In the last few decades, Latin American (LA) countries have increased
oversight of public spending by strengthening Supreme Audit Institutions
(SAIs), including by implementing social control mechanisms to
increasingly involve citizens in monitoring efforts. These reforms help
ensure public funds are spent according to the law, on the policies for
which they were designated, and in a way that makes a concrete impact.
This brief analyses the implementation of these reforms in the region,
focusing on their design, outcomes, and lessons learned for South Asian
and African contexts.
- Effective reforms focused on SAIs' autonomy, technical and financial
capacity, and enforcement mandate.
- Expanding the scope for monitoring spending from merely complying with
designation to actually achieving impact is both possible and
- LA SAIs used creative mechanisms to assure citizen participation,
thereby improving the quality of oversight, but certain conditions
seem key to success.
Oropeza, J. ELLA Policy Brief: The Latin American Approach to Improving Public Spending Oversight. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2011) 4 pp.