Call for research proposals: Action Research on Citizen’s Budget

Terms of Reference


In 2022, ICLD published a toolbox on how to create Citizen’s Budgets in local governments as a way to communicate the local budget (process) in a way that is accessible to all citizens.[1] The toolbox is based on extensive research conducted in North Macedonia.[2] The transparency score, as per the Open Municipalities Index developed in the study, indicated clear improvements in the geographical area of the research after involvement of the research team. A toolbox was therefore developed to instructing municipalities in the creation of a Citizen’s Budget. A workshop on the topic conducted by the principal investigator revealed interest among municipalities to be further supported in the implementation of their own Citizen Budget.


To compare and better understand the conditions for increased transparency in the budget process of local governments in Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Using participatory action research, the research team together with three local governments in Africa is expected to support the implementation of citizen budgets and evaluate and compare the perceptions of local government officials about the role of transparency in relation to the budget process.


This research project should cover a comparative action research project including Entebbe Municipality, Uganda, Gutu Rurual District Council, Zimbwabwe, and one to be decided county in Kenya.


The research team should submit a proposal about how to reach the following goals:

  • Review the state of the art in citizens budgets globally and in Africa.
  • Compare the formal and informal institutions of the three countries that support or hinder the process of citizen budget at the local level. 
  • Compare the attitudes of local government officials and politicians in the three localities about transparency in the local budget process before, during and after the implementation of the citizen budget.
  • Support the selected localities in the implementation of a Citizens Budget as per the ICLD Citizens Budget Toolbox.
  • Provide capacity building training on how to use infographics to assist the budget process.
  • Record the process of implementing the citizen budget, using observations, interviews and self-reflection with the local government officials involved in the process that contributes with new knowledge and fills the research gap.


  • Research report using ICLD guidelines.
  • Description of the state of implementation in the studies local governments
  • If applicable an updated toolbox for other (African) local governments.

Expected timeline

The project shall begin in September 2023 and end in May 2024. An alternative end date can be accepted if well motivated in the proposal.


This grant is the equivalent to 300.000 SEK incl. VAT and overhead costs.


The research team should submit a research proposal using ICLD’s system and guidelines. ICLD encourages the collaboration with researchers from its MoU universities and the alumni of the Local Democracy Academy.

Apply here:

The portal requires an account to be made by the main applicant. The account and portal will also be used for contract writing, reporting and other administration around the grant. Make sure to start the application procedure well in advance of the deadline, to leave room for any unclarities and need for support.

Please use the following Proposal Template:

Deadline for application: 9 August, 2023

Note: Due to summer holidays, we cannot guarantee support with the application process from the 12th of July.


Clara Orstadius, Research Officer, +46 (0)70-984 07 05



Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Participatory democracy, citizen dialogues and budgeting