Case studies of digital participatory budgeting in Latin America - models for citizen engagement

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This article presents the study of the relationship between information and communication technologies (ICTs) and local governance in Latin America, mainly using the internet for participatory processes, such as the experiences of Digital Participatory Budget (DPB), purposing the direct participation of citizens in setting priorities in public investment. The methodology used was the literature research on key concepts, followed by the discussion of the relationship between local governance and citizen participation and the presentation of experiences that produced findings on the impacts of the use of ICTs in participatory processes. Four Brazilian cases (Porto Alegre, Ipatinga, Belo Horizonte and Recife), one Peruvian (Miraflores) and one from Argentina (BellaVista) are presented and related challenges to local governance in identifying their real capabilities of building a new relationship between government policy and society in Latin American regions is discussed. Through the use of the Internet, these participatory government budgets can increase citizen participation and allow thousands of people deciding the allocation of public investment. This research considers that the use of ICTs, especially the Internet, can be a promoter of citizenship and citizen participation. However, this promotion may be limited by the condition of access to these technologies and the depth and quality of information available to citizens that would undermine the enjoyment of the rights of citizens. © 2010 ACM.

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