Transparent government budgets promote accountability and allow the public to have a greater say in the delivery of services. However, getting access to budget information is not always easy.
That is where BudgIT comes in. They are a Lagos-based non-profit using technology and partnerships with community organisations and governments to make Nigeria’s public spending more open and accessible.
BudgIT use creative and simplified ways to present public spending data to the general public – including tweets, infographics, and video explainers. This innovative approach improves understanding of public budgets, sparks constructive debate, and strengthens governance.
BudgIT use creative and simplified ways to present public spending data to the general public – including tweets, infographics, and video explainers
public projects monitored on BudgIT’s Tracka platform
BudgIT also offers an online platform designed to address critical issues surrounding social and economic development in Nigeria, particularly the lack of public engagement in developmental projects. Called Tracka, it allows users to track government projects in their communities and now hosts close to 10,000 citizen-generated reports monitoring spending on 864 public projects.
The idea behind BudgIT was conceptualised in Lagos during a 2011 ‘tech in governance’ event organised by Co-Creation Hub, another Luminate grantee. We first supported BudgIT, in 2014, with $400,000 to spur their growth from a small organisation experimenting with innovative ways of making public finances more engaging to a leading voice in the fight for transparency and accountability in the spending of public funds.
In 2016, we contributed a further $1.5 million to help BudgIT grow its organisational capacity, build on the Tracka project, and expand its work with State governments. Significant progress has been made. As of December 2017, only two of Nigeria’s 36 states had their approved budgets in the public domain. Since then, as a result of BudgIT’s work, 19 states have published their budgets.
Finally, BudgIT is a member of Open Alliance, a group of civil society organisation. In 2017, their powerful #OpenNASS campaign led to the National Assembly publishing its budget for the first time in seven years.