21 OCT, 2021

The Study of Participatory Budgeting Experiment at Choi Fook Estate

Written by : Alan Kwok

In the first quarter of 2021, MWYO piloted a Participatory Budgeting scheme in Choi Fook Estate, taking a bottom-up approach for residents to make decisions on the public budget of their local community.


Our research found that the Participatory Budgeting Experiment (the Experiment) brought the following benefits:




District Administration Departments

  1. Improved relationship with local residents
  2. Enhanced ability to receive public comments; elimination of “blind spots”
  3. Increased transparency in public budgeting and decision-making processes; increased administrative efficiency
  4. More efficient use of public resources

Participating Residents

  1. Encouraged residents who are often overlooked in traditional district participation channels to participate
  2. Encouraged residents to consider the needs of the community and how those needs can be met
  3. Increased resident self-efficacy when participating in district affairs
  4. Increased sense of community belonging and cohesion

Youth Volunteers

  1. Encouraged youth to participate in district affairs in an effective and orderly manner
  2. Reduced sense of powerlessness, increased self-efficacy when participating in district affairs
  3. Enhanced ability to participate in district affairs
  4. Increased sense of community belonging and cohesion

7 Key Success Factors for Participatory Budgeting


In addition to analysing the potential benefits of participatory budgeting, the Experiment also concluded that there are 7 key factors to a successful participatory budgeting experiment:


1. An institutional organising structure that is able to facilitate community participation and is relatively in tune with the situation and needs of the community


2. Sufficient financial resources to respond to residents’ suggestions; clear guidelines for residents


3. Capacity to improve public service provision


4. Open-mindedness on the part of the organiser, with a willingness to explore new ways of involving residents in the budgeting process


5. Respect for residents’ opinion and values their participation


6. Supporting partners that hold the same values and beliefs


7. A proactive coordinating organisation and a suitable testing strategy