Budget Openness of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan: Preliminary Comparative Observations

By Dr. Brian C. H. Fong, Academy of Hong Kong Studies at the Education University of Hong Kong— Dec 05, 2017

Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan are important economies in East Asia. Though all three are part of the People’s Republic of China, they are independent entities in terms of public finance management. In addition, each region is currently at different stages of democratization. This makes them perfect cases for examining the relationship between democratization and government budget transparency and accountability using the Open Budget Survey methodology.

The Road to Budget Transparency: Four Things Governments Can Do

By Paolo de Renzio, International Budget Partnership— Nov 28, 2017

Since the Open Budget Index (a global comparative measure of government budget transparency that is drawn from the Open Budget Survey) was introduced in 2006, many countries have improved their scores, but then seem to get stuck in the middle. Why is that? And what have governments that managed to break through the middle barrier done to guarantee that their citizens have access to adequate amounts of budget information? This post highlights four specific initiatives that successful governments took to reach higher levels of budget transparency.

The Road to Budget Transparency

Nepal Releases Its First Citizens Climate Budget

By Delaine McCullough, International Budget Partnership— Oct 31, 2017

In August 2017 Freedom Forum, IBP’s civil society research partner for the Open Budget Survey in Nepal, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released Nepal’s Citizens Climate Budget: Where is Nepal’s Money Being Allocated?, which provides the public with accessible information, in Nepali and English, on how the government is using public money to address climate change and its effects through the national budget.

Citizens Climate Budget - Nepal

Gender Budgeting in 2017: Where Are We?

By Rebecca Warner, International Budget Partnership— Oct 03, 2017

In the wake of renewed interest in the intersection of gender and public finance, and given the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ambitious aim to achieve full gender equality by 2030, it is important to review what we know about gender budgeting as a means to achieve full parity, and determine what may be required to fill in the current knowledge gaps.

What’s Missing in the Fight Against Corruption?

By Rebecca Warner, International Budget Partnership— Sep 26, 2017

The past 20 years of international efforts to curb corruption through reducing the openings for the misuse of public funds have led to the establishment of best practices in transparency and accountability, and the widespread creation of anti-corruption agencies within governments. Still, the economic cost of corruption remains enormous. “Transparency, Anti-Corruption, and Sustainable Development: Is Progress Possible?,” a recent event hosted by the Brookings Institution, brought together experts from international finance institutions, civil society, and the private sector to discuss past and current challenges in transparency and anti-corruption work.

What's Missing in the Fight Against Corruption?

Open the Books: Why We Need to Open Budgets and Doors to Budgetary Engagement to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

by Claire Schouten, International Budget Partnership and John Hendra, Senior UN Coordinator— Sep 08, 2017

Public access to budget information is essential to ensuring that people and their organizations know how public money is being raised and spent to deliver critical public services and implement development priorities — and to be able to hold governments accountable. There are a few practical things that can be done.

Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Budget Transparency and the Volatility Problem

By Paolo de Renzio, International Budget Partnership— Aug 24, 2017

“Volatility” in the publication of budget documents — when the public availability of documents containing key budget information changes repeatedly over time — is a common occurrence across countries included in the International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Survey. In order to better understand the extent – and some of the possible causes – of the volatility problem, we recently looked at how it evolved over time, and at characteristics of the countries most affected.

The Volatility of Budget Transparency

Participatory Budgeting: Democracy in Action

By Rebecca Warner, International Budget Partnership— Aug 03, 2017

Participatory budgeting is the process by which citizens deliberate and negotiate the distribution of public resources. At a recent event hosted by the Global Partnership for Social Accountability, panelists shared information about the growth of participatory budgeting in North America and beyond, highlighting the benefits and challenges of the practice and opportunities that exist to improve participatory budgeting in the future.

Participatory Budgeting in Action

The Rise of the Activist Auditor

Vivek Ramkumar, Senior Director of Policy, International Budget Partnership— Aug 01, 2017

Nearly every country in the world has a functional supreme audit institution that is mandated with checking whether public funds are being managed properly and in line with sound financial management practices. However, audit reports seldom receive the level of popular scrutiny that they deserve. Fortunately, supreme audit institutions are increasingly recognizing the need to engage with citizens, which has the potential to transform the way in which the public views their work.

Mexico’s Budgeting for Sustainable Development

by Transparencia Presupuesteria, Mexican Ministry of Finance— Jul 18, 2017

To gain a clear picture of how current investments and development plans aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Mexico’s SDG Specialized Technical Committee, led by the Office of the Presidency and the National Institute of Statistics and Geography, developed a framework aimed at integrating planning, public finance management, policymaking, and oversight so as to achieve the SDGs. Within this framework, the Mexican Ministry of Finance and Public Credit partnered with the United Nations Development Programme to identify the specific budget items that would contribute to progress.

How does Mexico Invest in the Sustainable Development Goals?