Evidence for Change: The Case of Subsidios al Campo in Mexico

By Guillermo M. Cejudo (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas).

This case study was updated in 2013. The full version and short summary are available in English.

The Subsidios al Campo campaign used Mexico’s freedom of information laws to obtain official data on the recipients of agricultural subsidies, and then published the data online. Its analysis brought a large amount of new information into the public domain, and managed to shift the debate about agricultural subsidies from a focus on their overall size to a discussion of how equitably they were being distributed, challenging a powerful agricultural industry in the process.

The full version (July 2012), short summary (July 2012), and one-page summary (July 2012) of this case study are available in English. The short summary version (July 2012) is also available in Spanish, French, and Arabic.

Citizens as Partners: A Handbook on Information, Consultation, and Public Participation in Policy Making

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.

The Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on the Budgets of Low-Income Countries

The global economic crisis created a huge budget revenue hole of US$ 65 billion of which aid has filled only one-third. As a result many Low Income Countries (LICs) are cutting Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)-related spending (especially on education and social protection), applying for expensive domestic loans, and increasing anti-poor sales taxes. The report explores what 56 LICs did in 2009 and plan to do in 2010 to fight the crisis, protect the poorest, and revive progress toward the MDGs. The report also urges: 1) the international community to make new aid commitments at the Millennium Summit in September 2010, 2) the International Monetary Fund to encourage LICs to spend more on achieving the MDGs, on combating climate change, and to report regularly on such spending, and 3) LIC governments to increase spending on social protection and education; increase in taxes on income, property, and foreign investors; and fight tax avoidance.

MKSS Undertakes Social Audits in India

This case study discusses how the MKSS, a social movement in India, uses social audits to engage local communities in holding their government accountable for the effective and efficient use of public resources.