Make Strategic Decisions In the Field

From Strategy to Rules of Thumb: How IBP South Africa Makes Strategy-Aligned Decisions in the Field

By Albert van Zyl, South Africa Country Manager, International Budget Partnership— Jun 08, 2017

Most people within organizations find strategic planning, theories of change, and log frames to be a pain. Not only because formulating them is hard work but also because we never implement them, at least not as intended in the heady aftermath of putting on paper what seems to be a clear step-by-step map to mission success. Why? Because the unpredictable, ever-changing world we work in refuses to comply with the plan. However, establishing rules for making strategy-aligned decisions in the field can help you stay on course.

making change in closing political environments

Making Change in Closing Political Environments

Warren Krafchik, Executive Director, International Budget Partnership— Jun 06, 2017

How do we advance fiscal accountability in an era of closing government? Over the past 20 years, IBP has worked with hundreds of independent organizations the world over to pioneer models of open budgeting, where citizens and civic organizations play an informed and meaningful role in monitoring and influencing the public budget. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that governments make and keep commitments to maximize the contribution of public resources to transforming the lives of poor and marginalized communities. Too often, though, we have secured dramatic increases in public data and built strong organizations but have failed to transform these resources into greater accountability. Our 2016 reflection essays have identified three areas of work where we see hopeful possibilities toward greater fiscal accountability.

pesacheck fact checking made simple

PesaCheck: Reflections on Budget Fact-Checking in the Kenyan Context

by Leo Mutuku, PesaCheck— Jun 01, 2017

When budget stories make the news, fact checking is crucial. Now more than ever, individuals and intermediary organizations need to cultivate a culture of fact-checking given that misinformation is rife with changing global socio-political dynamics. What have we learned from Kenya’s PesaCheck initiative? And how can these lessons guide civil society organizations interested in running similar fact-checking initiatives?

Building Budget Democracy: Fiscal Openness Reforms in South Africa

by Paolo de Renzio, International Budget Partnership— May 25, 2017

Trevor Manuel was South Africa’s Minister of Finance from 1996 to 2009, serving under three different presidents. During his long tenure, he built South Africa’s Treasury into a strong and well-respected organization and introduced wide-ranging budget reforms. In this interview, Mr. Manuel looks back at some of the reforms he introduced that turned South Africa into a world leader in budget transparency.

tracking fiscal transparency reforms in afghanistan

Supply, Demand, and Sustainability: Tracking Budget Transparency Reforms in Afghanistan

by Paolo de Renzio, International Budget Partnership— May 23, 2017

Dr. Mustafa Mastoor has been Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan since 2008. Previously, Dr. Mastoor served as Director General for Budget in the same ministry. In these functions, he has promoted a series of budget transparency reforms that resulted in impressive improvements in Afghanistan’s Open Budget Index score. In this interview, Dr. Mastoor reflects on Afghanistan’s budget transparency reforms trajectory, and the challenges encountered along the way.

uganda fiscal transparency reforms

Budget Transparency as a Means to Reduce Poverty: Uganda’s Fiscal Openness Reforms

by Paolo de Renzio, International Budget Partnership— May 18, 2017

Florence Kuteesa served 21 years in the Ugandan Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, rising from the level of economist to the post of Budget Director, which she held until December 2004. She then worked for two years in a private consulting firm, and thereafter six and half years with the International Monetary Fund’s Fiscal Affairs Department, until 2016. In the Ugandan government, she introduced a number of budget reforms that turned Uganda into a regional example in PFM systems and budget transparency practices. In this interview, Ms. Kuteesa remembers the early stages of Uganda’s budget transparency reforms, and the bridges that they built between government and civil society.


Weaving a New Narrative: How Budget Transparency Reforms Took Hold in Mexico

by Paolo de Renzio, International Budget Partnership— May 16, 2017

Benjamin Hill Mayoral held a series of important policy positions in the Government of Mexico, both in the Ministry of Public Administration (Executive Secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Commission for Transparency and Corruption Control, and Head of the Transparency Policy and International Cooperation Unit) and at the Ministry of Finance (Head of the Performance Evaluation Unit). While at the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Hill oversaw the creation of Mexico’s budget transparency portal, an award-winning initiative that has greatly improved citizens’ access to budget information. In this interview with Paolo de Renzio, Senior Research Fellow at the International Budget Partnership, Mr. Hill recollects his efforts to build the portal and other related reforms.

Butch Abad philippines

From Domestic Accountability to International Recognition: Fiscal Openness Reforms in the Philippines

by Paolo de Renzio, International Budget Partnership— May 11, 2017

Florencio “Butch” Barsana Abad was Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) of the Philippines during the period 2010-2016. Previously, he had served as Secretary of the Department of Education and Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform. He was also a congress member (three terms), lawyer, trade unionist, and an educator and activist. As Budget Secretary, he championed active citizenship and open government through citizen participation in planning and budgeting and making essential budget documents and information publicly available. Through the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) Program, he institutionalized people’s participation in the budget process and enabled civil society organizations to partner with their local governments to address poverty in their communities. In this interview with Paolo de Renzio, Senior Research Fellow at the International Budget Partnership, Mr. Abad recalls the range of reforms that he helped introduce while at DBM.

Starting from the Top: Political Leadership and Fiscal Openness Reforms in Brazil

by Paolo de Renzio, International Budget Partnership— May 09, 2017

Jorge Hage Sobrinho was Deputy Minister of Brazil’s Federal Comptroller General (Controladoria-Geral da União, or CGU) from 2003 to 2006, and its Chief Minister from 2006 to 2014. While at CGU, he oversaw significant transparency reforms, including the launch of Brazil’s fiscal transparency portal, a user-friendly online tool for searching and downloading detailed budget information that has drawn wide praise both within and outside Brazil. In this interview with IBP’s Paolo de Renzio, Minister Hage reflects on his time at CGU and on the transparency reforms that he helped introduce and implement.

Exposing Wrongs With the Right to Information: Freedom Forum’s Work With the Media in Nepal

by Ryan Flynn for the International Budget Partnership— Apr 19, 2017

When Freedom Forum, a civil society organization based in Nepal, decided to use the country’s Right to Information (RTI) laws to investigate special funds allocated to parliamentarians, they uncovered a vast array of wasteful projects. Such nebulous spending was being channeled through Nepal’s Constituency Development Funds (CDFs), mechanisms for allocating money from the national coffers for parliamentarians to spend in their local constituencies. Using Nepal’s Right to Information law to investigate CDFs, Freedom Forum painstakingly traced how money was being spent and projects were supposed to be administered. They then worked with investigative journalists to piece together a series of exposés revealing the misuse of public money.