Methodological framework for the development of new cases

GIFT seeks for your contributions to progressively add more examples of practices that are aligned to the Principles of Public Participation in Fiscal Policy. If you have a case you would like to contribute, please review the methodological framework you need to follow. Then, please submit your case study by emailing it to: Tania Sánchez at GIFT team will review the case study and share their decision to the author of submission. Accepted Case Studies will be placed in the GIFT Guide on Principles and Mechanisms of Public Participation in Fiscal Policy, where they will remain accessible to thousands of researchers and practitioners worldwide.

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What is a GIFT public participation case?

A GIFT case is a standardized presentation of a public participation mechanism being implemented with respect to fiscal policy design or implementation in a country. It helps its readers to understand how practitioners have integrated public participation into fiscal policies, identifying the factors that underlie its success (or that constrained its success), and illustrating the critical moments, enabling environment and actions which affected the trajectory of an intervention. Cases should help codify and document why and how a mechanism was implemented, how it works (process, including decision-making, structure, components), how and why implementation either succeeded failed and what complex factor contributed to the implementation process.

GIFT intends to document and disseminate these cases through the Guide’s e-platform among a broad range of interested practitioners who want to learn from experience with mechanisms implemented elsewhere when designing or advocating interventions in their own country.

The Guide covers cases that are being written up some time after the mechanism has been implemented (relying on existing materials, not involving original interviews as people may have moved on), as well as cases that will be written when the mechanism is only just implemented. In this case, authors will do interviews and rely on other evidence that is freshly available.


Cases include primary data collection (through interviews, new surveys -using electronic means to conduct them- or existing surveys that contain relevant questions, and possibly focus groups) and supporting secondary sources, as well as a desk review of project or program documents, any monitoring and evaluation reports, and drawing from any available reviews or existing studies of the particular intervention or of a closely related intervention. Interviews are guided by an interview protocol that is specifically tailored to tease out the detailed processes at the various critical junctures of the project/program design and implementation.

The analysis should include (but not limited to) the following details:

  • Detailed descriptive information on the program/project to enhance participation activities in fiscal policy e.g. what activities, by who, how, when, who all participated, any institutionalized mechanisms. The author needs to indicate who led the intervention, as well as whether it was executive, legislature, supreme audit institution or non-state. Non-state can be divided into two parts: a) invited participation, where an official entity initiates the engagement of non-government actors; and b) invented participation, which is where non-government actors initiate the mechanism, and there may or may not be official involvement with it.
  • Who initiated the intervention, and how it was initiated (e.g. was it initiated by the government, Parliament, CSOs, Supreme Audit Institutions) Indicate which level of government is responsible for leading the intervention, and whether implementation also involves any other levels of government
  • What trigged the intervention (e.g. a reforming leader or minister(s), a senior official(s), a debt crisis, change in political leadership, change in constitution)
  • What were the objectives of the intervention? Were they measurable? Were attempts made to monitor and report progress?
  • Stakeholder mapping (Who are the key players, what are their roles with regards to decision making process)
  • Resources involved (human and financial) for all the actors
  • A timeline (in tabular format) indicating key milestones
  • What is the outcome of the participation activities (e.g. whether the government responded; whether there is any evidence the inputs were included in official advice; whether a decision changed). Specifically, the case study needs to mention the following impact indicators (when applicable).

For details, please refer Table 1.

a) Indictors to measure the process (e.g. how many people participated, how they participated);
b) Indictors to measure the impact on the system itself: (e.g. whether public inputs are all publicly available for all to see; whether they are summarized by the implementing agency; whether there is a published response saying how the inputs were used or not in developing or deciding on policy or implementation; evidence the inputs were included in official advice to decision makers)
c) Indictors to measure the impact on public service delivery (e.g. has learning outcomes in school has improved due to public participation in school budget making processes)
d) Indictors to measure improvements in social, economic and environmental impacts (e.g. improvement in SDGs).




Format of the cases

1. Summary

  • Briefly describe the mechanism as it was implemented, and the particular policy objectives and public demands or expectations that the practice was or is intended to address.

2. Basic Facts

a. Stage in Fiscal Policy Cycle: Formulation, Enactment, Implementation, Audit

b. Lead institution: Executive, Legislature, Supreme Audit Institution, Non-state

c. Levels of Government involved: National, Regional, Local

3. Why

  • What is the objective of incorporating public participation?
  • How was success to be measured [cross-referring to suggested Box above]

4. Authorizing environment

  • Is there a specific law or regulation that provides authority for or that directs officials to engage the public? (Please provide a link to relevant regulation)
  • If the mechanism is an Open Government Partnership commitment, introduce a tag and link to it.
  • What is the general enabling environment? (provision in constitution, FOIA)

5. Who and how

  • How the mechanism was designed and implemented (Try to align with elements of the GIFT principles regarding openness, inclusiveness, timeliness, letting public speak for themselves etc. )
  • Descriptions of the process, structure and components:
    • Who participates/ selection process/how diverse were the inputs
    • How are decisions made
    • Are decisions binding?
    • Online/ offline- how much of the process relies on technology?
    • Are there any institutionalised elements?
  • Important to capture the process step by step. If a government wants to start something similar, they need to know where to start.
  • Resources invested in the implementation of the mechanism: Is it a time-limited capital project or is it recurrent spending for an on-going activity?

6. Results and impact

  • How has the input generated through the participation process been used? Does participation make a difference?
  • Does the institution give feedback on results of participation?
  • What problem did it solve/overcome?
  • Provide external references about the mechanism (study, survey, other publications)
  • Consider intermediate impacts: on participants, on government (in the template, ask if they can provide evidence of impact), and finally on the quality of policies.
    Note: cases for which there is as yet no evidence of impact can be included in the Guide, but this has to be clear and transparent.

7. Lessons Learned

  • Summarize and link to any assessments or evaluations of the intervention e.g. an OGP IRM report, a departmental review, a CSO review, a program evaluation or SAI assessment, a score on an Open Budget Survey question.
  • Identify the lessons learned by the practitioners who implemented the mechanism as well as tips and the main conditions and factors associated to the success of the practice. Include do’s and don’ts.
  • Identify any relevant evidence from the current state of the field.
  • Importantly, the Guide can include mechanisms that have failed. In such cases, the lessons learned on why they failed will be most relevant.
  • Capture adaptive learning; progress over time of mechanisms
  • Has the mechanism been replicated in any other locality in-country, or in another country?

8. Principles of Public Participation in Fiscal Policy

  • To how many GIFT Public Participation Principles is this mechanism aligned?Discuss and elaborate.
  • When appropriate, it will also offer recommendations of potential actions that would allow the mechanism to engage more of the principles.

9. Country context

a. Type of government
b. Civic space (size of civil society, regulatory framework)
c. Open Budget Survey scores – the overall budget transparency score, and the scores for public participation. Indicate whether the intervention is measured by the OBS.
d. Score on TI Corruption Perceptions Index

Annexes and supporting documents

The following supporting materials are seen as relevant supportive documentation that may be included as Annexes to the main case study document.

  • A timeline of the strategy/project/program/policy under investigation
  • A list of interviewees
  • Stakeholder map
  • Process map