One method Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) can use to monitor budget execution is to analyze data presented in the various execution reports on revenues collected, expenditures made, and debt incurred that should be issued throughout the budget year using In-Year, Mid-Year, and Year-End Reports or other information on budget implementation to compare budget allocations (the amounts budgeted for specified activities) to actual spending. This type of analysis can help identify problems in service delivery or with the intergovernmental systems through which resources are channeled to their intended beneficiaries (e.g., the Ministry of Education transfers funds for textbooks to a local school district, which purchases books from a supplier that delivers the books to individual schools).
Assessing how budgeted funds are actually used can strengthen civil society advocates ability to pressure governments to use funds more effectively to achieve results. By analyzing Budget Execution Reports, CSOs can:
- Strengthen oversight
- Identify problems in service delivery
- Uncover instances of mismanagement, inefficiency, or corruption
- Generate evidence to inform ongoing and future budget debates
Useful Guides and Publications
Our Money, Our Responsibility: A Citizens Guide to Monitoring Public Expenditures
by Vivek Ramkumar | This IBP guide presents thorough descriptions of the stages of the budget process and various tools and methodologies that civil society can use to influence policy decisions, monitor the effective and efficient use of public resources, and assess budget execution and its impacts. The strength of the guide lies in its detailed case studies of civil society budget work throughout the budget cycle and around the world.