Open Budget survey launches tomorrow

By on 08/09/2015

The new Open Budget Survey will be launched tomorrow, offering comparative data on budget transparency, accountability and oversight in 100 governments around the world.

Published every two to three years, the survey is run by the International Budget Partnership (IBP), which collaborates with civil society around the world to use budget analysis and advocacy as a tool to improve governance and reduce poverty.

The survey report is based on 125 factual questions completed by independent researchers in the 100 countries covered, and subject to an extensive review process, including two anonymous peer reviewers.

Of these questions, 95 create the Open Budget Index (OBI) score, a broad comparable measure of a country’s budget transparency that can range from 0 to 100.

In the last survey, New Zealand topped the OBI, followed by South Africa in second, the United Kingdom in third, Sweden in fourth and Norway in fifth place. The poorest three performers with a score of 0 were Qatar, Myanmar and Equatorial Guinea. In 97th place was Saudi Arabia and Benin which both shared a score of one.

Albert Van Zyl, manager of learning and knowledge development at the IBP, said in a blog published last week that between 2010 and 2012, Honduras, Afghanistan, São Tomé e Príncipe, Pakistan, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, and the Dominican Republic made dramatic improvements in budget transparency, increasing their OBI scores by more than 15 points.

Most of these countries, he wrote, achieved the improvement “by simply making budget documents, that the government was already producing, available to the public – one of the easiest and most straightforward ways of making rapid progress in budget transparency.”

Tomorrow’s launch will be followed by a panel discussion at the World Bank offices in Washington D.C. on Thursday, 10 September. Participants will include Warren Krafchik, the IBP’s executive director; Sri Mulyani, managing director of the World Bank Group; Mario Marcel, senior director of governance global practices at the World Bank Group; and Daniella Ballou-Aares, senior advisor for development to U.S. secretary of state.

The event will be live-streamed around the world at between 9am and 11am EDT.

Click here to register your free place to attend in person or to watch the live debate online.

The new Open Budget Survey will be published on the IBP website

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World – the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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