Public Finance Management reforms for what?

May 16, 2011

Last week the PFM Blog posted on Transparency Versus Effectiveness in Public Financial Management. They make a series of interesting points about:  Links between the two: “Providing the public with comprehensive and timely information on the government’s budget and financial activities and opportunities to participate in decision-making can strengthen oversight, improve policy choices, and enhance the […]

Can we Deep Throat our way to governance accountability?

Apr 19, 2011

The once encouraging ‘governance turn‘ in development thinking emphasized the need for building formal and informal democratic institutions to supplement and consolidate more technocratic reforms such as strengthening treasuries or training auditors. As it turns out, the manufacturing of governance accountability is harder than most people thought. Reporting on the findings of their impressive 10 year, 150 […]

Bring Kenya’s Budget Law into the Light

Apr 07, 2011

The Kenyan government is now drafting a new Organic Budget Law that will provide a comprehensive framework for budgeting in Kenya. While this is a laudable initiative, we argue in the latest IBP Brief that both the substance of the draft law, as well as the process by which it has been formulated, need to be […]

What impact not to expect from Civil Society Organizations

Mar 30, 2011

A growing number of citizens and civil society organizations (CSOs) are trying to influence government budgets. (Read more here).  But the debate about how to assess the value of such CSO interventions is also heating up. Donors are under pressure to show impact. They are transmitting this pressure to CSOs by asking them to provide […]

Do we need sectoral budget targets? Yes, er no, er, well its complicated

Feb 10, 2011

One way to get governments to spend money on the right things  is to set a percentage target. In this way targets have been set for health, education and agriculture. We all want development challenges related to health, education and agriculture to be addressed. But are sectoral budget targets the right way to do it? […]

Which way forward for public financial management – do the donors really know what works?

Feb 07, 2011

post prepared by Andy Wynne of The World Bank and donors that support its approach have dominated the public financial management reform agenda in developing countries for the last fifteen years. However, this approach has been subject to increasing criticism in recent years. Two important studies published last year provide further evidence that the currently dominant […]

Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in Climate Finance

Dec 03, 2010

One of the most critical – and contentious – issues that the COP-16 will address in the current round of negotiations  in Cancun will be how to establish a climate change finance regime. Given the substantial investment of resources – financial, political, technical – that will be required to address climate change, and the potentially […]

Easterly’s utopian solution to the wastage of development aid

Dec 01, 2010

The wastage of  health funding William Easterly argues that donors should not give more development aid while so much of it is being wasted. The most recent example is the WHO report that tells us that 20-40% of health funding is wasted. Easterly questions the WHO’s calls for more health donations, asking “How do you […]

Are balanced budgets still necessary in the fight against global recession and poverty?

Nov 11, 2010

post prepared by Andy Wynne of Most OECD countries are now running significant budget deficits in an attempt to ensure a rapid end to the global recession.  The Managing Director of the IMF, Dominique Srauss-Khan, praised the G20 countries for adopting the fiscal stimulus that was needed, whilst warning that more may be required. The IMF […]

Does budget transparency flatter to deceive? Evidence from Brazil

Nov 04, 2010

Does budget transparency flatter to deceive? Arguing that the public has a right to information about government finances is fairly easy. One can use tax payer status, Bills of Rights etc to do this. But more and more questions are being asked about what budget transparency is good for. Researchers often find it hard to […]