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A Preliminary Study on Modeling “Citizen Deliberative Budgeting” in Seoul

Byeongsun Jeong

Recently, the Seoul Metropolitan Government introduced a “citizen deliberative budgeting” system as an alternative to overcome some limitations in the previous “citizen participatory budgeting” system. The “citizen deliberative budgeting” system encourages a number of citizens from various backgrounds to participate in budgeting process by making proposals and deliberations. The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to allocate 200 billion KRW to run a pilot in 2019 and then increase the amount allocated for the deliberative budgeting up to a trillion KRW by 2021.
In this light, this study is to give some insight into how to launch and manage the “deliberative budgeting” system successfully. For this purpose, this study particularly focuses on finding an adequate model for the pilot. Looking at various participatory budgeting examples overseas, this study has come to the conclusion that, although slight differences may exist among various examples, guaranteed diverse participants, secured available resources, well-established participatory processes, and well-organized stakeholder are among the common elements of the successful implementation of the budgeting system. 

Based on the findings, the following institutional suggestions were made. It is desirable to classify the programs into “citizen proposal” types and “citizen deliberation” types. And it is also suggested that “citizen deliberation” ones be further divided into “city-level deliberation” types and “district-level deliberation” types. In addition, establishing an integrated process is important for a successful transition to the deliberate budgeting system. In this regard, this study insists that the process be separated into two parts: the first one focuses on developing and prioritizing agendas, while the second one tries to allocate budget. In order to make this complicated process run smoothly, an appropriate system for managing and promoting is essential.