Fiscal Futures: Financial Transparency in the Era of Financial War

By Esfandyar Batmanghelidj— May 01, 2019

The present circumstances in Iran make it a cautionary tale for domestic and international stakeholders seeking to improve financial regulations, fiscal governance, and government accountability in developing economies.

Students at an anti-government protest inside Tehran University in 2018.

Fiscal Futures: Media’s Role in Reporting Fiscal Topics is a Matter of Relevance

By Petra Blum— Apr 24, 2019

Topics such as fiscal policy, accountability, and fiscal justice do not usually generate sweeping media coverage. Why? Because these topics are complicated, not easy to break down, and hard to visualize. Yet recent exposés such as the Panama Papers show that the media can still make powerful contributions to the greater fiscal transparency cause.

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.

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?

Exposing Wrongs With the Right to Information: Freedom Forum’s Work With the Media in Nepal

by Ryan Flynn for the International Budget Partnership— Apr 19, 2017

When Freedom Forum, a civil society organization based in Nepal, decided to use the country’s Right to Information (RTI) laws to investigate special funds allocated to parliamentarians, they uncovered a vast array of wasteful projects. Such nebulous spending was being channeled through Nepal’s Constituency Development Funds (CDFs), mechanisms for allocating money from the national coffers for parliamentarians to spend in their local constituencies. Using Nepal’s Right to Information law to investigate CDFs, Freedom Forum painstakingly traced how money was being spent and projects were supposed to be administered. They then worked with investigative journalists to piece together a series of exposés revealing the misuse of public money.

Accountants With Opinions: How Can Government Audits Drive Accountability?

By Vivek Ramkumar, International Budget Partnership— Nov 07, 2016

Supreme audit institutions (SAIs) are essential to accountable governance. Yet, as the Open Budget Survey has revealed time and again, SAIs face serious limitations in many countries. Audit reports are withheld from the public, hearings on audit findings take place behind closed doors, and findings are not acted upon. IBP recently convened a group of leading experts and practitioners from the field of government auditing to discuss how to make audits more impactful. The group came up with some bold new ideas for how auditors can better fulfil their crucial function of holding the powerful to account.

International budget partnership audit workshop

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