We’ve wrapped up another successful year, with over 100 cities from 1,000 to 1 million in size, having used our innovative "Citizen Budget" online platform to boost and broaden their budget engagement.
2017 saw a number of innovations. With the aim of maintaining dialogue during its 4 year budget cycle, this year, Grande Prairie utilized a "rank your top 3 and bottom 3 priorities" format, while Chilliwack pioneered a "Dollar Allocation" module, that asks residents to apportion a predetermined amount among a variety of city programs and services. Yellowknife added our new embedded dashboard feature to its budget consultations, with a view to boost transparency by making its Citizen Budget results available to all, on its budget page. Our "Participatory Budgeting" module will be used for the 3rd consecutive year, with the city of St. Basile.
The City of Ottawa continued its use of Citizen Budget this year, after a successful 2016 run, where residents reported that they "are happy with the Citizen Budget tool, citing that it provided them with an opportunity to learn more about the City budget and budget process". The City’s analysis noted that "Results show that the tools was successful in increasing understanding of the City’s budget and engaging residents who may have not otherwise participated in the budget discussion. The majority of respondents indicated that the tool provided them with an opportunity to learn more about the City’s budget and City services overall. Nearly half of respondents have had limited experience with City budgets and most have never or seldom provided feedback to Council in the past."
This year, we also presented at GFOA-BC Conference’s ‘Innovation Corner’ alongside the City of Victoria and exhibited at the UBCM Conference Tradeshow - both of which resulted in new connections and clients throughout BC. A tip of the hat to Moose Jaw, Grande Prairie and Township of Langley on their 5th Citizen Budget consultation - demonstrating a real, long-term commitment to effective budget engagement!. We were also very pleased to welcome Oshawa, West Vancouver, Red Deer and Thousand Oaks as new clients, among many others. We’re thrilled to work with so many innovative cities and we’re looking forward to continuing our efforts to promote effective engagement in the budget process - arguably one of the most important processes in city life.