Open budgets: the political economy of transparency, participation and accountability
Paolo de Renzio - Senior Research Fellow, International Budget Partnership, and Research Associate, ODI
Joachim Wehner - Senior Lecturer, London School of Economics
Rebecca Simson - Research Officer, ODI
Edward Hedger - Head of Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure, ODI
This event will discuss the findings from a 3-year research project supported by the International Budget Partnership on the causes and consequences of budget transparency, summarized in a recently published book, ‘Open Budgets: The Political Economy of Transparency, Participation and Accountability’.
Fiscal transparency is important for two reasons. First, because people have a right to know what their governments do with public resources. Second, because of its transformative potential in reshaping the relationship between governments and their citizens. When governments publish more information on their fiscal operations, citizens can better monitor government actions and hold them accountable for how they raise and spend public resources.
Given the dearth of existing research on when and why governments adopt and implement transparency-enhancing reforms, and on whether enhanced transparency does in fact lead to citizen engagement and improved accountability, the International Budget Partnership (IBP) embarked on an ambitious research program aimed at deepening understanding of the causes and consequences of budget transparency. Its results question some of the assumptions behind the move towards more fiscal transparency, and offer some insights into future opportunities and challenges.