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This paper explains why and how a reform program that opened up spaces for participatory budgeting was ultimately unable to result in pro-citizen power shifts that transformed governance. The study reviews the design and implementation of Bottom-Up Budgeting BuB , the nationwide participatory budgeting PB program in the Philippines, which ran from to under the Benigno Aquino government. The findings underscore the importance of institutional design to participatory governance reforms. However, several aspects of the institutional design shifted power from local governments to the central government. This study argues that because of these design problems, BuB fell short in achieving its main political reform agenda of empowering the grassroots—particularly in enabling downward accountability that could have enabled lasting pro-citizen power shifts.
Download PDF. Press release. With the unemployment rate at 4 percent or below for eight consecutive months, appears to be the year when the economy finally became healthy again.
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