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Austin Ndiokwelu, Country Manager, Nigeria
 
Launched in 2018, our Strengthening Public Accountability for Results and Knowledge (SPARK) program is a bold attempt to link budgets to grassroots, community-based campaigns and social movements.  

We are exceptionally proud of the wide array of partners the program has brought into the budget space, like the Small-Holder Women Farmers of Nigeria. These groups have impressive organizing power; now they also have a set of capacities and allies to identify, engage, and ultimately influence government budget decisions, including on spending and prioritization.

Currently, we are focused on synthesizing the lessons we have learned and leveraging them to draft new goals for the next five years. We hope to expand our focus on the systemic weaknesses that result in inadequate public resources and services for marginalized groups, such as poorly structured budgets, weak accounting systems, or poor cash management systems. As we expand our mission, IBP country teams will continue to support grassroots movements, alongside budget-focused civil society organizations, to anchor systemic change. IBP will promote an enabling environment for shared understanding, trust, joint problem solving, and mutual accountability. While the challenges are great, we are encouraged by the successes we've seen thus far and are confident that we have the right tools to expand our mandate.

We’re excited to share with you what we have learned so far. We invite you to read the three learning briefs below and share your reflections on them.
Our SPARK initiative partners with large, powerful civic organizations and social movements to help them understand the fiscal challenges behind poor service delivery and equip them with the tools necessary to advocate for improved public spending. To maximize our learnings, we formed a partnership with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the Accountability Research Center called Learning with SPARK (LwS) to generate insights, ask questions and facilitate regular reflection.

In a three-part learning series, we explore how SPARK has built the capabilities of grassroots groups to collectively engage with fiscal governance systems – the politics, institutions, policies, and processes that govern the use of public funds and how they are utilized and implemented accountably to provide services. The learning briefs below draw key insights from a series of learning papers produced under the LwS program with IDS.
Let us know what you think about these learnings by tweeting your thoughts to @OpenBudgets or e-mailing us at info@internationalbudget.org.
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 Astou Mbengue, lead data collector for the Senegalese Federation of Inhabitants (FSH). Read the full interview.
Our LATERAL project documents how Latin American governments are managing tax expenditures and offers recommendations for reforms for greater transparency and accountability of tax expenditures.
 
Eka Iakobishvili from the Open Society Foundation shows how civil society can advance transparency and participation in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) in this new Open Budgets blog.

The 2021 OGP Global Summit will take place December 15-17 and key themes this year will include civic space and public participation, anti-corruption, and inclusive digital innovation. Registration is now open. 

Read about the work that the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) is doing with Global Data Barometer on tracking and using open public finance data

Caroline Gibu from our partner Ciudadanos al Día in Peru argues for the need for greater transparency and accountability of tax expenditures in this El Comercio article. 


The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has released a new report on national and local budget transparency, participation, and oversight.

Find out more about the challenges of conducting real-time audits of public spending and what is needed to move toward a real-time auditing.

Help us spread the word. Share this email, with others! Tell them to subscribe. Let’s work for change. Together.
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