Is the Open Budget Survey Biased Against Francophone Countries?

Jan 15, 2018

January 2018 | By Ian Lienert, Consultant
open budget survey francophone study
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Prior to the Open Budget Survey (OBS) 2015, the average overall Open Budget Index transparency score of francophone countries were much lower than those of comparable non-francophone countries. This led some French-speaking observers to question whether the OBS is biased against francophone countries. To answer the question of whether there are specific features of francophone countries’ PFM system that are not captured by the OBS, or that may result in bias, IBP commissioned public finance expert Ian Lienert to examine:

  • The trends in budget transparency as measured by the Open Budget Index in francophone countries through the OBS 2015.
  • The main factors contributing to the level of fiscal transparency.
  • The specific features of francophone countries that may, or may not, contribute to bias in OBS results.