Open Budgets Portal

About: “The Open Budgets Portal is the first effort to create a one-stop shop for budget data worldwide with the hope of bringing visibility to countries’ efforts in this field, facilitating access and promoting use of spending data, and motivating other countries into action.

The portal offers the opportunity to showcase a subset of developing countries and subnational entities (identified by blue markers in the map) that have excelled in the exploration of new frontiers of fiscal transparency by choosing to disseminate their entire public spending datasets in accessible formats (i.e., soft copy), with the expectation that these efforts could motivate other countries into action . Users will be able to download the entire public expenditure landscape of the members of the portal in consolidated files, all of which were rigorously collected, cleaned and verified through the BOOST Initiative.

For each of these countries, the site also includes links to their original open data portals, which provide additional important information (i.e., higher frequencies other than annual, links to output data and other socio economic indicators, etc.). While every effort has been done to certify the quality of these databases according to BOOST approach and methodology, users are encouraged to refer back to the country-owned open data portals to ensure complete consistency of data with published official figures, as well as consult accompanying user manuals for potential caveats on uses of the data.

This portal represents a starting point to build momentum within the growing interest around fiscal transparency and the importance of data for enhanced decision-making processes and improved budget outcomes and accountability. While most initiatives on open budgets rightfully center on availability of key documents, little focus has been given to the quality of data dissemination and to the importance of its analytical use for incorporation into evidence-based decision-making processes.

This Open Budgets Portal aims to fill this gap by providing access to budget data worldwide and particularly to the most disaggregated and comprehensive data collected through the BOOST Initiative. The portal combines this information with a variety of tools, manuals, reports and best practices aimed at stimulating use by intermediaries, as well as easier to interpret visualization for non-experts. Our objective is to encourage all potential uses of this data to unbind the analytical power of such data.

The Open Budgets Portal was launched at the event “Boosting Fiscal Transparency for Better Policy Outcomes,” held on December 17, 2013 in Washington, DC. The following presentations were shown at the event:

Presentation of the Open Budgets Portal by Massimo Mastruzzi, Senior Economist, Open Goverment, World Bank.

Building a Citizen’s Budget Understanding – by Victoria Vlad, Economist of “Expert-Grup” from the Republic of Moldova.”