Understanding the Politics of the Budget: What drives change in the budget process?

The purpose of this briefing note is to

  1. distil the findings of political analyses of the budget process in developing countries;
  2. highlight why a good political understanding of the budget process is important to improve aid effectiveness
  3. suggest entry points for donors to engage with the politics of the budget and strengthen domestic demand for accountability in public finances; and
  4. provide operational guidance on how to undertake politics of the budget reviews.

The briefing note is largely based on evidence drawn from case studies commissioned in 2004 (Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique). It is not a one-size-fits-all toolkit and focuses on national-level budget politics, but understanding the politics of budgeting at the local level and the interaction between the two levels is critical. This briefing has been written principally for advisers and managers in DFID who work with partner countries to strengthen public financial management and accountability systems, including through budget support. Others in DFID, partner countries and development agencies might also find it useful. Related guidance on other aspects of public financial management and accountability, managing fiduciary risk and reducing the risk of corruption can be accessed through the Financial Accountability and anti-Corruption Team (FACT) Insight web-page http://insight/gded

Published 2020-03-10