Surveying the Role of Social Media on Citizens' Participation in the Participatory Budgeting Process

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Instructor, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management, Economic and Accounting, Payam noor University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Prof., Department of Public Management, Faculty of Management, Economic and Accounting, Payam noor University, Tehran, Iran


Objective: Citizens’ awareness and participation play a significant role in the improvement of public affairs’ administration and the quality of governmental decisions and policies. The present research aims to explore and theorize the citizens’ participation in the budgeting process.
Methods: 18 theoreticians and researchers in the fields of political sciences, social sciences and public administration participated in this grounded-theory based qualitative research. They were selected based on the purposive and snowball sampling methods.
Results: The results of the data analysis showed that political awareness of citizens includes cyber political awareness, political empowerment of citizens, knowledge of using cyber networks, familiarity with political tools, citizens’ awareness of political presence on cyber networks, citizens’ cyber activities in parties, and debating on cyber social networks. Furthermore, political/local awareness of citizens includes citizen’s awareness of local priorities, citizens’ awareness of local expenditure, citizens’ awareness of local problems, and knowledge about local investment that are all  emerged within the framework of citizens’ cyber participation. Moreover, political participation of citizens involves their budget participation and political/cyber participation.
Conclusion: Owing to the necessity of social interactions of citizens on the cyberspaces, local and indigenous social networks should be developed in Iran in order to reinforce the interactions among the citizens and such networks should be supported by the relevant practitioners and organizations accordingly.


Main Subjects

Afzal Shami, A. (2005). Political Empowerment of Women in Pakistan. Pakistan Vision, 10(1), 141-151.
Callahan, K. (2007). Citizen Participation: Models and methods. Journal of Public Administration, 30, 1179–1196.
Collins, N., & Mack, N. (1996). Public participation and risk taking: a case study of farm households. International Journal of Social Economics, 23(12), 15-29.
Dadgaran, S. M. (1998). Basics of Mass Communication. Tehran; Firoozeh Press. (in Persian)
Denhardt, R.B. & Denhardt, J.V. )2000(. The New Public Service: Serving Rather than Steering. Public Administration Review, 60(6), 549-559.
Dunleavy, P., & Hood, C. (1994). From old public administration to new public management. Public Money & Management, 14(3), 9–16.
Ebadi, N., & Piran Nejad, A. (2014). Electronic Governance in Municipalities: A Study of the Portal of the Municipalities. Journal of Public Administration, 6(2), 265-288. (in Persian)
Ebdon, C., & Franklin, A.L. (2004). Searching for a role for citizens in the budget process. Public Budgeting and Finance, 24 (1), 32–49.
Feng, L., Jeusfeld, M. A., & Hoppenbrouwers, J. (2005). Beyond information searching and browsing: acquiring knowledge from digital libraries. Information Processing and Management, 41(1), 97-120.
Feroz Khan, Gh., Yoon, H. Y., & Park, H.W. (2012). Social media use in public sector: A comparative study of the Korean & US Government Paper presented at the ATHS panel during. The 8th International Conference on Webometrics, Informatics and Scientometrics & 13th COLLNET Meeting, 23–26 October 2012, Seoul, Kore.
Flanklin, A. L., & Ebdon, C. (2002). Citizen participation: Look good on paper but hard to do in practice. Journal of Public Administration, 24(4), 385–403.
Franklin, A.L., Ho, A., & Ebdon, C. (2009). Participatory budgeting in Midwestern states: Democratic connection or citizen disconnection? Public Budgeting & Finance, 29 (3).
Ghafari, Gh. (2001). Investigating the Sociocultural Barriers Affecting the Organized Socioeconomic Participation in the Rural Society of Iran (Case Study: Villages in Kashan). Tehran: Institute of Social Studies and Research of Tehran University.
(in Persian)
Ghasemi, M., Panahi, A., Khezari, M., & Mokhber, A. (2008). Budgeting in Iran: Budget and Players (surveys). Tehran: Islamic Parliament Research Center of the Iran. (in Persian)
Ghosal, S. & Proto, E. (2009). Democracy, collective action and intra-elite conflict. Journal of Public Economics, 93(9-10), 1078–1089.
Gordon Vitoria, O. jr, Jeffery, L. & Boden, D. (2017) The role of Citizen Particpation and the Use of Social Media Platforms in the Particpatory Budgeting Process. International Journal of Public Administration, 40(1), 65-76.
Gordon, V. (2012). Striking a balance: Matching the services offered by local governments with the revenue realities. Washington, DC: ICMA.
International Association for Public Participation. (2007). IAP2 spectrum of public participation. Louisville, CO: Author.
Kettl, D. F. (2005). The global public management revolution. Massachusetts: Brookings Institution Press.
Khezri, M., & Ghasemi, M. (2007). Issues and problems of budgeting in Iran. Tehran: Islamic Parliament Research Center of the Iran. (in Persian)
Krueathep, W. (2004). Local government initiatives in Thailand: Cases and lessons learned. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 26(2), 217–239.
Leidner, D. E. (2010). Globalization, culture, and information: Towards global knowledge transparency. Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 19(2), 69-77.
Lopez-Nicolas, C., & Soto-Acosta, P. (2010). Analyzing ICT adoption and use effects on knowledge creation. International Journal of Information Management, 30(6), 521-528.
Megnigbeto, E. (2010). Information policy: Content and challenges for an effective knowledge society. The International Information & Library Review, 42(3), 165-170.
Mojtabazadeh Khanghahi, H., Rahmati, M. & Goodarzi, L. (2017). The Role of Media in Increasing Public Participation in Urban Management (Case Study: District 4 of Tehran). Journal of media studies, 12 (1), 77-89. (in Persian)
Monavarian, A., Nargesian, A., Fattahi, M., & Waseq, B. (2010). Investigating the Relationship between Public Responsibility, Public Participation and Public Confidence in Governmental Organizations: 22 Districts of Tehran. Journal of Humanities Research in Management in Iran, 14(3), 247- 251. (in Persian)
Moon, M. J. (2002). The evolution of e-government among municipalities: Rhetoric or reality? Public Administration Review, 62 (4), 424–433.
Mungongo, C. G. (2003). Social transformation and Political empowerment in the Age of Globalization. Nordic Journal of African Studies, 12(2), 119-133.
Nabatchi, T. (2010). Addressing the citizenship and democratic deficits: The potential of deliberative democracy for public administration. The American Review of Public Administration, 40 (4), 376–399.
Nargesian, A., & Ayatollah Zadeh Shirazi, M. (2013). Citizen Relationship Management: A Study of its Relationship with Participation, Public Responsibility, and Transparency in the District 3 of Tehran. Journal of Public Administration, 5(2), 143- 168. (in Persian)
Nargesian, A., Tahmasebi Aghbalaghi, D., Dindar, Y. (2014). Study of the Effect of Political Marketing Tools on Public Participation (Case Study: Citizens of District 5 in Tehran). Journal of Public Administration, 6(3), 603 -624. (in Persian)
Neshkova, M.L. (2014). Does agency autonomy foster public participation? Public Administration Review, 74 (1), 64–74.
Niroumand, L., & Vahed Navan, A. (2011). New methods of participation. Journal of media studies, 6 (1), 227-244. (in Persian)
Nordin, M. (2009). The effect of information on voting behavior. Working paper, Uppsala University.
Osborne, S.P. (2006). The new public governance? Public Management Review, 8(3), 377–387.
Osborne, S.P. (2010). The new public governance: Emerging perspectives on the theory and practice of public governance. Oxon: Routledge.
Palvia Shailendra, C. J. & Sharma, S.S. (2007). E-government and e-governance: definitions/ domain framework and status around the world. Foundations of Egovernment,
Piran Nejad, A. (2011). The effect of ICT on political development: a qualitative study of Iran. Information Development, 27(3), 186-195. (in Persian)
Piran Nejad, A., & Gholipour, A. (2013). Study of the empowerment of citizens in the light of modern technologies. Journal of Public Administration, 5(2), 19 – 36. (in Persian)
Pujar, S. M., Kamat, R. K., Bansode, S. Y., Kamat, R. R., & Katigennavar, S. H. (2008). Identifying and exploiting human needs for a people centric evolving knowledge society: A case study of Indian ICT Emergence. The International Information & Library Review, 40(3),165-170.
Roberts, N. (2004). Public deliberation in an age of direct citizen participation. American Review of Public Administration, 34(4), 315–353.
Ruostetsaari, I. (2006). Elites and Democracy: Are they Compatible? In Dr Fredrik Engelstad (ed.) Comparative Studies of Social and Political Elites (Comparative Social Research, Volume 23). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 265-274.
Sabilan Ardestani, H. (2010). The role of media in the process of attracting political participation the Institute for Strategic Research, Journal of Media and Political Participation, (50),13-62. (in Persian)
Schellong, A. (2007). Citizen Relationship Management. In A.V. Anttiroiko, Electronic Government: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications, Hershey, Information Science Reference.
Schugurensky, D. (2012). The fourth dimension of civic engagement: Participatory budgeting from Brazil to the USA. PA TIMES, International Supplement, 5–6.
Seyyed Rezaei, M.Y., Pourezzat, A.A., Amiri, M., & Azar, A. (2018) Deadly Sins in Public Budgeting of Iran. Journal of Public Administration,10(1):41-58. (in Persian)
Sharma, R., Ahuja, V. & Alavi, Sh. (2018). The Future Scope of Netnography and Social Network Analysis in the Field of Marketing, Journal of Internet Commerce, 17(1), 26-45.
Shatkin, G. (2004). Globalization and local leadership: Growth, power, and politics in Thailand’s eastern seaboard. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 28(1), 11–26.
Shobeyrinezhad, A.A. (2002). Budgeting in Iran: issues and challenges. Tehran: Islamic Parliament Research Center of the Iran. (in Persian)
Silverman, R. M. (2006). Central city socio-economic characteristics and public participation strategies: A comparative analysis of the Niagara Falls region's municipalities in the USA and Canada. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 26 (3/4), 138-153.
Thompson, A. & Allen, L. (2011). Measuring community engagement. In Focus Research, (43), 5. ICMA. These authors cite the following article—Cooper, T., Bryer, T., & Meek, J. (2006, December). Citizen-centered collaborative public management. Public Administration Review, 66 (s1), 76–87.
Torres, L., Pina, V., Acerete, B. (2005). E-government developments on delivering public services among EU cities. Government Information Quarterly, 22(2), 217-238.
Timney, M. (2011). Models of citizen participation: Measuring engagement and collaboration. In C. S. King & C. Stivers (Eds.), Government is us (pp. 86-100). Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.
Tsai, S., Egelman, J., Cranor, L., & Acquisti, A. (2010). The Effect of Online Privacy Information on Purchasing Behavior: An Experimental Study. Information Systems Research, 24(1), 86-99.
Unger, D., & Mahakanjana, Ch. (2016). Decentralization in Thailand. Journal of Southeast Asian Economies, 33(2), 172–187.
United Nation (2014). E-Government survey 2014: E-government for the future we want.
Wampler, B. (2007). A guide to participatory budgeting. In A. Shah (Ed.), Participatory budgeting. Washington, DC: The World Bank.
Wun-Gaeo, S., Charoenratana, S., Jumnianpol, S., & Nuangjamnong, N. (2014). Social capital in Thailand: Unraveling the myths of rural-urban divide. The Senshu Social Capital Review, 5, 93–108
Yang, K. & Pandey, S. K. (2011). Further dissecting the black box of citizen participation: When does citizen involvement lead to good outcomes? Public Administration Review, 71 (6), 880–892.
Yimbo, W. O. (2011). Analyzing E-government in developing countries using a stages model approach: a case study. PhD Thesis, University of Minnesota.
Zaman, F. (2007). The Nature of Political Empowerment and Gender in Local Governance: A Comparative Study of Dhaka City Corporation and Narayangonj Municipality. Bangladesh e-Journal of Sociology, 4(1), 49-72.