Budget Watch

Budget making in Pakistan has traditionally been an exclusive domain of the government, as people could not access or analyze the relevant information in a timely manner. CPDI has been working to change this by demanding transparency, building relevant budget tracking capacities in the civil society and articulating and advocating peoples-centred budget making. In specific terms, the aim of the program on budget watch is to:

  • Study the budget making processes at various levels of governance
  • Analyze budget priorities and allocations in the light of challenges confronted in the related jurisdictions
  • Track the use of budget allocations, identify inefficiencies if any, and implement advocacy activities to get the identified problems redressed
  • Create public awareness and promote informed policy debates for influencing policy outcomes

Twitter Space Sessions

11 June, 2022

Projects Under Budget Watch
Project TitleDemocratic Local Governance  for development in Pakistan
Supported ByJointly funded by European Union and FNF 
Duration4 Years starting from Jan, 2017
Project Objectives1. To develop good governance coalitions / partnerships of CSOs, Local Authorities (LAs) and the private sector for people -oriented sustainable development;
2. To enable civil society-district NGOs and Media to advocate for transparent and accountable local governance to monitor and assess the performance of LAs in the targeted districts; and
3. To support Local Authorities to fulfil their mandates for inclusive and transparent budgeting and planning processes as well as to negotiate with provincial governments on local development issues.
Geographic Focus15 Districts of KP, Balochistan and Sindh
1- Peshawar
2- Buner
3- Swabi
4- Charsada
5- Hangu
6- Karachi South
7- Hyderabad
8- Khairpur
9- Sukkur
10- Ghotki
11- Quetta
12- Bolan
13- Sibi
14- Ziarat
15- Jaffarabad
Target Group & Beneficiaries Citizens, Local CSOs, Media, Local Authorities
Brief Description Project “Democratic Local Governance for Development in Pakistan” aims to build capacity of CSOs and citizens to demand more efficient, transparent, inclusive and accountable local governance systems in the KP, Sindh and Balochistan. Under this initiative support will be provided to Local Authorities to fulfill the mandates for inclusive and transparent budgeting and planning processes and better service delivery especially in Education, Health, Water and Sanitation.
Project TitleStrengthening Civil Society to Improve Accountability
Supported ByNational Endowment for Democracy(NED)
Project DurationOne Year (Feb 2015 – Jan 2016)
Project Objectives1. To analyze budgets of the provincial government and share reports with partners and stakeholders for debate and policy influence.
2. To form a network of different civil society organizations, academia and NGOs named “Citizens Network for Budget Accountability, CNBA” for monitoring of the budget at district level.
3. To provide facilitation and technical support to CNBA so that it can continue to efficiently monitor the use of public funds and take initiatives to make the relevant public authorities accountable.
4. To inform and sensitize key officials of district so that they could positively respond to demands of civil society by establishing transparent procedures, implement participatory budgeting, effective monitoring and democratic accountability of the use of public funds
5. To provide platforms for discussion on main concerns related to development priorities of the present government.
6. To provide technical assistance to district governments in developing their own districts websites where the budget of last three years can be placed.
7. Advocacy for transparency and public participating in the budget making process.
Geographic FocusPunjab
Target Groups and beneficiariesGeneral Public and District Governments of the Punjab.
PublicationsDistrict Budget Punjab-Study of Budget Making Process at District Level
DescriptionWith the support of National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) has been implementing a project on “Strengthening Civil Society to Improve Accountability” since February 2006. Initially, the project was implemented only in the Rawalpindi district but, later, its scope was expanded to district Jhang in 2008-09 and district Khushab in 2009-10. Main objective of the project is ‘to promote democratization by establishing and strengthening mechanisms of enhanced public participation in monitoring and accountability of use of public funds by public authorities in the districts of the Punjab. In 2013-14, CPDI will take the gargantuan step of widening the scope of the project further to cover all 36 districts of the Punjab.
The project will consist of a comprehensive study of budget process in 36 districts of the Punjab. This study will look into the budget making process at district level with the lens of accountability, transparency and public participation. As a result of this study, long-term engagement will be made with district governments to improve the process of budget making. Civil Society Organizations, academia and NGOs from different districts will be involved for the accomplishment of this purpose and a network named “Citizens Network for Budget Accountability” will be made. CPDI will provide facilitation and technical support to CNBA so that it can continue to efficiently monitor the use of public funds and take initiatives to make the relevant public authorities accountable.
Under this program CPDI will also be giving these district governments the technical support for developing their website where the budget of last three years will be placed. This would be a step towards open and transparent district government.
Project TitleOur Money Our Responsibility
Supported ByIlm Ideas, DAI-DFID
Objectives1. To analyze education budgetary allocations and disbursements at provincial and district levels
2. To identify the leakage in the education budget at district, school and SC level
3. To identify the issues of inefficiencies at the school level
4. To collect and analyze information on access, quality and satisfaction of beneficiaries of education services
5. To propose a set of recommendations for policy and decision makers
Geographic FocusJhang & Toba Tek Sngh
Target Groups and beneficiariesSchools and school going children
DescriptionPublic Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) is an important tool to track the flow of resources to the lowest tier of administration. Likewise in Punjab, the education budget is extremely low which in turn results in low educational outcomes. As observed inn previous fiscal years, even the intended allocations do not reach out to the users of that service in the education sector. Leakage in education is rampant. Most of the time, education allocations either go to salary or development of infrastructure, very little remains for operational expenses. In most of the schools, non-salary budget is non-existent and in some, well below the requirements. Such situation compels the school administration charging school increments' on a monthly basis which exert extra pressure on the already poverty stricken people. This PETS along with government and citizen report card on service delivery will help document the leakage, inefficiencies and procedural disbursement bottlenecks. The production of research report will be followed by district dialogues and annual conference on education governance in provincial capital engaging a wide range of stakeholders on issues of common interest in the education sector in Punjab.
Project TitleWorkshop on Budget Analysis and Budget Advocacy (Consultation)
Duration5 Days (Sept 28-Oct 2, 2010)
Objectives1) Budget literacy – understanding budget documents (national, provincial and district)
2) Understanding the budget cycle targets and opportunities for advocacy (Preparation, Enactment/Legislation, Execution, Key indicators to monitor and Public Expenditure review)
3) Analyzing Budget (Current and Development Budget)
4) Budget Tracking
Geographic FocusIslamabad
Target Groups and beneficiariesAction Aid and its project partners.
DescriptionBudget making in Pakistan has traditionally been an exclusive domain of the government, as people could not access or analyze the relevant information in a timely manner. Most of the public has no knowledge of the budget making process at district level and could not differentiate between the development, non-development and current budget. To ensure the people centered budget making and to promote transparency in the utilization of the budget, people should have complete knowledge about its making process and have eagerness and skill to monitor it. There is a dire need for building relevant budget tracking capacities in the civil society and articulating and advocating peoples-centered budget making. With this background in mind, Action Aid Pakistan is arranging a workshop on Budget Analysis and Advocacy for its project partners. Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) is the implementing partner.
Main activities of the workshop will include:
Basic concepts of budget (including budget terminology)
Budget, types of Budget, Budget Cycle
Discussion on District Government; its structure and salient features
Fiscal Transfers
Budget Training
Current Budget
Analyzing the Current Budget
Understanding Development Budgets with special focus on education
Budget Advocacy -- Identifying Issues and Developing an Agenda for Advocacy
Freedom of information and its relation to budget work
Project TitleBudget, Humaray Masail Aur Zimaydariyaan (A pictorial toolkit on Budget Advocacy)
Duration4 months (May -Sept, 2010)
Project ObjectivesA pictorial toolkit for better understanding of budget and budgetary process for common man. It includes basic concepts of budget, budget terminology, why and who makes the budget, spending of public money, whom to consult for queries and responsibilities as a citizen.
Geographic FocusIslamabad
Target Groups and beneficiariesAction Aid, project partners, CSOs and general public.
Description: Consultation – To develop a pictorial toolkit for better understanding of budget and budgetary process for common man

Project TitleEducation Budget of Selected Districts
(Comparative Analysis)
DurationDec 2009
Project Objectives1) To review the budget making process for the education sector and assess whether it is effective and how it could be improved;

2) To analyze the budget documents relating to the education sector, especially from the perspectives of allocations, priorities, gender and regional or urban/ rural areas;

3) To examine the implementation of education sector budget, especially the problem of low utilization, and analyze the role of relevant institutions;

4) To identify the weaknesses and gaps at various stages of budget cycle as well as in relation to relevant procedures or responsible organizations, and make appropriate recommendations for improvement.
Geographic FocusIslamabad, Faisalabad, Multan, Jhelum, Abbottabad and Nowshera
Target Groups and beneficiariesUNESCO, CSOs, policy makers and general public
DescriptionThis will be the first study of its kind that will be carried out on the education budgets of selected districts by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) with the support of UNESCO. Purpose of this study is to analyze the preparation and implementation of annual budget for the education sector in order to understand various trends in terms of budget allocations, priorities, utilization and peoples’ participation.
This study includes six case studies covering the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT); District Abbottabad and District Nowshera in the North Western Frontier Province (NWFP); and District Jhelum, City District Multan and City District Faisalabad in the Punjab Province. It is expected that this study will provide comparable data, which should help in informing various policy relevant analyses and discussions in the country.
Project TitleStrengthen Local Governance & Civil Society for Need Based Health Budget
Duration One Year (Oct 2008 - Oct 2009)
Objectives1. To work with health authorities to achieve improved sharing of information and promote informed dialogue around various policies, priorities, resource allocations and management practices related to health services;
2. To inform citizens about their rights, especially their right to information, and entitlements in relation to health services under various laws and governmental policies;
3. To develop needs-based annual budgets of selected health facilities through a participatory process and then advocate reform in the way health budget is made;
4. To build the capacity of stakeholders including relevant officials, councilors, local civil society organizations and media, about the use of various laws to protect citizens and consumer rights vis-à-vis health services.
Geographic FocusDistrict Jehlum
Duration1 year
Target Groups and beneficiariesGeneral Public, CSOs, BHUs, hospital management & District Consumer Protection Council.
DescriptionThis project aims to improve the delivery of health services by focusing on improved mechanisms of information sharing, enhanced capacity of media and civil society for oversight, piloting and promoting needs based budgeting and building capacity of citizens or consumer of health services for seeking redress if and when they feel aggrieved or discriminated against.
The project will introduce a rights based perspective in relation to health services in the district, especially focusing upon right to information, needs based budgeting, transparency in management and utilization of funds and promotion and protection of citizens/ consumer rights vis-à-vis health services. A regular interaction with all the stakeholders and other health related projects would be ensured, in order to explore synergies and joint initiatives and minimize possibilities of any duplication.