Newsletter 61 – May 2021

Our Work Our Community Join the path forward: Read up, tune in, submit your work or apply for recognition of your initiatives!

Promoting more open and accountable tax systems: The role of international principles and standards, a joint publication of GIFT and IBP
The International Budget Partnership’s Tax Equity Initiative and the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency just published a study to determine the information and tools that civil society organizations typically need to be able to engage in constructive dialogues with governments on the national level and on tax reform and administration.

With the support of the Gates Foundation and the World Bank Group, GIFT and IBP wanted to extract a set of lessons on the conditions, settings, processes, and methods required to promote strong civil society engagement in the revenue side of fiscal transparency.

Authored by IBP Senior Research Fellow Paolo de Renzio and GIFT Network Director Juan Pablo Guerrero, the research sought to address questions about the conditions that are necessary to promote strong civil society engagement on tax policy and administration and how civil society can be equipped with the tools and information necessary for the public to be able to engage in domestic tax debates and tax reform processes.

Read the full brief here.

Datacon Mexico 2021: Open Contracting Data and the Budget Cycle
May 11, 2021
GIFT joined representatives of the Open Contracting Partnership, UK Aid, the Center for Sustainable Development in Paraguay and Mexico’s Institute for Access to Public Information and the Protection of Personal Information in Datacon Mexico 2021 held last May 11. In the event, resource persons discussed directions where the open contracting agenda should move to generate greater impact on government management, dynamics with the private sector, and to the general welfare and quality of life of citizens. As one of the presenters, GIFT Coordinator for Knowledge, Technical Assistance and Collaboration, Aura Martínez, highlighted the importance of integrating open contracting data to its broader context within the budget cycle.

You can find the recording of the session here. Find our presentation (in Spanish) here.

IBP launches global scorecard of #accountability in the management of COVID funds
May 24, 2021
How open and accountable has your government been in their COVID response? On May 24, the International Budget Partnership launched its global scorecard of #accountability in the management of COVID funds through an event themed Managing COVID Funds: the Accountability Gap.

The rapid assessment of 120 countries’ performance in managing pandemic relief funds attracted more than 800 people from government ministries, civil society organizations, supreme audit institutions, development partners, and other stakeholders.

How did your country score? You can visit the new site to dig into the rich data, the data map, good practices from a wide range of countries, as well as key findings:

If you missed the recording of the launch event, you can watch it here.

Open Government Week: The focus on fiscal transparency user-engagement initiatives continues!
May 17-21, 2021
The 2021 Open Government Week (OGW) is a global call to action to transform the way governments serve their citizens. For one week in May, open government champions, leaders and thinkers from around the world hosted and attended events to share ideas, discuss solutions, and commit to new levels of citizen participation in government. This year, the third edition of the #OpenGovWeek included activities such as webinars, hackathons, public debates, and other events to get citizens, governments, and civil society organizations involved in open government efforts. You can check out what happened all around the globe by looking at the OGW map:
We are glad that as part of this global call, our vibrant community of stewards and partners hosted the followingevents as part of our fiscal transparency for user-engagement initiatives:

Make sure to keep an eye on Bogota’s (Colombia) Dataquest, where citizens are invited to explore the city’s open data and present public spending initiatives targeting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Watch the recording of the launch of the initiative, hosted by the General Secretary of the Mayorship, as well as Open Data Charter on May 18, here.

Interested to join the Bogota Dataquest? Check out the more details and sign up here.


The Office of the Presidency hosted the panel: “Open Government Ecuador – Paths towards new initiatives”, where our Network Director, Juan Pablo Guerrero, highlighted GIFT’s experience on fiscal transparency and public participation in the use of public resources. The panel was also participated in by representatives of OGP, CAF and the Fisheries Transparency Initiative – FiTI.

Find GIFT’s presentation (in Spanish) here.


In preparation for the launch of their user-engagement initiative for 2021, the Ministry of Finance of Guanajuato hosted the panel Fiscal Transparency and Open Data, in partnership with the Division of Administrative Economic Sciences of the University of Guanajuato. The event targeted students and academics from the university and highlighted the journey of the state towards having their first Fiscal Transparency Portal, featuring open data in standardized formats.

The Ministry of Finance is currently hosting a Dataquest to promote the use of budget data through data analytics with specific, descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analysis. The initiative targets to engage students, academics and practitioners.

You can check the event’s website for details as well as their Instagram account for up-to-date information.

By design, OGW is for anyone who believes citizens should play a vital role in shaping the policies that affect their lives. To achieve this, the Department of Budget and Management, Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Presidential Communications Operations Office joined forces to feature activities designed to (1) engage citizens in the implementation of the current Action Plan and sustaining open government initiatives; (2) provide a platform to discuss emerging budget concerns to strengthen fiscal transparency; (3) open a dialogue with development partners on the role of citizen participation; and (4) highlight gender mainstreaming and inclusion.

For this, in the context of OGW, they hosted an official launch of their #BetterBudgetDataquest and #DataRallyFromHome last May 20.

Watch the recording of the event, including details and video explanation of all the campaign mechanics here.

The presentations used during the launching can also be accessed here.

IMF-Blog: Checking the Receipts from Pandemic-Related Spending
The IMF just published a brief update on measures focused on accountability and transparency in the crisis response, as well as broader governance and anti-corruption reforms are also progressing in the context of multi-year IMF financing arrangements.

Read more about it here.

Accountability Research Center’s Learning Exchange Report. Citizen Participation in Auditing in Latin America: The Future Agenda by By Marcos Mendiburu | Published by: Accountability Research Center, ControlaTuGoberino, Fundar, Oxfam México, Auditoría Superior de la Federación, Comunidad PIRC, Red por la Rendición de Cuentas | Available in English and Spanish
IMF’s podcast: Budgeting for Gender Equity
In this podcast, Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and its first-ever female Finance Minister and IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, discuss policies to help prevent the covid-19 pandemic from rolling back gains in women’s economic opportunities, and how Canada has aligned its gender strategy with the budget process.

Why PFM is Key for the Effective Roll Out of COVID-19 Vaccines | by Hélène Barroy, Federica Margini, Triin Habich
In this article, the authors describe PFM “stress points” in each phase of the budget cycle that may arise throughout the vaccine roll-out. The article also uses country examples to illustrate possible ways to overcome these barriers.

First-ever #OGPLocal Innovation Awards!
Learn how to submit your innovative initiatives to receive targeted support to drive results and share your reform’s impact with the global #OpenGov community: .

Taxing the Informal Economy is not a Silver Bullet for Financing Development – or the Covid-19 Recovery
by Max Gallien, Vanessa van den Boogaard & Mick Moore
Public Sector Economics 2021 Conference: Paper and Abstract Submission Deadline Extended!
The deadline for abstracts/papers submission has been extended to May 31, 2021. Authors will be informed whether their submissions have been accepted for the Conference by June 30, 2021. Please read the call for conference papers and consider submitting your article to the