Budgeting for Social Equity: Exploring the (Nearly) Unknown
36 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2022
Date Written: February 21, 2022
Public administration has become increasingly concerned with social equity in recent years; however, the incorporation of social equity into the budget process has remained under-explored. In this study, we explore social equity budgeting at the local level. Based on interviews with local government budget directors and analysis of documents, we develop a framework of social equity budgeting that explains the factors—systemic, societal, political, managerial, legal, and others—involved in a local government’s adoption of social equity priorities in the public budgeting process. We identify several themes underlying successful adoption of a social equity lens in budgeting: broad grassroots efforts, receptive elective leaders, extended community engagement, buy-in by public administrators, and continual discussion of how to measure social equity.
Keywords: Social Equity, Public Budgeting, Local Government Finance
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