Collaborating for Open and Accountable Budgets
As we have seen in the Open Budget Survey, far too many countries do not have enough access to information, channels for public participation, or adequate oversight in their budget process. We need an all hands-on-deck approach—civil society, oversight actors, and government working together to make public spending more accountable to public needs.
The Collaborating for Open and Accountable Budgets (COAB) initiative strengthens the capacity of civil society groups in 23 countries (Afghanistan, Armenia, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, East Timor, El Salvador, Honduras, Ivory Coast, The Gambia, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia) to actively engage in budget processes and advocate for more transparent, inclusive, and accountable public budgeting. This effort involves training and advocacy support for a diverse pool of organizations, including faith-based organizations, youth groups, media-focused organizations, and civil society organizations focused on health, women’s rights, and anti-corruption. The project is implemented with support from the European Commission.
IBP was a real wealth of information for me and helped me wrap my head around the big picture of proper management of a country’s finances and the challenges citizens face. There were also inspiring case studies about citizens who successfully engaged government and held it accountable. IBP became my classroom and continues to be a valuable resource for me.
– Jeanette Calder, Jamaica Accountability
Meter Portal, Jamaica
Open Budget Survey
Civil society researchers collaborate on the Open Budget Survey to identify gaps in transparency and participation practices in their country. Our partners leverage this data to inform their goals and monitor progress as they advocate for their governments to pursue more open budget practices.
Our foundational online learning platform introduces organizations to some of the basic concepts and tools of budget work. Participants examine how adding a budget lens to their work adds value; familiarize themselves with the country's budget process and basic budget information; discuss the different budget actors, outlining the power and relationships between them; and examine the importance of accessing policy and budget information and channels for participation. To date there are more than 450 enrolled participants, representing 241 civil society organizations, who have generated some 2,250 comments and inputs on the platform. The online course complements our in-person training.
The International Budget Partnership has built deep relationships with civil society partners in 17 countries where we provide advocacy support. We collaborate with partners to connect their agendas with the legislative, budget, and media cycles in their countries. They also learn to use the budget information that is available to drive reforms in other priority areas, such as education, gender equity, debt, etc. We strengthen engagement between civil society and governments, and leverage connections with international partners and initiatives to secure, document, and follow up on government commitments.