South Africa: How are Upgrades to Informal Settlements Financed in Metropolitan Municipalities?

By Carlene Van der Westhuizen, Mar 15, 2017

This brief draws on a review of relevant policy and budget documents and interviews with experts to present information about the financing of informal settlement upgrading in metropolitan municipalities in South Africa. Understanding how this process works enables civil society and local residents to engage with all three levels of government on whether enough money has been set aside for informal settlement upgrading and whether metropolitan municipalities have used funding appropriately.

upgrades to informal settlements in south africa

Deliberating Budgets: An Example from Nairobi County, Kenya

By International Budget Partnership Kenya, Feb 28, 2017

In 2016, IBP Kenya began promoting a new approach to public engagement with budgets termed “deliberating budgets.” The approach is rooted in theories of deliberative democracy, which emphasizes the importance of giving and debating reasons for the choices we make. In the context of budget-making, deliberation occurs particularly around the reasons for the trade-offs — giving more to particular areas and less to others. What does deliberation about the budget actually look like? One answer emerges from Nairobi County, Kenya.

deliberating budgets nairobi county kenya

Philippines’ Commission on Audit Key to Unearthing “Pork Barrel” Scandal

By International Budget Partnership, Feb 22, 2017

The “pork barrel system” of lump sum grants to members of the Philippines Congress to fund a list of community-based or small-scale infrastructure projects was revived during President Corazon Aquino’s administration and operated under a series of programs, most recently through the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Two unrelated investigations in 2012, ­one by the National Bureau of Investigations and the other by the Commission on Audit (CoA), shed light on the misuse of the PDAF by members of congress, government officials, and NGOs. This case study examines the impact of the CoA’s findings.

philippines pork barrel audit

Accountability for Safe Train Service in Argentina

By International Budget Partnership, Feb 22, 2017

This case study details the findings and examines the impact of the Argentina General Audit Office’s (AGN) March 2012 report pointing out irregularities concerning maintenance and procurement issues related to train services provided by the private company Trains of Buenos Aires (TBA). The audit report was issued just days after a fatal train accident in which a train operated under a contract held by TBA crashed into a station in Buenos Aires, killing 52 and injuring nearly 800 passengers. Though the AGN had previously issued audit reports related to train services provided by TBA, its March 2012 report, coming just days after the tragedy, had a much greater impact.

Argentina Once Tragedy Audit

Is India’s Ministry of Coal Effective in Supporting Coal Production?

By International Budget Partnership, Feb 22, 2017

Coal is a nationalized industry in India, and Coal India Limited (CIL) is the state-owned company responsible for coal production. Prior to 1991, the government set the prices that companies companies producing steel, cement, and power would pay for coal. Economic reforms replaced this system with one that allocates coal blocks to individual public-sector entities and private companies. But the gap between the demand for coal and the supply continued to widen, so the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India conducted an audit investigation to examine the adequacy of the administrative system. This case study examines the impact of the CAG’s 2012 audit report.

India Audit of Coal Industry

The Transparency of Public Funding of Basic Education in South Africa

By International Budget Partnership South Africa, Jan 31, 2017

CSOs in South Africa need access to disaggregated budget data to be able to monitor budgeting for and expenditure on the delivery of services, such as basic education. But they struggle to find out whether the data they need is being produced or published, in which format, and by whom. Through conversations with these CSOs, IBP South Africa collected a range of education-related budget information requests and commissioned Cornerstone Economic Research to assess the availability of disaggregated budget data that responds to the requests. Download the report of what they found along with an accompanying report with background information on how education is funded in South Africa.

education funding in south africa

In Search of Adequate Public Reasons in Kenya’s Budget Documents

By Jason Lakin, Ph.D. and Mokeira Nyagaka , Jan 04, 2017

Public reasoning is an important part of budget making, but the reasons given by governments for their preferred policies are often inadequate. At the same time, there is no recognized standard for assessing the adequacy of reasons. This brief presents a set of nine criteria that can be used to assess the adequacy of reasons given to justify budget decisions using examples drawn from Kenya national budget documents published between July and December 2016.

Kenya: Are Sector Working Groups an Effective Mechanism for Public Participation?

By International Budget Partnership Kenya, Dec 20, 2016

Are Kenya’s Sector Working Groups an effective means for the public to influence sector budget allocations? This brief assesses Kenya’s 2017 Budget Policy Statement to see whether the public’s priorities have had an impact on sector allocations and what reasons the government provided for including or excluding them. The authors conclude that in most cases, it is not possible to tell whether public views were taken into account, though in some cases it seems clear that they were not. Where public views were not included, the explanations for excluding them are inadequate.

Kenya National Budget Sector Working Groups

Kenya: How Much for Counties in 2017/18? The Commission on Revenue Allocation Versus the National Treasury

By International Budget Partnership Kenya, Dec 14, 2016

How much money should Kenya’s 47 counties receive? This issue is discussed annually in Kenya when Parliament debates and approves the Division of Revenue Act and the County Allocation of Revenue Act. In making its decision, Parliament is meant to deliberate on recommendations from the Commission on Revenue Allocation and the National Treasury. This analysis compares the 2017/18 Commission on Revenue Allocation and National Treasury recommendations and raises issues Parliament should consider in their deliberations.

Kenya CRA National Treasury Division of Revenue Analysis