Participatory Governance and Trust: The Innovation Case of Participatory Budgeting in South Korea
Soonhee Kim (KDI School of Public Policy and Management)
Junesoo Lee (KDI School of Public Policy and Management)
Jooho Lee (University of Nebraska Omaha)
Participatory budgeting (hereafter PB) has been advocated by both theorists and practitioners of public administration as its adoption has become a global phenomenon. It has been addressed a policy tool for transparent and effective local governance. Furthermore, it is emphasized as a significant citizen participation program that could affect sustainable and accountable financial management at the local level. As of 2017, all local governments in South Korea are legally mandated to operate a PB system as a policy for inviting citizen participation in local budget decision-making. Focusing on the PB impact assessment data collected from PB managers in local governments, this study aims to explore how PB experiences facilitate the enhancement of “citizens’ trust in government (CTG)” and “government officials’ trust in citizens (GTC).” This research proposes a set of independent variables under the two dimensions of citizenry participatory capacity and the diversification of communication in the PB process that could be associated with CTG and GTC. The study found that the degree of PB participants’ knowledge capacity of the budget is positively associated with both the enhancement of CTG and GTC through PB implementation. Furthermore, the local government commitment to diversified communication channels for gathering citizens’ inputs during the PB process is also positively associated with both the enhancement of CTG and GTC. The paper concludes with some implications of the study findings for the delivery of effective PB implementation for enhancing transparency and sustainable development at the local level.
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Theme A: Public Sector Transformations
Institutional and Policy Innovations and Reforms towards Sustainable Development