On Incentivizing Useful Budget Transparency

April, 2015 | By Stephen Kosack, University of Washington

On Incentivizing Useful Budget TransparencyWhat can international actors do to incentivize budget transparency that increases government accountability? After two decades of excitement at the potential for transparency to improve government responsiveness to citizen needs and demands, one inescapable lesson is that transparency of budgets or anything else does not lead automatically to governments efficiently and effectively responding to their citizens.

This research paper works around three points:

  1. The sort of information that is useful to active citizens and organizations generally varies with particular features of the context.
  2. One comparative advantage international actors—particularly those in the GIFT network—have is distinguishing useful information.
  3. Another comparative advantage international actors have is supporting and rewarding the disclosure of useful information and its use by active citizens.