Fiscal Futures: Preparing for the Future of Public Finance

By the International Budget Partnership, Transparency and Accountability Initiative, and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace— Dec 10, 2018

During the first quarter of 2018, the the International Budget Partnership, together with the the Transparency and Accountability Initiative and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace convened 35 fiscal transparency and accountability advocates, practitioners, scholars, and funders from 14 countries under the theme of Fiscal Futures. The group met twice to review assumptions, rethink strategies, and imagine the future of public finance two decades from now. The driving question for convening was: how can civic action on fiscal accountability contribute to positive change in the lives of the poor and marginalized?

Why Reasons are Fundamental in Government Budgets

Jason Lakin, Ph.D., International Budget Partnership— Nov 29, 2018

Modern government budgeting is increasingly expected to be an extended conversation between executives, legislatures, auditors, the public, and other independent institutions. In this conversation, governments cannot simply announce their plans. They have to explain the reasons for the choices they are making. So how can we judge the quality of reasons that governments provide? Our new paper, “Assessing the Quality of Reasons in Government Budget Documents,” proposes five criteria.

Revisiting the Foundational Assumptions of Fiscal Transparency and Accountability Work

by Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace— Nov 15, 2018

When work on improving fiscal transparency and accountability gained steam in the 2000s, it proceeded from a core set of assumptions about the global political context and the drivers of domestic governance reform. But in the past ten years, these assumptions have been thrown into question. The Fiscal Futures project recently sought to identify the foundational assumptions of fiscal transparency and accountability work, update them to fit today’s world, and assess the implications of these changes.

Results for Whom? Making Program Budgets Work

Jason Lakin, Ph.D., International Budget Partnership— Nov 07, 2018

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.

Rethinking Fiscal Futures: Questions for the Fiscal Transparency and Accountability Field

by Anja Rudiger, Consultant— Oct 30, 2018

After two decades of promoting open and accountable budgets around the world, the fiscal transparency and accountability field has reached a critical juncture. Although fiscal transparency norms and standards have gained ground and, under some conditions, contributed to increasing budget allocations and spending on essential public services, there is a sense that quantifying the deeper impact of budget work remains elusive. To critically reflect on this challenge and generate new ideas, the International Budget Partnership, the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace initiated a set of workshops under the theme of Fiscal Futures earlier this year.

Alternative Budgets: An Advocacy Tool for Civil Society

International Budget Partnership— Oct 10, 2018

At a recent meeting of European civil society organizations engaged in budget work, Social Justice Ireland CEO Dr. Seán Healy discussed how his organization uses research and policy advocacy to inform budget debates, including the use of Alternative Budgets – policy briefs that incorporate alternatives to the government’s budget proposals meant to encourage the government to make budget choices that are both economically sound and socially fair. We recently spoke with Dr. Healy about Social Justice Ireland’s use of alternative budgets in its social justice advocacy.

Poor Countries and Climate Finance

Poor Countries Face a Climate Change Double Whammy

By Delaine McCullough, Manager, Climate Finance Accountability, International Budget Partnership— Sep 11, 2018

Climate change is hitting developing countries hardest because of both their geographical location and their limited capacity to respond. Now, a recent study from the UN Environmental Program warns that the poor countries that are most vulnerable to climate change will pay more to borrow because of that vulnerability.

What does ‘going to scale’ mean in poor communities in South Africa?

by Albert van Zyl, International Budget Partnership South Africa— Aug 01, 2018

How can we scale up small pockets of development progress? The International Budget Partnership South Africa and its partners Planact and the Social Audit Network have seen their social audit work in informal settlements go to scale – sometimes by intent, but often by accident. Learn more about why both channels matter.

Making and Keeping Promises: Why Budget Credibility Matters

by Guillermo Herrera, International Budget Partnership— Jul 31, 2018

Budget credibility describes the ability of governments to accurately and consistently meet their expenditure and revenue targets. Two key issues pertaining to budget credibility warrant greater attention: the impact of budget deviations on citizens and services, and how governments justify budget deviations and are held accountable for them. The International Budget Partnership’s Assessing Budget Credibility project aims to investigate these issues further. In July 2018, IBP and the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico, in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, co-hosted a side-event during the 2018 United Nations High Level Political Forum to discuss budget credibility, and its relevance to the Sustainable Development Goals.

aid and budget transparency

Advancing Aid and Budget Transparency for Development: Five Things You Need to Know

by Elise Dufief, Research and Monitoring Manager, Publish What You Fund and Claire Schouten, Senior Program Officer, International Budget Partnership— Jul 17, 2018

In countries where a significant portion of the budget comes from external actors, such as major international donors, it is crucial that these actors and their finance flows are transparent to ensure that available resources are allocated and spent in a manner that responds to citizens’ needs. This post outlines five things you need to know about aid and budget transparency based on the Open Budget Survey 2017 and Publish What You Fund’s 2018 Aid Transparency Index.