Research and evaluation is an integral part of the Participatory Budgeting (PB) process. Since PB in New York City (PBNYC) is designed to be a democratic and community-based initiative that is grounded in the values of equity and inclusion, it is important that the research and evaluation methods used to study the process and its participants adhere to the same principles.
For the past five years, a team of community-based researchers, academics, and PB participants have designed research questions and instruments, implemented data collection, analyzed and shared data with PB participants and practitioners, and issued reports to the wider public. Like PB, the research design is rooted in the communities where PB is operating. The research is not intended to sit on a shelf but is actively used by participants and practitioners to help reflect on the process, improve deliberation in decision-making, and strengthen the process and outcomes of PB.
This article will discuss Participatory Action Research principles used by TakeRoot Justice, explore the applicability of these principles to the Participatory Budgeting research context, and explain how these practices have helped to deepen and improve the process and outcomes of PBNYC.
Published in Volume 39, 2017 – Issue 1 of New Political Science
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Read the abstract published on the New Political Science website.