Government investments in public education are seen as a key factor in driving economic development and eliminating poverty. Because of the significant impact schooling can have on an individuals and a nations prospects, one of governments most important responsibilities is to provide adequate educational opportunities to its people. Civil society organizations (CSOs) around the world have focused substantial efforts on education in their work to realize human rights and to end poverty and have been able to use budget analysis tools to support their advocacy in this sector.

In order for a government to provide for the education of its people, it must address such issues as school facilities, materials and books, qualified teachers, equitable access to schools for all students, and curriculum. CSOs advocating for high-quality education, therefore, should combine analysis of their countrys current (funding for day-to-day school operations) and capital outlay budgets (funding for school facilities) with monitoring at the local school district level how services are being delivered in order to gather evidence to effectively press for improvements.

Learn how IBP partner HakiElimu combined budget analysis and advocacy with media outreach to improve the debate over how to best educate Tanzanias children.

As with many public services, a significant share of education funding flows from the national level to local spending authorities, in this case, school districts or provincial education agencies. Too often, a portion of this funding is siphoned off due to mismanagement, including poor procurement practices, or corruption. Civil society can play a critical oversight role by monitoring these funding flows and bringing to light leakages that divert funds from the classroom.

To have the greatest impact on improving policies and outcomes, CSOs should combine their analysis of budgets with effective advocacy. For example, IBP partner Uganda Debt Network used community monitoring of a fund for building schools to identify poor management and substandard construction. The UDN used this evidence to raise awareness about the problem, put pressure on the government to respond, which ultimately strengthened procurement rules and practices and resulted in other measures to improve schools.

Learn more about combining budget analysis with advocacy.

Useful Guides and Publications


Model Reports


Learn More about Education and Budget Analysis

  • The human rights and budget work website of the International Human Rights Internship Program provides resources on integrating budget analysis into education advocacy.
  • Visit the Imali Ye Mwana (the Childrens Money) section of the Idasa website. Imali Ye Mwana is a childrens rights budget advocacy network in Southern Africa, and this site provides model reports, articles and papers, and toolkits for engaging in budget analysis around children and youths.
  • HakiElimu provides useful examples on how to integrate budget analysis into efforts to expand access to and quality of primary and secondary education.