12, December, 2014

Measuring Open Data’s Impact of Brazilian National and Sub-national Budget Transparency Websites and its Impacts on People’s Rights

This exploratory research from the Brazilian Institute for Socioeconomic Studies is designed to contribute to increasing knowledge about open data in Brazil. The research is divided into two stages, namely, a quantitative and a qualitative stage.

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Having access to budget information is critical for ensuring transparency in the public sector, thus enhancing its effectiveenss and accountability. Recently, a movement was launched for data to be open, that is, freely available, in a timely fashion and to any citizen. This is a new process that is still under way and whose features vary according to the country where it is taking place.

In Brazil, the availability of data on public management has increased since the Access to Information Act (LAI, in its Portuguese acronym) was passed in 2011, which governs the procedures to be followed by the federated entities to ensure access to information to society.

For nearly two decades, INESC has been actively engaged in public budget reviews based on the tax justice concept and on the development of the Budget and Rights methodology. It monitors and decodes federal budgeting processes and their financial execution, carrying out technical analyses of public spending in general but also of specific aspects related to the so-called "thematic budgets", i.e. budgets focused on socio-environmental issues, racial equality, food and nutrition security, children and adolescents, indigenous peoples, and public safety.

The organisation only began to work on the specific topic of open data more recently. In 2011, Inesc published the research Budget Transparency in Brazilian Capitals, based on the methodology adopted by the International Budget Partnership (IBP). In 2013, it launched the platform called O Orçamento ao Seu Alcance (Budget at your Fingertips) in partnership with the Brazil Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF Brazil), which was prepared using open source tools such as that of OpenSpending.org and open data of the Brazilian federal budget, making it possible for a broader and more diverse number of users to have greater access to them with simpler visualization. Inesc also participates in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative by taking part in its steering committee as representative of global civil society.

In this context, Inesc undertook to conduct the research Measuring Open Data’s Impact of Brazilian National and Sub-national Budget Transparency Websites and its Impacts on People’s Rights, carried out under the Open Data for Developing Countries (ODDC) initiative of the World Wide Web Foundation (WWWF).

Editors: Nathalie Beghin and Carmela Zigoni
Orginal publication date: July, 2014
Publisher: Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (INESC)

Click here to view the complete document in PDF format


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