Join us and our many international and national partners to urge governments to:
Everyone, everywhere should have the opportunity to engage with the budget process in a meaningful way. First launched in 2006, the Open Budget Survey is the world’s only independent, comparative, and fact-based research instrument to measure these essential aspects of governance and accountability:
The survey is not an opinion poll or a measure of perceptions; rather, it is based on a rigorous objective methodology subject to independent peer review.
The Open Budget Survey would not be possible without the partnership of over a hundred civil society organizations and academic institutions across the world. Although the mandates and areas of research by these groups vary widely, all have a common interest in promoting transparent and responsive budgeting practices in their countries.
Survey results are based on 228 questions that remain the same for each country. The survey is conducted by researchers typically based in the respective country. Almost all of the researchers come from civil society organizations (most of whom have a significant focus on budget issues) or academic institutions.
Each country’s completed draft questionnaire is also reviewed by an anonymous independent expert, as well as – in the great majority of cases – a representative of the country’s government.
Participation score: the survey assesses the degree to which the executive, the legislature, and the supreme audit institution each provides opportunities for the public to engage during different cycles of the budget process.
Oversight score: the survey also examines the role that legislatures and supreme audit institutions play in the budget process and the extent to which they are able to provide robust oversight of the budget. Supplementary information on the existence and practice of independent fiscal institutions is also collected by the survey, but these questions are not scored.
Budget transparency score (also known as the Open Budget Index): assesses the public availability of the eight key budget documents, that taken together provide a complete view of how public resources have been raised, planned, and spent during the budget year. To be considered “publicly available”, documents must be published online, in a time-frame consistent with good practices, and must include information that is comprehensive and useful. A score of 61 or above indicates a country is likely publishing enough material to support informed public debate on the budget.
OBS 2021 questionnaire and methodology: