The Center for Budget and Economic Governance (CBEG) was established in 2015 with funding from the Hewlett Foundation. The Center seeks to improve the quality of life of Ugandans through promoting a transparent and accountable public expenditure as well as increasing economic opportunities for women, men and the youth. It builds on five years of work under ACODE’s Citizens’ Budget Tracking and Information Center (CBTIC) whose aim was to empower citizens by providing them with up to date budget information. The CBEG has three primary areas of focus including Transparency and Accountability, Local Economic Development and Regional Integration.
Our work on transparency and accountability of public expenditure under the Center is premised on the thesis that greater transparency has not translated into accountability in Uganda because the demand and supply sides of accountability have remained disjointed thereby undermining the accountability framework. The CBEG seeks to bridge this gap by creating more options for citizens to demand for accountability, empowering them to use those spaces to demand for accountability and encouraging government to respond to citizens’ demands for accountability. The center has four outcome areas in the area of transparency and accountability:
- Promoting the use of research and analysis to improve public expenditure governance;
- Building citizen capacity to use data to demand for accountability in service delivery;
- Enhancing central and local governments’ capacity to respond to citizen demands for accountability;
- Designing innovative frameworks and methodologies for activating the supply and demand sides of accountability in public expenditure.
Through this area, the CBEG aims at enhancing regional trade and integration in the East African Community (EAC) through three approaches. The first approach will be empowering more citizens (and citizen groups) particularly youth women and small traders to effectively participate in regional processes aimed at increasing regional trade and integration. The second is making significant contribution to on-going efforts to increase demand for accountability from national actors and the EAC secretariat in relation to regional trade and integration. The third approach will involve rallying citizens’ support for agreed positions particularly on contentious issues in EAC member countries. The overall goal of the CBEG under this area is to promote accountability and citizen participation in regional trade and integration processes in the East African Community. The Center’s work under this area is organized around four strategic objectives:
- To generate evidence for advocating for increased participation of the citizens and demand for accountability in regional trade and integration processes;
- To provide citizens with relevant information for effective participation in regional trade, integration processes, and demand for accountability;
- To strengthen regional partnerships for promoting citizen participation in regional trade and integration processes and demand for accountability from governments and the EAC secretariat;
- To build support among citizens of member countries for agreed positions (in treaties and protocols) on issues that are contentious in EAC member states.
Through this area, the CBEG aims at building capacities for Local Economic Development (LED) at district level by supporting LGs, businesses and non-governmental sector to work together to create better conditions for economic growth and employment generation at district level. The center’s work under this area largely involves:
- Research on economic performance, development opportunities and challenges in the districts;
- Facilitate joint planning, implementation and evaluation among stakeholders in the districts.