The International Budget Partnership (IBP) focuses on government budgets because they are at the core of development. Budgets are the government’s most powerful tool to meet the needs of its people, especially those who are poor and marginalized. Whether it’s about health, education, or pensions, the most well-meaning public policy has little impact on poverty until it is matched with sufficient public resources, and those resources are used effectively to provide public services.
Their experience shows that when ordinary people have access to comprehensive and timely budget information, skills, and opportunities to participate, broader public engagement in government budget processes can promote substantive improvements in governance and poverty.
But in too many countries, budgetary decisions are made behind closed doors with little or no regard for the public interest. The results are poor policy choices and squandering of scarce public resources.
In order to foster more open, participatory, and accountable public budgeting, IBP partners with civil society organizations around the world, leveraging their knowledge of their country’s political context, their experience navigating policy processes for social change, and their relationships with the public in order to transform their country’s budget system.
WHAT DOES IBP DO?
Leading the field for nearly 20 years, IBP has taken on the challenge of making public finance systems worldwide more transparent and accountable through its work in four interlinked areas that combine country-based civil society pressure with increased pressure from international institutions, together with efforts to generate effective advocacy for more open and responsive budgeting. These four areas are:
Building organizations: strengthening civil society organizations and networks by developing the skills and relationships needed to improve budget processes and create change in the countries where they operate.
Opening budgets: researching, measuring, and monitoring budget transparency, participation, and accountability around the world to build an evidence base promoting greater openness.
Establishing global norms: engaging with a wide-range of international stakeholders, including donors, government oversight institutions, and international NGOs, to play a greater role in budget issues.
Learning what works: producing rigorous evidence, analysis, and case studies on the impact of IBP and its partners to inform more strategic and effective practices.
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF THIS WORK?
IBP and its civil society partners contribute to reforms in how governments around the world manage public funds
budget processes (how budgets are proposed, debated, implemented, and evaluated) are more transparent and open to public input;
budget policies (who will pay what taxes, or how much money will go to specific programs) effectively address the needs of the poor and marginalized; and
budget rules, regulations, and institutions are stronger and better able to resist corruption and mismanagement and ensure more effective and efficient use of public resources.