Links Roundup: Transparency News and Analysis
May 12, 2014
Fiscal Transparency News Around the World
Jakarta government held its first open data hackathon (Tech in Asia)
- The first and second place winners created apps which allow people to find and monitor city budget information and report anything suspicious to authorities.
Multiple levies distort budget accountability (Mmegi online)
- A recent PEFA assessment in Botswana shows an increase in off-budget “special funds and levies” in recent years, giving room for exploitation and corruption and diminishing budget transparency and accountability.
- This article (in French) talks about the delays and lack of information in the supplementary budget law in Tunisia.
Arvind Kejriwal, Indian transparency activist, was named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people. (TIME)
Rakesh Rajani, head of Twaweza in East Africa and OGP civil society co-chair, was featured on CNN’s African Voices series talking about his life and work in open government in Africa. Watch all three parts of the series here.
IBP’s Jason Lakin was recently featured in a number of articles and news segments talking about budget transparency and the lack of development spending in Kenya. Here’s a few articles from Daily Nation, the Star, Standard Digital, the Business Daily, and Kenya News Agency, as well as two video clips (here and here) from NTV Kenya covering these issues.
On the blogs
Connecting Voices: Financial Management in the Arab World (IMF PFM blog)
- The World Bank has launched a new initiative to promote improved financial management practices in both the public and private sectors in the MENA region. Its aim is to support citizens’ demands for better governance and increased participation through capacity building in PFM issues and sharing knowledge both within countries and across the region.
Critical review of William Easterly’s new book, The Tyranny of Experts (Beyond Budgets blog)
Challenges of Modernizing FMIS in Latin America (IMF PFM blog)
- This post reviews the advantages and disadvantages of the four main approaches that have been taken to designing and implementing new Financial Management Information Systems (FMIS) or modernizing existing systems in Latin America.
Monitoring and evaluating advocacy and policy influence (Overseas Development Institute)
- This report begins by looking at how policy influence happens, describes options for monitoring and evaluating policy influence and advocacy projects at four levels (strategy and direction; management and outputs; outcomes and impact; and understanding causes), and finally presents six case studies of how organizations have monitored or evaluated their policy influence or advocacy projects.
Winds of Change: The Progress of Open Government Policymaking in Latin America and the Caribbean (Inter-American Development Bank)
- This report reviews the commitments and progress that Latin American and Caribbean countries have made as part of the Open Government Partnership, and it includes perspectives from multiple stakeholders, general recommendations, and detailed country-by-country information in the annexes.
- This report provides a summary and review of the literature on gender responsive budgeting (GRB), specifically the evidence of GRB’s successes as well as its criticisms and obstacles.
A Post-2015 Fiscal Revolution: Human Rights Policy Brief (Center for Economic and Social Rights and Christian Aid)
- As talks over the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be adopted next year move into their final phase, this new briefing sets out the commitments needed to deliver a “Post-2015 Fiscal Revolution” by integrating human rights standards into the design of fiscal policy at both the national and international levels.
Open Government Partnership Events
There was a lot going on with OGP last week. The Asia Pacific Regional Meeting was held in Bali on Monday and Tuesday (6-7 May). This was preceded by a civil society day on 4 May, after which CSOs issued a joint communiqué. Discussions of the importance of budget transparency were held in a number of sessions, and President Yudhoyono of Indonesia mentioned his country’s improvement in the Open Budget Index in his opening remarks. Warren Krafchik, Executive Director of IBP and former civil society co-chair of OGP, chaired a panel on what Asia Pacific countries can learn from other countries’ and regions’ experiences. The OGP blog also posted summaries/reflections of events from Day 1 and Day 2.
The Europe Regional Meeting was held in Dublin on Thursday and Friday (8-9 May), which was also preceded by a civil society day. Paolo de Renzio, Senior Research Fellow at IBP, and Juan Pablo Guerrero, Network Director of GIFT, gave presentations in a session on fiscal transparency. You can find video recordings of plenary sessions and much more on OGP’s YouTube page.