Stalling Progress on Budget Transparency: What Does It Mean?

The most significant finding of the Open Budget Survey 2017 is that after a decade of steady progress, global average government budget transparency has dropped. Stalling progress toward greater budget transparency is consistent with a broader set of indicators that in recent years point to democratic recession, declining civic space, and faltering commitment to the rule of law around the world. For this reason, the survey’s 2017 findings have faced widespread acceptance in our discussions globally.
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Sub-Saharan Africa: Failure to Institutionalize Past Gains Weakens Transparency

The Open Budget Survey 2017 records the first halt in progress on global budget transparency since the survey was launched in 2006. The average score on the Open Budget Index — the part of the survey that measures budget transparency — actually decreased from 45 to 43 between 2015 and 2017 among the 102 countries included in both rounds. This modest decline is primarily attributed to changes in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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