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Delaine McCullough
Head of climate finance accountability   




While the attention of the world is largely focused on how governments are mobilizing resources for post-COVID recovery, hundreds of billions of dollars are also being deployed globally to address the causes and impacts of climate breakdown. And just as for COVID resources, it is critical that government responses to the climate crisis, particularly how money is raised and spent, are transparent and accountable – and address the needs of those most impacted. We know that developing countries and marginalized communities disproportionately bear the brunt of climate change. Those experiencing poverty often live in poorly constructed homes in high-risk areas; rely heavily on natural resources for food, fuel, and income; and have little capacity to respond to climate hazards because of existing structural inequalities. These impacts are further heightened for women and people with disabilities who face exclusion and discrimination in society. The massive amounts of money mobilized to respond to climate change can either work to reduce poverty or—if mismanaged—perpetuate the widening chasm between the haves and have-nots.  

We have been working with our partners to understand how we can support their engagement in climate finance decision-making and oversight to ensure they can influence government choices and bolster accountability. We’ve learned that many of our partners are ahead of the game on this front. Freedom Forum in Nepal has been tracking expenditures of a government program designed to help smallholder farmers. While the program has been largely effective, they discovered that funds were not reaching the most marginalized farmers and instead were benefiting those with political connections. That’s important for the government to know and information that only civil society groups monitoring spending on-the-ground can provide. In two of our recently published reports, we learned that Bangladesh and Mexico have made significant progress including climate change and gender equality perspectives in their budget planning, but progress is needed to better integrate and complement the two approaches. This is fertile ground for civil society to engage with government on, both in terms of priority-setting and providing key information.  

Climate finance accountability – alongside gender-responsive budgeting – will affect and influence other areas of our work and is the next big frontier for public finance management. Watch this space as we share how civil society partners are pushing their governments to build more resilient and just societies, responsively and transparently.  

In this section, we shine a spotlight on partners who are using budget advocacy to bring transformational change to their communities. This month, we talk with Dr. Sandra Guzmán, founder and global agenda coordinator at the Climate Finance Group for Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Learn more about Dr. Guzmán's climate finance and accountability work here.


SAVE THE DATE: the launch of our special Covid report – May 12, 2021, 9 – 10:30 a.m. EST: Join us and representatives from the International Monetary Fund, government, the audit community and civil society for a virtual discussion on the findings from an assessment of the transparency and accountability of emergency fiscal policy packages in 120 countries. Keep an eye on your inbox for more details and registration information… coming soon.

  • On the CABRI blog IBP’s Delaine McCullough argues that public accountability is essential for tackling climate change in Africa and explores Inclusive Budgeting and Finance for Climate Change in Africa, an initiative focused on promoting stronger links between climate change policy and government budgets. 
  • In the Manila Times, the President of the Philippines discussed the state of budget transparency in the country citing their performance on IBP’s Open Budget Survey. In the 2019 survey, the Philippines remains the most fiscally transparent country in Southeast Asia, ranking 10th worldwide. 
  • IBP’s Abraham Rugo appeared before a hearing of Kenya’s Finance and Budget Committee and was quoted extensively in a Business Daily Africa article on the need for the Senate and counties to be involved in the discussion on national borrowing. 
  • Modern Ghana article highlighted IBP’s partnership on a project aimed at promoting the participation of mining affected communities in the utilization of mineral revenues allocated to them. 


In partnership with the International Institute for Environment and Development, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Grupo de Financiamiento Climático para América Latina y el Caribe and ActionAid Bangladesh, IBP has published Tackling gender inequality and climate change through the budget. This synthesis paper reviews the state of gender-responsive climate change budgeting and the extent that countries are integrating gender, climate and the gender effects of climate change into budget policy. How Mexico and Bangladesh approach these issues is summarized in the synthesis piece and explored in depth in separate papers.  
  • April 27, 2021, 8:30 – 10:00 AM EDT, Using Open Government to Deliver on COVID-19 Vaccines: During World Immunization Week, the Open Government Partnership will host a cross-sector conversation, which aims to surface open government approaches that can be incorporated into immunization policies. More information is available here.
  • Call for papers: The organizers of the sessions on Public Finance in Developing Countries at this year’s National Tax Association conference, are looking for paper or session proposals. The conference is scheduled for November 18-20, 2021, and you can submit until May 31, 2021. More details are available here
  • Over the last two years, IBP been running – in partnership with the Thunderbird School of Global Management - a Leadership Development Initiative designed at building the next generation of leaders in the budget field. On April 21, 2021, these participants from our partner organizations around the world, officially graduated from the program. IBP is proud of these future leaders and inspired by their dedication to building resilience and sustainability in civil society budget organizations.
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