Rhode Island Launches Participatory Budgeting Course of for Well being Investments

As part of work to advance well being fairness and strategically tackle social determinants of well being, the Rhode Island Government Workplace of Well being and Human Providers (EOHHS) and the Rhode Island Division of Well being (RIDOH) are saying at this time the launch of a Participatory Budgeting pilot mission. This mission is being undertaken in collaboration with two Well being Fairness Zone (HEZ) companions (well

Participatory budgeting is a democratic course of that permits group members to immediately resolve the right way to spend a part of a public price range. Following a structured course of, residents in every group may have the chance to come back collectively to establish group wants, generate concepts on the right way to meet them, after which vote immediately on the right way to spend public funds to handle upstream social determinants of well being and racial inequities. Profitable tasks will then be introduced and carried out.

Between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2024, $900,000 can be allotted by two Well being Fairness Zones (HEZs) – Central Windfall Alternatives HEZ (CPO-HEZ), supported by the spine company ONE Neighborhood Builders, and Pawtucket Central Falls HEZ, backed by Native Initiatives Help Company (LISC). Every HEZ will obtain $450,000. Moreover, Central Windfall Alternatives HEZ will deepen its influence by investing an extra $550,000 in non-public grant funding. The Central Windfall group will, subsequently, have a complete of $1 million to speculate by its Participatory Budgeting course of.

“At EOHHS and the companies below our umbrella, we’re dedicated to lively engagement alternatives for the communities we serve,” stated Rhode Island Government Workplace of Well being and Human Providers’ Performing Secretary Ana Novais. “What makes participatory budgeting completely different from conventional budgeting and decision-making processes is that it creates intentional house on the desk for many who expertise systemic racism and revenue inequality. It provides group members true decision-making energy over actual cash.”

“Well being disparities consequence from underlying components in our bodily, social, political, and financial environments,” stated Interim Director of Well being Utpala Bandy, MD, MPH. “It is thrilling to see a mission like this take root in Rhode Island. Not solely do I sit up for seeing the progressive tasks and options that come out of this work to advertise well being fairness, but in addition how resident participation within the course of itself enhances group cohesion, well being, and wellbeing. Wholesome communities are related and collaborative communities.”

Initiatives using participatory budgeting have taken place in Rhode Island with nice success.

“Participatory Budgeting has performed such an necessary position in Central Falls for the previous few years,” stated Central Falls Council President Jessica Vega. “Offering an area the place residents are inspired to suppose critically on the right way to enhance the standard of life for his or her group. Rhode Island Government Workplace of Well being and Human Providers’ initiative of scaling up Participatory Budgeting by the Central Falls/Pawtucket and Central Windfall HEZ is thrilling, well timed, and necessary to enhance the well being and promote fairness in our communities.”

New group leaders develop and emerge from the method, like Karen Figueroa, 2021 graduate of Central Falls Excessive Faculty and present first yr pupil at Salve Regina College, who was a member of the primary Participatory Budgeting Steering Committee in Central Falls and has been concerned in participatory budgeting processes in Central Falls ever since. “Participatory budgeting grants underrepresented people the appropriate to have their voices heard and permits them to be on the forefront of change of their communities,” stated Figueroa.

“Six years in the past, Rhode Island took the transformational step towards a groundbreaking method to handle group well being by creating the Well being Fairness Zone initiative as a mechanism to take heed to residents who deeply understood the wants of their group. This place-based, community-led method has led to necessary modifications in service supply and enhancements in social determinants of well being,” stated Jeanne Cola, Government Director of Native Initiatives Help Company (LISC) of Rhode Island. LISC is the spine company for the Pawtucket Central Falls HEZ. “This participatory budgeting course of — the place the group comes collectively to resolve how funds are invested– is the following logical step within the strategy of cultivating company, transferring energy, and selling residents as brokers of change.”

“Group members will assist form the decision-making course of, allocate sources, and construct connections with one another. We imagine the method of participatory budgeting is equally necessary because the monetary funding,” ONE Neighborhood Builders’ Government Director Jennifer Hawkins stated. “We invite residents of 02908 and 02909 ZIP codes to contact us to study extra about how they’ll share the problems that influence them and work collectively to assist fund equitable options.”
The preliminary funding of $900,000 is in Well being System Transformation Mission (HSTP) funds. The Well being System Transformation Mission is Rhode Island Medicaid’s signature value-based cost initiative which goals to cut back healthcare prices, enhance high quality of care and enhance inhabitants well being outcomes.

Originating in Brazil in 1989, participatory budgeting has since been carried out by governments and organizations in additional than 7,000 cities worldwide and demonstrated impacts in growing civic engagement leading to extra equitable and efficient public spending.

For extra details about the right way to get entangled within the participatory processes in your metropolis, contact:


Pawtucket, Central Falls:
Becki Marcus
Assistant Program Officer
Native Initiatives Help Company

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