14, November, 2011

Mexico City’s Innovation: Budgeting with a Human Rights Approach

In 2009, the Mexico City government implemented an innovative budgeting approach – the first of its kind – to specifically link the budget with human rights. As a result, 75% of the Mexico City budget is now tied to implementing specific actions to promote human rights.

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.

This Brief has been reviewed by Alejandro González, Executive Director of Gestión Social y Cooperación (GESOC), Mexico, alejandro.gonzalez@gesoc.org.mx and Héctor Rubio, Researcher, GESOC, Mexico, hector.rubio@gesoc.org.mx.

HUMAN RIGHTS LEARNING ALLIANCE: If you are interested in human rights issues, note that applications are now open for our 4-month Human Rights learning programme between Latin American, African and South Asian policymakers, practitioners and researchers.  Click here to access full programme details and the application form, which must be submitted by 30 November 2012.

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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.

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