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Claire Schouten, Senior Program Officer

 

Transparent and inclusive budget processes allow people to have their say on budget decisions that impact their lives – from the quality of their healthcare to their housing needs. As we have seen in our Open Budget Survey, however, few governments provide sufficient information and formal channels for public participation in their budget processes. 

That's why we launched a Call to Open Budgets, which urges national governments to provide greater budget transparency; increase public participation; strengthen monitoring and oversight of budget execution; and ensure gains are protected from political changes. We're excited that organizations in more than 100 countries have joined us in this call, uniting around a common goal to ensure government deliberations on budgets are open, inclusive, and accountable. 

Our partners in the call to action are social movements, think tanks, and international NGOs, as well as global bodies such as the United Nations Children’s Fund and the Development Initiative of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions. The widespread support we’ve received shows the importance of open budget practices across many fields – from human rights to health to education.

In calling for change we imagine a different world, one where the public and the government are in active dialogue about the best ways to invest scarce resources in a way that prioritizes people’s needs. To make this vision a reality, we are also engaging with and planning to train more than 180 civil society groups in budget analysis and advocacy in 23 countries through our Collaborating for Open and Accountable Budgets initiative. This initiative holds great promise of expanding the field of advocates who can leverage budget data to drive more transparent and inclusive conversations with their governments and in turn ensure public resources are best used for the public good.

Thank you to all partners for being on this journey with us. Onwards and upwards!
 

JOIN US: EVENT TODAY


 

Governments around the world are mobilizing vast public resources to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. While speed is critical to save lives and limit economic hardships, urgency heightens risk of mismanagement, waste, and corruption.

Inclusive and transparent budget processes are crucial in ensuring public funds earmarked for the pandemic reach those in need. The inclusion of citizens’ voices in budget decisions is particularly pressing given the scale of the pandemic and its widespread impact on people.

In this session, speakers will share powerful examples of transparency and participation in times of crisis and discuss ways to strengthen such practices in the long term.

Simultaneous interpretation will be available in Arabic, French, and Spanish.

SPEAKERS

  • Jeanette Calder, Executive Director, Jamaica Accountability Meter Portal
  • Teresa Rose Curristine, Deputy Division Chief, Fiscal Affairs Department's Public Financial Management (PFM) II Division, International Monetary Fund
  • Ramu Dotel, Deputy Auditor General of Nepal
  • Marr Nyang, Executive Director, Gambia Participates
  • Moderator: Claire Schouten, International Budget Partnership

 


Each month, we shine a spotlight on partners who are using budget advocacy to bring transformational change to their communities. This month, we talked with Rommel Rodríguez, Macroeconomics and Development Area Coordinator, and Jaime López, Transparency Investigator, both from the National Development Foundation (FUNDE) in El Salvador. Read the full interview.

  • Civil society partners across 120 countries worked with IBP on our report, “Managing COVID Funds: The Accountability Gap.” Our advocacy partners in Nepal, The Gambia, and Senegal have published country-specific assessments, in which they offer recommendations for improving transparency and accountability both during and after the crisis.
  • Inclusive Budgeting and Financing for Climate Change in Africa, a new paper published by the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative, synthesizes findings from two climate finance accountability assessments in Ghana and Uganda and related research to make recommendations on strengthening domestic climate finance accountability.
  • With spending cuts on social services announced in South Africa’s Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, this article highlights the need for public participation in budget decisions—for which South Africa scored only 24 out of 100 in the most recent Open Budget Survey.
  • Remember our Budget Trailblazer Sandra Guzmán? Her organization, the Climate Finance Group for Latin America and the Caribbean, will be hosting a week-long conference for climate financing starting October 4. Check out the agenda here.
  • The latest release from Asivikelane reports that informal settlement services, such as water access and refuse removal, across South Africa have stagnated and, in many metro areas, even deteriorated. With 10 million South Africans living in informal settlements, these services should be central to every political party for the upcoming municipal elections.
  • IBP partner BudgIT in Nigeria has launched an online platform to monitor government spending in real time. This new portal simplifies the government’s budget data, including through visualizations, so that civil society, the media, and the public at large can better understand and engage with federal budget data and hold government accountable.
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