How can foreign aid donors help, not hinder, transparent budgeting?

Sep 29, 2009

This post was prepared by Porter McConnell of OxfamAmerica. Development aid, used in smart ways, can save lives and help people get themselves out of poverty.  But sixty years of foreign aid have shown that donors cannot fix the problems of poor people by themselves.  Poor people themselves are demanding accountability and performance from their […]

Do school fees block access to education?

Sep 15, 2009

A paper recently published by the World Bank and Unicef argues that school fees should be abolished in order for Africa to achieve its enrollment objectives and to stimulate further educational improvements on the continent. Quite ironic after the Bank’s user fee crusade of the 80s and 90s. In the paper Birger Fredriksen argues that […]

How to drive Public Finance Management reforms in poor countries

Aug 14, 2009

The PFM Blog recently posted a fascinating Q&A with the IMF’s Richard Allen Apart from a serious faux pas where he refers to the IMF as an ‘honest broker’ that can provide ‘genuinely impartial advice… and its implementation’, he shares some stunning insights that reflect his years of experience in the field First he argues […]

What next for Aid? Double or nothing or new conditionalities?

Jul 21, 2009

The International Aid debate has been raging between people like Jeffrey Sachs, William Easterly and more recently Dambisa Moyo, who take extreme positions for phasing out Aid or massively increasing Aid. As Kaufmannn summarises in a recent blog: “Aid is dead:  it is worse than merely useless, since it abets and perpetuates mis-governance and dependency […]

Cash or work: What do people want?

Jun 11, 2009

The debate about how best to assist the poor is not going away.  Read some of our previous posts on this in issue in Tanzania , Sierra Leone and Kenya . Are cash transfers more effective than government services in adressing poverty? If you do settle on cash transfers, should they cover a large part […]

What should donors do about Budget Transparency & Accountability?

May 29, 2009

Why should donor agencies care about budget transparency? And what can they do to increase it in the countries they support? In a new IBP Brief Paolo de Renzio and Vivek Ramkumar describe how a lack of transparency in aid-recipient countries reduces the potential effectiveness of that aid to reduce poverty and lead to sustainable […]

What makes governments change?

May 19, 2009

In an interview about the current controversy about parliamentarians’ expenses, a British journalist declared that it was just the shame and embarrasment generated by media coverage that motivated the government to deal with the unfolding scandal. How to move governments is one of the key questions that citizens and civil society organisations (CSOs) ask themselves. […]

Why is your government not more transparent?

Apr 24, 2009

Here is a question to YOU: Why isn’t your government more transparent with regard to its budget? Let us have your thoughts here on the blog,  in the Facebook group, on Twitter or at openbudgets@gmail.com The Open Budget Initiative recently reported on the budget transparency of 85 countries. You will find a completed questionnaire on budget […]

Transparency and Accountability: What you thought

Apr 20, 2009

We received some fascinating responses to the question about the link between transparency and accountability. Most people thought that more  transparency could lead to greater  accountability, but that this was by no means an automatic process. A number of political/contextual factors play a role in whether this happens or not. Here are some of your responses: Tiago […]

Transparency and Participation/Accountability?

Apr 09, 2009

I was wondering if there is any research out there on the correlation or not between transparency & participation/accountability? Any data/case studies that show that: 1. Improvements in transparency lead to more participation 2. Improvements in participation lead to more transparency 3. These two are not related, so you need to work on both if […]