The International Budget Partnership is committed to better understanding how public resources can be used to reduce inequality, benefit poor people, and provide public services effectively and equitably. Our research investigates the causes and consequences of greater or lesser budget transparency, participation, and accountability and examines the methods and impact of civil society engagement in promoting more inclusive and accountable budget processes and outcomes.
Addressing Budget Credibility
Budget credibility describes the ability of governments to accurately and consistently meet their expenditure and revenue targets. Our Addressing Budget Credibility Project proposes to address certain knowledge gaps in the current literature on budget credibility to deepen global understanding of the nature of the budget credibility challenge.
Our case studies investigate how civil society organizations and coalitions engage the state to influence positive reforms and hold governments to account for how they are raising and spending public money. Our research includes how civic actors navigate the fiscal governance ecosystem to drive improvements in budget processes, policies, and accountability.
Equity and Justice
Too often, public finances are viewed through the narrow lens of technical efficiency, or with an outsized emphasis on fiscal discipline to the exclusion of other important values. We believe that public finances should be rooted not only in these important considerations, but also those associated with equity, democracy, and human rights.
Program budgeting is about making budgets more transparent, ensuring that public money is spent on the right priorities, and linking budgets more closely to the purposes of spending. IBP’s work on program budgets, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), examines global practices related to budget program structure in health to shed light on how governments define program objectives as part of their broader quest to shift budgeting towards results that matter to citizens.
Tax expenditures are provisions that reduce the amount of revenue collected by providing special treatment to a particular class of individual, type of income, industry, or activity. In many countries, this practice significantly reduces revenue collections and frequently increases inequality. Our tax expenditure research is part of the Latin America Tax Expenditure Research, Advocacy, and Learning (LATERAL) project and aims to support civil society efforts to increase the transparency, equity, and accountability of tax expenditure policies at the country and regional levels in Latin America.
Budget Transparency, Participation, and Accountability Research
We commission and carry out short- and long-term research projects that dig deeper into various aspects of budget transparency, participation, and accountability.
Open Budget Survey Data
Much of our research on budget transparency, participation, and accountability is informed by the findings of the Open Budget Survey. We invite public finance researchers to use this data in their own research. Open Budget Survey data from 2006 – present is available to view and download through the Open Budget Survey Data Explorer.