Fiscal Futures: Targets for Equity Enhancing Tax Advocacy

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.

Fiscal Futures: An Agenda for Strengthening Fiscal Accountability and Fiscal Justice

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.

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.

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.

Impact Images: Cartooning for Change

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.

Taking the Budget to Court

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.

Taking the Budget to Court

How Social Movements Can Reenergize Budget Activism

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.

How Social Movements Can Reenergize Budget Activism

Budgeting for Decent Sanitation in South African Townships

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.

The Social Justice Coalition Cape Town Sanitation Campaign

Making Kenya’s Newly Opened Budgets Work

Brendan Halloran, Senior Fellow, Strategy and Learning, International Budget Partnership— Jul 11, 2017

In Kenya, IBP and its partners seek to support inclusive engagement in the budget process. Yet outcomes have been mixed. This has forced civil society advocacy groups to learn and adapt their approaches, sometimes after investing significant time and effort in a seemingly promising avenue of engagement. Such is the case with the work of Kerio Center and the Uasin Gishu Disability Forum to ensure resources in the Uasin Gishu county budget for persons living with disabilities.

Uasin Gishu PWDS Forum

Protecting Fiscal Space in Modi’s India

by Nikhil Dey, Social Activist, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)— Jul 06, 2017

When fighting for equity and social justice — or good governance and accountability — politics matters. When the political environment shifts, one step forward can quickly turn into two steps back without vigilance and an eye open for opportunities. In India, the government’s attacks on social programs brought many CSOs and social movements together to fight to preserve the progressive policies that they had helped establish. This essay from IBP’s 2016 Annual Report details how sophisticated mass-based protests, bolstered by sharp analysis by independent budget experts, helped protect the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

protecting fiscal space in India