Thank you to the panellists and participants who joined us for a brief journey behind the scenes of Participatory Budgeting (PB) for our breakout session ‘A Fair Shake’ at the 2018 IAP2 Australasia Conference this week. Delegates took part in a mini PB process before engaging in conversation with the panel and exploring lessons learned from recent projects across Australia and the UK.

We’ve provided some free PB resources at the bottom of this post - these resources are available to both participants from the conference and anyone who couldn’t make it to the session.

Participants moved from discussion, to project pitches to electronic voting in the condensed PB session.


The PB experience began with small groups of participants discussing, deciding on and then pitching projects in an attempt to win a share of $10,000 in (chocolate block) money. In a true display of altruism, the group that won the most chocolate money (5 blocks equaling $5000) decided to give one of their blocks away to fund another group’s project. It was a fitting reminder of the power of participatory processes and their ability to bring communities together.

Panellists Jez Hall, Shared Future (UK PB expert), Jithma Beneragama, Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet (Pick My Project) and Helen Christensen, IAP2A then provided candid insights and answered audience questions in an interactive Q&A session.

Participatory budgeting panel - IAP2 Conference 2018

Panellists appeared in both digital and physical form! From left to right: Jez Hall (beaming in from the UK), Jithma Beneragama and Helen Christensen.


Participatory Budgeting (PB) is starting to make its mark in Australia with major initiatives by both the South Australian and Victorian Governments as well as some smaller council PB projects such the City of Melville in WA. In October 2018, the successful projects were announced for the Pick My Project process - a $30million community grants iniative. Earlier in 2018, IAP2A worked with MosaicLab to deliver Pitch for the Practice, which saw $100,000 on the table for projects that benefit members and meet IAP2A’s strategic pillars.

Given this recent wave of activity, it seemed a timely to reflect on the insights gained so far. We are grateful to our panellists, in particular, for volunteering their time and being willing toe share their learnings in this space.


As part of the Pitch for the Practice process, MosaicLab prepared a A Brief Introduction to Participatory Budgeting (free download) on behalf of IAP2A. Everyone is welcome to access this free resource.

Jez Hall has provided the following resources: a graphic depicting an annual PB cycle and a paper Mainstreaming Participatory Budgeting - Ideas for delivering Participatory Budgeting at Scale.