e-Participatory Budgeting as an initiative of e-requests: prospecting for leading cases and reflections on e-Participation
Keywords:e-participatory budget, e-democracy, e-participation, e-governance.
This article goes prospecting for some of the main experiences of using e-participatory budgeting (e-PB) that occurred between 2001 and 2013. We used the snowball technique to map out these occurrences. The aim of the study was to contribute to a better understanding of how such e-PB relates to other e-participation projects, in terms of participants, activities and the possibility of using mixed methods (online/on location) to mitigate any digital exclusion. The results indicated that there were 170 e-PB initiatives operating in 101 locations, of which 139 were mixed initiatives. Contrary to what is suggested in literature on the subject, most of these e-PBs do not address decision-making processes directly, but instead deal with the suggestions and requests of citizens (e-requests). The conclusion was then that the addition of ICTs to the e-PBs did not necessarily lead to an improvement in such processes. Nevertheless, one can argue that e-PBs can indeed offer new avenues and questions of relevance to the study of e-participation.