Citizen's Guide to the Liberian Budget

Liberia's civil wars have been fuelled by the resource curse: the clash of different interests for blood diamonds and minerals has in the past led to conflict and the breakdown of government authority. Since 2006, under Harvard-educated economist, former Finance Minister, and Africa's first female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the country has tried to re-design the way government works.

For the Ministry of Finance, this means being more transparent, and distributing funds fairly and on time. First the government started publishing how much money it receives from different mining concessions at national and district levels. And after a national census, funds for each county were calculated according to their population size.

But it's not enough to be transparent, the government needs to be seen to be transparent. They created the Citizen's Guide to the Budget - showing where revenues come from, and how they are spent. The guide included a national overview of government and donor funds, projects and priorities, and a detailed breakdown of revenue and expenditure for all 15 counties.

Developed with ODI, we used graphs and infographics to show this data visually and added "post-it" style notes in the margin to explain the jargon of budget-speak.

Liberia is one of only a handful of countries in Africa to do this. We believe the result is both the clearest and the most detailed account of how a government raises and spends money in Africa.

To download the full Citizen's Guide to the Liberian Budget as a pdf, click here.



citizen's guide cover introduction revenue expenditure  projects
Cover Page Introduction Revenue Expenditure Projects
infrastructure capacity development guide to county breakdown district breakdown: grand bassa  
Infrastructure Capacity Development Guide to
County Breakdown
County Breakdown:
Grand Bassa

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Sam Rich