In the last few decades, Latin American governments have
implemented innovative budget reforms to improve public spending and the
overall impact of public policies. Latin American’s reforms sought 4 main
objectives: enhance efficiency and effectiveness of spending;
incorporate citizen participation in the budget process; increase
transparency and control over public spending; and use the budget as a
tool to advance rights and equality. An important part of the LA story
is that, alongside these government reforms, strong civil society
organisations (CSOs) emerged to demand greater accountability,
transparency, and participation in the budget process. This Guide
presents an overview to LA’s budget reform experience, emphasising
contextual factors enabling the design and implementation of these
reforms and on outcomes and lessons learned.
Budget transformations require long-term institutional and legal
reforms, as well as changes in budgeting culture and sufficient
A strong civil society willing and able to participate in the budget
process is necessary to promote accountability, enhance transparency,
and ensure that spending reflects social priorities and needs.
LA shows that the effort to implement budget reforms pays off with
improved transparency, citizen participation, and oversight, and
overall with better efficiency and impact of public spending.
FUNDAR, Centro de Análisis e Investigación. ELLA Guide: Improving policy impact in Latin America through the budget. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2011) 7 pp.