Collaborating for Open and Accountable Budgets (COAB)

Across the world there is still a wide range of countries where the budget process is characterized by low levels of public access to information, limited participation opportunities and a lack of strong oversight practices. This needs to change. Meaningful civic engagement across the budget process is central if budgets are to truly transform lives.  

The International Budget Partnership’s (IBP) Collaborating for Open and Accountable Budgets (COAB) initiative aims to strengthen the capacity of civil society groups to actively engage in budget processes and advocacy to build the conditions for transparent, inclusive and accountable public budgeting.

IBP’s experience working in a range of countries over the past 20 years has shown that increasing the scope, diversity and collaboration of actors engaged in budgets at the country level is central to improving openness and accountability to ensure public funds deliver for those most in need. The COAB initiative is being implemented in 23 countries, including Afghanistan, Armenia, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, East Timor, El Salvador, Honduras, Ivory Coast, The Gambia, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.

 IBP is offering in-depth training on budget analysis, engagement and advocacy to a set of interested civil society groups in each country; and working with civil society to strengthen their work and advocate for meaningful open budget practices. 

Civil society researchers are collaborating with IBP across the COAB countries on the Open Budget Survey (OBS) to identify gaps in transparency and participation practices and inform advocacy goals, while allowing us to monitor progress toward greater openness of government budgets over time. In addition to the 23 countries noted above, the OBS is also being conducted in Ethiopia for the first time as part of the initiative. 

The collaboration brings together several of IBP’s teams and is being implemented with support from the European Commission.