Introducing AGORA, the Portal for Parliamentary Development

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.

AGORA Parliament Development Portal

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

Raising Awareness of Public Finance in Bosnia and Herzegovina: the Power of Keeping it Simple

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.

The Open Budget Survey 2015: Let’s all move to New Zealand

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 […]

Open Budgets for the Sustainable Development Goals

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.

Findings from the Open Budget Survey 2015: Are Governments Equipped to Manage Public Resources?

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.

The Open Budget Survey 2015

The Open Budget Survey: A Look Back at Transparency

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?

Reflections on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda

By Claire Schouten, IBP— Jul 20, 2015

After months of intense negotiations, world leaders have finally agreed to an agenda for financing global development over the next 15 years. A non-binding but critical agreement, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, was finalized late last week at the third Financing for Development (FFD) Conference in Ethiopia. It is the culmination of an intergovernmental process that began in October 2014.

Bridging the Gap between Opening Budgets and Transforming Lives

By IBP, essays from the 2014 Annual Report— Jul 10, 2015

Our country work tests the theory that if citizens have access to budget information and opportunities to participate in the budget process, they can better engage with their governments and hold them accountable for their management of public resources. Here’s what we’ve learned so far in South Africa.