To share information about a budget in a clear and simple way.
Budgets reports are often very long and written in complicated technical language, which can make it difficult for citizens to understand them. In a number of countries, governments now produce simplified, short and easy-to-read citizens’ budgets. However, these usually focus on the national budget and might not contain a lot of detail about the the local and provincial levels or about the specific budget programme that you want to analyse.
If simple budget information is not made available by the government, you might decide to produce a simple guide to the budget in your area, perhaps as part of a budget tracking process. This might include information on:
- The budget cycle.
- How much money the sector you are interested in will receive and a comparison with other sectors (e.g. education, health, etc).
- How much money has been earmarked for the poor and other marginalised groups.
- How money is disbursed.
- Who is responsible for spending at different levels and at every stage
- Other issues and problems identified.
The guide could be presented in a number of ways, ranging from a simple brochure with pictures and illustrations, to a more comprehensive report.
Developing such a guide can deepen an organisation's own expertise and knowledge on the budget process. It will also provide an easy way of sharing with other organisations and citizens involved in the budget tracking process (either as members of a budget tracking team or as respondents), or members of the general public who are affected by budgeting decisions.