Increasing Accountability through Budget Transparency at the Subnational Level in Cameroon
Alton, Martin Luis
SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
CENTRAL GOVERNMENT BUDGETS
PUBLIC FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
PUBLIC EXPENDITURE MANAGEMENT
PUBLIC SERVICE PROVIDERS
PUBLIC EXPENDITURE MANAGEMENT REFORM
CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS
PURCHASING POWER PARITY
DELIVERY OF SERVICES
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AbstractImproving governance is a major development challenge for Cameroon and for many other developing countries, and making public financial management more transparent is a central part of it. While budgets are public documents, accessible to citizens in principle, in practice, budget information is difficult to come by as a result of political, administrative, capacity, and logistical constraints as well as cost barriers at all tiers of government, including the national, regional, and municipal level and at service-delivery points like schools and health centers. In two of Cameroon s 10 regions, a World Bank-supported initiative has piloted a citizen-centered approach for disseminating simplified budget information of 151 schools, 58 health centers, and 28 municipalities and the two regional administrations. Budgets were made public and awareness was raised through various activities, including public community meetings at which the budgets of institutions were read aloud, poster campaigns, art competitions, theater performances, student budget clubs, and the use of media such as community radios and Facebook. Results of the initiative include increased tax revenues for one local council, changes in the willingness of parents to contribute to the financing of schools, and greater trust between mayors and constituents.
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Global Stock-Take of Social Accountability Initiatives for Budget Transparency and Monitoring : Key Challenges and Lessons LearnedWorld Bank (Washington, DC, 2014-01-29)Budgets are key documents that lay out a government's economic priorities in terms of policies and programs. Budget transparency refers to the extent and ease with which citizens can access information about and provide feedback on government revenues, allocations, and expenditures. Budget monitoring entails using such information to analyze, critique, and track government finances in order to provide this feedback. Budget transparency is a prerequisite for public participation and accountability, which are instrumental for a democratic and legitimate budget process. Both budget transparency and monitoring efforts also help remove institutional bottlenecks that result in delayed budget allocations, thereby jeopardizing the delivery of vital services to people. Even though they have a far-reaching impact on the lives of people, opening up budgets beyond the exclusive domain of policy makers and administrators is a relatively recent phenomenon that has gained momentum in the last two decades. The stock taking exercise illustrates the range of mechanisms involved in Budget Transparency and Monitoring (BT&M) in different contexts and demonstrates significant promise of influencing governance processes and outcomes. Finally, there is a dearth of literature on initiatives that have not achieved their goals, which would allow lessons to be drawn from these failures. There are incentives to document successes rather than failures, but there is value in documenting failures because this allows for a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities that may be useful to consider when designing future BT&M interventions.
Ethiopia : Decentralization, Delivery and AccountabilityWorld Bank (Washington, DC, 2013-03-15)One of the fruits of this partnership was the preparation of an unusually rich set of background papers, under the umbrella of a process-driven Institutional and Governance Review (IGR); this Analytical and Advisory work was skillfully designed to support the design and implementation of PSCAP. Some of the papers focused on policy; others provided qualitative assessments of the realities on the ground; yet others benchmarked different facets of the governance environment, as a basis for monitoring going forward. A comprehensive synthesis of these IGR papers (referenced in Part A of the bibliography) is neither necessary not desirable; they stand on their own terms. (Also: see the powerpoint overview in Appendix 1 of Ethiopia's decentralization experience prepared by the World Bank team which led the process.). The objectives of this IGR summary are more modest, namely to; Provide (following staff turnover in the World Bank team) an entry point of access to some of the rich materials which have been prepared under the IGR umbrella; draw on the materials (plus other background material on Ethiopia) to provide a qualitative, on-the-ground sense of the extent to which the 2002 reforms have transformed the local governance realities; highlight some of the important base-line benchmarking exercises which were completed under the IGR umbrella, and which provide a key basis for monitoring progress going forward ; and point to some ways in which benchmarking can support the broader objective of strengthening the accountability for performance of Ethiopia's government, in the context of the political realities prevailing in 2006.
Lesotho - Managing Government Finances for Growth and Poverty Reduction : Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability ReviewWorld Bank (Washington, DC, 2012-06-11)This report on managing government
finances for growth and poverty reduction in Lesotho is
centered on three areas of analysis: (i) macroeconomic and
fiscal performance and prospects; (ii) inter and
intra-sectoral allocation of resources; and (iii) public
expenditure and financial management. A Public Financial
Management assessment report, prepared using the Public
Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) framework is
included as an Appendix to the main report. The study stress
that despite the relatively good growth performance, Lesotho
remains one of the poorest countries in the Southern Africa
region. Because of this the Government now seeks to address
in a more systematic manner the many challenges facing
Lesotho including: 1) the slow pace of job creation in
Lesotho, compounded by the continual decline in mining jobs
for migrant workers in South Africa and a slowdown in GDP
growth rate; 2) the increase in the incidence of poverty
over the past twenty years; 3) a relatively large and
inefficient public sector; 4) excessive reliance on revenues
generated by the Southern Africa Customs Union ; and 5) the
rapid spread of HIV/AIDS (current prevalence rate estimated
at 24 percent), which, if unchecked, will negate all efforts
to improve the economy and welfare of the Basotho people.