IBP Reports and Key Papers

Transparency for Development: Examining the Relationship Between Budget Transparency, MDG Expenditure, and Results

November 2014

Using new datasets on public expenditure and budget transparency, this paper examines the relationship between budget transparency, budget allocations, and outcomes towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

County Budget and Economic Forums (CBEFs) and Public Participation in Kenya

November 2014

Drawing on primary research into five counties in Kenya, this paper looks at how CBEFs are working and how they can be improved.

Tracking Climate Change Funding: Learning from Gender-Responsive Budgeting

August 2014

This paper looks at what budgeting for climate change initiatives can learn from gender-responsive budgeting (GRB).

The Hidden Corners of Public Finance: A Synthesis of Country Case Studies that Look Beyond the Core Budget

June 2014

This report gives an overview of eight case studies commissioned by the International Budget Partnership that examine public spending that can occur outside of the core budget.

Toward Better County Fiscal Strategy Papers in Kenya: A Review

June 2014

This joint report will help assembly members and the public to better understand the flow of the budget process, and what information they should be demanding in order to be able to properly review the county budget proposal.

Judicial Reviews: An Innovative Mechanism to Enforce Human Rights in Latin America

February 2014

This report focuses on three successful cases from Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico, where the judiciary made innovative rulings to restore and enforce the right to education, to an adequate policy for internally displaced people, and to health.

Turning Children’s Rights into Children’s Realities

February 2014

This report discusses the relevance of budget transparency and participation for the realization of children’s rights. It also draws attention to recent research on budget transparency and participation that was conducted in relation to key child nutrition interventions in five African countries.

Learning By Doing: Toward Better County Budgets in 2014/15

December 2013

This report analyzes 2013/14 county budgets in Kenya to encourage learning for the 2014/15 budget cycle. Highlighted in the report are twelve major challenges in these budgets along with recommendations for resolving them.

Transparency for What? The Usefulness of Publicly Available Budget Information in African Countries

December 2013

This report considers whether the budget documents released by African governments are sufficiently comprehensive to answer basic questions about budget policy and performance. It spotlights those African governments surveyed in the Open Budget Survey with the strongest transparency records.

Greasing the Wheels of the Accountability System: How Civil Society Organizations Close the Gap between Transparency and Accountability

October 2013

This paper addresses the most critical question for activists and scholars of accountability: how and when does transparency lead to greater accountability? Civil society organizations (CSOs), development practitioners, and governments have given much attention to the publication of government information over the past decade, but their assumption that this would lead to greater accountability has often been disappointed.

Joint Brief on Participation in Kenya's New Public Financial Management Law

September 2012

This Brief reflects the concerns of a broad range of civil society organizations about the implementation of Kenya’s new Public Financial Management Act, signed into law by the President in July 2012.

Linking the Budget to Policy Implementation: the Case of the Lands Sector

June 2012

This is the short version of the report Budgeting for Land Reform: Ensuring People's Participation. It includes the main findings and recommendations.

Left in the Dark: Parastatal Loans in South Africa

March 2012

Parastatal loans, transfers of public funds to government-owned enterprises, represent 12 percent of South Africa's annual GDP. Despite South Africa's high level of budget transparency, there are few ways to know what happens to these funds once they are disbursed.

Resource Dependence and Budget Transparency

July 2011

Are natural resource abundance and opaque budgets inextricably linked? The Open Budget Survey 2008 — a comprehensive evaluation of budget transparency in 85 countries — finds that resource-dependent countries tend to be less transparent than countries that are not resource dependent.

Opening Budgets in Mexico Helps Open Care Options for New Mothers

July 2011

This case study focuses on the use of budget information that was previously unavailable to the public to identify a lack of funding for emergency obstetric care throughout Mexico.

Taking the State to Court: CELS Uses Strategic Litigation to Access Public Information and Advance Human Rights in Argentina

July 2011

This paper examines how the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) developed a strategic litigation plan — using international legal instruments and provisions — to demand access to government information by defining that access as a human right.

Social Audits in Kenya: Budget Transparency and Accountability

July 2011

The activities of Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI), a civil society organization based in Mombasa, Kenya, demonstrate the significant role budget transparency plays in improving accountability. At the same time, MUHURI’s impact has been restricted by the lack of a Freedom of Information law in Kenya, along with other broad transparency challenges in the country.

The End of Insurance? Mexico's Seguro Popular, 2001-2007

June 2011

Health system reforms that introduce insurance principles into public health systems have been popular in the last two decades. Little is known, however, about the political complexities of transforming existing health services into health insurance systems in developing countries. This article fills that lacuna, offering an assessment of the reform context as well as of the process of formulating, adopting, and implementing it.

Open Budgets, Sustainable Democracies: A Spotlight on the Middle East and North Africa

June 2011

The International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Survey 2010 reveals that, with an average Open Budget Index score of 23 out of 100, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the lowest scoring region in terms of budget transparency and accountability. Even though some MENA countries have begun to undertake public finance management reforms, they should use the Open Budget Survey results to emphasize budget transparency and accountability as an essential component of good governance.

Measuring and Promoting Budget Transparency: The Open Budget Index and a Research and Advocacy Tool

June 2011

This article introduces the Open Budget Index (OBI), a tool based on surveys by independent researchers that compares key budget information published by governments across the world. Data from the 2010 survey covering 94 countries reveal that on average the state of budget transparency around the world is poor.

Toward Accountability for Resources: Independent Budget Monitoring of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health Commitments

May 2011

As part of the Ask Your Government! Initiative, the International Budget Partnership, in collaboration with the Maternal Health Task Force, produced this paper to provide an overview of how civil society groups and citizens can use independent budget analysis to hold their governments accountable for pledges made under the United Nations Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.

Documents You Can Use: What The Open Budget Survey 2010 Tells Us About the Global State of Transparency

March 2011

This article explains the importance of budget transparency and analyzes the results of the International Budget Partnership’s recent 2010 Open Budget Survey (OBS). Drawing on OBS findings from previous years, this article concludes that, while the current state of transparency is dismal, the trajectory is positive.

Enforcing Accountability through Budget Transparency and Citizen Participation in the Budget Process

January 2011

IBP Presentation at the Partership for Maternal Newborn and Children's Health Forum in New Delhi

The International Budget Partnership (IBP) participated in the 2010 Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health forum held in New Delhi, India with the presentation “Enforcing Accountability through Budget Transparency and Citizen Participation in the Budget Process, ”which was one of the few that discussed the importance of citizen participation and access to public budget information as a precondition to fulfill government's commitments to improving maternal, newborn, and child health.

Ask Your Government! Initiative

January 2011

Fact Sheet

This fact sheet summarizes the findings of the Ask Your Government! Initiative where 100 civil society organizations asked their governments for specific budget information relating to key international development commitments in 80 countries.

Submission to the European Commission's Green Paper on the Future of Budget Support to Third Countries

January 2011

In a submission to the EC, the IBP and Global Witness propose ways that Europe can provide support to developing countries that promote budget transparency and check corruption.

Practical Approaches to the Aid Effectiveness Agenda

July 2010

Evidence in Aligning Aid Information With Recipient Country Budgets

The paper, written by the Overseas Development Institute, documents similarities in how aid is treated in the national budgets of 14 aid-recipient countries, offers a generic system for classifying the amount and use of aid, and recommends strategies for increasing the transparency of aid information.

International Budget Partnership 2010 Annual Report

March 2010

Learn about the IBP’s initiatives and collaboration with its civil society partners last year to open budgets and transform lives, including the global release of the Open Budget Survey 2010, the ramping up of the Partnership Initiative to full scale, and the launch of the Mentoring Governments program.

The Missing Link: Applied Budget Work as a Tool to Hold Governments Accountable for Maternal Mortality Reduction Commitments

May 2009

International Initiative on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights

This brief explores the relevance of civil society budget analysis and advocacy as a tool to hold governments accountable for their maternal mortality reduction commitments.

IBP Partner HakiElimu Raises the Level of Education Debate in Tanzania

February 2009

This short case study describes how HakiElimu combined budget analysis and advocacy with media outreach to improve the debate over how to best educate children in Tanzania.

Responding to the Challenges of Supreme Audit Institutions: Can Legislatures and Civil Society Help?

January 2009

Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This paper explores the challenges that supreme audit institutions (SAIs) face when trying to evaluate the expenditures and performance of government agencies, and suggests how SAIs can overcome some of them by forming and strengthening alliances with parliaments and civil society.