Our project is called JUBU – Jugendbeteiligung bei Bürgerbudgets (JUBU is the German acronym for ‘Young Citizens‘ Involvement in Participatory Budgeting’).
Our aim is to help young people acquire a positive perspective on democracy and actively develop democratic skills in order to participate with sound competence. We encourage them to work with us on developing their own proposals for participatory budgeting in their communities.
Currently, we are cooperating with three pilot municipalities in Brandenburg (Germany): Potsdam, Eberswalde and Nuthetal. In addition, we offer assistance and further training for regional municipalities interested in participatory budgeting. For this purpose, we provide publications and educational material.
Planned project duration: 2020–2024.
// What are Participatory Budgets? //
In some municipalities, the town hall regularly sets aside a certain amount of money to finance proposals by local citizens. These proposals must serve the common good. This implies that all interested parties will have access to the projects realised, such as self-organised street festivals, small measures to improve outdoor areas (benches, table-tennis tables), or neighbourhood projects. The implementation of participatory budgeting may vary from community to community. All citizens – in most cases 14+ – may participate in voting. Subsequently, the proposals that gain the most votes will be funded.
There are several countries that promote participatory budgeting.
// Experiencing Democracy First Hand with Participatory Budgeting //
Participatory Budgets, therefore, are well-suited to make democracy more accessible. There is, in the end, a good chance for one‘s own proposals to be funded when actively engaging in the process. Prior to this, however, participants must pass a democratic cycle. The main focus here lies on developing proposals and discussing them with others, in order to finally submit them for voting.
We are cooperating with school classes, school clubs, youth groups, etc., and strive to let them experience full participation in the democratic cycle of participatory budgeting. In order to achieve this, all meetings will be prepared and organized by us. We also seek contact with young people by approaching them at their usual venues and meeting points.
// International Exchange //
We are happy to share our experience with you. For those communities and / or clubs and associations interested in meeting and discussing topics connected with JUBU, we are glad to offer our assistance within the scope of our abilities, for instance, by providing the relevant contact information or further insight into our work experience.
// About Us //
Our project was developed by mitMachen e.V. (‘Join In’), a community benefit society based in Potsdam, and founded by several youth organisations, neighbourhood initiatives, and dedicated individuals. The society aims to support those wishing to put forward their concerns and actively participate in local democracy.
In addition to the JUBU project, we operate the WerkStadt für Beteiligung (‘Workshop for Participation’), a community office for citizens‘ participation, as well as a local shop involved in coordinating various initiatives in the district. The JUBU project is currently run by a team of three employees.
// Our Sponsors //
The JUBU project is mainly sponsored by the German federal programme Live Democracy, run by the BMFSJ (‘The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth’). Other finance partners are the Robert Bosch Foundation, the State Prevention Council Brandenburg and the Brandenburg State Capital of Potsdam.