30, November, 2011
SPOTLIGHT ON KNOWLEDGE

Spotlight on Publications: Budgets and Human Rights

In the last decade, CSOs and local governments in Latin America have developed budget analysis and design methodologies that incorporate a human rights approach to assess the degree to which governments’ budgets and public policies work towards the fulfilment of human rights. This selection highlights some of the key publications in this emerging field, including guides and tool-kits; methodologies for budget analysis of specific rights like health, education and the rights of children; and country case studies, that focus on specific countries but look at a variety of rights.

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GUIDES AND TOOL-KITS

Budget and Rights: Developing a Budget Analysis Method from the Perspective of Human Rights

This discussion paper describes INESC’s journey in creating a methodology for budget analysis from the perspective of implementing human rights and combating inequalities. The paper’s main argument is that public budget analysis from the perspective of human rights permits a linking of human rights and inequalities with the degree of their fulfilment through public policies and the budget. The methodology presented here offers a powerful analytical and political tool for CSOs around the world that want to conduct budget analysis with a human rights approach.
 
Full Citation: Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (INESC). 2009. Budget and Rights: Developing a Budget Analysis Method from the Perspective of Human Rights. INESC Discussion Paper 157. INESC, Brasilia.
 

Dignity Counts: A Guide to Using Budget Analysis to Advance Human Rights

This publication provides guidance to CSOs on how to use budget analysis as a tool to assess a government’s compliance with its economic, social and cultural rights obligations. It presents a methodology that relates the budget with specific human rights, and offers a Mexican case study that used this methodology to analyse health rights. This publication will be valuable to CSOs that want to analyse their own government’s fulfilment of human rights obligations and use the results to promote changes in the budgeting and policymaking process of their countries.
 
Full Citation: Fundar, International Budget Project, International Human Rights Internship Program. 2004. Dignity Counts: A Guide to Using Budget Analysis to Advance Human Rights. Fundar, International Budget Project and International Human Rights Internship Program, Mexico City.
 

Guide to Budget Analysis with a Human Rights Approach for the City of Buenos Aires

This guide presents a budget analysis methodology used to assess the degree to which economic, social and cultural rights are being addressed through the budget in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The guide’s main conclusion is that budget analysis with a human rights approach highlights governments’ real priorities and their commitment to basic rights. The methodology presented here can be used by CSOs, researchers in public institutions or legislators to enrich public debate, strengthen the demands of vulnerable groups and point out governments’ non-fulfilment of human rights obligations.
 
Full Citation: Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (Civil Association for Equality and Justice - ACIJ), Tinker Foundation. Guía de Análisis Presupuestario con Enfoque de Derechos Para la Ciudad de Buenos Aires (Guide to Budget Analysis with a Human Rights Approach for the City of Buenos Aires) . ACIJ and Tinker Foundation, Buenos Aires.
 

Public Policies and Budgets with a Human Rights Approach

This manual pursues two objectives: training and sensitising public servants on the relationship between their work and human rights obligations; and providing knowledge and useful tools for incorporating a human rights approach into the design, discussion, approval, implementation and evaluation of public policies and budgets. Targeted specifically at public officials, this manual will be useful to policymakers and public sector actors in charge of approving the budget and implementing public policies who want to incorporate a human rights approach into their work.
 
Full Citation: UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico (UNOHCHR-Mexico), Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences-Mexico, Fundar, Gesoc. 2010. Políticas Públicas y Presupuestos con Perspectiva de Derechos Humanos. Manual Operativo para Servidoras y Servidores Públicos (Public Policies and Budgets With a Human Rights Approach. Handbook For Public Servants). UNOHCHR-Mexico, Mexico City.
 

SPECIFIC RIGHTS

Draft Budget 2012: An Analysis of Progress in Promoting the Right to Education and Equality

This working document explores Buenos Aires’ education budget proposal for 2012. By analysing the amounts allocated to education through different programmes and indicators measuring the right to education, the report concludes that the city’s education budget does not necessarily benefit the poorest and most vulnerable populations. The budget analysis methodology presented in this study can be used by CSOs or researchers in other countries that want to analyse the extent to which their government’s budget proposal works towards the realisation of specific human rights, in particular the right to education.
 
Full Citation: Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (Civil Association for Equality and Justice - ACIJ), Tinker Foundation. 2011. Proyecto de Ley de Presupuesto 2012. Un Análisis Sobre el Grado de Avance en la Promoción del Derecho a la Educación y a la Igualdad (Draft Budget 2012. An Analysis of Progress in Promoting the Right to Education and Equality). ACIJ and the Tinker Foundation, Buenos Aires.
 

Five Views on the Right to Health: Case Studies in Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua

This book analyses and monitors the degree to which the right to health has been fulfilled at the national level in Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua, and at the local level in two provinces of Mexico. The advancement of health rights in these five cases is studied using a methodology based on the human rights approach provided by the international legal framework and indicators on the right to health. The case studies and methodology presented will be of use to CSOs, researchers in academic institutions and even to policymakers who want to assess the state of health rights in their countries or regions.
 
Full Citation: Pérez, M. (ed). 2010. Cinco Miradas al Derecho a la Salud. Estudios de Caso en México, El Salvador y Nicaragua (Five Views on the Right to Health. Case Studies in Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua). Fundar, Mexico City.
 

Health Care: A Question of Human Rights, Not Charity

This working paper is a seminal work on human rights and the budget in Latin America. It presents one of the first methodological proposals for using budget analysis as a tool to advance the fulfilment of economic, social and cultural rights. Using this methodology, the authors analyse the Mexican national budget and document the inequities between rural and urban inhabitants that translate into different health outcomes. The methodology presented in this paper will be useful for CSOs and policymakers who want to assess the degree to which their own countries’ budget promotes health-related human rights.
 
Full Citation: Hofbauer, H., Lara, G., Martínez, B. 2002. Health Care: A Question of Human Rights, Not Charity. Fundar, Mexico City.
 

HIV/AIDS and Human Rights: Public Budgets for the Epidemic in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Nicaragua

This publication studies public spending and policies relating to HIV/AIDS in five Latin American countries – Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and Nicaragua. It aims to establish a link between the obligations of states with regard to human rights and the public resources that states devote to this end. It also includes an evaluation of policies and budgets from a human rights perspective. The budget analysis methodology presented here can help empower CSOs to monitor the fulfilment of rights related to HIV/AIDS through the budget.
 
Full Citation: Lara, G., Hofbauer, H. 2004. HIV/AIDS and Human Rights: Public Budgets for the Epidemic in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Fundar, Mexico City.
 

Understanding the Public Budget: A Tool to Ensure Compliance with the Rights of Children and Adolescents

These toolkits are targeted to CSOs and citizens concerned about advancing the human rights of children and adolescents in Argentina and elsewhere. The main argument of the toolkit is that these rights cannot be fulfilled if states fail to allocate resources for developing and implementing programmes and policies for children and adolescents. This toolkit is valuable for CSOs and citizens from any country, as it presents an analytical framework for understanding how the budget relates to the rights of children and adolescents, and how citizens and CSOs can participate in budget and public policy processes to advance youth rights.
 
Full Citation: Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento (Centre for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth - CIPPEC), UNICEF. 2006. Entendiendo el Presupuesto Público: Una Herramienta para Garantizar el Cumplimiento de los Derechos de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes, Módulo I y II (Understanding the Public Budget: A Tool to Ensure Compliance with the Rights of Children and Adolescents, Module I and II). CIPPEC and UNICEF, Buenos Aires.
 

COUNTRY CASE STUDIES

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Situation of Guatemala

This report, updated frequently, analyses the economic, social, cultural and environmental rights situation in Guatemala. These rights are studied using a methodology that combines specific indicators with a human rights approach in order to analyse the budget allocation and public policies implemented to advance these rights. The report’s main argument is that the yearly analysis of these rights highlights structural issues and concrete actions that the government can implement to advance these rights. CSOs, researchers and policymakers can benefit from using this human rights methodology.
 
Full Citation: Santos, J. et al. (eds). 2009. Situación de los Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales de Guatemala. Informe DESC 2009 (Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Situation of Guatemala. ESCR Report 2009). International Centre for Human Rights Research and Guatemalan Non-governmental and Cooperatives Coordination, Guatemala City.
 

Rethinking Macro Economic Strategies from a Human Rights Perspective

As a slight variation on budget analysis, this report presents a methodology and approach for assessing the degree to which macroeconomic policies comply with human rights obligations ratified by countries. The methodology is then put into practice to assess the extent to which economic policies in the US and Mexico comply with human rights obligations. The methodology proposed and the case studies analysed can be used by CSOs, academics or policy makers interested in analysing if the macroeconomic policies of their country are working towards the fulfilment of human rights.
 
Full Citation: Balakrishnan, R., Elson, D., Patel, R. 2009. Rethinking Macro Economic Strategies from a Human Rights Perspective (Why MES with Human Rights II). Fundar and Marymount Manhattan College, New York.
 

Social Spending Observatory: Monitoring of the 2009 Budget

This report reflects a collaborative effort among Guatemalan CSOs to analyse the annual national budget and how it advances the rights contained in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In particular, the report examines five human rights that are critical for the Guatemalan context: right to land, gender equality, health, food and education. The methodology and analytical framework presented in this report will be useful for CSOs and governments that want to better link the budgetary process with the fulfilment of human rights.
 
Full Citation: Aguirre, A., Santos, J. 2010. Observatorio de Gasto Social. Monitoreo del Presupuesto 2009 (Social Spending Observatory. Monitoring of the 2009 Budget). International Centre for Human Rights Research and Guatemalan Nongovernmental and Cooperatives Coordination, Guatemala City.
 

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Other ELLA knowledge materials relating to Budget and Public Policies:

GUIDES AND BRIEFS

SPOTLIGHT SUMMARIES

MULTIMEDIA

REVIEWS

LEARNING ALLIANCE HIGHLIGHTS

NON-ELLA PUBLICATIONS

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