Reformers in the municipality of Talcahuano saw the need to change how resources were allocated to the health sector. They called upon the democratically elected community delegates to develop and prioritize projects for implementation. By encouraging community members to participate in developing municipal budgets, horizontal networks of negotiation between communities and public authorities were created.
Active participation of community actors throughout the budgeting process is based on the concept of co-responsibility, and requires a commitment both from citizens to monitor their health and from local government to improve the quality of services available to their constituents. The introduction of citizen participation has humanized local medical attention and raised its overall quality. In the work conducted to date, 10 projects have been prioritized and are in the midst of implementation.