GLOSSARY OF TERMS: GUIDE ON PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN FISCAL POLICY

  • Annual Budget Cycle: A cycle encompassing engagement in four primary domains. The first spans the whole annual budget cycle: budget preparation, legislative approval, implementation, review and audit. Additionally, it entails new policy initiatives or reviews (such as on revenues or expenditures), The cycle also engages in the design, production and delivery of public services and goods. The fourth domain is the planning, appraisal and implementation of public investment projects.[1]
  • Bottom-up budgeting (BuB): A budget program that seeks to increase citizens’ access to local service delivery through a demand-driven budget planning process as well as strengthen government accountability in local public service provision. BuB makes the national budget more responsive, encourages local government to implement reforms, deepens democracy and empowers citizens.[2] [3]
  • Budget calendar: An important feature of a transparent budget preparation process is the availability of a reliable and publically available calendar that supports fair and full access to the budget process. Budget preparation should follow an established timetable and be guided by well-defined macroeconomic and fiscal policy objectives. It must ensure a realistic budget with a prescribed timetable, outline the likely costs and effects of new expenditure and revenue measures, as well as a consistent multiyear fiscal framework based on sound economic assumptions.[4] 
  • Civil society: An overarching term that refers to the “third sector” of society, alongside government and business. It consists of groups or organizations that work in the interest of citizens but operate outside of governmental and for-profit sectors. This includes civil society organizations (CSOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), labor unions, churches and other service agencies.[5]
  • Co-create: Collaboration and engagement by citizens, government, civil society, the private sector and others with a stake in good governance working toward a common vision of open government. The promise of open government is unlocked when diverse actors work together using shared values of transparency, participation, accountability and innovation to have more widespread and sustainable success. The term is often used in the context of the OGP. [6] [7]
  • Co-production: A practice in the delivery of public services in which citizens are involved in the creation of public policies and services (as opposed to services provided by governments and consumed by citizens). It can also refer to when experts and other specialized groups in society generate new initiatives or ideas together.[8]
  • Fiscal openness: An alternative label for fiscal transparency. It involves the norms, principles and instruments surrounding the publication of readily available, valuable information of a government’s budgetary policy. Public participation in all stages of fiscal policy formation is crucial to fiscal openness. It’s is associated with the quality of the budget in terms of macro-fiscal outcomes, resource allocation and service delivery, as well as wider governance and development outcomes.[9]
  • Fiscal policy: A way in which a government adjusts its spending levels (and tax rates) to oversee and influence a nation’s economy. Governments employ this policy to promote strong, sustainable growth while reducing poverty. To influence the economy, policymakers use two main tools: monetary policy and fiscal policy. Central banks can influence the money supply by adjusting interest rates and other factors like reserve requirements. The government can also change the level and types of taxes, the extent of spending as well as the degree or form of borrowing. As markets transform, fiscal policy aims to stabilize the economy while preparing for future developments.[10] [11]
  • Fiscal policy cycle: A sequence of steps that involves raising, allocating and accounting for the use of public resources while sustaining fiscal transparency. GIFT defines the cycle using four steps: the formulation of policy, its enactment, implementation and auditing. Proper execution of this sequence demands transparency, including the disclosure of government fiscal risks, public participation and accountability.[12]
  • Fiscal transparency: The publication of information regarding how governments raise, spend and manage public resources. It epitomizes the dissemination of high quality knowledge on governments’ use of public assets and liabilities, raise taxes, borrow, spend and invest money. Fiscal transparency is a critical component of effective fiscal policymaking and management of fiscal risks. In the last two decades, strides have been made to establish and implement international standards for fiscal transparency.[13] [14]
  • Geocoding: The computational process of transforming an address description to a location on Earth’s surface (in numerical coordinates). Reverse geocoding converts these coordinates into a location description, usually the name of a place or a postal address. In a fiscal context, some programs have geocoded investment projects and service delivery units so expenditures and performance information can be shown on interactive maps, thereby facilitating social monitoring.[15] [16]
  • IAP 2 Public Participation Spectrum: A public participation matrix created by the International Association for Public Participation, assessing the degree to which public participation impacts public policy decisions. The spectrum involves five steps: inform, consult, involve, collaborate and empower. Providing citizens with balanced and objective information encourages feedback on public issues and concerns while establishing a mutual understanding of government goals. Direct involvement of the public places the final decision-making within the hands of those it affects.[17]
    • Inform: Provide the public with balanced and objective information to assist them in understanding the problem, alternatives, opportunities and/or solutions.
    • Consult: Obtain public feedback on analysis, alternatives and/or decisions.
    • Involve: Work directly with the public throughout the process to ensure public concerns and aspirations are consistently understood and considered.
    • Collaborate: Partner with the public in each aspect of the decision including the development of alternatives and the identification of the preferred solution.
    • Empower: Place the final decision making in the hands of the public.
  • Invented (autonomous/organic) participation: Endogenous efforts by civic activists to bring about change.[18]
  • Invited participation: Referring to spaces or situations where citizens are invited by the state to take part in the government decision-making.[19]
  • Multi-stakeholder forum: A structured environment designed to maximize participation and cooperation between government and civil society by bringing relevant partners into the discussion and ensuring all voices are heard. It is a cornerstone of a country’s successful participation in the Open Government Partnership and ultimately delivering collaborative open government reform.[20]
  • New policy initiatives, plans, or reviews on revenues, expenditures, financing, assets and liabilities: Fiscal policy initiatives that extended past the window for preparation of the annual budget, including medium term plans and long-term fiscal policy reviews. These may have been subject to public engagement.[21]
  • One-off consultation: An appointment or conference that is done or only happens once. This approach to public participation allows stakeholders to directly discuss and interact with public authorities, generating valuable feedback for fiscal policy objectives. For example, Canada has implemented public consultation exercises on specific issues such as financial literacy and pipeline implementation in areas occupied by Aboriginals.[22]
  • Ongoing and institutionalized participation: A form of civil involvement in which participation is a formalized process directly influencing the decision-making process. The platform for participation is established and recognized as a legitimate source of influence. Participation is taken seriously at a government level and published effectively, but may not necessarily lead to successful implementation of the public’s concerns.
  • Open Government Partnership (OGP): A multilateral initiative striving to secure transformative commitments co-created by governments and civil society. The partnership promotes and exercises transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to reinforce governance. It provides an international platform for domestic reformers committed to more accountable governments that are responsive to citizens. OGP is overseen by a Steering Committee that consists of government and civil society organization representatives. OGP champions collaboration between civil society and government to transform government practices and institutions, embracing the centrality of public participation [23] Since its inception in 2011, 67 additional governments have joined the Partnership for a total of 75 participation countries as well as 15 subnational governments. These actors have made over 2,500 commitments to transparency and accountability.
  • OGP Independent Reporting Mechanism Report: The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) is a primary means of stakeholders to track OGP progress within participating countries. Progress reports are used to assess governments’ ability to develop and implement the Partnership’s national action plans (NAP), fulfill open government principles, and offer recommendations. This encourages dialogue between participants and promotes accountability between member governments and citizens. It’s an independent body guided by the Steering Committee of the OGP and directly overseen by the International Experts Panel (IEP).  IRM data is published in an open format for public access.[24]
  • OGP National Action Plan: OGP participating countries will co-create a National Action Plan (NAP) with civil society. NAPs are at the core of a country’s participation in OGP. They are the product of a co-creation and participatory process in which government and civil society jointly develop commitments. Successful OGP action plans focus on significant national open government priorities and ambitious reforms; are relevant to the values of transparency, accountability, and public participation; and contain specific, time-bound, and measurable commitments.[25]
  • Open Budget Survey: A comprehensive analysis and survey that evaluates the accessibility of government budget information to the public and the extent of opportunities to participate in the budget process at the national level. It is the world’s only independent, comparable measure of budget transparency, participation and oversight. The OBS is part of the Open Budget Initiative, a global research and advocacy program promoting public access to budget information and the adoption of accountable budget systems. The International Budget Partnership (IBP) has worked with civil society partners in 115 countries to collect survey data. The first OBS was released in 2006 and has been conducted biennially. Using the Open Budget Index (OBI), the survey measures the overall commitment of countries to transparency. The OBS assigns a score to each based on the information made available to the public during the budget process and allows for comparisons between them.[26]
  • (Citizen) Participatory audit: A participatory audit is a mechanism for strategic partnership that promotes sharing goals and objectives between civil society and public institutions. The audit technique unites CSOs, citizens and commission auditors together, encouraging community involvement. For example, the Commission on Audit (COA), supreme audit institution of the Philippines, employs the Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA). This is a constructive engagement approach between citizens and government in overseeing a government’s use of public resources. Accountability and transparency are prioritized through the CPA.[27]
  • Participatory budgeting (PB): A process seeking to integrate the public into the budget process by providing opportunities for direct participation in budget decision, such as through public meetings. It is a more inclusive and transparent way to manage public money while engaging people in government. Participation is often through dialogue during public meetings. Taxpayers work directly with public representatives to make the budget decisions that affect their lives. The process was first developed in Brazil in 1989, and has since expanded around the world with over 1,500 participatory budgets. This consists primarily of municipal budgets at the city level, but has been diversely applied, from national agendas to school systems.[28] [29]
  • Pre-budget consultations: Discussions regarding the preparation, review and analysis of budget requests. These consultations engage the public to ensure their priorities are implemented in the budgetary process. The Department of Finance is usually responsible for coordinating these consultations. Information gathered from these meetings help inform budget decisions and develop multi-year forecasts for expenditures, revenues, and more.[30]
  • Public deliberation: An approach in which citizens are deeply involved in public decision making and community problem solving alongside government authority and experts. Inclusion of the public diversifies perspectives, leading to more comprehensive and effective policy implementation. 
  • Public engagement: A collaborative process that brings specialists and non-specialists together to address issues of common importance, solve shared problems and is conducive to positive social change. Involving average citizens in the deliberation process helps leaders better understand the breadth of perspectives, opinions and concerns of the public and stakeholders. Engaging with citizens builds trust and creates new opportunities for the public to become integrated in the decision-making process of governments.[31] [32] 
  • Public expenditure: The management and utilization of public resources. Public finance management (PFM) involves all aspects of resource mobilization and expenditure management in government. Expenditures are financed through government revenue (taxes, non-tax revenue), government borrowing and money creation.
  • Public expenditure review (PER): A core analytical product used by the World Bank for policy dialogue with national authorities. PERs typically assess the following: the sustainability of expenditures, the link between expenditures and policy objectives, output and outcomes, the appropriate public- private mix of services given market conditions, the beneficiaries and incidence of spending and the institutional arrangements and incentives needed to improve expenditure outcomes. Countries commonly undertake a PER every three or four years.[33]
  • Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA): A methodology for assessing public finance management (PFM) performance. PEFA identifies 94 characteristics across 31 major components of public finance management indicators in 7 activity areas. The program provides a framework for analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of PFM by using quantitative data to measure their performance. By providing a snapshot of PFM performance, changes can be closely monitored over time. The program is built upon the principles of the Strengthened Approach to Supporting Public Financial Management Reform. This embodies three key components: a country-led agenda, a coordinated program supported by donors and international finance institutions, and a shared information pool on public financial management. PEFA aims to encourage country ownership, enhance donor harmonization, allow for country PFM monitoring over time, improve reform impact, better address developmental and fiduciary concerns, as well as reduce transaction costs to countries.[34]
  • Public participation in fiscal policy: Public participation refers to the multitude of ways in which citizens and the general public (including CSOs and non-state actors) directly interact with public authorities with respect to the design, implementation and review of public policies. This can range from one-off consultations to on-going and institutionalized relationships. Direct public participation in fiscal policy and budget making has been established as a basic right in the “High Level Principles of Fiscal Transparency, Participation and Accountability” publicized by the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT). It consists of ten principles, including “citizens and non-state actors [having] the right and effective opportunities to participate directly in public debate and discussion over the design and implementation of fiscal policies” (Principle 10). The principles were endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012.[35]
  • Social accountability: An approach in which governments, donors and civil society recognize the important role of citizens and communities in enhancing the accountability of public officials, reducing corruption, leakage of funds as well as improving public service delivery. It has become a critical component of public sector and civil society initiatives to improve governance processes.[36]
  • Social audit: An independent evaluation of an organization’s performance regarding its social goals, particularly the ability to demonstrate social, environmental and economic benefits. The process provides an assessment of the impact of non-financial objectives through regular monitoring based on the views of stakeholders (those who have invested resources in the organization). The social audit strengthens the legitimacy of the state while building greater trust between the state and civil society.[37] [38] Social auditing values the voice of stakeholders, particularly marginalized groups. This enhances local governance by strengthening accountability and transparency. Social audits train communities on participatory local planning, encourage local democracy, benefit the disadvantaged, promote collective decision-making and develop human resources and social capital.
  • Social monitoring: An initiative that oversees the quality and effectiveness of public services and ensures that resources are used for the purpose intended. Social monitoring activities can be undertaken at the local, regional or national level, by organizations, citizens, or the users of public services.[39]
  • Supreme audit institution (SAI): A national agency responsible for auditing government revenue and spending. Its primary objective is to oversee the management of public funds and the credibility of financial data reported by governments. Its roles, from legal mandates to reporting relationships and effectiveness, vary widely depending on the country.[40] [41]
  • Top-down budgeting: A budget approach in which the overall allocation of expenditure is determined before the allocation between main policies or sectors is made. Decisions are taken in a cascading manner, where local government authority determines the budget’s nature with limited consultation of the public.

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[1] http://www.fiscaltransparency.net/blog_open_public.php?IdToOpen=5278
[2] http://guide.fiscaltransparency.net/case-study/bottom-upgrassroots-participatory-budgeting/
[3] http://www.dbm.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/Issuances/2015/Joint%20Memorandum%20Circular/JMC_DBM-DILG-DSWD-NAPC%20NO.%207%20DATED%20NOVEMBER%203,%202015%20-%20POLICY%20GUIDELINES%20AND%20PROCEDURES%20IN%20THE%20IMPLEMENTATION%20OF%20THE%20BOTTOM-UP%20BUDGETING%20PROGRAM%20FOR%20FY2016%20AND%20THEREAFTER.pdf
[4] https://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/2007/eng/051507m.pdf
[5] http://www.un.org/en/sections/resources/civil-society/index.html
[6] https://www.opengovpartnership.org/stories/what-makes-successful-open-government-co-creation
[7] https://www.opengovpartnership.org/ogp-participation-co-creation-standards
[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coproduction_(public_services)
[9] http://www.internationalbudget.org/wp-content/uploads/impacts-of-fiscal-openness-gift-ibp-2015.pdf
[10] http://www.investopedia.com/articles/04/051904.asp
[11] http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/basics/fiscpol.htm
[12] http://www.fiscaltransparency.net/resourcesfiles/files/20170412159.pdf
[13] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiscal_transparency
[14] http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2012/080712.pdf
[15] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocoding
[16] http://siteresources.worldbank.org/PUBLICSECTORANDGOVERNANCE/Resources/285741-1326399585993/ModuleFiscalTransparency.pdf
[17] http://www.fgcu.edu/Provost/files/IAP_Public_Participation_Spectrum.pdf
[18] https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/11859
[19]http://accountabilityindia.in/sites/default/files/pdf_files/invited_spaces_invited_participation__effects_of_greater_participation_on_...pdf
[20] https://www.opengovpartnership.org/multistakeholder-forums
[21] http://guide.fiscaltransparency.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/GIFT-Public-Participation-Cases-overview-second-draft-23-nov-2013-tsa-clean.pdf
[22] http://www.fiscaltransparency.net/resourcesfiles/files/20150707119.pdf
[23] https://www.opengovpartnership.org
[24] https://www.opengovpartnership.org/about/independent-reporting-mechanism
[25] https://www.opengovpartnership.org/resources/ogp-process-step-2-develop-action-plan
[26] http://www.internationalbudget.org/opening-budgets/open-budget-initiative/open-budget-survey/
[27] https://wpqr4.adb.org/LotusQuickr/cop-mfdr/PageLibrary482571AE005630C2.nsf/0/9B4859AD13D1C26348257F1800270FE2/$file/05%20Session%202_Asia_Vivien%2BRosa.pdf
[28] https://www.participatorybudgeting.org
[29] http://siteresources.worldbank.org/PUBLICSECTORANDGOVERNANCE/Resources/285741-1326399585993/ModuleFiscalTransparency.pdf
[30] http://www.fin.gov.nl.ca/fin/budget/pre-budget_consults.html
[31] http://www.intellitics.com/blog/2012/09/28/what-is-public-engagement/
[32] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_engagement
[33] http://siteresources.worldbank.org/PUBLICSECTORANDGOVERNANCE/Resources/285741-1326399585993/ModuleFiscalTransparency.pdf
[34] https://pefa.org/what-pefa
[35] http://guide.fiscaltransparency.net/about-this-guide/
[36] http://wbi.worldbank.org/boost/tools-resources/topics/promoting-open-budgets/social-accountability
[37] http://www.internationalbudget.org/wp-content/uploads/social-audits-in-south-africa-guide-2015.pdf
[38] http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/cgg/unpan023752.pdf
[39] http://siteresources.worldbank.org/PUBLICSECTORANDGOVERNANCE/Resources/285741-1326399585993/ModuleFiscalTransparency.pdf
[40] http://www1.worldbank.org/prem/PREMNotes/premnote59.pdf
[41] http://www1.worldbank.org/prem/PREMNotes/premnote59.pdf