Newsletter 58 – Feb 2021

In case you missed it… Our Work Our Community Interesting Reads

In case you missed it…

Engage today: Gear up for your own #DataRallyFromHome and #BetterBudget Dataquest!

So far, 10 countries have confirmed to join these fun and meaningful network activities in 2021! Host any of these two events, and let us know how we can help!

GIFT Blog: Virtual Exchange on Budget Transparency Portals, Open Data and Digital Tools
February 8, 2021
More than 80 experts from various ministries of finance and partners from sub-national governments and global cities such as Guanajuato, Mexico, and Bogotá, Colombia; Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Uruguay, joined a pioneering international exchange on budget transparency portals, open data, and digital tools in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was facilitated by the GIFT network last February 8.
Read about our key insights from the exchange and download all the speakers’ presentations through this GIFT blogpost.

Knowledge Product: Comparative analysis of international practices and recommendations to improve transparency, quality, and impact of public spending in Chile
Mainstreaming key fiscal openness concepts, including GIFT’s Principles of Public Participation in Fiscal Policies through a benchmarking study of practices from Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Sierra Leone, South Korea and the United Kingdom, the GIFT Coordination Team published a report highlighting specific policy recommendations to improve transparency, quality, and impact of public spending for the Chilean national government.

The analysis, which can be useful to countries facing similar challenges in opening up its national budget, sought to answer fundamental guiding questions on 1) how to improve existing public participation instruments
and 2) how to measure the results of spending from a perspective that is relevant for users and beneficiaries of public goods and services.

The report was produced by GIFT’s Coordination Team with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Multi-Donor Fund of the World Bank of the Open Government Alliance. Download the full report here.

Lead Stewards Meeting: 2021 workplan and new exciting discussions on GIFT membership
February 16, 2021
The GIFT Lead Stewards kicked off its first meeting of the year with an exchange on a lineup of impactful activities planned for 2021 and a stronger vision towards consolidating GIFT as a cohesive global action network of champions through peer-learning and closer collaboration. Exciting discussions on opening up up new ways of engaging with our network for new actors and other strategic considerations in moving forward were also taken up during the meeting.

More details will be announced soon about our plans for partnership expansion, so stay tuned!

You have spoken and we listened: Results of the GIFT community survey is now out!
February 28, 2021
The GIFT community has spoken, and we listened! Your feedback has laid down a good vision for our work in 2021. Find out more about the results of our Community Survey in this blogpost.

Mexico: Ministry of Finance and civil society collaborate on video tutorials on tools for open spending data analysis
February 4, 2021
Mexico’s Ministry of Finance joins forces with GIFT’s two civil society stewards in the country, CIEP and Fundar, to launch a set of four (4) tutorials that provide easy guidance in analyzing open format databases from Mexico’s fiscal transparency portal and customizing specific COVID19-related spending information by non-expert data users.

Costa Rica: Ministry of Finance launches new tools to view National Budget data
February 8, 2021
With the aim of making information on the national budget more transparent, and encouraging the use and monitoring of budget data, the Ministry of Finance of Costa Rica has launched new “Open Budget” tools available at the Ministerio de Hacienda website last February 8. The tools provide citizens access to national budget datasets in open data format, which can be used to generate graphs, tables, charts and other analyses on expenses, sources of income and the evolution of the country’s fiscal information over the years.

Mongolia: new interactive Citizens Budget goes live
Mongolia’s Ministry of Finance has now launched their new online interactive Citizens Budget which highlights information of expenditures within economic, administrative, and functional budget classifications, as well as, detailed revenues from 2019, 2020 and 2021. Developed through a user-centered design approach, the online platform features explanatory videos, interactive visualizations, as well as, visual design and infographics that aim to attract more citizens to access and use budget data.

This project was supported by the World Bank, the European Union and GIFT’s Coordination team as part of the Strengthening Governance in Mongolia project.

Australia: new Online Transparency Portal now up
Australia’s new online platform,, is now greatly improving access to government data in the country. Developed by the Australian Department of Finance, the tool provides a one-stop-shop for planning and performance information from all Australian government entities at the central level, including financial and non-financial institutions. The portal, which was piloted from 2017 to 2018, aims to become the single definitive source of publicly available Commonwealth corporate information, providing easy access to such information for Parliament and the public. The platform allows citizens to download key public documents, compare and visualize public data, and even inspect key financial sustainability ratios across different government agencies.

South Africa: 2021 Budget is now out!
February 24 2021
With a consolidated government expenditure of R2 trillion, South Africa has officially released its 2021 National Budget! Check out their publicly available budget documents here, as well as their budget data that subscribes to Open Fiscal Data Specification.

UNICEF hosts webinar on protecting and transforming social spending through the Covid-19 crisis
February 25, 2021
GIFT Lead Stewards and partners convened in the UNICEF-hosted virtual session on Protecting and Transforming Social Spending through the Covid-19 Crisis last February 25, where International Budget Partnership’s (IBP) Vivek Ramkumar moderated a panel discussion on Fiscal Transparency and Transparency in Social Sector Budgets with Ed Olowo-Okere, Director of the World Bank’s Governance Global Practice, Sara Eid of Egypt’s Ministry of Finance, and Zukiswa Kota, Head of the Monitoring and Advocacy Program of the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) in South Africa. The session featured reflections on the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic crisis to social spending and discussed solutions to protect social spending and extend sustainable and inclusive financing during the recovery phase through enhanced collaboration among different institutions.

Open Data Charter’s draft Data Taxonomy for Pandemic Preparedness now available for public comments
February 25, 2021
As a data user and practitioner, how do you think data for pandemic preparedness should be published?

The Open Data Charter (ODC) recently published its draft Pandemic Data Taxonomy for public comments Building on feedback from an initial call to identify high value Open COVID-19 Data, ODC structured a set of data cards, including key data types related to health issues, legal and socioeconomic impacts and fiscal transparency, within well-defined data models and dictionaries. The document, which was also developed with inputs from GIFT, is up for public comments until March 31st here.

South Korea to host the next Open Government Partnership Summit from Dec 13 – 17, 2021

Annyeonghaseyo! Marking the Open Government Partnership’s (OGP) 10th anniversary, the 2021 OGP Global Summit is set to be hosted by South Korea virtually from December 13-17, 2021. The event will aim to galvanize the open government community with fresh energy, political commitment, evidence, and support to build a stronger global movement for open government and democracy. Aligned with the current Co-Chair Priorities, the Summit themes will be centered on issues around anti-corruption, digital innovation and governance, and public participation and civic space. We look forward to participating in this event and making it a great year for Open Government!

2020 Global Report on Public Financial Management
In contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals global agenda, the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) program has capitalized on its extensive database of PEFA assessments and produced the first Global Report on Public Financial Management. The report—which is only available online—contains data visualizations accompanied by short analyses and country examples. Read the full online report here.
Results-based budgeting with a gender perspective: the cases from Argentina, Brazil and Guanajuato
In this study, the European Union’s Programme for Social Cohesion (EUROsociAL) features systematization of the country experiences in results-based budgeting with a gender perspective in Latin America and the Caribbean. It delves into the cases of Argentina, Guanajuato and Brazil, and provides recommendations to improve identification and marking of gender-sensitive public spending that could be adapted to specific country contexts. Download the report here.
Corruption Perceptions Index 2020

Find out how different countries fare in terms of their perceived levels of public sector corruption through the Corruption Perception Index 2020 Report. The survey uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. Access CPI 2020’s full results and interactive tool here.

Five tools for reducing corruption during COVID-19
In this World Bank blog, IBP’s Warren Krafchik and Leslie Lang Tsai of the Chandler Foundation explores evidence-based tools that international institutions, governments, civil society, and philanthropy can use to help governments increase trust, strengthen their management of public funds and with that, improve their response to the current crisis.
Re-thinking tax policy for the post-pandemic world
As the world looks ahead towards the end of the Covid-19 crisis, whenever that might come, it is time to reflect on the role taxes can play in rebuilding our economies, argue Pascal Saint-Amans and David Bradbury of the OECD in this Public Finance Focus blogpost.