Won No

Won No

School of Public Affairs Ph.D. Candidate, Arizona State University

Won No is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University and earned a Master’s degree in Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

One of her recent paper explores the inclusiveness of the participatory budgeting (PB) process, neighborhoods’ financial needs and its relationship with participatory budgeting outcomes. Redistributive outcomes would likely follow if the PB process is designed in a way that explicitly aims to distribute more resources to poor neighborhoods. Prior research has found that PB in Porto Alegre—an influential case of PB that is cited in the literature—has been evaluated as achieving its goal of allocating more resources toward the poor. Won’s study uses the case of Seoul which does not have the explicit equity and social justice principles. The findings suggest that PB, when designed with organizational structures to encourage citizen participation, is a governance tool that a city can employ to distribute more resources to poor neighborhoods even without the presence of explicit criteria for promoting equity and social justice.

Won is currently working on her dissertation, expanding her research mentioned above, to find what makes PB redistributive even without any explicit criteria on equity, using the interview data that she conducted with about thirty participatory budgeting committee members in Seoul PB.


Why do you believe innovations in participatory democracy are important?

I believe innovations in participatory democracy are important in order 1) to reduce administrative costs related to increasing participation in the decision-making process, and 2) to appeal more people who have not been interested in participating – so that we could have a broader participation of the people in the society at any level.


What do you hope to see at the 2018 Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference?

I would like to learn how people from different backgrounds approach participatory democracy in a various way and also the current practice of democracy innovations. I hope it becomes a great place for both researchers and practitioners connect with each other and find some future collaboration opportunities as well.