By Joseph Foti, Program Manager, Open Government Partnership— Jan 29, 2016
Every two years, the Open Government Partnership’s (OGP) Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) team releases progress reports that assess how well OGP countries are achieving their open government commitments. The reports are released a year into the national action plan cycle and developed by national researchers and international experts with inputs from civil society and government. Throughout February 2016, 36 countries will receive their progress reports. What can we learn from these reports, and what are the next steps?
by Lotte Geunis, Parliamentary Development Officer, United Nations Development Programme— Jan 13, 2016
Since its launch in 2010, the AGORA Portal for Parliamentary Development has worked with over a dozen global, regional, and national partners to support parliamentary development actors across the globe. Following extensive partner and user consultations, AGORA was re-launched in 2013 to accommodate the increasing demand for interactive learning and capacity building and now hosts a state of the art e-learning portal with courses designed for parliaments, parliamentary staff, and practitioners.
by Ryan Flynn, International Budget Partnership— Jan 11, 2016
Nigeria has long suffered from a lack of transparency and accountability in its public finances. The latest round of the Open Budget Survey found that, despite gains made between 2012 and 2015, Nigeria’s national budget remains one of the least transparent in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet under the country’s federal governance system, spending at the national level is only part of the story. State governments not only receive a significant chunk of oil revenues, they also have power to raise funds independently, including through income tax. States share responsibility for delivering a range of basic services such as health, education, and investments in agriculture. Indeed around 47 percent of all capital expenditure flows through state coffers. All in all, the effectiveness of state governments – and the transparency and accountability of state budgets – are crucial.
By Subrat Das, Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability and Ravi Duggal, International Budget Partnership— Nov 06, 2015
In a welcome move, India’s finance ministry has announced that this year’s pre-budget consultations will be held far earlier than in previous years. This change is welcome news for civil society organizations (CSOs) doing budget work in India, which have long called for consultations to begin earlier.
by Emina Gljiva, Foundation CPI— Oct 28, 2015
For the CPI Foundation, addressing the low levels of budget literacy in Bosnia and Herzegovina is an urgent challenge. To capture the public’s attention, and underline the importance of budgets, they installed a digital counter displaying how much public money the government is spending. Located on a busy street at the heart of the capital Sarajevo, the counter gives a second-by-second update of expenditure across all central budgets in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Oct 13, 2015
Read this post in: Spanish | French | Bahasa | Arabic The 4.5 million people living in New Zealand have access to the most extensive amount of budget information in the world, according to the latest results of the Open Budget Survey. But how are the rest of the world’s 7 billion people doing? Not nearly […]
By Claire Schouten, International Budget Partnership— Sep 23, 2015
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set an ambitious development agenda for the next fifteen years. The SDGs comprise 17 goals and aim to address the three aspects of sustainable development – economic prosperity, social development, and environmental protection. They present a clear opportunity for governments to deliver in critical sectors, such as health and education, and make an impact on people’s lives.
By Delaine McCullough, International Budget Partnership— Sep 09, 2015
The latest round of the Open Budget Survey — the world’s only independent, comparative assessment of budget transparency, participation, and formal oversight — reveals the vast majority of countries surveyed have inadequate systems for ensuring that public funds are used efficiently and effectively. Of the 102 countries assessed, 98 fall short on at least one of the three core pillars of budget accountability: transparency, participation, or oversight. A concerning 32 countries fall short on all three pillars. This lack of strong budget accountability systems pose a threat to the implementation of critical international agreements such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the international agreement expected to come from the 2015 Paris Climate Conference.
By David Robins, IBP— Sep 01, 2015
On 9 September IBP will launch the Open Budget Survey 2015 – the world’s only independent, comparative, and regular measure of budget transparency, participation, and oversight. As we near the release of the latest results, now may be a good time to look back at previous rounds of the Survey. Which countries made the biggest gains in improving budget transparency in 2012? And what were some of the drivers of these improvements?
Sayed Nasrat, independent consultant based in Kabul, Afghanistan— Aug 12, 2015
Since Afghanistan’s transition to a democracy 13 years ago, the government and the international community have made multiple attempts to decentralize the budget system to better incorporate the needs of provinces. So far, these attempts have failed. A new set of reforms currently awaiting approval, however, shows greater promise.