“The heart of civil society budget work is to engage and mobilize the public by showing how budget numbers relate to issues that affect people’s daily lives – from public health to education to wealth distribution. A special priority is assuring that public funds are used to meet the basic needs of society, especially the needs of the poor.”
Democracy Center, Bolivia
Governments translate their policy goals into action through the budget, so engaging in budget analysis and advocacy (referred to here as “budget work”) is one of the most effective ways for civil society organizations (CSOs) to influence decisions about public policies and programs. Since the 1990s, there has been an explosion of interest among NGOs, civil society groups, and citizens around the world in engaging in budget issues, through a mix of analysis, public education, and advocacy.
So what’s the first step?
The International Budget Partnership’s website is the perfect place for CSOs to get started doing budget work. This section of the IBP website will go over the basics of public budgeting and introduce you to what you need to know to effectively participate in all stages of the budget process and hold your government accountable for managing the public’s money.
Knowledge is the first step in getting started on budget work. While public budgets may seem complex at first, the IBP offers various resources to help you and your organizations to participate meaningfully in all the stages of the budget process.
In Getting Started you will learn about:
- The budget cycle
- Why the budget is important, and why CSOs should get involved in budget work
- How to get started doing in budget work
- Who is involved throughout the budget process, e.g., legislators, community members, the media
Once individuals and organizations understand the basics of how budget processes work, they can learn how to use budget analysis and advocacy to more effectively pursue such goals as improving health care and education and reducing poverty.
Did you know?
The International Budget Partnership (IBP) bimonthly newsletter features news from civil society budget groups from around the world, articles by budget experts on current public finance issues, updates on the IBP’s activities, and links to relevant resources to help you get started. Sign-up for the International Budget Partnership’s newsletter today!
One of the most powerful civil society advocacy strategies is to use budget analysis, monitoring, and advocacy to try to change what the government spends the public’s money on, and how effectively it spends those funds to address critical issues. So how do you get started? Play the International Budget Partnership’s e-learning game!