Communities can use the Collaborative Documents and Forum features of Smart Village sites to organize their own PB activities.
Participatory Budgeting is a form of local democracy, where communities vote to decide how funding is spent to meet their collective needs.
This approach can empower communities to proactively improve their local digital capacities and skills – For example it could be used to fund the upgrade of local broadband infrastructure.
Scotland is a particularly advanced adopter of Participatory Budgeting. For example this EU project describes how Montrose divided up £8,000 to spend on local community initiatives.
Smart Village implementations are led ideally by organizations such as the local Community Council.
Community Councils, and also Trust organizations, are a key feature of improving Local Democracy, as they provide some scale and tools for digital participation in general. For example the Strathyre Trust established their own local Coworking Centre.
Smart Village web sites can help Community Councils conduct and publicize their work, through simple tools like Community Forums and document upload and share, to make the meeting minutes accessible, with follow on Q&A online for those who couldn’t attend the meetings.