Adoption of the Pedagogical Model of the Participatory Budgeting College of ALGA

The African Local Governments Academy (ALGA) of UCLG Africa held a workshop at the Hotel Rive (Rabat, Morocco) April 20-21 2017, for the pedagogical preparation of the Participatory Budgeting College.

The meeting, chaired by the Director of ALGA, Dr. Najat Zarrouk, registered the participation of the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi; representatives of the Ministry of the Interior of Morocco; members of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Municipal Councils (AMPCC); representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Finance; representatives from the International University of Rabat (IUR); the Mayor of the municipality of Chefchaouen, Mr. Mohamed Sefiani; Director of ALGA- francophone-zone, Mr. Wahir Justin Somé, and participatory budget experts.

A presentation on participatory budgeting (PB) was made by Mr. Yves Cabannes, Emeritus Professor of Development Planning at Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU), University College, London, defining participatory budgeting as a process which could be used to define the destination of some or all of public resources, Mr. Cabannes shared a number of successful examples since the inception of the concept in 1989 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.  He pointed out that the advantage of the PB is that on average, it gives tangible results over 2 years. Nearly 2000 to 3000 cities practice PB in the world including cities like Paris, Madrid and Bogota.

Mr. Mamadou Kanoute Bachir, Executive Coordinator of ‘enda-ECOPOP’ referred to examples of training in participatory budgeting in Africa. Cases on the continent increased from 3 cases in 2004 to 53 within 7 countries in 2009 and 347 cases in 23 countries in 2014.  Tunisia has institutionalized the use of PB in its Municipalities.

In Cameroon, the practice was launched in 2004, following the letter of intent for participatory budgeting signed at the Africities 3 Summit 2003 in Yaoundé, presented by Mr. Jules Dumas Nguebou, President of the Inter-African Alliance Participatory Budgeting. PB is now practiced in Cameroon by nearly 95 municipalities that adopted and signed the Charter of the PB in 2014.

In Morocco, there are citizen and gender-sensitive budgets, as well as the open budget. These shared experiences have been made by Mrs. Nadia Benali, Director of the National Center of Excellence for gender-sensitive budgets and Mr. Hassan El Arafi, CEO of the research firm REJJES.

These discussions have allowed experts to develop the pedagogical model of the Participatory Budgeting College of ALGA, which aims to meet the training demands expressed by local actors, estimated to be approximately 5000 per year.

The college will offer short training courses for continuous professional development with the program providing participants with the tools, methods and approaches of participatory democracy and a much more active involvement for African people in the development of budgets of local authorities and the State.

The main objectives of the college are to:

– Enable participants to have a better understanding of local governance and participatory budgeting in the context of decentralization

– Control approaches, methods and tools for the implementation of participatory budgeting

– Analyze and share practices of participatory budgeting in Africa

– Clear perspectives for the operationalization of the PB in their original structure

The first training session, scheduled for 27 June to 07 July 2017 in Dakar, Senegal, will be devoted to French-speaking countries. During this training the program will develop three major themes covering the understanding of PB and its fundamental principles, approaches, practical methods and tools of implementation for the operationalization of PB prospects.

The session will form part of a two weeks residential training program to acquire knowledge and skills with the provision of a pedagogical package with all the documentation and tools needed. At the end of the two weeks there will be an evaluation of the knowledge acquired. After three months, participants will present their personal case studies from the course. These presentations will contribute to the final evaluation of the training.

To achieve this goal, a protocol agreement will be signed between UCLG Africa, ALGA, enda-ECOPOP and ASSOAL.