Checking In On Open Government

By Joseph Foti, Program Manager, Open Government Partnership— Jan 29, 2016

Every two years, the Open Government Partnership’s (OGP) Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) team releases progress reports that assess how well OGP countries are achieving their open government commitments. The reports are released a year into the national action plan cycle and developed by national researchers and international experts with inputs from civil society and government. Throughout February 2016, 36 countries will receive their progress reports. What can we learn from these reports, and what are the next steps?

Open Government Partnership IRM reports

India: Civil Society Efforts to Bring the Public’s Voice into Budget Proposals Pays Off

By Subrat Das, Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability and Ravi Duggal, International Budget Partnership— Nov 06, 2015

In a welcome move, India’s finance ministry has announced that this year’s pre-budget consultations will be held far earlier than in previous years. This change is welcome news for civil society organizations (CSOs) doing budget work in India, which have long called for consultations to begin earlier.

Bringing the Public's Voice into Budget Proposals Pays Off in India

Raising Awareness of Public Finance in Bosnia and Herzegovina: the Power of Keeping it Simple

by Emina Gljiva, Foundation CPI— Oct 28, 2015

For the CPI Foundation, addressing the low levels of budget literacy in Bosnia and Herzegovina is an urgent challenge. To capture the public’s attention, and underline the importance of budgets, they installed a digital counter displaying how much public money the government is spending. Located on a busy street at the heart of the capital Sarajevo, the counter gives a second-by-second update of expenditure across all central budgets in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Challenges of Provincial Budgeting in Afghanistan

Sayed Nasrat, independent consultant based in Kabul, Afghanistan— Aug 12, 2015

Since Afghanistan’s transition to a democracy 13 years ago, the government and the international community have made multiple attempts to decentralize the budget system to better incorporate the needs of provinces. So far, these attempts have failed. A new set of reforms currently awaiting approval, however, shows greater promise.

Reflections on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda

By Claire Schouten, IBP— Jul 20, 2015

After months of intense negotiations, world leaders have finally agreed to an agenda for financing global development over the next 15 years. A non-binding but critical agreement, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, was finalized late last week at the third Financing for Development (FFD) Conference in Ethiopia. It is the culmination of an intergovernmental process that began in October 2014.

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.

What Have We Learned from Tracking Budget Transparency More Frequently?

By IBP, essays from the 2014 Annual Report— Jun 23, 2015

Our Open Budget Survey Tracker findings have revealed a complex pattern in which improvements in budget transparency are not always sustained by governments and indicate that IBP and other proponents of open budgeting need to better understand the incentives governments face not only for becoming more transparent but also for maintaining and sustaining improvements.

The Cost of Reforming Pensions in El Salvador

By Rocio Campos, International Budget Partnership— Mar 10, 2015

Salvadoran workers have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in interest that the government should have paid on state pensions, according to a recent decision handed down by El Salvador’s Supreme Court of Justice. Despite interest rates on private savings averaging around 7 percent, the government has paid just 1 percent interest on public pension savings. Between 2007 and 2013 alone, this would have meant an additional USD 930 million being paid into the state pension system.

Budgeting for Human Rights: Using the Maximum of Available Resources

Aug 14, 2014

This post was written by Helena Hofbauer, Director of Partnership Development and Innovation at the International Budget Partnership. The last few decades have seen two mutually reinforcing trends with regard to government budgets. First, though fiscal policy has long been seen as a key tool for governments to support stable economies and provide public services, the […]

Elections in India: Transparency, Accountability, and Corruption

May 14, 2014

This post was written by Ravi Duggal, Program Officer at the International Budget Partnership. Elections are underway in the world’s largest democracy. With over 800 million voters spanning 543 political constituencies, voting will last until mid-May. And transparency and accountability are shaping up to be key issues for voters. Turbulence in the last few years […]