From Transparent Budgets to Shared Prosperity

On October 9, 2013, the World Bank released a seminal report, Inclusion Matters: The Foundation for Shared Prosperity. The issue of social inclusion is central to the organization’s efforts to achieve its twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and ensuring shared prosperity.

The following month, another study, this time on the subject of accountability as it relates to transparency in budgeting, was released. This study, a Global Stock-Take of Social Accountability Initiatives for Budget Transparency and Monitoring, surveyed 174 initiatives in 53 countries that yielded increased transparency in budgeting processes, as well as the means available to monitor them.

Transparent budgets represent opportunities for citizens to monitor government revenues, allocations, and expenditures and to assess the services and infrastructure they finance. The study offers evidence that citizens are more likely to achieve their economic rights and governments more likely to earn their citizens' trust when budgets are transparent.

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