Good governance norms and standards emphasize greater transparency, participation and accountability in government matters. However, the results of the 2017 Open Budget Survey reveal that “efforts to make budgets more transparent have stalled for the first time in a decade.” The quantity and quality of engagement of non-executive actors in decision making and oversight processes concerning government revenues and expenditures has waned, and this undercuts citizens’ ability to hold their governments to account.
During this session, the Senior Technical Advisor at the International Budget Partnership, and the Program Officer for Asia provided an assessment of the performance of countries in Europe and Central Asia in three areas; transparency, public participation and budgetary oversight. Mitchell O’Brien, Senior Governance Specialist at the World Bank gave an overview of some of the Bank’s work to address the challenges highlighted by the Open Budget Initiative, especially in the area of strengthening legislative scrutiny and oversight in select countries in the region.
Participants learned the methodology used by the Open Budget Initiative, trends in ECA countries’ performance in the Open Budget Survey, and what the Bank is doing to improve budget transparency in select countries in the ECA region.