As people who work with this data, we know better than anyone that a few years of a handful groups spreading awareness of spending data to the general public has not been sufficient for enacting earth-shattering change in the budgetary policies and processes in governments around the world. While it's true there's more spending data available than ever before, these efforts have proven to be superficial in some cases and the budget processes themselves have not become much more transparent or participatory.
Conversely, the armchair auditors that were expected to emerge from the citizenry never really materialised. The notion of citizen auditors and engaging with citizens on an individual and collective basis still struggles to make headway. Clearly, we need to take solutions to this problem to the next level. More groups need to be more involved than ever before.
The book was started at a four day book sprint bringing together organisations from around the world from both a technical and a CSO background. Representatives from the Open Knowledge Foundation (UK), Fundar (Mexico), the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (India), the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and the Sunlight Foundation (US) contributed to the original document. The Book Sprint was facilitated by Adam Hyde, founder of the Book Sprint method and www.booksprints.net.
This book is released under a Creative Commons attribution licence, meaning that anyone is free to use and reuse the material provided that it is attributed to the Spending Data Handbook. You can help by doing one of the following:
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