We are working with three partners in China to support their continued local level budget work.
- Shining Stone Community Action (SSCA)
SSCA has developed experience over the years in participatory community engagement and the IBP-supported work is extending that engagement to the budget arena. In their work, SSCA focuses on the funds allocated for communities in Beijing. Through their research and engagement, SSCA has found that funds are often unspent, there is no real citizen participation, and the community committee that the government assumes will represent the community instead functions as a lowest level of government. As a result, one of SSCA’s objectives is to strengthen other “self-organizations” within the community to participate in budget deliberations and monitoring. To this end, SSCA will focus on budget training for community members. In addition to this work, SSCA has developed a “community card for innovate projects” to assist stakeholders in their consideration of budget aspects; developed a Community Budget Information Disclosure Tool that is intended to assist the community committee in knowing the type of information that should be disclosed; and is supporting Wudaoying Community on project budgeting in applying for government funds.
- Chengdu HuiZhi Participation Center
Chengdu HuiZhi Participation Center has focused their work on information gathering and has developed a database of how participatory funds have been used in the area where they work. In addition to conducting analysis on the information collected in their database, which shows the patterns of expenditure, the group has also held interviews and focus group discussions highlighting the challenges experienced at different stages of decision making, implementation, and monitoring of the funds. Moving forward, the organization hopes to develop and test an approach to address some of these problems. Additionally, the group has focused on the use of the Public Service Fund along with community staff and resident training to help citizens understand more about the Fund and how it should be used.
- Eco Canton
Eco Canton’s work focuses a mainstream budget issue – waste management – rather than allocations made for participatory community projects. The group will continue to research different aspects related to the cost of reforms and different ways of organizing waste management as well as documenting their experiences in requesting information from the government on the waste management process. The group has focused its work on advocacy directed toward Guangzhou People’s Congress members and the Congress itself which proved useful in establishing contacts and spreading their messages to government officials.