Participatory budgeting (PB) is often described as one of the most successful instruments for participation, engaging people in decision-making, and prioritising where to allocate public money. It has travelled in the form of comprehensive administrative reforms and politically neutral devices to improve governance, especially when arriving to Europe and the Central Eastern European region (CEE). Recently, it was brought to light that PB development in the CEE region was undoubtedly different from the original case; instead of resulting in radical changes to increase activities in favour of marginalised groups, it results only in small changes. This work presents a single case study of the Czech city Brno; information consisting of age, gender, education, economic activity, and preferences of all the PB participants was collated for five years, from its inception in 2017 till 2021. In this case, we observe and analyse the particularities of the participant group, not only in static terms of one year but also drafting a trend on how the participatory base developed throughout the five years. Both desk and field research were employed to gather data. The turnout at PB voting does not copy the general demographic composition of Brno’s residents. Results show that some segments are represented by PB voters with higher proportions, making them more involved in deciding which projects in the city are to be executed using PB. In this way, the description of data-gathering in Brno contributes to the methodology of quantitative data gathering, which might be expanded to other CEE cities in order to elaborate comparisons in the future.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Social Sciences, Political Science, Local Government and Administration