Civil Society and Public Finance
New International Budget Project Budget Briefs Help Civil Society Understand and Engage on PFM
Posted by Duncan Last
The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) International Budget Project (IBP) has just launched a new publication series – Budget Briefs – which aim to keep readers up-to-date on debates and challenging new thinking relevant to the work of monitoring public budgets. They will not only draw on new work by the IBP and its partners but also on new academic literature and developments in the broader governance, civil society and poverty fields. Briefs will be produced as short, accessible reports or think-pieces and will be published on an occasional basis. The first brief focuses on how civil society can help in monitoring donor budget support.
The IBP efforts over the last decade have included: training and technical assistance; the design and implementation of a comparative measurement tool - the Open Budget Initiative (OBI) - to independently assess the public availability of budget information across countries; funding for civil society budget work and raise its profile among bilateral and multilateral donors; providing a resource hub for civil society budget work; and, working to build international and regional networks of budget organizations.
The IBP's strongest partnerships are with the
- Institute for Public Finance in Croatia
- Center for Budget and Policy Studies in India
- Fundar in Mexico, and
- Budget Information Service at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa
The IBP has so far provided direct assistance in over 60 countries. The IBP website provides a database of 89 active budget groups in 43 developing and transition countries, an extensive annotated electronic library, and specialized sections dedicated to themes, such as budget transparency. The IBP bi-monthly newsletter, which is published in English, French, Russian, and Spanish and widely distributed, keeps civil society and donor subscribers abreast of trends in budget work, innovative projects, and recent literature. The 2006 OBI assessment, applied to 59 countries, ranked 6 countries as providing extensive budget information to their citizens and 9 others as providing significant information, while 10 provided scant or no information to their citizens. The questionnaire, methodology and report can all be found on the OBI website referenced above.
The International Budget Project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Institute (OSI), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.