The city hall bets on young people for the second year
For the second year already, the Kutná Hora Town Hall is undertaking the process of participatory budgeting (PB), which is getting increasingly popular participatory in the Czech Republic. In itself, that’s nothing special. But this one differs dramatically from the others in one respect: it’s run by young people who are about to graduate from high school. They have named the project “Panuj Hoře” (Rule the Mountain).
Two years ago, when the town hall leadership was thinking about how to approach the popular participatory process, they decided to take an unconventional route. They took advantage of the fact that local schools have in the past succeeded in creating an environment that offers students employment. In the city, the Council of School Parliaments works well, and the aforementioned parliaments work just as well in schools, as does the school version of participatory budgets. And it’s students with such experience who have become the natural candidates for project team members. Four applied for the pilot year. Everything went well and so in Kutná Hora, young people are running the PB for the second year.
What is their role? They’re co-responsible for the organisation of the project. They’re involved in setting the schedule, creating the rules and handling communication. They themselves are in charge of facilitating workshops with the public, which they managed the first year strictly in an online environment due to the coronavirus situation without any problems.
It is already clear that the greatest value to the students is the acquired experience. They learn practical skills they can immediately put into practice.
Participation Factory has provided ongoing expert support to the project team in the previous and provides it again in the current year. We train students in project management, participatory methods or facilitation.
Do you want to know details about participatory budgeting in Kutná Hora? Or are you already thinking about how to involve students in your city in similar projects? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.