Norms & Standards

The International Budget Partnership’s international advocacy program aims to leverage our global relationships and maximize the opportunities we have as a participant in various international forums to foster a global environment that supports open and accountable budgets throughout the world. Establishing a set of global norms on budget transparency and participation is an important part of our international advocacy work. Norms provide a common understanding of the reforms that are needed to make progress. They also help local and international CSOs to collectively drive change and call out governments that are falling behind. While there is still much work to be done, progress toward realizing a widely supported set of global norms has so far exceeded our expectations.

Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency

IBP, along with a wide range of actors and institutions involved in public financial management, formed the multistakeholder Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) to develop and establish international norms for budget transparency and participation. In addition to establishing clear global standards, GIFT is also focused on mobilizing the incentives and opportunities for governments to meet these standards.

The power of GIFT lies in the diversity of the perspectives it unites in common cause. CSOs, governments, donors, international finance institutions, and professional associations meet under GIFT’s auspices to grapple with the challenges of each other’s respective roles, with each other’s ideas, and with finding solutions and establishing consensus.

The GIFT process led to a set of 10 high-level principles on budget transparency, participation, and accountability that encompass the perspectives of the many different players involved in budget work. These principles provide a blueprint for realistic and workable reforms to existing global standards that recognize the centrality of open and participatory budgets and have driven significant progress in establishing public participation as a core principle of effective budgeting:

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which advises 188 member states on improving public finance management, has adopted “public participation in budget deliberations” as a new principle in its Fiscal Transparency Code.
  • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has similarly recognized the importance of budget participation in its Principles of Budgetary Governance.

Further Reading