This study aims to explore the relationship between local government and civic groups in the budget planning process of the government of Malang during 2015. Using a grounded theory approach, qualitative methods are applied in this study. The unit of the study is Malang, East Java, Indonesia. Malang is selected as the unit of study because of the many civic groups. The findings of this study show that there exists a relationship between local government and civic groups but that the relationship does not represent the principles of democracy (equality, participation, and justice) in the budget planning. Local government has dominated civic groups in budget planning so that the budget policy does not take public interest into consideration. However, civic groups such as Malang Corruption Watch (MCW) and Education Forum of Society (FMPP) have developed different strategies to develop collective lobbying to direct the development of public awareness through education. These findings contribute to developing budget planning in Malang that establishes a democratic budget policy process that is more responsive to public needs. The local government should realize that public participation is a way to achieve democratic budget process. In this context, elected and appointed officials should provide access for civic groups to be involved in all stages of budget planning. At the same time, civic groups should build civic awareness and a willingness to participate in budget planning.
Part of the book: Management of Cities and Regions