A mixed-methods ethnographic approach to participatory budgeting in Scotland

09/20/2021
by   Jonathan Davies, et al.
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Participatory budgeting (PB) is already well established in Scotland in the form of community led grant-making yet has recently transformed from a grass-roots activity to a mainstream process or embedded 'policy instrument'. An integral part of this turn is the use of the Consul digital platform as the primary means of citizen participation. Using a mixed method approach, this ongoing research paper explores how each of the 32 local authorities that make up Scotland utilise the Consul platform to engage their citizens in the PB process and how they then make sense of citizens' contributions. In particular, we focus on whether natural language processing (NLP) tools can facilitate both citizen engagement, and the processes by which citizens' contributions are analysed and translated into policies.

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