The People's Budget: Citizen's Deciding How $$$ is Spent
Giving people power to decide how tax dollars are spent can increase the efficacy of the funds in addition to uncovering needs that might otherwise not be met.
Participatory budgeting started in the late 1980's in Porto Alegre, Brazil and since then projects have cropped up all over the world. Giving citizens the power to allocate budgets allows them to focus on the challenges that they feel in their everyday lives (but which might be invisible to policy makers) creating the supports that government is meant to provide.
Image from http://www.redemmas.org/event/1197/
Image from http://www.cles.org.uk/features/it%E2%80%99s-the-taking-part-that-counts/
There are hundreds of case studies and guides to help localities design and implement participatory budgeting processes and
participedia.net is one of the best
(open-source) repositories of these case studies.