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: Fighting Climate Change with Fiscal Policy

By Delaine McCullough, Head of Climate Finance Accountability, International Budget Partnership — Apr 03, 2019

Climate change threatens the natural systems that our lives and economies depend on, so it is simultaneously an environmental, economic, and developmental issue. But it is also an equity issue. If you’re poor, female, or otherwise marginalized, the risk of losing your already limited assets, livelihood, and potentially your life is heightened by climate change. Failure to address this extra vulnerability as we tackle climate change will deepen existing poverty and inequality.

An aerial view of a neighborhood affected by Cyclone Idai on March 24, 2019 in Beira, Mozambique.

Fiscal Futures: Is There a Space for Better Fiscal Accountability in South Africa’s Metropolitan Municipalities?

By Adi Kumar and Ryan Fester, Development Action Group— Mar 27, 2019

In South Africa’s metropolitan municipalities, civil society has limited influence over local government decision making, and most tactics to hold local governments accountable are failing. Can the emergence of cross-class and cross-race coalitions frame new forms of citizen participation and improve fiscal accountability?

Cape Town South Africa Informal Settlement

Civil Society Groups Across Latin America are Starting to Question Tax Expenditures

By Paolo de Renzio and Alexandre Ciconello, International Budget Partnership — Mar 21, 2019

The International Budget Partnership has been working with a group of nine Latin American civil society organizations to promote research, advocacy, and learning around tax expenditures in the Latin American region. Recently, each group conducted research to examine how governments were using tax expenditures in their countries and to assess the impact of tax expenditures on inequality. Read more about how these groups are using their research findings to promote advocacy campaigns.

Budget Credibility: Is the Government Doing What It’s Saying and Saying What It’s Doing?

Jason Lakin, International Budget Partnership— Mar 07, 2019

When the International Budget Partnership put out an open call for 25 civil society organizations to research budget credibility issues in their countries last year, we thought we would struggle to reach that number. But more than 70 groups applied, and their research was just one component of our larger Assessing Budget Credibility project, which looks at the degree to which governments raise and spend public money in accordance with approved budgets, and the causes and consequences of any deviations.

Fiscal Futures: Can We Turn Tax Competition into Tax Cooperation?

by Didier Jacobs, Senior Policy Advisor, Oxfam America— Mar 06, 2019

Governments are engaged in a race to the bottom on corporate taxation. Tax rates are falling and tax incentives are multiplying. This is bad news when it comes to financing development. Citizens must demand transparency and accountability regarding tax incentives, and regional and global cooperation to set a floor under corporate tax rates.

Sniffing for Revenues in Indonesia’s Natural Resource Sectors

by Jean Ross, Consultant— Jan 28, 2019

The agriculture, forestry, plantation, and marine fisheries sectors provide livelihoods for a significant fraction of the Indonesian population, yet contribute less than one out of every ten dollars of revenue received by the provincial and the national governments. In many resource-rich regions, poverty rates are high and local residents receive little or no benefit from the exploitation of the country’s abundant natural wealth. Two Indonesian civil society organizations – Perkumpalan Inisiatif and Seknas FITRA – hypothesized that weak administration and corruption contributed to weak revenue collections. Together, the groups designed an ambitious research project to test this hypothesis and develop recommendations for improving revenue collections and resource management.