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.

Collaborating to Build More Equitable and Inclusive Societies: Civil Society Budget Work in Europe

Jean Ross, Consultant— Jun 27, 2018

How do European civil society organizations work to address fiscal accountability? In April 2018, the International Budget Partnership invited leaders, practitioners, and thinkers from two dozen European civil society organizations engaged in budget analysis and advocacy to convene in Amsterdam. The purpose of the meeting was to broaden our understanding of how these groups work and to explore opportunities for future collaboration.

Tax Expenditures and Inequality in Latin America: News from a Collaborative Civil Society Partnership

By Alexandre Ciconello and Paolo de Renzio, International Budget Partnership— Jun 11, 2018

Over the past few years, IBP has collaborated with a group of Latin American civil society organizations in a research, advocacy, and learning project around tax expenditures and their impact on inequality in the region. Facilitated and coordinated by IBP, the Latin America Tax Expenditure Research, Advocacy and Learning (LATERAL) project aims to support civil society work in increasing the transparency, equity, and accountability of tax expenditure policies at the country and regional level.

Latin American Tax Expenditures

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

How Governments Close Civic Space: Lessons from Hungary

By Rebecca Warner, International Budget Partnership— Apr 11, 2018

As the global trend toward closing civic spaces continues, many organizations are forced to reevaluate how they engage with government in order to retain their ability to defend the interests of the people. In November 2017, OpenGov Hub invited András Kádár, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, to discuss how Hungarian civil society is dealing with the deteriorating political environment and offer broader lessons and warnings for civil society actors in other countries. Read more.

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.

Shedding Light on Spending Through the Tax Code: Previewing the Open Budget Survey 2017

Jean Ross, Independent Consultant— Jan 11, 2018

The need for timely, accessible information on tax expenditures is critical as countries around the world seek to strengthen domestic tax systems to meet the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals and the need for domestic resources. The Open Budget Survey 2017 will provide an important indication of how governments are responding to this challenge and whether budget experts within governments and civil society will have the information they need to be informed participants in critical policy debates.

The Struggle for Democratic and Accountable Budgets – What Have We Learned?

By Brendan Halloran, International Budget Partnership— Nov 13, 2017

Three new case studies, drawn from substantially different contexts, have something in common: citizens trying to engage the state in the management of public resources. This may happen through formal budget processes and procedures, in village meetings, or in the streets, but in all three cases citizens are defending a central ideal: that public money is the people’s money, and they have a right to understand and influence decisions on how it is spent.