State of the Field Review: Fiscal Transparency and Accountability

By Anja Rudiger, International Budget Partnership, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Transparency & Accountability Initiative, , Oct 30, 2018

Over the last two decades, intensive field building has supported the emergence of a wealth of civil society initiatives seeking to advance transparency and accountability in public finance at the local, national, and international level. Yet despite this progress, there is a growing sense among practitioners and experts in the field that transparency interventions have not sufficiently translated into accountability gains, or influenced public finance processes in ways that improve people’s lives. This paper presents an analysis of lessons learned and key questions about future work that we hope will assist fiscal transparency and accountability actors in the field, particularly civil society, in thinking critically about future strategies for transforming public finance in ways that improve the lives of poor and marginalized communities.

Assessing the Quality of Reasons in Government Budget Documents

By Jason Lakin, Ph.D., Oct 25, 2018

Reasons that inform public policy must have certain qualities that make them intelligible to others. This paper, part of the International Budget Partnership’s Assessing Budget Credibility project, offers a set of criteria for judging both retrospective and prospective reasons governments give for budget choices and deviations in public budget documents.

Reasons in Government Budget Documents

Kenya: 7 Key Questions About Your County Annual Development Plan

By Mokeira Nyagaka, International Budget Partnership Kenya , Sep 05, 2018

Kenya’s Public Finance Management Act requires counties to develop an Annual Development Plan (ADP), which, along with the County’s 5-year County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP), becomes the basis for the County’s annual budget. This guide explains how to read and use an Annual Development Plan for budget analysis and advocacy.

Kenya: National and County Government Implementation of the Budget in 2016/17

By International Budget Partnership Kenya, Aug 03, 2018

In Kenya, national and county government are required to produce budget implementation reports that provide information on performance on revenue and expenditure. This information can be used to inform decision making for future budgets to improve the revenue collection and impact of government expenditure. This analysis of publicly available budget implementation reports from Kenya’s national and county governments shows that certain key sets of information is missing.

Budget Credibility: What Can We Learn from PEFA Reports?

By International Budget Partnership, Jul 16, 2018

This paper compiles raw expenditure and revenue outturn data for 74 countries using the most recent publicly available Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) reports. The analysis finds that, on average, aggregate spending projections are more credible than aggregate revenue projections; however, the average results hide great variation among countries. The analysis also examines explanations provided for budget deviations in PEFA reports and finds many explanations given are not sufficient.

Budget Credibility: What Can We Learn from PEFA Reports?

Budget Credibility: What Can We Learn from Budget Execution Reports?

By International Budget Partnership, Jul 16, 2018

This paper approaches the issue of budget credibility from a transparency perspective, looking at the extent to which budget execution reports (In-Year Reports, Mid-Year Reviews and Year-End Reports) include detailed information comparing final outturns to original budgeted amounts for expenditure and revenue, and explanations for any significant deviations. The analysis focuses on publicly available budget documents collected through the Open Budget Survey for 24 countries. The majority of countries analyzed do provide budget credibility data – in particular in Year-End Reports – but analysis and explanations of deviations are a lot less common.

Evaluating Tax Expenditures: A Framework for Civil Society Researchers

By Jean Ross, Consultant, Jun 07, 2018

This paper provides a guide to assessing a country’s overall framework for establishing, reporting on, and evaluating tax expenditures using criteria that characterizes a good tax system: transparency, accountability, equity, efficiency, and adequacy.

Evaluating Tax Expenditures: A Framework for Civil Society Researchers

A Quick Guide to Researching Tax Expenditures in Latin America

By Jean Ross, Consultant, Jun 07, 2018

This guide provides an introduction to approaches that can be used to develop a research and advocacy plan for those who are new to analyzing taxes and tax expenditures in Latin America. It focuses on how to define the problem you wish to research and the sources of information that can be used to understand and develop possible solutions.

A Quick Guide to Researching Tax Expenditures in Latin America

Tax Policy and Inequality in Latin America

By Bruno Martorano, Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, Jun 07, 2018

Taxation is an important policy tool for promoting revenue mobilization and economic development. However, it also has important implications in terms of inequality. In countries where inequality is increasing, the redistributive role of taxation has appeared as a central element of policy discussions and research analyses. This paper contributes to the debate by focusing on the case of Latin America. It describes the evolution of taxation and its redistributive implications for the region over the last few decades.

Tax Policy and Inequality in Latin America

Tax Expenditures and Inequality in Latin America

By Jean Ross, Consultant, Jun 07, 2018

This paper explores one aspect of tax policy — tax expenditures — and its impact on inequality in Latin America. Tax expenditures are provisions that reduce the amount of tax that is paid by providing special treatment to a particular class of individual, industry, or activity. They can impact inequality directly, by giving preference to certain groups over others, or indirectly, by reducing the revenues available for redistributive spending. Tax expenditures are significant in the Latin American context because of the magnitude of the revenue loss they cause and the resulting impact on public spending.

Tax Expenditures and Inequality in Latin America