It was wonderful to see how students took on the initiative and brought forward both their project-related ideas and other suggestions.
Gurkaran Singh Bakshi, project coordinator
Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya in Hari Nagar, West Delhi
budget for student's projects
Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalayas is a system of state-owned schools managed by the Directorate for Education in Delhi, India. These schools provide secondary education (grades 6–12). The Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya state schooling Hari Nagar, West Delhi gave participatory budgeting a try.
Students in grades 6–11 took part in the PB. Their task was to propose a project improving their school’s life or environment. The students decided on a sum for the winning project in the amount of 200,000 rupees (about $2,970).
Its purpose was to help the students to understand the budgeting process and provide them with a platform for participating in decision-making on matters that directly concern them as the school’s students.
The students and the teachers participating in the PB were asked to come up with proposals for the use of the allocated sum. Each student presented their proposal in front of their classmates. Each class then presented their six top ideas for advancement to the next round.
It must be noted here that each classroom’s teacher was also asked to provide potential ideas – but this was more as a backup in case the students were unable to provide well-defined ideas. Also, voting was open to students only.
In the second round, the students behind the best ideas in each class were asked to present them at a school assembly. This round of student-teacher discussions resulted in eleven ideas submitted to the principal and the project steering committee for assessment. Eight projects made it past the feasibility study.
The task of the students whose ideas made it through was to promote their projects among their schoolmates using speeches, interviews, diagrams, leaflets, plans, presentations, etc. All this encouraged the students to speak freely and without barriers.
The project culminated in a vote for the best project. Students cast their votes online via PCs. They arrived in groups but voted individually. Each student had two votes available. A total of 453 votes were cast to select the project that would be implemented in their school. Once all the votes were cast, the D21 application provided the result, which the headmaster and the steering committee then communicated to the whole school.
The project receiving the largest number of votes (208) concerned futsal (a soccer variant played by two teams of five players, one of whom is the goalkeeper).
The second-place proposal, which gained 200 votes, was for building botanical gardens on the school premises.
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Based on a conception for transforming the public spaces in the Prague 10 district, that district’s council decided to create an urban-planning study for the Na Solidaritě Park. Within this project, a participatory urban-planning survey was organized with the aim of ensuring that the city-planning changes met the needs and demands of the citizens who lived nearby the park and who used it the most