The International Budget Partnership, in collaboration with the Maternal Health Task Force, produced this paper as part of the Ask Your Government! Initiative. It provides 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. While the document focuses on those commitments that relate to maternal health it hopes to contribute to the accountability efforts of the child health community.
By Peter Spink (Center for Studies in Public Management and Government and the Getuilio Vargas Foundation School of Business Administration).
When a coalition of civil society organizations began to pry into the finances of Brazil’s powerful national development bank, it challenged the status quo and advanced the call for a more transparent, balanced, and democratic economic policy.
The one page summary, short summary, and full version of this case study are available in English. The short summary case study is available in French and Spanish.
December 2015 | By Peter Bofin
On paper, Tanzania is committed to reducing maternal, newborn, and child deaths. In practice, however, women giving birth often lack access to the basic obstetric care needed to prevent avoidable fatalities.
The White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) Tanzania has been dedicated to advocating for better maternal health for years. When they discovered that even experts find it impossible to determine how much districts in Tanzania spend on maternal health, they started a campaign targeting key players in the budgetary process. The campaign aimed to win greater transparency of maternal health spending and to get the government to uphold its commitment to provide emergency obstetric health procedures in half of all local health centers.
A number of important lessons emerge from WRA Tanzania’s campaign: the need to aim for achievable and measurable targets gleaned from broad public commitments; the usefulness of marshaling evidence; and the strengths of planning a multi-level campaign through power analysis. But the case study offers warnings too – notably the importance of critically evaluating how promises can be feasibly implemented given the requirements and restrictions imposed by the budgetary process itself.
In this video three IBP partners share their compelling stories of how they used budget analysis and monitoring to improve government spending and policies to help the poorest and most marginalized people in their country.
Learn more about the Open Budget Survey 2012 and why budget transparency is important.