Exposing Wrongs With the Right to Information: Freedom Forum’s Work With the Media in Nepal

by Ryan Flynn for the International Budget Partnership— Apr 19, 2017

When Freedom Forum, a civil society organization based in Nepal, decided to use the country’s Right to Information (RTI) laws to investigate special funds allocated to parliamentarians, they uncovered a vast array of wasteful projects. Such nebulous spending was being channeled through Nepal’s Constituency Development Funds (CDFs), mechanisms for allocating money from the national coffers for parliamentarians to spend in their local constituencies. Using Nepal’s Right to Information law to investigate CDFs, Freedom Forum painstakingly traced how money was being spent and projects were supposed to be administered. They then worked with investigative journalists to piece together a series of exposés revealing the misuse of public money.

Accountants With Opinions: How Can Government Audits Drive Accountability?

By Vivek Ramkumar, International Budget Partnership— Nov 07, 2016

Supreme audit institutions (SAIs) are essential to accountable governance. Yet, as the Open Budget Survey has revealed time and again, SAIs face serious limitations in many countries. Audit reports are withheld from the public, hearings on audit findings take place behind closed doors, and findings are not acted upon. IBP recently convened a group of leading experts and practitioners from the field of government auditing to discuss how to make audits more impactful. The group came up with some bold new ideas for how auditors can better fulfil their crucial function of holding the powerful to account.

International budget partnership audit workshop

Social Audits in South Africa: Can They Deliver?

By Albert van Zyl, International Budget Partnership— Mar 07, 2016

In contrast to campaigns that are more inherently confrontational, social audits invest heavily in unpacking and decoding government budget policy and processes. They often start by examining official documents to understand what service delivery commitments the government has made and what viable counter proposals might look like. This is not to say that social audits can’t form part of larger campaigns that use a variety of tactics to get the government to respond. But this engagement is firmly rooted in the facts and figures that the government itself releases in official documents.

social audits in south africa

What Do Scandals in Brazil and South Africa Tell Us About the Link Between Transparency and Corruption?

by Paolo de Renzio, International Budget Partnership— Feb 01, 2016

Without budget information it would be almost impossible for people outside government to spot and denounce cases of mismanagement and corruption. That’s why countries lacking transparency also tend to perform poorly on corruption indicators and, more generally, governance-related ones. As our research has shown, governments have a variety of motives for disclosing fiscal information that have little to do with the fight against corruption. And, for transparency to help tackle it, a number of additional factors need to be in place — from an active civil society, to an independent media, to effective oversight and accountability institutions.

Elections in India: Transparency, Accountability, and Corruption

May 14, 2014

This post was written by Ravi Duggal, Program Officer at the International Budget Partnership. Elections are underway in the world’s largest democracy. With over 800 million voters spanning 543 political constituencies, voting will last until mid-May. And transparency and accountability are shaping up to be key issues for voters. Turbulence in the last few years […]