Budget Advocacy Toolbox

What is Budget Advocacy?

Budget advocacy is a strategic approach to influence how and for what government allocates and spend public money. This process has two general objectives:

  • Increase budget allocation for the issue which we are advocating for;
  • Ensure more solid oversight on how public money is spent.

Budget advocacy work is one of the cornerstones of civil activism. Governments hold the public money, which each of us have contributed towards by paying taxes. Budget advocacy is the process which ensures that those funds are spent efficiently and for the priorities that are important for the public. Therefore, the target of budget advocacy is the government, while it is civil society organizations who implement those activities.

Why community involvement in BA is important?

In many counties of our region drug use is criminalized and highly stigmatized, therefore, it is especially hard to ensure that services for people who use drugs will be high on political agenda of governments. Although, as international donors will be stepping out from providing funding for harm reduction services, there is only one source to reach out – public budget!

Public budget is your money and harm reduction services is the gateway to your health and social well-being! It is your right and obligation to advocate that your government spend money on harm reduction! No one else will do that for you!

How can we support communities?

Budget Advocacy is not much different from general advocacy for any specific topic, but there are certain skills and certain information about the context which you should find out before you start engaging in this process. Materials collected on this page contain theoretical foundations, practical tools and cases of successful practices in budget advocacy. We hope that this will help you better understand the budget advocacy specifics and start to be engaged in it at your city or even country level. Subscribe to our newsletter and get informed regularly about upcoming events, calls for project proposals and technical assistance on budget advocacy for harm reduction services.

Basic concepts of Budget Advocacy

Basic Concepts of Budget Advocacy

The following topic areas are the most basic concepts that you need to master while starting activities in budget advocacy for harm reduction.

Budget Advocacy Planning Tool

This tool will assist you to plan your budget advocacy activities in your country or community. For each of the 4 phases of the budget implementation cycle, you will be able to identify proper advocacy aim, stakeholders, barriers, enabling factors, and useful tools.

Budget Advocacy Guide

This guide developed by EHRA is to inform community activists from civil society and community-based organizations on how to engage in meaningful, transparent, and accountable budget advocacy towards domestic government at national or city level.

Budget Advocacy Webinar

In this one-hour video, Lela Serebryakova talks about the basic concepts and approaches that are used in the process of budget advocacy. It also provides step-by-step instructions on how to plan your budget advocacy campaign. The theory is accompanied by living examples from practice.

Case studies on Budget Monitoring and Accountability

One of the important areas of budget advocacy is the state budget monitoring with regard to its transparency and accountability. This section contains informative examples and lessons learned from the practice of analyzing the national/local budget of health and social services for key populations from Armenia, Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Romania and Ukraine

Ensuring sustainability of services for key populations in the EECA region: Taking stock of budget advocacy efforts to date

The first meeting took place 9–11 December 2020 and the next one is scheduled for 22-23 September, 2021. Two main goals of the regional analysis and dialogue are to examine the impact of budget advocacy efforts and implementation experience in the region over the past three years; and to identify, for current and potential donors, perspectives, directions and investment priorities in budget advocacy for funding of social and medical services for key populations affected by HIV in EECA-

How to improve cooperation between communities of key populations for effective joint advocacy

This handbook is developed by ECOM and intended for leaders and activists who want to build effective cooperation between communities of key populations affected by the HIV epidemic. In this short handbook, authors tried to analyze the experience of communities and answer the question “what works, what doesn’t and why?”.

Useful resources and tools

This section contains useful materials and tools on budget advocacy and related topics that have been developed by us, our partners, and colleagues from other organizations.

Budget transparency and accountability

The section contains information on four pillars of fiscal transparency, the Open Budget Survey as the only existing civil society-led measure of budget transparency, and revision of the budget cycle process through the lens of transparency and accountability.