Tax to finance the SDGs, but not to undermine them

By Wilson Prichard, ICTD; Nora Lustig, CEQ; Sanjeev Gupta, CGD; Warren Krafchik, IBP; Ian Gary, Oxfam; and Brahima Coulibaly, Brookings— Jul 01, 2019

Stakeholders are gathering this week in Berlin to chart the future of the Addis Tax Initiative, whose overarching goal is to increase tax revenues to help finance the Sustainable Development Goals. This blog written by experts from civil society highlights the need to focus on equity and outlines priority areas for reform so as not to undermine the SDGs.

Fiscal Futures: Overcoming Hurdles to Citizen Activism for Fiscal Governance

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?

Fiscal Futures: When the People Demand Transparency for Accountability

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?

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