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Roundup: South Sudan's new cabinet and reforms in Myanmar


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

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 and improved accountability between state and citizens.

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Best practice in reforming institutions: more of a journey than a destination?

About a decade ago, I worked on budget reforms in Eastern Europe. I remember advising and consulting on different countries’ efforts to create medium term budgets, performance based budgets, fiscal rules, and other new institutions. The same reforms were being tried in all countries, often with the support of external agencies. These reforms were sold to governments using similar lines: “New Zealand does it like this”; “Sweden budgets in this way”; “This is the way Australia and other OECD countries do it.”

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Feedback in development

A few months ago, passengers travelling on a major airline linking the USA with West Africa reported a steady deterioration in service. A series of flights were cancelled and others delayed, leaving passengers on their way to Liberia stranded in Ghana for a day or more. The airline appeared to be putting its oldest planes on the West African routes and they were breaking down a lot. Passengers started to complain, and the Liberian Civil Aviation Administration announced that the government would no longer buy tickets on the airline.

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Christopher Wallace on the Post-2015 Agenda, fragility and Liberia’s progress on transparency

The eyes of the world were on Liberia earlier in the month, as the UN High Level Panel (HLP) on the post-2015 agenda met in Monrovia to discuss what should replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) once they expire in 2015. The Budget Strengthening Initiative’s Natasha Sharma sat down with Christopher Wallace, Liberia’s Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs and the Government lead on the HLP, to discuss the meetings and Liberia’s development plans.

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