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What's Behind the Budget? Politics, Rights and Accountability in the Budget Process

Book/book chapter

Written by Andrew Norton

Understanding the allocation of public resources through national and local budgets has become an increasing focus of development theory. This has been driven by two principal trends. Donor agencies, on the one hand, are seeking to deliver growing proportions of their financial assistance to partner countries through mainstream government systems - while, at a different level, a vibrant civil society movement has developed which seeks to promote goals of citizen empowerment, gender equity and poverty reduction through the potentials offered by the budget process. This book aims to contribute to the evolving understanding of public expenditure management as a political, rather than a purely technical, process. In particular, it explores the ways in which a rights approach can contribute to strengthening pro-poor voice and outcomes in budget processes. It identifies issues, partners, tools and methods that may help development actors to support citizen accountability and a pro-poor, gender-equitable, focus in public expenditure management.

Andy Norton and Diane Elson