Interesting news from Porto Alegre

School of Citizenship
Participatory budgeting and adult education
Participatory Budgeting in Africa

Date: 6 Apr 2005 11:08:59 -0000


      1. Mais em OP- Saudações from Porto Alegre
           From: "Eduardo Marques" <edumarques (at)>
      2. Fw: [PB] participatory budgeting and adult education
           From: "Eduardo Marques" <edumarques (at)>
      3. Fw: [PB] PB Symposium in Porto Alegre
           From: "Eduardo Marques" <edumarques (at)>

Message: 1
   Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2005 13:49:54 +0100
   From: "Eduardo Marques" <edumarques (at)>
Subject: Mais em OP- Saudações from Porto Alegre

Hello dear Siters and all
Some info from Brazil and a School for Citizenship.

Olá, Pessoal:

My name is Sérgio Gregorio Baierle. I work for Cidade, a small NGO in Porto
Alegre, Brazil. We have been working with Participatory Budgeting since its
beginning in 1989 in Porto Alegre. We do research, advising and capacity
building, having the focus on the participants. We provide alternative
information and spaces of discussion in order to empower community leaders
and to assure equal to equal conversation with the local authorities. We
consider that a key issue on participation is qualified information and the
existence of sources alternative to the government. 16 years of PB in Porto
Alegre taught us that participatory democracy is not a passive dialogue.

Presently we are creating a School for Citizenship in the Metropolitan
Region of Porto Alegre  to share experiences and  learnings and  organizing
deeper  processes of capacity building.  Together  with  this, we are
proposing an international network to do the same. The idea is to stimulate
the creation of such schools in other cities and the articulation of an
internet site of common use, where people from different countries could
input their ideas and reports directly. By the end of April we think we can
have a project for this. Some friends, like Tomás Villasante and Lucrecia
Olivari, from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and Pierre Baudet and Eve
Gauthier, from Alternatives - Montreal are also helping to improve this new

In Porto Alegre, Brazil, we had till 2004 the experience of School PB, where
the school communities (parents, students and teachers) were incentivized to
present projects to the Education Department to favor their schools and
where they could actually decide on the projects to be implemented. Besides
that,  our municipal schools decide what to do with the School Budget (the
School PB is an extra fund) in assemblies of the school community and the
implementation is monitored by the school council that is elected by the
school community. It is very democratic, but the results in terms of
learning citizenship could be better. Because real money is in place not
always teachers behave as teachers, some corporatism bias appears sometimes.
Even the parents sometimes come with projects to favor their own income,
what we can understand, especially in poor communities, but it is a kind of
thing that need to be politicized, through public parameters and favoring
the community not only individuals. For example, with the idea of having
parents teaching their own abilities to children (like car fixing or
bakery), they could get some payment for that, but decided by the
communities in a collective project of development.
If you are interested in more details, I can put you in contact with the
people that has worked with this. Unfortunately I'm afraid they only speak


For more information about CIDADE, see our website below (in Portuguese).
There are many issues we are interested in discussing through this network,
especially regarding direct participation, decision power, self-regulating
and accountability.

Josh: you are so close now, in Rosario, why don't you take 2 or 3 days to
visit us in Porto Alegre?

All the best,
Sérgio Gregório Baierle
CIDADE - CENTRO DE ASSESSORIA E ESTUDOS URBANOS - Fone: 55-51-32643386 / Mobile: 55-51-91518597
Antão de Farias, 50 - Bairro Bom Fim
90035-386  Porto Alegre - RS

Message: 2
   Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2005 14:02:03 +0100
   From: "Eduardo Marques" <edumarques (at)>
Subject: Fw: [PB] participatory budgeting and adult education

Well dear friends
Windows openned and I'm venting rather invigorating realities from far away
PB is is a strong way to change to and improve cooperative ways of relating
and problem solving.
"Participation does make better citizens..."

----- Original Message -----
From: "Daniel Schugurensky" <dschugurensky (at)>
Cc: <participatorybudgeting (at)>
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2005 4:09 PM
Subject: Re: [PB] participatory budgeting and adult education
Dear Kate,

In addition to what Sergio mentioned in relation to the PB in schools in
Porto Alegre, the municipality of Sao Paulo (with Marta Suplicy as mayor
and the PT as municipal gov't) has experimented with PB in elementary
schools (OP Crianca, or Children's PB), with very good results. As far as
I know, there are very few experiences of PB in elementary schools. The OP
Crianca is likely to be discontinued this year, as the PT was not

In relation to your second question, the sustained adult learning element,
the NGO CIDADE has some experience with non-formal education and capacity
building for PB. Probably Sergio can say something about it. In my view,
this is an area of PB that needs more sustained work.

Your third question is particularly relevant and fascinating, at least to
me, because it is the topic of my research. Jane Mansbridge  published an
article in the mid-1990s entitled precisely 'Does Participation Make
Better Citizens?'. In the first paragraph of the article, she says:
"Participation does make better citizens. I believe it, but I can't prove
it. And neither can anyone else. The kinds of subtle changes in character
that come about, slowly, from active, powerful participation in democratic
decisions cannot easily be measured with the blunt instruments of social
science. Those who have actively participated in democratic governance,
however, often feel that the experience has changed them. And those who
observe the active participation of others often believe that they see its
longrun effects on the citizens' character."

Today, 10 years later, we still don't have a great deal of systematic
empirical evidence about the changes experienced by PB participants,
individually and collectively, although we have plenty of anecdotal
evidence. In my own research on PB in Porto Alegre and Montevideo, I
interviewed almost 100 participants and developed 56 indicators of
learning and change. My preliminary data indicates that the PB is indeed a
powerful space for the development of democratic knowledge, skills,
attitudes, values and behaviours, including the development of political
efficacy among traditionally marginalized groups. If there are others in
this network looking at the areas of indicators and changes experienced by
participants, it would be great to exchange ideas.

Best regards,

Daniel Schugurensky, Toronto

<Kate.Newman (at)> on Friday, April 1, 2005 at 5:18 AM -0500 wrote:
Hi everyone,

I've just joined this list-serv, so let me introduce myself quickly.  I
have been working with the international NGO ActionAid International for
seven years, primarily in the area of adult education, focusing
specifically on adult numeracy.

I am now just starting a part-time PhD where I want to look at links
between engagement with education/school budgets, adult learning and the
impact on local democracy/civil society.

I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction to
answering any of these questions:
1.  Does anyone know of any PB projects which link to school budgets -
and parental/community involvement in school budgeting (beyond the
traditional school governor role)?
2.  Does anyone know of any PB projects which include a sustained adult
learning element (beyond the one off budget literacy workshops)?
3.   I am sure that there must be many evaluation studies which
illustrate the link between PB and a stronger more active civil society -
can anyone share any of these with me - or tell me where I could find
them.  (what I am interested in is detailed research on the long term
democratic impact, and the sorts of indicators which have been used to
illustrate this).

Please feel free to come back to me with any questions or comments,

Many thanks

ActionAid's vision is a world without poverty in which every person can
exercise their right to a life of dignity. Registered Charity No. 274467

Message: 3
   Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2005 13:55:53 +0100
   From: "Eduardo Marques" <edumarques (at)>
Subject: Fw: [PB] PB Symposium in Porto Alegre

So participatory experiences can be o source of financing from World Bank,
for comproved good results in development.

----- Original Message -----
From: "George Matovu" <gmatovu (at)>
To: <participatorybudgeting (at)>
Subject: RE: [PB] PB Symposium in Porto Alegre
Dear Adalmir Marquetti,

Thanks for your email. My name is George Matovu Regional Director of the
Municipal Development Partnership for Eastern and Southern Africa based
in Harare, Zimbabwe. We are currently initiating Participatory Budgeting
in Africa with assistance from the World Bank. We would very much
appreciate if you can share some of your papers about the subject of
participatory budgeting.

We wish to participate in the symposium you are organising in Porto
Alegre from October  3rd to 6th at PUCRS about comparative experiences
of Participatory Budgeting. I will consult my colleagues here at MDP to
prepare an abstract.


George W. Matovu
Regional Director
Municipal Development Partnership
Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office
7th Floor, Hurudza House
14-16 Nelson Mandela Avenue
Harare, Zimbabwe
Tel: 263-4-774385/6 724356
Mobile: +263-11 603 247
Fax: +263-4-774387
E-mil: <gmatovu (at)>

-----Original Message-----
From: <aam (at)>
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2005 4:59 PM
To: <participatorybudgeting (at)>
Subject: [PB] PB Symposium in Porto Alegre


My name is Adalmir Marquetti. I am a Brazilian
economist from Porto Alegre. I wrote some papers
about Participatory Budgeting. I work at Pontificia
Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul, where
the two first WSF happened. Presently, I am living
in Cambridge, working in comparative experiences of
PB in Brazil.

I am organizing a Symposium that will happen in
Porto Alegre from October 3rd to 6th at PUCRS about
comparative experiences of Participatory Budgeting.
Those interested in presenting a paper should
submit the abstract to my e-mail (<aam (at)>)
until April 6th. Porto Alegre waits for you.

Adalmir Marquetti