In 1989, the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre initiated a successful model of Participatory Budgeting, which has subsequently been implemented in cities throughout the world, including in the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. This paper analyses differences in understanding and shifts in meaning that occur when a Participatory Budgeting model from a Brazilian Portuguese Porto-Alegrense socio-political historical and cultural context is translocated to a Canadian English Toronto context. By examining five key terms, I compare the understandings of Orgamento Participativo in Porto Alegre to Participatory Budgeting in Toronto. Different understandings may result in different outcomes.
This paper is based on De Sousa Santos' call for a giant work of translation, which includes a greater need for understanding of the differences between international social movements within the World Social Forum. Greater understanding will open a space for dialogue and mutual learning, creating a path towards emancipation from the neoliberal agenda.