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.
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.
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.
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.