City Research Online

Value alignment in participatory budgeting

Serramia Amoros, M. ORCID: 0000-0003-0993-024X, Lopez-Sanchez, M., Rodriguez-Aguilar, J. A. & Moretti, S. (2023). Value alignment in participatory budgeting. In: Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems. The 23rd International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, 6-10 May 2024, Auckland, New Zealand.


Participatory budgeting empowers citizens to take an active role in shaping their government’s policies by influencing the allocation of a limited budget. In this process, citizens file various proposals and then collectively decide which ones should receive funding through a voting system. While participatory budgets have garnered significant attention in research and practice, one aspect so far overlooked is the ethical dimension of the proposals. Thus, beyond just gauging citizen preferences, we propose also to consider how these initiatives align with the government’s core values. Specifically, we apply optimisation techniques to solve a multi-criteria decision problem that considers both citizen support and value alignment when choosing the proposals to fund. We illustrate our method in two real case studies and analyse how we can combine both criteria in an egalitarian way that does not necessarily compromise the will of citizens and may encourage governments to broaden the objectives and increase the allocated budget.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: © 2024 International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems ( This work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence.
Publisher Keywords: Participatory budgets; Value alignment; Ethics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology
School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of AAMAS2024AlignmentParticipatoryBudgets.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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