Participatory Budgeting: Democracy in Action

By Rebecca Warner, International Budget Partnership— Aug 03, 2017

Participatory budgeting is the process by which citizens deliberate and negotiate the distribution of public resources. At a recent event hosted by the Global Partnership for Social Accountability, panelists shared information about the growth of participatory budgeting in North America and beyond, highlighting the benefits and challenges of the practice and opportunities that exist to improve participatory budgeting in the future.

Participatory Budgeting in Action

Mexico’s Budgeting for Sustainable Development

by Transparencia Presupuesteria, Mexican Ministry of Finance— Jul 18, 2017

To gain a clear picture of how current investments and development plans aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Mexico’s SDG Specialized Technical Committee, led by the Office of the Presidency and the National Institute of Statistics and Geography, developed a framework aimed at integrating planning, public finance management, policymaking, and oversight so as to achieve the SDGs. Within this framework, the Mexican Ministry of Finance and Public Credit partnered with the United Nations Development Programme to identify the specific budget items that would contribute to progress.

How does Mexico Invest in the Sustainable Development Goals?

Making Kenya’s Newly Opened Budgets Work

Brendan Halloran, Senior Fellow, Strategy and Learning, International Budget Partnership— Jul 11, 2017

In Kenya, IBP and its partners seek to support inclusive engagement in the budget process. Yet outcomes have been mixed. This has forced civil society advocacy groups to learn and adapt their approaches, sometimes after investing significant time and effort in a seemingly promising avenue of engagement. Such is the case with the work of Kerio Center and the Uasin Gishu Disability Forum to ensure resources in the Uasin Gishu county budget for persons living with disabilities.

Uasin Gishu PWDS Forum

Ending Extreme Poverty With Domestic Resources: An Interview With University of Sydney’s Chris Hoy

by the International Budget Partnership— Jan 19, 2017

Do developing countries have the scope to raise sufficient domestic resources to end extreme poverty among their citizenry? A recent working paper titled Gasoline, Guns, and Giveaways, published by the Center for Global Development found, somewhat surprisingly, that almost three-quarters of global poverty could be tackled through the redistribution of national resources. Co-author Chris Hoy shares more about what this means for those working on government budgets.

Fiscal Policy, Austerity, and Human Rights in Latin America

by Rebecca Warner, International Budget Partnership— Jun 08, 2016

Economic downturns often leave governments with substantially reduced revenues at the same time as they face increasing demand for public services by those affected by the crisis. Too often governments in this situation will choose to curtail spending in an effort to control public-sector debt, an approach that can have significant consequences on the poorest and most vulnerable. Such budgetary decisions and their effect on marginalized communities are strictly bound by international human rights law. The question of how austerity measures have threatened human rights in Latin America was discussed in April 2016 at a gathering of civil society representatives and officials from international governing bodies.

Subnational Budget Transparency in Nigeria

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.

Nigerian State Budget Transparency Report

India: Civil Society Efforts to Bring the Public’s Voice into Budget Proposals Pays Off

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.

Bringing the Public's Voice into Budget Proposals Pays Off in India

The Challenges of Provincial Budgeting in Afghanistan

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.