GSW Social Spending Data Used for New Inequality Index

CRI Report Cover17 July 2017 - A new report monitoring the policy advice and surveillance the multilateral organisations are giving on SDG-related spending is launched today at a roundtable, alongside the UN HLPF. DFI, New Rules for Global Finance and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung are publishing Are The Multilateral Organisations Fighting Inequality? which analyses the impact that the UN, IMF, OECD, World Bank, FSB and G20 are having on supporting countries across the world to fight inequality more effectively.


This report assesses the multilateral organisations for their commitment to increasing social spending and making its coverage universal and free, thereby enhancing its impact on reducing inequality.
It scores and ranks each of the organisations for their impact across various policy transmission mechanisms, especially on tax, spending, labour and development financing policies. It finds that readiness and impact in fighting inequality is greatest in the UN, especially through its support to countries provided by UNDP and specialised agencies such as the ILO, UNICEF, UNESCO, WHO and UN Women. At the other end of the spectrum, the G20 has only focussed intermittently on inequality and has therefore achieved very little.

Download the executive summary.

SDGs: What Lessons can be learned from the MDGs?

international budget partnership logo2 June 2017 - The International Budget Partnership (IBP) has published a budget brief which explores good practices and lessons learned from monitoring government budgets and expenditure on the MDGs. The aim of this brief is to assist with monitoring, reporting, and accountability, in respect of the SDGs.

Featuring summaries of case studies from 11 countries, the brief presents findings from research by DFI in collaboration with IBP that draws on DFI’s Government Spending Watch (GSW) initiative, which monitored MDG-related spending across 72 developing countries. The research looked at budget transparency practices, the relative ease of identifying MDG, budget classification and presentation for both planned and actual spending.

To support this brief, DFI produced a background paper prepared for IBP which aims to establish lessons to inform advocacy efforts to promote greater budget transparency and accountability in the SDGs implementation framework.

Fiscal Justice Capacity-Building Workshop, Lilongwe (2)

Oxfam24-27 January 2017 - DFI helped to facilitate an Oxfam Southern Africa workshop which aimed at designing programmes to achieve fiscal justice at regional and national levels. DFI presented on global, regional and national trends in tax policies, budget financing (aid and debt), and spending policies, and assisted Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe to identify their priorities for future country and regional work. Among the key priorities emerging were a regional index on fiscal justice and inequality, incidence analysis, tax incentives, gender budgeting, and extractives revenue-sharing.

Social Spending Fall in DRC (2)

DRC2 September 2016 -  Despite stable overall public spending figures, DRC’s expenditure in some key social sectors as percentage of total expenditure has declined from 2014 to 2015, notably in health and agriculture. GSW’s latest country spending summary highlights DRC’s shift of budgetary priorities in an election year where government spending seems to be reoriented towards public order and security, and infrastructure projects.

This note is also available in French

Oxfam Inequality and Fiscal Justice Capacity Building

oxfam-uk1-2 February 2016 - DFI facilitated a regional capacity-building workshop for Oxfam International Asia, training around 30 staff on analyzing fiscal justice to combat inequality. The training covered anti-inequality government spending (using the GSW database) and anti-inequality tax policy (using a new GSW tax database), and helped participants to define priorities for regional and country strategies to campaign for fiscal justice.

Helping Oxfam Fight Inequality, Dakar and Nairobi

DFI logo    oxfam-uk  

5-9 October 2015 - The DFI/Government Spending Watch team provided resource people for two simultaneous Oxfam events to design programmes for fighting inequality. The first was a workshop in Nairobi for Kenya and Vietnam, which are soon launching major programmes on anti-inequality tax and spending policies funded by the Government of Finland; and the second was a regional workshop in Dakar for West Africa, planning a regional report on inequality, as well as programmes in 8 regional countries on tax and spending issues.

Education for All Global Monitoring Report

EFA 2015The final ever Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR) published to coincide with the end of the Education for All (EFA) agenda and the MDGs to evaluate progress since 2000, has used Government Spending Watch figures. These helped evaluate domestic spending trends in the education sector to feed into the EFA report.

DFI prepared a background report analyzing recent domestic resource spending trends in the education sector using our GSW database.This has enabled the GMR team to analyse spending trends in areas which they have not done previously, in particular recurrent and capital breakdowns, and the breakdown of salaries compared to other areas, as well as budgeted spend against actual spend.

GSW data was commissioned for this study as this is the only cross-country comparable data source which allows spending within the education sector (or other sectors) into these areas.  

GSW Report 2015 - Financing the Sustainable Development Goals: Lessons from Government Spending on the MDGs

GSW Report 2015 CoverThe new 2015 Government Spending Watch report (“Financing the Sustainable Development Goals: Lessons from Government Spending on the MDGs”) is launched April 13th. The report uses new and unique data-sets from 67 countries on MDG spending over 2012-14 period, new data-sets on debt and defence spending, combined with in-depth analysis of the latest financing trends in developing countries, to draw lessons and implications for the FfD agenda of the SDGs.

It finds that government spending is falling one third short of MDG needs. While the SDGs will require at least US$1.5 trillion extra in public financing annually – meaning a total of US$22.5 trillion in additional finance will need to be mobilised over the lifetime of the SDGs.

The report recommends that this US$1.5 trillion can be financing through a three-pronged approach:

1. doubling tax revenue, by radically overhauling global tax rules

2. doubling concessional development cooperation, and improving its allocation and effectiveness;

3. raising US$500 billion in public innovative financing. In addition, all spending must be dramatically reoriented to fight inequality, and be much more transparent and accountable to the world’s citizens.

If these measures are not taken, the SDGs may well be dead at birth.

You can download the full report here pdfor alternatively the Executive summary - Executive summary in French