Learning Case Studies

Case Studies

France: The Yellow Vests and their social media-driven tax revolt

In late 2018 and early 2019, a diffuse social movement known as the Yellow Vests (gilets jaunes) organized protests in France against various regressive tax policies. The protesters eventually augmented their initial demand to repeal the fuel tax by demanding the reintroduction of wealth taxation and the organization of citizen referenda to inform future policy choices.

Guatemala: Playing the insider / outsider game to reform tax administration

The Central American Institute for Fiscal Studies (ICEFI) took advantage of a major corruption scandal to call for new legislation to enhance accountability in the country’s revenue administration agency which was considered opaque and ineffective. As a result of the campaign, Congress eventually adopted a new law whose main innovations had been proposed by ICEFI.

Lucy.Brown / Shutterstock.com
Uganda: Working through coalitions to oppose unfair taxes

In 2018, the Tax Justice Alliance Uganda worked to oppose two controversial and regressive new taxes, one on mobile money transactions and the other on the use of social media. Their campaign was mobilized very quickly to respond to the government’s proposed new taxes before their enactment and included public awareness campaigns including radio programs in rural areas, press conferences, social media activity, petitions to legislators and court cases.

Andreas Marquardt (Shutterstock)
Mexico: The long fight to improve transparency and address the inequities of tax amnesties

In 2009, Fundar began a decade-long campaign to improve transparency around tax amnesties, calling them “fiscal privileges” and highlighting their negative impact on equity. In its campaign, Fundar deployed multiple advocacy strategies, including a long battle through the courts as well as a sustained mass media push and legislative advocacy.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, presidente de México, Julio Scherer Ibarra, consejero jurídico de presidencia y Margarita Ríos, directora del Sistema de Administración Tributaria (SAT), durante la firma de decreto para eliminar las condonaciones a los impuestos. 
Kenya: Pursuing public interest litigation to counter unjust tax policy

This case study follows the Tax Justice Network Africa’s (TJNA) historic legal challenge to a double taxation agreement that Kenya’s government signed with the tax haven of Mauritius.

Trick or treaty
The Philippines: Critical collaboration and adaptability to influence tax reform

This case study follows Action for Economic Reforms’ engagement in various rounds of reform to so-called “sin taxes” – excise taxes paid on alcohol and tobacco products – and to the oil excise reforms proposed by the Duterte government.

United States: Three state-level campaigns to increase income taxes on the rich

This case examines efforts to introduce higher income taxes on the wealthy by different civil society coalitions in three U.S. states.

Invest in Minnesota/Minnesota Budget Project
Impact Case Study 1: Ekurhuleni

This is the first case study from a social audit conducted by IBP, the Social Audit Network (SAN), Planact and 13 informal settlement communities in Ekurhuleni on the provision and maintenance of portable toilets. A social audit is a community-led process of engaging government about poor services by monitoring service delivery on the basis of government commitments contained in budgets and other official documents.

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Defining and Managing Budget Programs in the Health Sector: The Brazilian Experience

This case study looks at how the Brazilian government has approached program budgeting in the health sector and assesses the way in which the government has linked health spending with key policy objectives. Despite Brazil’s extensive history of program budgeting, this paper identifies some important challenges the government needs to address it if wants to provide a clearer picture of how, and for what purpose, health funds are actually spent.

Program Budgeting in the Health Sector in Indonesia

This case study examines program budgeting in the health sector in Indonesia. The authors examined Indonesian legislation and budget documents, and conducted several interviews with resource persons from relevant institutions to collect information on Indonesia’s implementation of program-based budgeting and all of its accompanying challenges.

Program Budgeting for Health Within Mexico’s Results-Based Budgeting Framework

Mexico has an elaborate system of “budgeting for results,” of which budget programs are an important part. While program budgeting is not new in Mexico, the last decade has seen efforts to refine and consolidate the number of budget programs, and to enhance the quality and logic of performance indicators and targets. This case study examines Mexico’s approach to program budgeting in the health sector – in particular the advantages and disadvantages of having a large number of programs.

The Philippines: From Performance to Programs in the Health Budget

The Philippines presents a somewhat unique case of program budgeting. The introduction of programs came after nearly a decade of challenges arising from performance-oriented budget reforms. Program budgeting was introduced in 2015 in part to address the accountability challenges of performance measures at the ministry level, but it was not fully implemented until 2018. Though it is too early draw conclusions about how well program budgeting is working in the Philippines, this case study presents insights we can glean from the process used to set up program structures in the health budget.

Revenue Collection in Non-Extractive Natural Resource Sectors in Indonesia

The agriculture, forestry, plantation, and marine fisheries sectors provide livelihoods for a significant fraction of the Indonesian population, yet contribute less than one out of every ten dollars of revenue received by provincial and national governments. Two Indonesian civil society organizations – Perkumpulan Inisiatif and Seknas FITRA – both with a strong background in budget analysis and advocacy – set out to understand the reasons why these sectors generate so little revenue and to develop strategies for improving governance and ensuring that local communities receive an appropriate share of the benefits from economic activity in these sectors.

Photo: Irna
Impact Case Study 2: eThekwini

This case study focuses on the partnership between IBP South Africa, the South Africa Shack Dweller International Alliance (SASDI Alliance) – comprised of the Community Organisation Resource Centre (CORC), the Informal Settlement Network (ISN), and the Federation of the Urban Poor (FEDUP) – to conduct a social audit on sanitation facilities and services in eMalandeni informal settlement in eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality. Download the case study.

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The Road to Budget Transparency in Uganda

This case study examines Uganda’s journey toward greater budget transparency, looking at its reform trajectory from 2006 to 2015 in order to identify factors that have contributed to improved budget transparency during this period.

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The Road to Budget Transparency in Ghana

Ghana has been making some efforts toward improving budget transparency over the years by making some information and some budget documents available to the public. However, Ghana’s performance on the Open Budget Index has not shown much improvement. This case study examines Ghana’s efforts, with special emphasis on the period of 2008 to 2016.

budget transparency in ghana
The Road to Budget Transparency in the Philippines

After languishing in the “limited” category on the Open Budget Index for nearly a decade, the Philippines managed to achieve a score of 64 in the 2015 round. On the surface, the Philippines improved its transparency rating simply by publishing all eight key budget documents. However, beneath that surface is a story of how key actors in the government bureaucracy took action to fulfill the promise made by the administration at that time to curb corruption and make the management of public funds more efficient, effective, and open to citizens. This case study examines the public finance management reforms and additional government actions that served to increase fiscal transparency in the Philippines.

budget transparency in the philippines
The Road to Budget Transparency in Mexico

In the 2006 and 2008 rounds of the Open Budget Survey, Mexico’s Open Budget Index score fell in the middle range. However, beginning in 2009 the Mexican Ministry of Finance started taking budget transparency seriously, which was reflected by an increase in Open Budget Index scores in the 2012 and 2015 rounds. This case study examines why the Mexican government decided to enhance fiscal transparency and which actions were put in place both to start and to maintain the upward trend.

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The Road to Budget Transparency in Indonesia

Budget transparency has become a widely accepted recipe for good governance. However, according to the Open Budget Survey, many countries remain stuck at intermediate levels. Indonesia is one of those countries. This case study aims to explain why budget transparency in Indonesia has not managed to move beyond intermediate levels by examining government and civil society initiatives that have influenced budget transparency and exploring why these initiatives did not lead to sustainable improvements.

budget transparency in indonesia
The Road to Budget Transparency in Argentina

While Argentina has consistently produced six of the eight key budget documents included in the Open Budget Index, its scores from 2006-2015 range between 40 and 60, leaving it stuck in the middle. This case study examines Argentina’s journey toward greater budget transparency, describing inconsistencies and speculating about their potential causes.

Budget Transparency in Argentina
Dancing with the System: Samarthan’s Efforts to Strengthen Accountability in Rural India

For more than a decade, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) has promised the possibility of dignified employment to India’s rural poor. Yet this bold program has run into the realities of powerful interests and weak oversight. With support from IBP, the civil society organization Samarthan has worked to strengthen implementation and accountability for MGNREGA in Madhya Pradesh. In doing so, Samarthan has made use of multiple tactics and tools. But the organization has also had to navigate a complex and fragile accountability ecosystem and find ways to strengthen it at the same time. Is Samarthan’s work only addressing the symptoms of the problems with MGNEGRA? Or is the organization helping to address the root causes of structural inequality? This case study speaks to these questions through brief exploration of Samarthan’s recent efforts.

strengthening accountability in rural india
Without a Will, Is There a Way? Kenya’s Uneven Journey to Budget Accountability

In Kenya’s Uasin Gishu County, the government responded to the demand of an organized group of citizens living with disabilities for improved services by dedicating significant resources to this issue. IBP partner the Kerio Center supported the citizens group in engaging the government through several formal channels to ensure these resources were best used to meet their needs. Still, the government ignored their petitions, which is symptomatic of situations across Kenya’s new county governments, in which formal mechanisms for citizen involvement in budget processes exist, but there are few incentives for government to make these channels meaningful forms of engagement. This case study explores these issues further.

Kenya's Uneven Journey to Budget Accountability
Budgets that Exclude: The Struggle for Decent Sanitation in South Africa’s Informal Settlements

For nearly a decade, the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) has been working to realize the rights of marginalized citizens of Khayelitsha, a community on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. Over the past several years, the group has focused on dignified sanitation, advocating for the provision of adequate and permanent infrastructure rather than the proliferation of temporary toilets that have been the city’s preferred approach to the issue. As the sanitation issue has become increasingly visible and so more political, revealing the deep exclusion still prevalent in post-Apartheid Cape Town, SJC has had to navigate a treacherous landscape of engagement with authorities. Analyzing the municipal budget and mobilizing citizens to engage in the budget process has grounded the group’s advocacy in something specific and concrete and has enabled them to maintain a clear focus on their goal. This case study demonstrates that pro-reform actors need to develop diverse capacities, strategies, and approaches in order to navigate what is often a weak accountability ecosystem.

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

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

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?

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
Ukraine: Combating Corruption Disguised as Charity

This case study describes how health advocates in the Ukrainian city of Poltava created the Institute of Analysis and Advocacy (IAA) to take on entrenched corruption in the provision of local healthcare. IAA’s campaign targeted different levels of government and links in the service delivery chain, from individual hospitals to the national legislature. Reformers undertook a variety of complementary tactics to uncover and document corruption, lobby for change, and address the root causes of corruption in the healthcare system.

Combating Corruption in Ukraine Case Study International Budget Partnership
Ukraine: Light of Hope’s Work Improving Social Services For Marginalized Groups

This case study documents how Light of Hope, one of Ukraine’s largest and most successful non-state service delivery organizations, established the Poltava Social Adaptation Center, a facility that delivers a complex array of services to ex-prisoners, drug users, people who are HIV-positive, and the homeless. Light of Hope garnered an unprecedented level of support from the city government for the center, including funding from the city budget. In the process, the organization also challenged the stigma surrounding marginalized groups.

International Budget Partnership Case Study Ukraine Social Services
Honduras: The Fragility of Gains in Budget Transparency

Honduras once stood out as example of how rapidly improvements in budget transparency could be made. In 2012 IBP praised the country for the exceptional gains it made on the Open Budget Index (OBI), when its score jumped from 11 in 2008 to 53 in 2012. Yet just a year later, amidst a period of troubled politics, the county suffered a series of setbacks that led to a tightening of the executive’s grip on the budgetary process and to freedom of information being restricted. This was reflected in its OBI score in 2015, which fell to 42. This case study examines the background to the rise and fall of budget transparency in Honduras.

Honduras: The Fragility of Gains in Budget Transparency
Taking an Ecosystems Approach: Support for Advocacy Training Initiatives’ (SATHI) Public Health Work in India

The state of Maharashta is one of India’s most powerful economic engines. Yet despite India’s commitment to the principle of universal access, the state government spends less than 4 percent of its budget on health. Support for Advocacy and Training to Health Initiatives (SATHI) has been working to improve healthcare in Maharashta for almost 20 years. This case study documents the strategies and achievements of SATHI and its coalition partners, the impacts of CSO interventions on public health delivery and accountability, and challenges that have emerged.

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Taking an Ecosystems Approach: Samarthan’s Work on Rural Poverty in India

Despite years of strong economic growth in India, rural poverty still affects tens of millions of households. In 2005, the government created the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to address rural poverty. The scheme, which commits the government to providing adult members of rural households with 100 days of paid work, should provide a revolutionary safety net for rural households. Yet corruption, insufficient administrative capacity, a lack of awareness among many rural inhabitants, and manipulation by influential political and economic actors have undermined it. Samarthan, an organization dedicated to pursuing more inclusive development in the state of Madhya Pradesh, has worked to realize the scheme’s potentially transformative promise. This case study summarizes their approach.

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Argentina: Enforcing a Legal Victory for Universal Access to Education

This case study recounts the Civil Association for Equality and Justice (ACIJ) campaign in Argentina to push the City of Buenos Aires to comply with its legal obligation to provide free public education to children between the ages of 45 days and five years. Responding to a breakdown in the formal mechanisms for monitoring government compliance, the ACIJ lobbied both the executive and the legislature, took further legal action, and mobilized public support through the media and other advocacy efforts. While the campaign is ongoing, ACIJ has already managed to secure more places for students, better spending on infrastructure, and a new system of online enrollment.

Palestine: Teaching Active Citizenship Through Social Audits

In much of the West Bank, there are rampant problems in the funding and delivery of government services and infrastructure projects. This case study follows Palestine’s Teacher Creativity Centre’s (TCC) efforts to mobilize students to conduct social audits of public services and demonstrates the challenges and benefits of involving students in strategies for social accountability.

IBP Case Study Palestine Social Audits
Uganda: Winning Human Resources for Health

This case study recounts how a coalition of civil society organizations coalesced around the goal of bolstering staff at health facilities in Uganda, enlisting the support of key parliamentarians and government officials to win new funding for the sector.

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Uganda: Aligning Local and National Concern for Maternal Health

This case study recounts how the White Ribbon Alliance Uganda has pursued a multi-pronged strategy to win greater and more effective spending on maternal health.

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Maternal Health In Tanzania: Stuck Between Public Promises and Budgetary Realities

This case study recounts how White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania achieved both successes and setbacks in its campaign to win more funding for emergency maternal healthcare at local clinics.

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Open Budgets. Transform Lives. (video)

In this video three IBP partners share their compelling stories of how they used budget analysis and monitoring to improve government spending and policies to help the poorest and most marginalized people in their country.

The Hidden Corners of Public Finance: A Synthesis of Country Case Studies that Look Beyond the Core Budget

This report gives an overview of eight case studies commissioned by the International Budget Partnership that examine public spending that can occur outside of the core budget.

Transparency of State-Owned Enterprises in South Korea

Forming part of a wider study on the Hidden Corners of Public Finance, this Case Study looks at state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in South Korea. The study examines what information on SOEs in South Korea is publically available, and what oversight mechanisms are in place, to assess the transparency and accountability of public spending in this area.

State-Owned Enterprises and Quasi-Fiscal Activities in South Africa

Forming part of a wider study on the Hidden Corners of Public Finance, this Case Study looks at state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and quasi-fiscal activities (QFAs) in South Africa. The study examines what information on SOEs and QFAs in South Africa is publically available, and what oversight mechanisms are in place, to assess the transparency and accountability of public spending in this area.

Transparency of Tax Expenditure Reporting in Mexico

Forming part of a wider study on the Hidden Corners of Public Finance, this Case Study looks at the state of tax expenditures in Mexico. The study examines what information on tax expenditures in Mexico is publically available, and what oversight mechanisms are in place, to assess the transparency and accountability of public spending in this area.

Tax Expenditures in Germany

Forming part of a wider study on the Hidden Corners of Public Finance, this Case Study looks at the transparency of tax expenditures in Germany. The study examines what information on tax expenditures in Germany is publically available, and what oversight mechanisms are in place, to assess the transparency and accountability of public spending in this area.

Extra-Budgetary Funds in France

Forming part of a wider study on the Hidden Corners of Public Finance, this Case Study looks at Extra-Budgetary Funds (EBFs) in France. The study examines what information on EBFs in France is publically available, and what oversight mechanisms are in place, to assess the transparency and accountability of public spending in this area.

Quasi-Fiscal Activities in Croatia

Forming part of a wider study on the Hidden Corners of Public Finance, this Case Study looks at the quasi-fiscal activities (QFAs) of public sector institutions in Croatia. The study examines what information on QFAs in Croatia is publically available, and what oversight mechanisms are in place, to assess the transparency and accountability of public spending in this area.

Transparency of Extra-Budgetary Funds in Russia

Forming part of a wider study on the Hidden Corners of Public Finance, this Case Study looks at Extra-Budgetary Funds (EBFs) in Russia. The study examines what information on EBFs in Russia is publically available, and what oversight mechanisms are in place, to assess the transparency and accountability of public spending in this area.

The “State-of-the-Art” of State-Owned Enterprises in Brazil

Forming part of a wider study on the Hidden Corners of Public Finance, this Case Study looks at state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Brazil. The study examines what information on SOEs in Brazil is publically available, and what oversight mechanisms are in place, to assess the transparency and accountability of public spending in this area.

Raising The Stakes: The Impact of HakiElimu’s Advocacy Work on Education Policy and Budget in Tanzania

This case study examines the issues, campaign, and impact of HakiElimu’s work in Tanzania to target meaningful policy decisions that lead to higher quality schooling.

When Opportunity Beckons: The Impact of the Public Service Accountability Monitor’s Work on Improving Health Budgets in South Africa

This case study illustrates how a South African civil society organization has used its budgetary analysis to advocate for improvements in health service delivery.

The Art of Getting in the Way: Five Years of the BNDES Platform

When a coalition of civil society organizations began to pry into the finances of Brazil’s powerful national development bank, it challenged the status quo and advanced the call for a more transparent, balanced, and democratic economic policy.

Health, Citizenship, and Human Rights Advocacy Initiative: Improving Access to Health Services in Mexico

When it comes to health care in Mexico, “universal” has never meant equal, particularly when it came to the access to adequate care for the country’s 52 million uninsured. Civil society organization Fundar — a research organization with a background in budgetary analysis — developed a successful advocacy strategy on health policy to change this.

The Political Economy of Fiscal Transparency, Participation, and Accountability around the World

This is the first chapter of the edited volume Open Budgets: The Political Economy of Transparency, Participation, and Accountability. This chapter provides an overview and synthesis of the book’s main findings.

Foreign Assistance and Fiscal Transparency: The Impact of the Open Budget Initiative on Donor Policies and Practices

This paper presents research that sought to document how, when, and why three donor agencies have adopted the Open Budget Index.

The Impact of the International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Survey and its Partner Institutions’ Advocacy on Budget Transparency in Honduras

This case study looks at how the preparation and publication of the Open Budget Survey 2010 in Honduras increased awareness of Honduras’ budget transparency problems.

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Budget Transparency in Afghanistan: A Pathway to Building Public Trust in the State

This case study discusses major improvements in government budget transparency and public engagement in Afghanistan, presenting an analysis of the roles of the following actors in the trend toward more open budgeting: 1) the International Budget Partnership, foreign donors, civil society organizations, and the media; 2) the government; and 3) the legislature. This paper argues that by increasing its OBI score from 8 in 2008 to 21 in 2010, Afghanistan has made important progress, though it still remains below average.

The Impact of the Open Budget Initiative Secretariat and its Partners on Budget Transparency in the Democratic Republic of Congo

This case study analyzes the role of civil society in the reform of public finances, budget transparency, and public participation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). With pressure from IBP’s partner, the Réseau Gouvernance Economique et Démocratie (REGED), the government of DRC took several new steps to improve government transparency.

Social Justice Coalition Pushes for Access to Sanitation in Informal Settlements in South Africa

Formed in 2008, the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) is a coalition of civil society organizations in the informal settlement of Khayelitsha in Cape Town, South Africa. This case study examines the Clean and Safe Sanitation Campaign, which was aimed to ensure that the City Council properly maintained existing toilets and also provided additional clean and safe sanitation facilities in informal settlements.

This case study was updated in 2013.

South African Legal Resources Centre Successfully Advocates for Adequate Education Facilities

The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) is a South African nonprofit human rights organization that conducts public interest litigation. This case study looks at the LRC’s legal campaign to force the South African government to provide adequate school facilities.

The Role of Brazilian Civil Society in the Tax Reform Debate: INESC’s Tax Campaign for Social Justice

When the Brazilian government sent a new tax reform proposal to Congress in 2008 that would exacerbate the already high level of economic inequality, the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (INESC) came together with other leading civil society organizations to form the Movement to Defend Social Rights under Threat by Tax Reform (MSDR). This case study examines the work of the coalition that contributed to the tax reform being abandoned.

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Ghana: Budget Monitoring by SEND-Ghana and its Partners Helps Improve Nutrition for Children and Support Local Farmers

This case study describes the Social Enterprise Development (SEND-Ghana) Foundation’s budget monitoring work, which was used to promote improvements in the Ghana School Feeding Programme.

Freeing Funds to Meet Priorities and Needs: Sikika’s Campaign to Curb Unnecessary Expenditure in Tanzania

This case study shows that a focus on media outreach and raising public awareness may not be enough to bring about changes in contexts where budget allocation processes are closed and there are strong internal pressures to maintain the widespread patronage and rents that can be drawn from recurrent expenditures in the budget.

Evidence for Change: The Case of Subsidios al Campo in Mexico

The Subsidios al Campo campaign used Mexico’s freedom of information laws to obtain and publish official data on the recipients of agricultural subsidies, and its analysis brought a large amount of new information into the public domain, shifting the debate about agricultural subsidies from a focus on their overall size to a discussion of how equitably they were being distributed, which challenged a powerful agricultural industry in the process.

This case study was updated in 2013.

Samarthan’s Campaign to Improve Access to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India

This case study examines a civil society campaign to address problems in the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act’s (NREGA) administration and mobilize people to demand work they are guaranteed under the scheme.

This case study was updated in 2013.

In the Face of Crisis: The Treatment Action Campaign Fights Government Inertia with Budget Advocacy and Litigation

This study looks at how the Treatment Action Campaign’s ongoing campaigns for access to HIV/AIDS treatments combined negotiations with the government, mass mobilization of its members (including civil disobedience campaigns), and litigation contributed to this increase.

Children’s Right to Early Education in the City of Buenos Aires: A Case Study on ACIJ’s Class Action

This case study examines the Civil Association for Equality and Justice’s (Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia, or ACIJ) complex litigation strategy, which involved “freedom of information” requests, budget analysis, and media dissemination, to pressure the formerly reluctant government of the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to acknowledge a legitimate unsatisfied claim related to school vacancies for initial-level education and commit to making significant policy changes.

Tracking Funds for India’s Most Deprived: The Story of the National Campaign for Dalit’s Human Rights’ “Campaign 789”

This case study looks at how a civil society campaign undertook sustained monitoring of India’s Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan funds and advocacy throughout the policy and budget cycle to identify misuse of these funds and pressure the government into admitting to diverting these resources and committing to repay the money.

School Building Fund Provides Lessons on Community Mobilization in Uganda

Nearly ten years ago, the government of Uganda established the Universal Primary Education Program, designed to boost classroom attendance and increase literacy and education rates throughout the country. In less than a decade, the policy generated dramatic results, more than doubling the number of students enrolled in primary schools from 2.9 million to 6.3 million children.

Resource Dependence and Budget Transparency

Are natural resource abundance and opaque budgets inextricably linked? The Open Budget Survey 2008 — a comprehensive evaluation of budget transparency in 85 countries — finds that resource-dependent countries tend to be less transparent than countries that are not resource dependent.

Opening Budgets in Mexico Helps Open Care Options for New Mothers

This case study focuses on the use of budget information that was previously unavailable to the public to identify a lack of funding for emergency obstetric care throughout Mexico.

Taking the State to Court: CELS Uses Strategic Litigation to Access Public Information and Advance Human Rights in Argentina

This paper examines how the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) developed a strategic litigation plan — using international legal instruments and provisions — to demand access to government information by defining that access as a human right.

Social Audits in Kenya: Budget Transparency and Accountability

The activities of Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI), a civil society organization based in Mombasa, Kenya, demonstrate the significant role budget transparency plays in improving accountability. At the same time, MUHURI’s impact has been restricted by the lack of a Freedom of Information law in Kenya, along with other broad transparency challenges in the country.

The End of Insurance? Mexico’s Seguro Popular, 2001-2007

Health system reforms that introduce insurance principles into public health systems have been popular in the last two decades. Little is known, however, about the political complexities of transforming existing health services into health insurance systems in developing countries. This article fills that lacuna, offering an assessment of the reform context as well as of the process of formulating, adopting, and implementing it.

Show Me the Money: Budget Advocacy in Indonesia

In Show Me the Money: Budget Advocacy in Indonesia, authors from five civil society organizations – IDEA, the Inisiatif Association, Lakpesdam NU, the Centre for Information and Regional Studies (PATTIRO), and the Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (FITRA) – present case studies on their budget work to fight against corruption and improve the allocation of government resources, and five case studies from smaller organizations based in various local districts in the country.

Toward Accountability for Resources: Independent Budget Monitoring of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health Commitments

As part of the Ask Your Government! Initiative, the International Budget Partnership, in collaboration with the Maternal Health Task Force, produced this paper to provide an overview of how civil society groups and citizens can use independent budget analysis to hold their governments accountable for pledges made under the United Nations Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.

Ask Your Government! Initiative

This fact sheet summarizes the findings of the Ask Your Government! Initiative where 100 civil society organizations asked their governments for specific budget information relating to key international development commitments in 80 countries.

Earthquake Reconstruction in Pakistan: The Case of the Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation’s Campaign

This case study describes how a large coalition of civil society organizations and citizens embarked on a campaign to jump-start Pakistan’s efforts to rebuild in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that shook the Hazara region and the Azad Kashmir province in Northwest Pakistan on October 2005.

Quality of Education Reforms: The Case of HakiElimu’s Campaign of 2005-2007

This case study describes HakiElimu’s campaign to ensure that every Tanzanian child receives a high-quality basic education.

South Africa: Civil Society Uses Budget Analysis and Advocacy to Improve the Lives of Poor Children

This case study describes how the persistent campaigning by a range of civil society organizations and coalitions has contributed to significant budget and policy changes over the last decade such as the expanded eligibility for the Child Support Grant.

International Budget Partnership 2010 Annual Report

Learn about the IBP’s initiatives and collaboration with its civil society partners last year to open budgets and transform lives, including the global release of the Open Budget Survey 2010, the ramping up of the Partnership Initiative to full scale, and the launch of the Mentoring Governments program.

It’s Our Money. Where’s It Gone? (Video)

This documentary focuses on IBP partner MUHURI’s (Muslims for Human Rights) work to involve communities directly in monitoring the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in Mombasa, Kenya. See how MUHURI uses “Social Audits” to involve communities in monitoring budgets and holding their government accountable for managing the public’s money and meeting the needs of the poor.

IBP Partner HakiElimu Raises the Level of Education Debate in Tanzania

This short case study describes how HakiElimu combined budget analysis and advocacy with media outreach to improve the debate over how to best educate children in Tanzania.

Winning the Right to Information Campaign in India

In 2005 after a nine-year campaign by people’s organizations, the Indian government implemented a far-reaching Right to Information (RTI) Act. The RTI, which requires all central, state, and local government institutions to meet public demands for information is one of the strongest in the world. It empowers citizens to demand greater government accountability, improve their participation in decision making, and help reduce corruption. This research summary by Amita Baviskar of the Institute of Development Strategies shows how a national network of people’s organizations helped enact this legislation and ensure it was put into practice.

Reviewing South African Provincial Education Budgets, 2004 to 2010

This paper provides a review of national and provincial education budgets to: survey main expenditure trends in education; understand the social and fiscal contexts in which provincial education budgets are made; quantify progress in addressing input inequality; and analyze trends in spending on conditional grants. The paper tries to provide a description of the main trade-offs in provincial education budgets, and their potential impacts on learners in poor communities.

Procurement Watch Inc. Specializes in Monitoring Public Procurement in the Philippines

This case study shows how Procurement Watch Inc., in the Philippines has developed and used an innovative expenditure tracking methodology (the Differential Expenditure Efficiency Measurement, or DEEM) to analyze procurement documents and hold government agencies accountable for their procurement transactions.

The Provida Case Study: Developing an Advocacy Strategy: Step by Step

This case study looks at how six civil society organizations in Mexico investigated the misuse of funds intended for women’s health.

Civil Society Coalition for Quality Basic Education Carries Out Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys in Malawi

This case study looks at how the Civil Society Coalition for Quality Basic Education in Malawi uses public expenditure tracking surveys to measure the quality of education and the extent of “leakages” in education budgets as funds are transferred from one level of government to another.

MKSS Undertakes Social Audits in India

This case study discusses how the MKSS, a social movement in India, uses social audits to engage local communities in holding their government accountable for the effective and efficient use of public resources.

HakiElimu Publicizes Trends in Audit Reports in Tanzania

This case study looks at how HakiElimu in Tanzania seeks to hold the government accountable for managing public funds by publicizing the findings of audit reports from the controller and auditor general.

Public Affairs Centre Develops Citizen Report Cards in India

This case study looks at how the Public Affairs Centre has used “citizen report cards” to measure public satisfaction with the delivery of public services.

Hakikazi Catalyst Uses PIMA Cards in Tanzania

This case study looks at how Hakikazi Catalyst in Tanzania implemented a variation of the “citizen report card” to assess the impact of government spending.

Budget Monitoring and Policy Influence: Lessons from Civil Society Budget Analysis and Advocacy Initiatives

This paper summarizes the findings of a study, led by the International Budget Partnership and the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, which attempts to study budget analysis and advocacy activities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America by presenting evidence from case studies of organizations in Brazil, Croatia, India, Mexico, South Africa, and Uganda that have been engaged in budget work for at least five years.

Tanzanian Non-Governmental Organizations – Their Perceptions of Their Relationships with the Government of Tanzania and Donors, and their Role in Poverty Reduction and Development

In 2005 REPOA conducted a survey of Tanzanian NGOs to examine the extent to which these organizations are making a contribution to policy development in Tanzania. This paper gives an overview of the social and political context of Tanzanian civil society, examining the relationship between NGOs, the government, and the donor community in Tanzania. It summarizes the perceptions of 81 Tanzanian NGOs (from eight regions) of their relationships with the government and donors, and their views on their roles and impacts on poverty reduction and development. The study discusses some of the challenges and opportunities for NGOs to become a strategic link between the government and local communities.

Weaving Global Networks: Handbook for Policy Influence

This handbook on how civil society networks can help influence government traces the development of regional and international networks and discusses the importance of these networks in shaping government policies. It also offers practical guidelines that might help these networks enhance their impact through the use of evidence and knowledge in regional and global public policies and policy-making processes. Using four cases studies, the existing literature on networks, and interviews with practitioners, the authors examine the strengths and weaknesses of networks as well as the challenges networks frequently face, with special emphasis on Latin America.

Democratizing the Budget: Fundar’s budget analysis and advocacy initiatives in Mexico

This paper looks at the budget work done by the International Budget Partnership partner Fundar, by using documentation and budget data collected by Fundar and interviews conducted with Fundar’s staff, civil society organizations, and senior officials in the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health.

Croatia and the Institute for Public Finance: Budget work in a transitional democracy

This case study focuses on the Institute for Public Finance (IPF), a nongovernmental organization based in Zagreb, Croatia, that undertakes public finance research and analysis in an effort to improve national policymaking and the effectiveness and efficiency of public budgeting.

Sustained Work and Dedicated Capacity: Idasa’s experience in applied budget work in South Africa

This paper is part of a joint effort by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) and the Institute for Development Studies to study the work of the Budget Information Service (BIS), a group nested within Idasa in South Africa.

Budget Analysis and Social Activism: The case of DISHA in Gujarat, India

The case study covers the work of DISHA (Developing Initiatives for Human and Social Interaction), examining its budget initiatives to assess their impact on budget priorities and the transparency and openness of the budget process in Gujarat.

Budget Work and Democracy Building: The case of IBASE in Brazil

This report is a study by the International Budget Partnership and the Institute for Development Studies focusing on the work of the Brazilian Institute for Social and Economic Analysis (IBASE).

Budget Monitoring as an Advocacy Tool: Uganda Debt Network

This paper is a study of the Uganda Debt Network, which was established in Uganda in 1996 as a coalition of advocacy and lobbying organizations to coordinate the campaign for debt relief that was then gaining momentum at the international level.

Making Public Finance Public

The three case studies presented in this publication explore subnational budgeting in Croatia, Macedonia, and Ukraine. The publication also includes a cross-country synthesis particularly useful to those in universities, civil society organizations, parliaments, and the media who are concerned with improving transparency and accountability in public financial management.

Lessons from the Field: The Impact of Civil Society Budget Analysis and Advocacy in Six Countries

The primary purpose of the report is to assist civil society researchers and activists in developing countries who seek to engage in budget analysis.

Who Decides on Public Expenditures? A Political Economy Analysis of the Budget Process: The Case of Argentina

The study is an examination of Argentina’s budget process, its cadres, political influences and key actors. The paper is divided into seven sections which address different facets of the issue such as the political and economic environment of the budget process, an analysis of its actual workings and fiscal policy reforms and outcomes. Argentina’s president is undoubtedly the major player in the budget process and this together with other constraints such as the strength of some recent macroeconomic shocks – and to a lesser degree, fiscal rules, agreements with International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the influence of other actors such as governors, legislators and lobbies – have limited the ability of the Executive to substantially modify the budget process. The paper highlights the fact that Argentina has improved its budget process and fiscal outcomes significantly by engaging in several avenues of reform such as coordinating mechanisms between the federal and provincial governments, capacity building in Congress and the improving of expenditure evaluation.

Beyond Data: A Panorama of CSO Experiences with PRSP and HIPC Monitoring

This paper examines civil society organizations’ (CSOs) experiences monitoring Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and Highly Indebted Poor Country expenditures in several countries, including Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, Uganda, and Zambia. It provides detailed descriptions of CSOs monitoring structures and evaluates the ability of CSOs to monitor effectively. The study concludes that limited access to data, a lack of skilled human resources, and a lack of political will constitute major challenges to the deepening and expanding of CSOs monitoring activities. It also argues that CSOs monitoring is valuable for reasons beyond its effects on fund management, including its contributions to community empowerment and the decentralization of power.

Strengthening Participation in Public Expenditure Management: Policy Recommendations for Key Stakeholders

This policy brief analyzes the roles of government, civil society, and legislatures in the budget process. Jeremy Heimans examines the stages of the budget process – formulation, analysis, and tracking of the budget – and identifies opportunities and risks for participatory budgeting through different case studies.

Gendered Budget Work in the Americas: Selected Country Experiences

This report surveys the gender budget work in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and the U.S. It draws from the results of interviews with program staff at each of these initiatives. The concluding comments focus specifically on some of the challenges for Latin American civil society to do gender budget work.

Inclusive National Budgeting: A South African Case Study

Case study of the work of the Budget Information Service at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa. Gives background information on the political-economy context, and describes the work of the Service and its impact on inclusive poverty reduction.

A Taste of Success: Examples of the Budget Work of NGOs

This guide consists of a dozen short case studies on civil society budget analysis and advocacy from civil society organizations in Croatia, India, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and Tanzania.

Fiscal Risks and The Quality of Fiscal Adjustment in Hungary

A discussion on fiscal risk with Hungary as a case study. The paper provides an overview of the different aspects of analyzing and managing fiscal risk. The study explores the challenges the government has in transitioning to an open, market-driven economy and how it has taken on new risks to stimulate development, rebuild the country’s deteriorated infrastructure, stabilize financial institutions, and encourage capital inflows.