While improvements in budget transparency, participation, and accountability are driven primarily by stakeholders within individual countries, there is increasing evidence that both pressure and support from external actors contribute significantly to governments’ decisions to undertake improvements.
It is promising then that, in addition to this growth in civil society interest, most major multilateral and bilateral donor agencies understand the importance of open budgets for aid effectiveness, and are committed to supporting governments – and increasingly civil society – in efforts around this. Their interest is shared by many legislators and auditors who are eager to have access to data and oversight opportunities to fulfill their constitutional mandates.
The pressure from these internal and external stakeholders has contributed to an increasing number of governments showing that open budgeting is possible in a wide range of environments.
However, many challenges remain, and so the IBP has increased its work at the international level in addition to its work with civil society organizations within countries. These global initiatives include:
- The Ask Your Government! Initiative – a cross-country study of the public availability of specific budget information related to international development commitments in 80 countries
- Global Civil Society Movement for Budget Transparency, Accountability, and Participation – an effort to catalyze a unified international civil society coalition on budget transparency, participation and accountability
- International norms and standards for open budgeting – a multi-stakeholder initiative to convene leaders from multiple sectors in working toward a set of global norms for budget transparency, engagement, and accountability.