How Participatory Reforms Can Enable Voice But Fall Short of Transformation

By Joy Aceron, Government Watch Philippines— Jul 09, 2019

Bottom-up budgeting (BuB) can increase civil society participation in government. However, as this analysis of the Philippine experience shows, BuB does not automatically lead to increased government responsiveness. In this case, it provided civil society with a “voice” but without “teeth.”

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: Are National Oil Companies Champions or Obstacles for Energy Transition?

By Patrick Heller, Advisor, Natural Resource Governance Institute and David Manley, Senior Economic Analyst, Natural Resource Governance Institute— May 22, 2019

Whether national oil companies (NOCs) are planning on investing national wealth in the oil sector, or experimenting with renewable energy projects, stronger rules and oversight on how these companies spend public money is essential.

Fiscal Futures: Bolsonaro is Leading Brazil to the Abyss

By Nathalie Beghin, Head of Policy, Inesc and Carmela Zigoni, Policy Advisor, Inesc— May 15, 2019

Democratic backsliding and rising poverty and inequality in Brazil have put gains made in fiscal transparency and accountability under severe threat. To bring Brazil back to its path towards more justice and equitable development, civil society must work together to rebuild the idea of democracy that has been eroded in recent times.

Fiscal Futures: Financial Transparency in the Era of Financial War

By Esfandyar Batmanghelidj— May 01, 2019

The present circumstances in Iran make it a cautionary tale for domestic and international stakeholders seeking to improve financial regulations, fiscal governance, and government accountability in developing economies.

Students at an anti-government protest inside Tehran University in 2018.

Fiscal Futures: Media’s Role in Reporting Fiscal Topics is a Matter of Relevance

By Petra Blum— Apr 24, 2019

Topics such as fiscal policy, accountability, and fiscal justice do not usually generate sweeping media coverage. Why? Because these topics are complicated, not easy to break down, and hard to visualize. Yet recent exposés such as the Panama Papers show that the media can still make powerful contributions to the greater fiscal transparency cause.

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?