There are many countries in the world today that are working to build a state that can drive development progress and establish a basic level of wellbeing for their citizens. A government that taxes and spends responsibly, effectively and accountably is a pretty central part of our understanding of good governance. And a government that manages public money effectively tends to be more accountable and less likely to only serve a small ruling elite. That’s the theory, at least.
But we need to look beyond the simple mechanics of budgets and the management of aid to a wider set of challenges faced by fragile states.
Many of us engaged in international development, state-building and public sector issues spend a great deal of time arguing over an interesting piece of research, a new topic we’ve picked up whilst visiting a country, and the latest news. We do this in meeting rooms, via email and in the pub after work. In this blog, we want to open up this discussion and debate to a larger audience.
There isn’t that one recipe, or the one textbook that people can just pick up and get to work. In fragile and conflict-afflicted states, many of the institutions that are taken for granted in more advanced economies need to be built from the ground up. We’re still trying to figure out how states can be built, how budget systems work, how it all fits together, and what the international community can do to help. We can learn from the experiences of different countries, people with different skills and new research.
People at the ODI in London and those working with the ODI hosted Budget Strengthening Initiative around the world will author many of Beyond Budgets’ posts. But we’re keen to present a wide range of voices and opinions, so if you have an idea for a post, get in touch.
So welcome again: read, comment, forward, and do come back!