The innovative civil participation tools and mechanisms are needed to bring up conscious and responsible young citizens who are actively engaged in the decision-making process, are able to influence the development of their communities, whose voice is heard and opinion is taken into account. One of such instruments is School participatory budgeting: it teaches school students to create and develop ideas, elaborate projects, effectively communicate and work in teams. Importantly, the process of School PB inspires young women and men to participate in local public affairs.
Thus, the Council of Europe project “Promoting civil participation in democratic decision making in Ukraine” has developed a toolkit to provide public authorities with detailed methodology on developing the regulation on School PB and its implementation. The Council of Europe methodology is developed in partnership with numerous stakeholders, public authorities, experts, NGOs and schools from across Ukraine and is based on the best practices and CoE standards.
Within a framework of the toolkit implementation, tailored expertise and support was successfully provided to pilot city councils of Ternopil and Krolevets for the development and adoption of the municipal regulations on School PB. Moreover, 235 school students and 100 local officials and teachers gained skills and knowledge in the application of this tool as a result of the online capacity building initiatives implementation – a series of online webinars, online practical courses and coaching. As a result, 95 % of school students of grades 7-11 in Ternopil and 98 % of grades 5-11 in Krolevets have recently voted for School participatory budgeting projects. Currently, the expert recommendations are being provided to Khmilnyk and Krasnosilsk city councils on the implementation of School PB.
The publication contains detailed methodological recommendations that help to choose the best model for School participatory budgeting and develop the regulation on School PB and its parameters. The toolkit can be applicable in any Council of Europe member state and adjusted according to the given context.