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Linking national and local level work

Those working at national level are able to access much more budget information then those working locally, through written materials; through meetings and contacts with government officials and representatives, civil society organisations, academics and media; and through international connections. This power and access to information brings with it responsibilities and opportunities.

As seen in the previous example from Bangladesh, local level analysis and action can be constrained or badly targeted due to lack of information. How can a local group carry out budget tracking if they do not know how much money is supposed to arrive at their school? What demands can a group make on the school or local government if they do not know what rights are contained in the national education policy? How can people know which actions to pursue and organisations to target if they are unaware of who has the power and where the decisions are made?

National budget allocations have a direct impact on the local level, and national education policy determines the extent of local participation in resource allocation and management. People at the local level need to be aware of this information to contextualise their discussions. Moreover, they need to know when budget decisions are being made, and by whom, so that they can target their analysis and action in a timely and effective way. Organisations and coalitions working at the national level should continually reflect on what information could be useful locally, and how this information can be made accessible to local groups. By producing simplified versions of budget information or education policies national level groups can help deepen and strengthen the analysis and action at local level.

See:

Using local information for national work

Some common budget jargon