How Can the Pace of Budget Transparency Be Increased? Examining the Results of the Open Budget Survey 2012
Posted by Vivek Ramkumar
The International Budget Partnership (IBP) and the World Bank Institute (WBI) are pleased to invite you to join practitioners in the fields of development and fiscal management in a discussion on how to increase budget transparency and participation around the world. The discussion will include a presentation of the results of the IBP’s latest round of the Open Budget Survey and then focus on indentifying innovative and practical suggestions for rapidly improving country performance on the Survey.
Date: 5 February 2013
Time: 9.30-11 am (Breakfast will be served from 9 am)
Venue: IFC Auditorium, 2121 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C.
There is growing interest in the role of open budgeting systems in development. An increasing body of evidence shows that the best way to manage public funds efficiently and equitably is through budget systems that are transparent, inclusive, and monitored through independent oversight institutions. Recent research studies also show that transparency can help to attract easier and cheaper international credit and thereby increase public revenues. On the other hand, lack of fiscal transparency can undermine fiscal discipline,increase borrowing costs, and promote opportunities for corruption and other leakages.
The Open Budget Survey 2012 is the only independent, comparative and regular measure of budget transparency around the world. The survey measures public access to national budget information and opportunities to participate in the budget process. It also examines the strength of legislators and auditors in the budget process. The Survey is implemented by independent budget experts in each country and rigorously vetted. The 2012 Survey is the fourth round of the Survey, and it covers 100 countries, home to 89 percent of the world’s population.
The results of the Survey highlight a critical development challenge for all of our work. While budget transparency has improved over the past eight years of the Survey, the state of budget transparency around the world is dismal. At the current pace of improvement, significant levels of budget transparency around the world will not be reached until 2030, after the next round of MDGs. Yet many countries — in Africa, Asia, and Latin America — have managed to substantially increase budget transparency in a relatively short period of time. How do we learn from these experiences and encourage many more countries to follow suit? This discussion will focus on this challenging topic. The meeting will include a panel discussion involving officials from government, the World Bank, and the IBP. Following the panel discussion, members of the audience will be invited to present their comments and perspectives on the key issues addressed by the panelistsand make suggestions for potential solutions to these issues. Critical questions to be addressed include:
· What lessons can be learned from the experiences of
countries that have improved budget transparency within a short period of time
on the factors that influenced their decisions to institute such improvements?
· What are the incentives for governments to increase budget transparency now, and how could these be influenced by domestic stakeholders, development partners, global efforts and other factors?
· What are the implications of the state of budget transparency for the United Nations’ post-2015 development framework?
· What practical mechanisms can and should governments use to enable their citizens to participate effectively in budget decision making?
We invite you to attend and challenge you to bring practical ideas to the table on how to incentivize rapid improvements in budget transparency around the world.
To RSVP, please send your full name, organization,
and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org before 31 January 2013.
The IBP collaborates with civil society organizations in developing countries to analyze, monitor, and influence government budget processes, institutions, and outcomes. The aim of the IBP is to make budget systems more responsive to the needs of poor and low-income people in society and, accordingly, to make these systems more transparent and accountable to the public. Information on the International Budget Partnership and the Open Budget Survey is available at www.internationalbudget.org.
The World Bank Institute (WBI) is a global
connector of knowledge, learning and innovation for poverty reduction. It supports the
World Bank’s operational work and its developing country clients by forging new dynamic
approaches to capacity development and finding suitable solutions for pressing
challenges. WBI offers three areas of support: Open Knowledge - connecting them to global
knowledge and learning on the “how” of reform; Collaborative Governance - helping
stakeholders to mobilize for collective action, and Innovative Solutions – scanning, incubating
and surfacing innovations to tackle key