EU Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from the European Commission. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union


What kind of budget oversight actions are non-governmental organisations (NGOs) good at, particularly in developing countries, and where have they been attempted? How can community service organisations (CSOs) cooperate with public authorities to carry out oversight tasks? What set of skills/characteristics do NGOs require for budget analysis?


This query will help evaluate proposals expected to strengthen civil society and anti-corruption efforts in Togo by providing NGOs with tools to monitor public budgets and expenditures.


  1. The role of civil society in the public budget process
  2. CSO strategies for budget-related work
  3. CSO tools for budget participation and oversight
  4. Conclusions
  5. References


Over the past two decades, the involvement of civil society in the different stages of the budget process has become common practice. CSOs budget-related activities can involve a number of strategies, ranging from training in budget literacy skills to the formulation of an alternative government budget.

This document focuses on the tools and strategies that CSOs can implement to oversee the government’s budget and the skills required to do so. It also provides brief examples of the context in which each one of these tools has been implemented.

This Helpdesk answer is also available in French.


Roberto Martinez B. Kukutschka. [email protected]


Finn Heinrich, Transparency International. [email protected]




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