Open Data and Fiscal Transparency: How Can We Unlock the Benefits?

Every day, national, regional, and local governments spend vast sums of citizens’ tax money. However, all too often, there is a lack of transparency around how these public funds are spent. In Indonesia and the Philippines, civil society groups have consistently clamoured for more accountability in public finances in areas such as procurement, education, and infrastructure. This paper summarises the approach we used and the lessons we learned as we explored how open data might best be harnessed for fiscal transparency in the region.

Opening Lanes: Budget Transparency and Innovation in Mexico

Budget transparency policy in Mexico has progressed significantly in recent years. Interested parties from all sectors including policy makers, civil society organizations and academic researchers have invested significant resources on the construction of a robust budget information disclosure scheme that levels the field for all. These efforts have resulted in a transparency landscape with a wide variety of valuable information tools. Using data from unstructured interviews, questionnaires and multimedia publications, this analysis reviews what lessons can be extracted from current transparency and Open Budget Data (OBD) efforts within the Mexican experience. Such learnings include innovative approaches to transparency and OBD policy issues as well as some of the shortcomings of existing information disclosure products. For this we have selected the budget transparency portal of the Mexican Ministry of Finance, “Transparencia Presupuestaria”.