Newsletter 49 – May 2020

1) Fiscal Data for Emergency Response: Guide for COVID-19
2) Tutorial on Fiscal Transparency Portals
3) How Civil Society Can Make COVID-19 Responses More Transparent
4) We welcome Raquel Ferreira to the GIFT coordination team
5) Hacking Corruption in the Digital Era: Integrity in Times of Crisis
6) Covid-19 Budgeting for SDGs Note Postscript
7) Essential Readings from the International Budget Partnership
8) Open Response + Open Recovery Digital Forum

Fiscal Data for Emergency Response:
Guide for COVID-19
In an effort to help responding to the urgent need for transparency and accountability in COVID-19, GIFT stewards and partners have been working collectively in the development of the Fiscal Data Guide for Emergency Response: Guide for COVID-19. This Guide seeks to provide a hands-on tool for practitioners, within governments and more broadly in the entire accountability ecosystem, to help them identify the datasets and data fields that should be gathered and disclosed to ensure that transparency is embedded in the policy responses.

The Guide includes 15 datasets and 10 time-series, with more than 350 data fields that can assist in informing a strategic prioritization of data.

The Guide is presented as Version 1.0 and is open for inputs until June 30th.
Take a look, use it, and share your ideas and experience!

Tutorial on Fiscal Transparency Portals:
A User-Centered Development

May 19, 2020
Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency

Governments around the globe have worked in developing fiscal transparency portals and searched for orientation and examples on ways to achieve this taking into account the users’ needs and preferences. GIFT presented this month the Tutorial on Fiscal Transparency Portals – A User-Centered Development, based on the accumulated experience of the last 10 years of GIFT’s network champions—19 Govs + 14 CSOs + 10 international orgs—in their processes of publishing useful fiscal information.

The Tutorial is divided into 9 modules with tools, tips, and international examples. As it turns out, this Tutorial is a timely piece for organizations seeking to publish information and data about the emergency response and economic recovery plans.

How Civil Society Can Make COVID-19 Responses More Transparent
May 8, 2020
Public Financial Management IMF Blog, posted by Claude Wendling and Juan Pablo Guerrero

In a recent note, the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department stressed the importance of fiscal transparency, public accountability and institutional legitimacy in the fiscal response to COVID-19. This blogpost drawing on the experience of the GIFT explores the role of civil society organizations (CSOs).

In a normal environment, CSOs already play an important role in scrutinizing public policies. This role is even more important in the COVID-19 context. Read the full blog post here.

We are thrilled to welcome our new GIFT Senior Technical Advisor, Raquel Ferreira

With Economics degrees obtained from the University of South Africa, Raquel Ferreira gained vast experience working in the South African public sector from 2002 to 2019, firstly in the central bank providing analyses on public finances for monetary policy authorities and then in the heart of public finance and government budgets, in the Budget Office of the National Treasury of South Africa. She held senior positions in the Budget Office, including heading up the Expenditure Planning Chief Directorate that is responsible for researching, strategizing, designing, and implementing the national government’s budget processes as well as for the production of its budget expenditure legislation and documentation. The Unit is also responsible for South Africa’s budget reform program. From 2020, Raquel will utilize this experience to work as a Senior Technical Advisor on Public Financial Management.

Please join us in giving her a very warm welcome!


Hacking Corruption in the Digital Era: How Tech is Shaping the Future of Integrity in Times of Crisis
Carlos Santiso, Development Bank of Latin America for the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Transparency and Anti-Corruption

As corruption continues to make headlines worldwide the imbalances in social systems grow. Data-driven, tech-based anti-corruption solutions are rapidly expanding in sophistication and potential. Tech innovations, powered by data and behavioral insight, are disrupting corruption risks and boosting integrity systems. In the digital era, data has become a critical asset for integrity actors to detect and deter fraud risks, complex networks and corrupt practices.

Read this critical article complete.

Covid-19 Budgeting for SDGs Note Postscript
May 27
Katarina Ott, Institute of Public Finance of Croatia and member of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration
Better budgeting within the context of the 2030 Agenda means an explicit and measurable presentation of Goal targets in budget allocations and reports, as well as in other elements of the budget cycle. Budgeting for the Goals as a practice is still in its infancy. Several countries have announced, the intention to reflect the Goals in budgetary processes but few have specified why it would be relevant or how it could be made operational. This Budgeting for SDGs Note reflects on this issue and proposes measures to move forward.

When the Budgeting for SDGs Note was written, the authors could not know how extraordinarily important, probably more than ever, both the achievement of SDGs and the budgeting for this achievement would soon become. For the governments, the pandemics suddenly means decreased budget revenues and increased budget expenditures. For the citizens, it might mean life or death. Read the
Covid-19 budgeting for SDGs note Postscript blog post.

Essential Readings from the International Budget Partnership
May 21

Since the launch of the 2019 Open Budget Survey many colleagues, within and outside of the International Budget Partnership, are contributing important angles to stretch the discussions and work on open budgets. Here are the most recent:

Guest authors

IBP’s staff blog posts

Open Response + Open Recovery Digital Forum: Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Budgeting and Contracting
May 6, 2020
Open Government Partnership
To deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world are injecting urgently needed money to stimulate the economy and allocating a massive amount of funds to deal with the emergency response. Accountability and transparency are more crucial than ever. For the Open Response + Open Recovery Digital Forum of the Open Government Partnership, GIFT was invited to participate in a conversation focused on how to strengthen the transparency and accountability processes in the budgeting and public procurement under the emergency while enabling a fast, efficient and transparent response. It explores the critical role by civil society organizations and Supreme Audit Institutions in safeguard funds and ensure that urgent support arrives where it is needed most and vulnerable communities are prioritized.
Watch the video here