Young people from Maryhill/Ruchill were given the opportunity to decide how £40,000 should be spent in their community through Participatory Budgeting (PB).
The PB project was funded through the Community Choices Fund by the Scottish Government, and Maryhill Housing Association.
The PB process was facilitated by Young Movers (YOMO). YOMO supported young people aged between 8-15 years old to design and manage the process by; identifying PB priorities, creating funding criteria and by establishing a steering group to review applications against agreed criterion. They also supported young people to shortlist projects which were then invited to a public vote at a decision-making event.
PB priorities included projects that would benefit young people, and projects that would promote health and well-being.
The PB process included several ‘wee PB’ events in local primary schools, and a community wide event at Maryhill’s Burgh Hall held on Tuesday 19th March 2019.
The PB process was facilitated by Young Movers – YOMO who supported young people to identify the PB priorities, funding criteria and establish a steering group to review the applications against the agreed criteria. They supported young people to shortlist projects which were then invited to a public vote at a decision-making event. The young people led on the development of the applications forms, marketing, planning, organisation and delivery of the decision-making event. The young people decided that the whole community should be able to vote and be able to benefit from the proposed ideas rather than being purely youth based.
The project began in January 2019 with a voting event held in March 2019. They key stages from January -March 2019 were as follows;
Stage 1: Design and Prepare: Young people from a formed steering group leading the process by identifying priorities such as the funding criteria and designing the applications.
Stage 2: Share, inform and support: Informing and Engaging with the community through marketing with assistance of YOMO (website) and undertaking workshops in schools as well as a community wide event.
Stage 3: Generating Ideas: Capturing the local communities’ ideas around promoting youth and health and wellbeing projects via application forms, which were reviewed against agreed criteria formed in stage 1.
Stage 4: Deliberate and Decide Preparing and executing community wide event at Burgh Hall were successful applicant had 'information stalls' which community visited and found out more information of proposed project.
Community then voted at this event to decide which projects would be awarded the funding to implement their project.
The process was promoted via websites, social media, word of mouth and through schools in the area.
Ways of engaging young people
The PB process was facilitated by Young Movers – YOMO who worked with the young people in groups to design, lead and participate in the process. Workshops were also held in local schools to design and shape the process. This included agreeing who could vote, how and when ideas would be collected and presented. YOMO used warm up games and icebreakers to introduce and explain the concept of PB. For example, in smaller groups deciding how £50 could be spent to benefit the most people. Presenting these ideas and then deciding themselves which ideas should get the £50.
Young people were awarded qualifications through the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) as a result of their participation. This can encourage participation from both young people and attract interest from schools.
Role of young people
- Managers to deliver the process
Positive aspects of the project/process
Facilitated by Young Movers
Youth Led – encouraging active citizenship. Young people designed each element of the process and worked with other younger people who had experience of running events to deliver the voting event. Youth Led but inclusive of the whole community- the age range of voters was 7- 74 years.
Main obstacles to the project/process
Ensuring you have enough time to design, plan and deliver the process within the busy school year. Clear communication with principals and teachers for the ‘wee PB’ events was essential to plan in class time, identify the most appropriate time of the year to ensure full participation and clarity on how pupils in the school will be involved e.g. assemblies; class to class; one of events. It's important to have any permissions in place before the process starts or to know in advance things that can’t be funded or that can be funded through other means/ existing funds which the school/ group has access to.
Opinion after implementation
Take time to ensure everyone is on board. Processes work best when people understand the process of PB and are supportive of it. Schools and groups need to know from the beginning how much time the process will require. It is also useful to de-brief teachers and principals at each stage of the process. Clear and regular communication is essential.
Accountability of resources
Community Choices through Scottish Government provided £30,000 and Maryhill Housing provided £10,000 – an overall fund of £40,000.
1-3 tips (advices, warnings) from organizers or participants
- Spend time doing the groundwork so that schools and groups in the community understand the process of PB, investing in what it is all about and not just a focus on the money.
- Plan, plan, plan - ensure you have enough time to co-design the process with younger people. The process needs to happen at the right pace for younger people. It can’t and shouldn't be rushed.
- Recognise participation through Youth Awards and Certificates - so that younger people gain a qualification through the process. This also helps to encourage schools to get involved.
- Speak to those who are unsuccessful at the community voting event and ensure that you have information or contacts there from other funding organisations who might be able to support their idea.
Links to examples of application forms, voting styles, tools
Application Form https://www.yo-mo.co.uk/news/122-maryhillpb