ABOUT

The Budget Strengthening Initiative is hosted by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Britain’s leading think tank on international development, and a leader in research on public finance management in developing and fragile states. 

BSI was established in May 2010 and is funded until March 2015.

WHAT WE DO

BSI activities consist of a combination of strategic advice, technical support and capacity development, supported by peer-to-peer learning to promote the sharing of experience between the transitional and fragile states it operates in (DRC, South Sudan, Liberia, Uganda, and the g7+ group). This hands-on technical assistance is complemented by a research programme focusing on public finances and fragile states. 

In South Sudan, BSI has supported the establishment of a regular budgeting cycle, developed key instruments such as a National Budget Plan, and helped introduce a system for expenditure limits and a regular cycle of budget reporting. BSI has also introduced a process of diagnosing and resolving blockages to local service delivery that has enabled increased expenditure by Government and international donors on service delivery.

In Liberia, BSI has supported improvements in the budgeting system and process through  the introduction of a Medium Term Expenditure Framework, a new budget process, including a reclassified budget structure, a new chart of accounts and more effective sector budgeting. On aid management, BSI has introduced a new system for capturing aid data on the budget, which is now in use. In partnership with the Open Budget Initiative, it has helped the government produce the Citizen’s Guide to the National Budget, designed a monitoring and evaluation system for the Poverty Reduction Strategy and advised on strategic capital investments with high rates of socio-economic returns.   

In the DRC, BSI has provided support and strategic management advice for the government’s public financial management reform plan, especially on how to prioritise the ambitious reform plans. It has provided support for improving budget monitoring at sector level, including a pilot in basic education; it has supported the implementation of reforms of provincial public finances by monitoring the actions needed to achieve a common platform for reform across all provinces; and it has strengthen the internal capacity of the inter-ministerial committee in charge of leading public financial management reform.    

In Uganda, BSI has supported the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to develop a strategy for budget transparency and supporting its implementation. As part of this support, the Ministry has now developed the Uganda Budget Information website and BSI is providing additional support to strengthen external scrutiny and accountability in the budget process.  BSI has provided support to peer learning visits from South Sudan to Uganda on areas such as Accounts and Local Service Delivery

In the g7+ Secretariat, BSI has provided support throughout the development of the New Deal for the group of fragile states and in a range of other activities. BSI continues to provide operational support and capacity building to the g7+ Secretariat in Dili in terms of logistics, communication and administration, and the preparation of international meetings. BSI has also helped support the implementation of the New Deal at country level.