With the objective of providing technical support to local governments for improving governance through a participatory decision-making process of deciding public finances, the Participatory-Habitat Initiative was initiated in 2019 by UN-Habitat's Urban Economy and Finance Branch (UEFB). UN-Habitat, with this Initiative, will take PB to new locations throughout the globe to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and the New Urban Agenda.
The Initiative aims to offer partner governments a practical solution through a digital platform that integrates public finances, citizen participation, and available information and communication technologies (ICT). This Initiative allows citizens to create and vote online for proposals of how to use part of the public budget --meaning the concrete implementation of several projects-- in a digital participatory budgeting process. However, citizens also in person can participate.
The UN-Habitat using the Initiative's digital platform has created an innovative platform through which the PB process and its many features can enhance the participatory experience of both citizens and government. Citizens can find many resources – videos, publications, and news – in the digital platform to help them create proposals connected to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. They can also interact and see what other proposals are being created by counterparts in their city. Governments can reach out to their citizens, creating a channel to exchange and receive the relevant information to improve governance and prioritize areas of investment in accordance with citizen's preferences. Additionally, as using digital technologies, the Initiative contributes to the collection and analysis of crucial data that is fundamental for evidence-based policies that are consistent with reality.