ELLA Policy Brief: Mexico City's Innovation: Budgeting with a Human Rights Approach.

ELLA is the Evidence and Lessons from Latin America programme


Increasingly, the budget is being seen as an effective tool to promote human rights, though most governments around the world still designate their budgets without specifically linking them to human rights improvements. This brief describes how the first budgeting process with a human rights approach was designed and implemented by the Government of Mexico City (GMC) (Gobierno de la Ciudad de México), analysing the process, initial outcomes and lessons learned, to help potentially replicate the initiative in other contexts.

Key Lessons:

  • Budgeting with a human rights approach can increase the human rights actions undertaken by governments by specifically linking spending allocations with the realisation of human rights.
  • Incorporating a human rights approach into the budgeting process is feasible, but it requires changes in institutional processes and routines, while also enacting legal reforms to sustain the process over time.
  • Civil society participation and the multi-stakeholder set up proved crucial to implementing this innovative approach.


Oropeza, J. ELLA Policy Brief: Mexico City’s Innovation: Budgeting with a Human Rights Approach. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2011) 4 pp.

Published 1 January 2011