e-Newsletter
Nov-Dec 2015 No. 87

From the Open Budgets Blog

Introducing AGORA, the Portal for Parliamentary Development

Parliaments and legislatures play an essential role in strong accountability systems, particularly when it comes to public finance. To help these institutions play this role effectively, the AGORA Portal for Parliamentary Development provides interactive lessons and information tailored to the needs of parliamentarians and parliamentary staff around the world. Lotte Geunis of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) explains AGORA’s latest offerings, including free online courses on climate finance and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Subnational Budget Transparency in Nigeria

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Nigeria’s national budget is among the least transparent in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet under the country’s federal governance system, spending at the national level is only part of the story. The effectiveness of state governments — and the transparency and accountability of state budgets — are crucial. So how transparent and participatory are state budgets in Nigeria? IBP’s Ryan Flynn explores the findings of a new report from our partners at Nigeria’s Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC).

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New IBP Publications


A Guide to Conducting Social Audits in South Africa

South Africa Social Audit Guide

This guide aims to help community activists and civil society organizations (CSOs) in South Africa to think about, conduct, and reflect on social audits. Other stakeholders, such as government officials, may also find it useful for understanding the social audit process.

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Monitoring Public Procurement in South Africa: A Reference Guide for Civil Society Organizations

south africa government procurement

This guide presents CSOs and other interested readers with information on how to monitor public procurement in South Africa. The assumption is that robust public oversight of government procurement will ultimately improve service delivery, reduce corruption, and improve how public funds are managed.

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Devolution in Kenya: The Establishment of County Budget and Economic Forums

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In Kenya County Budget and Economic Forums (CBEFs) are a key institution for engaging the public in budgeting and economic development. This paper assesses whether CBEFs in four counties — Kericho, Kwale, Kisumu and Taita Taveta — are fulfilling their public participation mandate and provides a set of recommendations for improving CBEF operations that is relevant to all Kenyan counties.

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Case Studies

The International Budget Partnership’s case study research seeks to collect and analyze evidence of civil society’s impact on government budget processes and policies; deepen our understanding of how and when such impact occurs; and assist CSOs around the world to replicate such work in their country. We released three new case studies in December 2015:

Uganda: Winning Human Resources for Health

This case study recounts how a coalition of CSOs came together around the goal of bolstering staff at health facilities in Uganda, enlisting the support of sympathetic parliamentarians and government officials to win new funding for the sector.

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Uganda: Aligning Local and National Concern for Maternal Health

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This case study recounts how the White Ribbon Alliance Uganda pursued a multipronged strategy that combined grassroots activism with high level lobbying to win greater and more effective spending on maternal health.

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Maternal Health in Tanzania: Stuck Between Public Promises and Budgetary Realities

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This case study recounts the successes and setbacks of the White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania’s campaign to win greater transparency of maternal health spending and hold the government to account for the commitments it made to improve maternal health.

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Further Reading From the Field

  • CSOs Holding Governments to Account, a new report from the Governance and Social Development Resource Center (GSDRC), summarizes the range of interventions used by more than 30 CSOs to increase government accountability in different sectors and contexts.
  • The Institute for Socioeconomic Studies’ (INESC) Thematic Budget Implementation Guidelines is a new resource for social movements and organizations interested in using budget monitoring as a social participation and advocacy tool.
  • A new interactive guide from the World Bank Group and Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (Civil Association for Equality and Justice, or ACIJ) offers tools and information on how citizens can engage with supreme audit institutions to enhance external oversight of government.
  • Public participation in fiscal processes is a relatively new phenomenon. A new paper from the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) presents a diverse set of examples of effective participatory mechanisms, and synthesizes lessons of good practice.
  • BudgIT Nigeria,with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), implemented the Ebola Fund Watch project to research, analyze, and track how funds are used to fight the Ebola virus. The Ebola Fund Watch Regional Report examines how funds earmarked for Ebola containment in West Africa have been used.
  • In an article for the Open Government Partnership Blog, Mark Robinson, Global Director of Governance at the World Resources Institute, explains why budget transparency is crucial for ensuring the effectiveness of public expenditures for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Job Announcements

IBP Program Officer for Latin America, Open Budget Initiative

The Program Officer will coordinate and monitor the implementation of IBP’s biennial Open Budget Survey and conduct priority research on budget transparency for a subset of countries.

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