Budget Allocator (BA) tool allows you to create a new budget for consultation with your community. The budget created here can then be shared with community members to make decisions about the allocation of public money.
Note that you can have only one budget per BA instance.
The Budget Allocator tool is made up of three important features, namely, Category, Item and Option. These features will help to define and organize your budget.
The entire budget in the BA tool is divided into categories which makes it easier to manage the different areas of your budget. For example Tourism or Community Development will each be a category in the budget.
A category will then be made up of Items. An item is an element that contributes to the budget. For example in the Community Development category, the items could be Park Development, Road Maintenance, etc.
An option is the element within an item on which you have to spend the specified budget. For example, in Park Development you can provide the options to choose between maintaining, increasing or decreasing the Park Development budget from the previous year.
You can add more categories, items and options, depending on your requirements. Therefore, an overall budget is made up of combined items across all categories.
Create a category, item and option
1. Click on the Budget icon or on the Budget tab.
This displays the Budget page.
2. Click on CATEGORY 1 to enter the heading of the category. The following screen is displayed. Type the heading in CATEGORY 1.
3. Click on Item 1 to add an item in the category. You can view the Option feature under every Item.
4. Enter the name of the item in the Item name text field. Enter a budget in the Budget text box. You can see that the entered budget is displayed on the side.
5. Click on Option. The below screen is displayed.
6. Enter a name in the Enter an option name field. Enter the detail description of the option in the Option description text box. For example, if you want your participants to choose between maintaining, increasing or decreasing the current budget, you can specify what, why and how their choice may affect the category in the option description. You can also add a picture in the Option description text box by clicking on the picture icon.
7. Click ADD OPTION to add more options to the Item.
8. Click ADD ITEM to add more items to the category.
9. Click ADD CATEGORY to add more categories to the budget.
10. To move a category up or down the list of categories, place the move cursor on the left hand side of the category name and drag and drop it in the required location.
To delete an item and option
Following steps describe the process to delete an item and an option.
1. To delete an option, click on the delete button located next to it.
2. To delete an item, click on the delete button located next to it.
You have successfully deleted an option and an item.
To customize item settings
Budget Allocator allows you to customize an item’s setting based on your requirement. You can control the features visible to a participant in the published budget, by customizing the options under Item Settings.
The following steps describe how to customize items settings.
1. Under a category, click on the item that you want to customize. You can see that, by default, the options under an item are listed using radio buttons. Select the Multiple choice You can see that the radio buttons change to checkboxes, which allow participants to select multiple options.
The following preview indicates how the participants can see it.
You can view checkboxes for options under the TOURISM AND ART item and radio buttons for options under the COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT item.
2. In the Budget page, click on the Hide option amount checkbox in Item Settings to hide the budgets and costs for that item from the participants or end users. In the figure below, the Hide option amount checkbox is not selected for TOURISM AND ART. However, it is selected for COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT.
The preview of the budget indicates the difference between selecting and not selecting the Hide option amount checkbox.
You can see that the budget is hidden from participants for the COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT item.
3. In the Budget page, click on the Exclude Item from total budget in Item Settings to exclude the item from the entire budget. This means that the cost of this item will not be added to the cost of other items of the entire budget.
As shown in the figure below, before selecting the Exclude Item from total budget checkbox, the budget is the sum of both the items, i.e., TOURISM AND ART ($6m) + COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ($7m) = $ 13m
And after selecting the Exclude Item from total budget checkbox, the entire budget excludes the budget of COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ($7m) hence reduces to $6m.
NOTE: The icons above the Items Settings box indicate the options that are selected.
To copy an item
Budget Allocator allows you to make copies of items within a category. To do this, click on the copy button located next to the item name.
You can see that a copy of the item (along with the item settings) and the options under it is displayed in the same category. This is very helpful as it saves the time and effort in case of similar items.
You have successfully created a copy of an item.
To save, delete and close a category
The Budget Allocator tool allows you to save, delete and close a category.
NOTE: You cannot delete a category in a budget until and unless you delete the options and items listed under it.