On 13 October 2018 the first DRI Youth Talk: Participatory Budget was organised as part of the DRI debate tournament ‘Decide for your City’.
Participants discussed local democracy standards and the advantages and challenges of using a participatory budget, one of the most effective instruments of local democracy.
Svitlana Hryshchenko, representative of the Council of Europe, told about numerous opportunities for youth offered by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. In particular, she mentioned the possibility of joining the activities of a youth delegation, which builds and promotes its own agenda at the Congress along with other delegations of the member states. Artem Stelmashov, representative of the City Council, provided examples of successful implementations of participatory budget projects, such as the Open Polytechnic Laboratory ‘Lampa’, which gave students free access to equipment in order to study electronics and carry out research. Oleksii Kovalenko, the author of several successful participatory budget projects, organised an interactive game that offered participants a simulation of participatory budget consideration and adoption.
Six teams proposed their own participatory budget projects that could be implemented in the city of Kyiv. One of the teams proposed to allocate UAH 1.5 million for the project ‘Kyiv Murals’ in order to create art in residential districts of the city, a project which would create new opportunities for young artists. Another team suggested an idea to create a ‘Sunny Lake’ area with space for kayaking, cinema and a race track.
Following the discussion, the first debate round took place on 20 October and the teams developed their own participatory budget projects and criteria of their assessment.
The event brought together students from Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University, Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University, Kyiv National Economic University (KNEU), Kyiv Polytechnic Institute (KPI), Zhytomyr National Agro-ecological University and representatives of youth organisations ‘U-Act’ and ‘European Youth of Ukraine’.