SPARK is currently operating in seven countries: Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa. IBP’s role varies in each specific context but always includes a mix of financial and technical assistance and peer engagement, supplemented by additional research and advocacy support to catalyze sustainable change.
The SPARK model includes working across five key components within a country’s context to:
- Strengthen our partners’ capacity to engage in fiscal governance. IBP will identify and engage with existing organizations of marginalized actors to support their efforts through coalition building, training and more.
- Support and create reform coalitions. IBP and partners will join existing coalitions or broker new ones that are aligned with SPARK objectives.
- Accountability ecosystem. IBP and partners will explore opportunities to leverage accountability actors and mechanisms, including Supreme Audit Institutions, media, parliament, etc. in order to complement citizen collective action.
- Enhance participation opportunities and information disclosure in the fiscal system. IBP and partners will negotiate and support government actors to improve mechanisms for citizen participation and the dissemination of information that enables citizens to engage in budget processes and service delivery.
- Change Norms and Ideas. IBP and partners will contribute to shifting narratives and ideas around citizen access to budget processes and priorities.
Given the new approach of SPARK, along with the critical challenges we’re taking on, learning will be a key factor in the success of our work. To ensure we maximize our learnings, IBP has formed a partnership with the Institute of Development Studies and Accountability Research called Learning with SPARK (LwS). The partnership will embed researchers in each SPARK country to generate insights, ask questions and facilitate regular reflection. LwS also brings together experts from the fields of accountability, civic participation, service delivery and public finance to help distill lessons for the SPARK program and the broader field.