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Participatory Reforms in the Budget Process

This note provides the rationale for the development of a comprehensive reform strategy to promote more stakeholder participation – namely amongst the public and civil society – in the budget process. Currently, the budget process is most significant at the Union level. Yet such reforms, often referred to as participatory budgeting, can also complement the ongoing processes of decentralization, which will empower subnational governments with more revenue mobilization powers and more expenditure responsibilities. This introductory note explains the import of reforms and potential principles to guide such changes at both the Union and subnational level. It also suggests some initial reform opportunities for the next Union budget. Discussion from this paper will be used to guide a comprehensive discussion paper that will use comparative study to lay out a strategy for both Union and subnational reforms beyond the next budget.

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