/Beyond Budgets blog

Beyond Budgets blog

Welcome to Beyond Budgets, BSI’s blog on the latest and hottest topics across PFM.

Latest Posts

Revising pefa: whose accountability matters?

October 2016|bsi|

On 7 August, consultations opened for the revised Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) framework. Launched in 2005, PEFA has become the ‘go-to’ measure of quality in public finance systems. Now, nearly ten years on, sweeping changes are being proposed. But the PEFA members should tread carefully: it will take a lot more effort to [...]

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What’s different about doing development differently?

October 2016|bsi|

Growing pressure for reform suggests that development needs to be done differently. Members of theDoing Development Differently (DDD) movement have come up with some key common-senseprinciples in this regard: starting with problems, not solutions; taking account of politics; risk-taking; being `entrepreneurial’, learning from mistakes; and supporting locally-led changes that are appropriate to context. In light [...]

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What does an index of transparent finances tell us about accountable government?

October 2016|bsi|

The International Budget Partnership recently published the 2015 Open Budget Survey and launched it at ODI last week. It sounds a bit underwhelming, but is actually a pretty big deal. The bi-annual survey is the go-to measure of fiscal transparency for researchers, investors and policymakers, covering a large number of countries since 2006. Fiscal transparency, [...]

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Political science welcomes william easterly

May 2014|admin|

William Easterly’s “Tyranny of Experts” is an important and enjoyable book. Easterly aims to provoke a debate about the role of rights and freedom in development, and that he does. Not everyone will be sold on his argument, but this is a conversation worth having. At the heart of the book is the contention that [...]

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Randomized control trials (rcts): interesting, but a marginal tool for governments

March 2014|admin|

Randomized control trials (RCTs) have had a great decade. The stunning line-up of speakers who celebrated J-PAL’s tenth anniversary in Boston last December gives some indication of just how great. They are the shiny new tool of development policy, and a lot of them are pretty cool. Browsing through J-PAL’s library of projects, it’s easy [...]

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Giving institutional reforms a chance to succeed

February 2014|admin|

In 1828 a New York senator quipped ‘to the victor belong the spoils’ in reference to the election of President Andrew Jackson. At the inauguration of the President, his Vermont supporters expected their share of the spoils, which resulted in an unprecedented number of public officials being removed from post to make way for Jackson’s [...]

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The service delivery agenda: beware, there be doughnuts!

January 2014|admin|

Service delivery is the name of the game in development today. We’ve read a lot about the great changes brought by, say, the rise of governance as a development issue, the shift from ’getting the policies right in order to facilitate growth’ to eliminating poverty, the World Bank’s dream since 1990. Thinking about how to [...]

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Podcast: tim williamson on budget transparency in uganda

August 2013|admin|

The donor community has made a bit of a mistake in the way it has approached budget transparency. It’s often solely through supporting civil society and not actually working with ministries of finance…the whole Uganda exercise is built on the idea of a partnership between government and civil society.” The Ugandan Ministry of Finance recently [...]

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Podcast: matt andrews on the limits of institutional reform

August 2013|admin|

Matt Andrews, governance expert and Associate Professor at Harvard's Kennedy School, sat down with ODI's Ryan Flynn to talk about his new book - The Limits of Institutional Reform in Development. Matt critiques the international community's approach to institutional reform in developing countries, arguing that it is often short-termist and ill-suited to local contexts. He [...]

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The flip side of the coin: accountability as a precondition for meaningful budget transparency

June 2013|bsi|

Last week Paolo de Renzio launched a new book at ODI – Open Budgets: The Political Economy of Transparency, Participation, and Accountability. Given the credence bestowed on transparency and accountability in development circles today, the book is timely. Importantly, it shows that budget transparency alone does not necessarily encourage public participation in the budget process [...]

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