Improving local budget processes: from inclusion and transparency to equity and quality

This policy brief analyses local budget processes and provides recommendations for their improvement. The analysis is based on the example of North Macedonia. We find evidence that: 1) greater transparency leads to greater citizen satisfaction with the quality of local services, especially for marginalised groups; 2) greater inclusion leads to greater citizen satisfaction with how local budgets are prepared and implemented realised; 3) greater openness in local government leads to greater transparency and inclusion of citizens in budgetary processes. Our recommendations for improving processes include the creation of an index for comprehensive local budget process measurement, enhancement of citizens’ financial literacy, a web platform for easy citizen engagement, and implementation of participatory budgeting.

This policy brief is a result of the ICLD Local Democracy Academy 2020.