Links Roundup: News and Analysis on Transparency, Budgets, and More



Counties Not Giving Enough Information, Study Shows (Standard Digital)

  • This article talks about the dearth in the budget information that counties in Kenya are making available to the public online, citing primarily a recent IBP Kenya brief.

SEND-Ghana Gives Government a Thumbs up on Budget Transparency (SPY Ghana)

  • At a recent event in Ghana on post-2015 and the OBS Tracker, SEND-Ghana commended the government for its budget transparency and called for greater public participation and expenditure monitoring.

Transparency in Brazil (Development Initiatives)

  • This brief presents the domestic environment for transparency, access to information, and open data in Brazil, including substantial discussion of budget transparency.

IMF Publishes Fiscal Transparency Evaluation for Romania (International Monetary Fund)

  • Some 15 of the 36 dimensions in the IMF’s Fiscal Transparency Code are rated as good or advanced, 15 dimensions are rated as basic, and 6 regarded as yet to be achieved. This reflects progress made in public financial management reform since 2010.

Finland: Fiscal Transparency Evaluation (International Monetary Fund)

  • Finland meets most of the principles of the IMF’s Fiscal Transparency Code at good or advanced level. Some areas, notably related to the analysis and management of fiscal risks, are still rated as basic or below, but with a few exceptions the importance of these areas for fiscal management in Finland is relatively low.

Following the Money 2015: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data (USPIRG)

  • The report finds that U.S. states continue to make progress toward comprehensive, one-stop, one-click transparency and accountability for state government spending. Over the past year, many states have launched new and improved websites to better open the books on public spending, or have adopted new practices to further expand citizens’ access to critical spending information. Some states, however, still have a long way to go.


Budgets and Public Finance

Budgeting in the Real World: Response to Gilad Isaacs (Daily Maverick)

Kenya: State Corporations Under the Devolved Budget (All Africa)

  • This article argues that going forward in the Kenyan budget reform process, some substantial reform of state corporations is required to streamline both revenue as well as functional responsibilities between the national and county governments. Mentions IBP Kenya and recent publications.

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Pioneering Participatory Budgeting (American City & County)

  • This article discusses how Vallejo, California, has become the first municipality in the country to adopt participatory budgeting on a citywide scale and decided how $2.4 million of the city’s budget would be spent.

Why Context Matters in Public Finance Management Reforms (Governance for Development Blog)

  • This post emphasizes how the context of public finance management reforms has profound implications for work in development.

Presenting Public Finance Just Got Easier (OpenSpending)

  • This article announces and explains how CKAN, the data handling software suite which powers and other open data portals across the world, has been significantly upgraded and can open up new opportunities for existing and coming deployments.


Post-2015 and Development


Patterns of Progress on the MDGs and Implications for Target Setting Post-2015 (Overseas Development Institute)

  • This paper argues that in order to bridge the gap between expectations and achievements in the new MDGs, it is essential to maintain the power of a unified set of goals while bringing in greater sensitivity to national realities.

Leaving No One Behind: How the SDGs Can Bring Real Change (Development Progress)

  • This report argues that more detail is needed on what “leave no one behind” means for implementation of the SDGs, specifically to define the actions needed to “leave no one behind” and to provide the right framework to monitor success in the SDGs.

Measuring Development: Why Statistics Matter (Transparency International)

  • Transparency International and Saferworld have been working recently to identify the relevant statistical indicators – the monitoring framework – to achieve goal 16 of the SDGs: “peaceful and inclusive societies, justice for all, and open and accountable government institutions.”

Proposed SDG Governance Indicators: Rule of Law or Simply Rule? (Permanent Observer Blog)

  • This blog post highlights some important points about the specifically political elements of goal 16 of the SDGs.

Improving Delivery in Development: The Role of Voice, Social Contract, and Accountability (World Bank)

  • This volume argues that the consistent integration of voice, social contract, and accountability into both the design and the implementation of development efforts is indispensable if successful outcomes are to result.


Governance and Civil Society

How to Stop Extremism Before It Starts (Foreign Policy)

  • In the global fight against violent extremism, a major element has been missing from the conversation that has focused on mostly top-down, official efforts: how ordinary citizens and communities are successfully challenging the acute corruption that drives young people and others into the folds of radicals, for example through social audits.

Social Media and Governance (GSDRC)

  • This brief addresses the question of the impact of social media on governance of social, political, and economic bodies, contending that social media has a lot of potential to be used for governance purposes, but that this is not capitalized on in most contexts. It includes an annotated bibliography on social media and governance as related to political participation, transparency and accountability, peacebuilding, the private sector, and internal governance.

A Workshop on Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives and Governance: What Did We Learn and Where to Go from Here? (Transparency and Accountability Initiative)

  • This article provides a thorough summary of a workshop convened by T/AI on international multistakeholder initiatives addressing public governance issues, particularly related to government transparency and accountability.

Advocating for Civil Society Space in 2015 (Huffington Post)

  • In this article, the CEO of InterAction argues that as dialogue among member states for the post-2015 agenda begins, advocating for civil society space and voice will remain one of the leading priorities.


Upcoming Events

“Impact, So What?”: FBL BackTalk with Accountability Lab (Feedback Labs)

  • Join Accountability Lab and Feedback Labs at the Open Gov Hub for a discussion on monitoring and measuring impact in transparency and accountability work. This event will take place on 31 March 2015 from 12:30-2:00 pm (EST) in Washington, D.C.
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