January 2017 | by Jason Lakin, Ph.D. and Mokeira Nyagaka, IBP Kenya
Public reasoning is an important part of budget making, but the reasons given by governments for their preferred policies are often inadequate. At the same time, there is no recognized standard for assessing the adequacy of reasons. This brief presents a set of nine criteria that can be used to assess the adequacy of reasons given to justify budget decisions. Along with the criteria, the authors present examples drawn from Kenya national budget documents published between July and December 2016.
The criteria and examples provided are designed to help government convince the public that the decisions it makes are founded on reasons that are adequate – a critical step in improving the quality of debate about public finances.