefore, we advise you to get acquainted and consult representatives of the specialized department in your city before creating the project. Their advice can simplify the preparation of the application and help you avoid mistakes.
  4. Write your project clearly, explicitly, and in a well-reasoned manner. Visualize. Any images, layouts, infographics, videos, and other visualizations will greatly facilitate the understanding and perception of your project. If you want to put a playground in the yard — make a schematic picture, with clear indication of structures, size, and place. This way, you will avoid having to deal with a situation when an entirely different playground is constructed, not the same as you planned. Visualization will also be very relevant during the information campaign for your project. When writing an application, use numbers to justify the relevance of your idea. Use infographics and tables if possible. Communicate in simple words that are understandable to a large audience and don't use complex terms or abbreviations. A good way to check how clearly you have described your idea is to give it to someone who is not familiar with the topic and has not heard of it before. If a person, after reading it, understands the essence — you did everything right.
  5. Prepare a plan for your project's information campaign. Even at the stage of preparing the application, you should understand how you can convey information about the project and engage as many people as possible to support it. First of all, think about communication channels, methods of informing and engagement. This stage is the most important. Without a successful information campaign, a good project can only remain a good project on paper and not be implemented.