This paper documents the rapidly growing empirical literature that can plausibly claim to identify causal effects of transparency or participation in budgeting in a variety of contexts. Recent studies convincingly demonstrate that the power of audits travels well beyond the context of initial field-defining studies, consider participatory budgeting beyond Brazil, where such practices were pioneered, and examine previously neglected outcomes, notably revenues and procurement. Overall, the study of the impacts of fiscal openness has become richer and more nuanced. The most well-documented causal effects are positive: lower corruption and enhanced accountability at the ballot box. Moreover, these impacts have been shown to apply across different settings. This research concludes that the empirical case for open government in this policy area is rapidly growing in strength. This paper sets out challenges related to studying national-level reforms; working directly with governments; evaluating systems as opposed to programs; clarifying the relationship between transparency and participation; and understanding trade-offs for reforms in this area. Download the paper.
This paper forms part of the Open Government Partnership’s “The Skeptic’s Guide to Open Government 2022 Edition”.
This guide is intended to help civil society organizations and the Kenyan public to understand finance bills and acts. It is part of IBP Kenya’s series on how to read the various budget documents at the national and county level. Download the guide.
This report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights aims to assist policymakers in improving women’s health and rights by providing guidance on implementing policies and programmes to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity in accordance with human rights standards. It highlights the human rights implications for multiple actors in the policymaking, implementation and review cycle, as well as the need for robust enforcement mechanisms and international assistance and cooperation.
By International Budget Partnership | April 2012
Governments can encourage citizen participation by creating conditions that enable them to participate in a meaningful way. A very important one of these conditions is that all citizens have ready access to government information. Access means not simply physical access to documents, but accessibility. Where the government’s work is highly technical, it is not sufficient to simply make technical documents available. Citizens should have access to information in a language and through formats that ordinary people can understand and appreciate.
This guide is an International Budget Partnership publication for governments seeking practical guidance on how to make their public finance systems more transparent. It follows the Guide to Transparency in Government Budget Reports: Why Are Budget Reports Important and What Should They Include? (2010) and the Guide to Transparency in Public Finances: Looking Beyond the Core Budget (2011). The Power of Making It Simple complements these guides by focusing specifically on Citizens Budgets and offering useful tips to governments interested in developing one.
This handbook, produced by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), is a practitioner’s guide designed for use by government officials in OECD Member and non-member countries. It offers a practical “road map” for building robust frameworks for informing, consulting and engaging citizens during policy-making. The Handbook recognises the great diversity of country contexts, objectives and measures in strengthening government-citizen relations. As a result, it offers no prescriptions or ready-made solutions. Rather, it seeks to clarify the key issues and decisions faced by government officials when designing and implementing measures to ensure access to information, opportunities for consultation and public participation in policy-making in their respective countries.