Participatory Budgeting Feature Matrix Ellen Haustein
Uploaded by Ellen Haustein     Uploaded date: March 05, 2021    
Publication date
December 15, 2020
Paper language
Setting up a new Participatory Budgeting (PB) process is challenging – and many decisions need to be made. No PB is like another, and each process is highly adapted to local laws, political goals, or the demography of citizens. However, this does not mean that it is not possible to learn from other initiatives. Almost all of today’s processes, be it in the business or public sector, depend on information technology (IT) for their execution. PB is no exemption. IT can help create a more participative and interactive experience for citizens, and strengthen their engagement. The “Empowering PB in the Baltic Sea Region” (EmPaci) project, supported by Rostock University, has conducted research on IT solutions best suited for the support of PB. The PB feature matrix tool and corresponding documents have been released and presented to the PB stakeholders on the EmPaci project webpage (

The feature matrix is an online tool that analyses 50 different cities for 47 process and usability criteria in total. The idea is to compare and learn from other PB initiatives all around the world. It is meant for cities that currently plan to implement or improve PB to be able to answer the following questions:
• What kinds of cities implement similar features? For example, which cities also implement an upload functionality for files?
• What can we learn from each particular example?
• Which capabilities are implemented by a majority of initiatives and can be considered “state of the art”?
• Where can we find the homepage of these cities and their PB initiatives online?
Three complementary documents have been released to describe the underlying data.

The feature matrix is accompanied with a manual which describes the filter and download capabilities in detail. It helps to understand how to access the information and how it is structured.
Preferred Citation
Empowering Participatory Budgeting in the Baltic Sea Region (EmPaci) (2020): Participatory Budgeting Feature Matrix Manual, edited by Fellmann, Michael; Reiz, Achim, URL:
Participatory Budgeting; Citizen Participation; Participation; Baltic Sea Region; Usability; IT; Information Technology; Feature matrix
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