From the Open Budgets Blog
Productive, collaborative relationships with the executive arm of government are crucial to effective civil society budget advocacy. This essay from IBP’s 2015 Annual Report looks at what we are learning from our experiences in South Africa and Kenya about the nature of working with “the executive,” which actually comprises a complex mix of political and technical leadership.
As an advocacy tool, strategic litigation can be a risky and resource-intensive endeavor. Yet it can often be the most effective, and in some cases viable, option for CSOs seeking social change. This post explores some of the opportunities and pitfalls of strategic litigation and offers eight practical tips for CSOs to consider when heading to court.
Budget Advocacy in Action: Social Justice Coalition Campaign to Improve Sanitation Results in 3,000 Submissions to the City of Cape Town’s Budget
The provision of safe, clean, and adequate sanitation services by the City of Cape Town, South Africa, has long been a concern for residents of the informal settlements surrounding the city. This post recounts how the Social Justice Coalition and Ndifuna Ukwazi rallied residents to tackle this issue through the city’s budget process. Their approach involved educating residents, analyzing the budget, and a layered training of trainers, which allowed the campaign to extend the reach of its limited resources.
New IBP Publications
Using data from the last four rounds of the Open Budget Survey, this paper examines countries whose scores place them in the middle of the Open Budget Index to understand how they can increase their scores above 60 — a rough benchmark for when a country can be considered to be publishing sufficient budget information to enable informed public discussions on budgetary matters.
This paper reviews five principles of fairness — need, minimum shares, capacity, effort, and efficiency — to determine how they can be applied to distributing public resources in Kenya. Building on this analysis, the authors examine revenue-sharing practices in Kenya, India, and South Africa, drawing lessons from these examples.
Further Reading From the Field
- The Governance and Social Development Resource Centre’s Public Financial Management Evidence Mapping reviews the effect that public financial management interventions have had on outcomes in low- and middle-income countries.
- Making Budgets Attractive: Best Practices from Government’s Financial Transparency Portals, a new report from OpenBudgets EU presents some emerging best practices for open spending portals.
- Watch a recording of the Global Partnership for Social Accountability Knowledge Platform webinar Reframing Public Finance: Promoting Justice, Democracy and Human Rights in Government Budgets featuring IBP’s Paolo de Renzio and Fundar’s Javier Garduño.
- Political Determinants of Fiscal Transparency: A Panel Data Empirical Investigation uses data from the International Monetary Fund database on fiscal reporting to examine the determinants of fiscal transparency in 36 countries from 2003 to 2013.
In August IBP released an update to the Open Budget Survey 2015 which includes fresh data on whether national governments in the 102 countries surveyed publish each of the eight key budget documents on time as per international standards. The data for this update reflect developments that occurred up to 30 April 2016. IBP and its partners encourage governments to use the findings from this interim update to guide budget transparency reforms in the final quarter of 2016.
View current job openings at the International Budget Partnership here.