Chad, Fiji and Niger: No democracy = weak institutions = low budget transparency

Oct 25, 2010

Political instability in Fiji, Niger and Chad made these three countries OBI scores decline the most of 94 countries in the 2010 Open Budget Survey: Niger’s OBI slipped from 26 to 3 because the Executive’s Budget Proposal and Year-End Report, which were previously made available to the public, are no longer published. Fiji’s OBI decreased from […]

When the voice of the People won’t speak: Legislatures, Auditors & Budget Transparency

Oct 22, 2010

One of the most disappointing findings of the 2010 Open Budget Survey is that oversight institutions are as closed to the public as most executives. More than a third of legislatures surveyed even exclude the media from budget discussions with the executive. National audit bodies do no better. Almost two thirds of supreme audit institutions […]

3 Budget Transparency Fairy Tales: Afghanistan, Liberia and Mongolia

Oct 21, 2010

The Open Budget Survey 2010 identifies 3 unlikely budget transparency Cindarellas in Afghanistan, Liberia and Mongolia. While the stroke of midnight may still reverse their fragile gains, these 3 poor countries have shown how rapidly budget transparency can be improved. In this post we present some extracts from the 2010 OBS report that describe their […]

Governments could easily be more transparent: Key findings of the Open Budget Survey

Oct 20, 2010

The 2010 Open Budget Survey finds that: Budget transparency is generally improving, The overall state of transparency remains poor, That  dramatic improvements could made if governments simply released information that they already have at their disposal. The Survey’s key findings follow below. Read more detail here. If you are interested in detailed information about specific countries, […]

Why you should read the Open Budget Survey 2010

Oct 19, 2010

The IBP launched the 2010 Open Budget Survey yesterday.  A few things for you to look at: Key findings Country Rankings A Press Release And why should YOU read it? According to Chairman Howard Berman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives: “Democracy works best when citizens have accurate information about public finances and […]

That New, New Industrial Policy

Sep 21, 2010

In my last post, I promised a quick overview of what analysts, from those at the World Bank to those at Harvard, are saying about contemporary industrial policy.  That promise was in response to a dismissive article in The Economist in August.  While I concurred with the magazine that we do not know a lot […]

Costs and Benefits

Aug 24, 2010

The August 7 U.S. print edition of The Economist magazine carried a Briefing on “the global revival of industrial policy” (online version here).  The journal’s somewhat alarmist coverage of the resurgence of industrial policy actually begins with the print edition’s first opinion leader, titled “Leviathan Inc” and sub-titled: “Governments seem to have forgotten that picking […]

Constituency Development Funds: African Parliaments’ Faustian Bargain

Aug 12, 2010

The two core duties of parliamentarians are to represent the interests of the electorate in the making of laws and to oversee the work of the executive arm of government (the executive, in short). However, in a growing number of African countries, parliamentarians are choosing to forsake these duties for the pork barrel benefits of Constituency […]

Transparency Is Not Enough

Aug 09, 2010

A new article in the International Political Science Review, entitled “Transparency is not enough,” argues that to get from increased transparency to reduced corruption, societies must meet two additional conditions.  First, transparent information must be publicized in a way that makes it accessible at low mental and economic cost to citizens (the publicity condition).  Second, […]

Budget Reform in 5 Tweets

Aug 05, 2010

Paolo de Renzio and Ed Hedger wrote an excellent paper on the state of budget reform (Click here to read). Earlier today we did some violence to their excellent work by summarizing it into 5 Budget Reform Tweets: Budget Reform Tweet 1: Countries with high economic growth rates, political stability & that depend on taxes […]