Beyond Wish Lists: Budget Deliberation, not Empty Participation

by Jason Lakin, IBP Kenya— Apr 27, 2016

The term public participation has lost meaning in the context of budget making and a higher standard is needed if public participation is to deliver on its promises. Should public deliberation, a concept rooted in theories of deliberative democracy and moral philosophy, be the new standard? IBP Kenya’s Jason Lakin explains how public deliberation can help instill confidence in government decisions and engender an informed public.

Ugandan Government Commits to Civil Society Participation in the Latest Budget

By Carol Namagembe, the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG)— Mar 24, 2016

The Government of Uganda has promised to incorporate proposals from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) into the 2016/17 National Budget. This was revealed by the State Minister for Finance, Fred Omach, during a pre-budget dialogue with CSOs in Kampala on March 18, 2016. “We shall pick the highlights and the best you have,” Omach said after acknowledging the critical role CSOs play in influencing government policies.

Social Audits in South Africa: Can They Deliver?

By Albert van Zyl, International Budget Partnership— Mar 07, 2016

In contrast to campaigns that are more inherently confrontational, social audits invest heavily in unpacking and decoding government budget policy and processes. They often start by examining official documents to understand what service delivery commitments the government has made and what viable counter proposals might look like. This is not to say that social audits can’t form part of larger campaigns that use a variety of tactics to get the government to respond. But this engagement is firmly rooted in the facts and figures that the government itself releases in official documents.

social audits in south africa

Open Budgets for the Sustainable Development Goals

By Claire Schouten, International Budget Partnership— Sep 23, 2015

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set an ambitious development agenda for the next fifteen years. The SDGs comprise 17 goals and aim to address the three aspects of sustainable development – economic prosperity, social development, and environmental protection. They present a clear opportunity for governments to deliver in critical sectors, such as health and education, and make an impact on people’s lives.

Findings from the Open Budget Survey 2015: Are Governments Equipped to Manage Public Resources?

By Delaine McCullough, International Budget Partnership— Sep 09, 2015

The latest round of the Open Budget Survey — the world’s only independent, comparative assessment of budget transparency, participation, and formal oversight — reveals the vast majority of countries surveyed have inadequate systems for ensuring that public funds are used efficiently and effectively. Of the 102 countries assessed, 98 fall short on at least one of the three core pillars of budget accountability: transparency, participation, or oversight. A concerning 32 countries fall short on all three pillars. This lack of strong budget accountability systems pose a threat to the implementation of critical international agreements such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the international agreement expected to come from the 2015 Paris Climate Conference.

The Open Budget Survey 2015

Bridging the Gap between Opening Budgets and Transforming Lives

By IBP, essays from the 2014 Annual Report— Jul 10, 2015

Our country work tests the theory that if citizens have access to budget information and opportunities to participate in the budget process, they can better engage with their governments and hold them accountable for their management of public resources. Here’s what we’ve learned so far in South Africa.

Developing Social Audit and Citizen Monitoring Practices in South Africa

By Keren Ben-Zeev, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Southern Africa— Apr 16, 2015

This article was written by Keren Ben-Zeev, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Southern Africa. The South African government spends almost half of its budget each year on education, health, and welfare services. A further 20 percent of the budget goes to the provision of housing, water, electricity and sanitation. By some measures, though not all, these levels […]

Links Roundup: Transparency News and Analysis

May 12, 2014

Fiscal Transparency News Around the World Jakarta government held its first open data hackathon (Tech in Asia) The first and second place winners created apps which allow people to find and monitor city budget information and report anything suspicious to authorities. Multiple levies distort budget accountability (Mmegi online) A recent PEFA assessment in Botswana shows an […]

Lessons Learned from Water and Sanitation Budgets Analysis in Pakistan

Feb 27, 2014

This post was written by Muhammad Zahoor, Executive Director of the Centre for Governance and Public Accountability. In July 2013 the Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA) and Integrated Regional Support Program (IRSP), two civil society organizations based in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province of Pakistan, analyzed the water and sanitation budgets for the […]