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NGOs Holding Governments Accountable: Civil-Society Budget Work

Author: JONATHAN B. JUSTICE and FRATERN J. TARIMO
Published in PFM, Vol. 12 No. 3

Efforts to make public administration more efficient and more democratic need not take place entirely within government. For example, "budget work" by nongovernmental organizations and other types of civil-society collectives is one way in which government fiscal policy and administration can potentially be made more transparent and thereby more democratically accountable. A logical framework and an exploratory analysis of 72 organizations doing budget work based in 26 countries illustrate some of the ways in which the practice of budget work can be pursued in response to specific political and economic contexts and goals. Consistent with the framework, certain transparency-related goals and activities are common to virtually all of the organizations across differing normative conceptions of democracy, and some correlations are apparent between organizational designs and goals and organizational environments and between organizational activities and goals.

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