Poor Countries Face a Climate Change Double Whammy

By Delaine McCullough, Manager, Climate Finance Accountability, International Budget Partnership— Sep 11, 2018

Climate change is hitting developing countries hardest because of both their geographical location and their limited capacity to respond. Now, a recent study from the UN Environmental Program warns that the poor countries that are most vulnerable to climate change will pay more to borrow because of that vulnerability.

Poor Countries and Climate Finance

Making and Keeping Promises: Why Budget Credibility Matters

by Guillermo Herrera, International Budget Partnership— Jul 31, 2018

Budget credibility describes the ability of governments to accurately and consistently meet their expenditure and revenue targets. Two key issues pertaining to budget credibility warrant greater attention: the impact of budget deviations on citizens and services, and how governments justify budget deviations and are held accountable for them. The International Budget Partnership’s Assessing Budget Credibility project aims to investigate these issues further. In July 2018, IBP and the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico, in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, co-hosted a side-event during the 2018 United Nations High Level Political Forum to discuss budget credibility, and its relevance to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Advancing Aid and Budget Transparency for Development: Five Things You Need to Know

by Elise Dufief, Research and Monitoring Manager, Publish What You Fund and Claire Schouten, Senior Program Officer, International Budget Partnership— Jul 17, 2018

In countries where a significant portion of the budget comes from external actors, such as major international donors, it is crucial that these actors and their finance flows are transparent to ensure that available resources are allocated and spent in a manner that responds to citizens’ needs. This post outlines five things you need to know about aid and budget transparency based on the Open Budget Survey 2017 and Publish What You Fund’s 2018 Aid Transparency Index.

aid and budget transparency

Do Multistakeholder Initiatives Deliver on Accountability?

by the International Budget Partnership— May 03, 2018

Multistakeholder initiatives such as the Open Government Partnership, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, and the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency work to encourage transparency and accountability reforms in a rapidly expanding number of countries around the world. But how deep do reforms really go? What tangible changes are multistakeholder initiatives driving at the country level? These are some of the questions that Dr. Brandon Brockmyer of the Accountability Research Center has been investigating. We recently spoke to Brandon about his research.

Opening Municipal Budgets in Serbia

By Predrag Mijalković, president of the management board, Center for Education and Transparency (CETRA)— Apr 24, 2018

How can civil society respond to a lack of transparency in local budgetary policies? In Serbia, the Center for Education and Transparency created a web platform to analyze and visualize open data related to the planned and executed budgets of a sample of Serbian cities. The group was motivated by a desire to raise the level of transparency of the budget process in Serbia, and to contribute to establishing an effective and efficient system of public accountability. Learn more.

Open Budgets in Serbian Cities

Volatility and the Africa Budget Transparency Puzzle: Can Levels of Institutionalization Help Explain the Open Budget Survey 2017 Results?

By Paolo de Renzio, International Budget Partnership— Apr 17, 2018

The Open Budget Survey 2017 recorded a global decline in average budget transparency scores for the first time since the survey’s inception. Nowhere was this decline more pronounced than in sub-Saharan Africa, in which 15 countries saw their Open Budget Index scores drop by more than five points. Is a lack of institutionalization of budget transparency practices to blame? And is examining this issue at the country level sufficient enough to understand how budget transparency practices evolve over time?

Making the Most of the Budget Cycle: The Budget Oversight Stage

By Rebecca Warner, International Budget Partnership— Apr 04, 2018

Budget oversight includes a number of activities that aim to measure whether public resources have been used appropriately, effectively, and efficiently. At the end of the fiscal year, the executive branch should report its financial activities to the legislature and the public, as well as to an independent and professional supreme audit institution. During this stage of the budget cycle, civil society organizations that are interested in assessing problems in budget implementation can use Audit Reports to assess whether the government is spending public funds appropriately and effectively.

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.

Stalling Progress on Budget Transparency: What Does It Mean?

by Jason Lakin, Ph.D.,International Budget Partnership— Mar 15, 2018

The most significant finding of the Open Budget Survey 2017 is that after a decade of steady progress, global average government budget transparency has actually dropped. Stalling progress toward greater budget transparency—fueled by outright declines in some countries—is consistent with a broader set of indicators that in recent years point to democratic recession, declining civic space, and faltering commitment to the rule of law around the world. For this reason, the survey’s 2017 findings have faced widespread acceptance in our discussions globally. They are of a piece with the zeitgeist.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Failure to Institutionalize Past Gains Weakens Transparency

by Daniel Hiller, Jason Lakin, Ph.D., and Joel FriedmanInternational Budget Partnership— Mar 08, 2018

The Open Budget Survey 2017 records the first halt in progress on global budget transparency since the survey was launched in 2006. Unlike the small but steady increases seen in past rounds, the global average score on the Open Budget Index — the part of the survey that measures budget transparency — actually decreased from 45 to 43 between 2015 and 2017 among the 102 countries included in both rounds. The modest decline in the global average score is primarily attributed to changes in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the regional average score fell by 11 points, representing a significant reversal for a region that had been a major driver of the increase in the global average scores in 2015.