This paper explores the process of scaling up arrangements for participatory budgeting (PB) from municipal to state level in Rio Grande do Sol (Brazil); and considers the impact of PB on institutions, politics and the distribution of resources for development. It suggests that PB has given previously marginalised groups access to decision-making fora; enhanced government accountability; and promoted redistribution to the poor while improving planning and budgetary efficiency. It attributes the success of scaling up to the fact that PB advances a political project that includes a popular vision of democracy and a redistributive vision of development, and has also attracted support from better off voters by promoting transparency and efficiency.
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Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies, 2 pp.