By Shaazka Beyerle and Davin O’Regan, United States Institute of Peace— Apr 17, 2019
Social movements deploying various nonviolent tactics have consistently demonstrated the ability to achieve genuine – sometimes transformative – shifts in policy and government performance. The underlying dynamic involves grassroots organizing to amplify citizen voices and wield power. But can such bottom-up citizen initiatives be fostered to advance fiscal governance?
by Nikhil Dey, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan— Apr 10, 2019
There has been growing skepticism about the impact of transparency initiatives on fiscal accountability issues. India provides an outstanding example of how social movements have creatively and effectively used the People’s Right to Information to enforce a form of fiscal accountability that demonstrably connects allocations, expenditure, and policy with people and their priorities. How did this transformative process get initiated, and what lessons does it have for the future, and for its use in other parts of the globe?
By Wilson Prichard— Feb 27, 2019
Despite evidence of high and frequently rising inequality across much of the developing world, strengthening the equity of tax systems has usually been low on the agenda. However, there is a persuasive argument that civil society actors should place a significant advocacy focus on improving the overall equity of tax systems for technical, political, and strategic reasons.
by the International Budget Partnership, Transparency and Accountability Initiative, and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace— Jan 23, 2019
How can civic action on fiscal accountability contribute to positive changes in the lives of the poor and marginalized? The Fiscal Futures project identified five critical areas in which the transparency and accountability field should consider investing greater effort, because they might constitute a powerful agenda for strengthening fiscal accountability and justice in developing countries around the world.
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.
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.
by David Allan, Spectrum— Mar 28, 2018
Effectively communicating different aspects of economic justice while also making public finance information more accessible have been key goals of Spectrum, a research, policy, and communications group working in Myanmar. One strategy the organization has piloted with great results is the use of cartooning to explain complex topics like responsible resource use and revenue transparency to the public.
Ann Blyberg, Manager of Training, Technical Assistance, and Networking, International Budget Partnership— Sep 06, 2017
In recent years, a small number of civil society organizations have looked to the courts to challenge the government’s budget policies and practices around such issues as under-spending on social programs or discrimination in spending. Courts have agreed to hear a good number of the cases and, in many, have ruled in favor of the civil society claims.
Brendan Halloran, Senior Fellow, Strategy and Learning, International Budget Partnership— Aug 17, 2017
In civil society budget activism, there is rarely a shortcut to realizing rights and achieving tangible improvements for the poorest and most marginalized people. Meaningful steps toward more inclusive and effective governance means going beyond openness to navigating and reshaping politics. For IBP and our partners, this presents a great opportunity, particularly in the increasingly challenging contexts in which we work.
by Dustin Kramer, former Deputy Secretary General, Social Justice Coalition, Cape Town— Jul 20, 2017
For the past two years, the Social Justice Coalition (SJC), a social movement based in Cape Town, South Africa, has used budget analysis and advocacy as a tool to campaign for decent sanitation in informal settlements. IBP worked with SJC to undertake research and analysis of Cape Town’s municipal budget in support of the broader advocacy campaign. Initial research uncovered extremely low spending — less than 2 percent of the water and sanitation capital budget was going to informal settlements, even though informal households make up over 20 percent of the city’s population. Faced with this injustice, SJC began to view the budget process as a set of political moments and institutional processes through which the campaign could move.