Who can benefit from this study?
Civic Tech initiatives
Organisation responsible for case study:
Org. type: Non-Profit
The Nigerian Budget: Using Creative Technology to Intersect Civic Engagement and Institutional Reform
Main Project Location: Lagos
Project country/countries: Nigeria
Project dates: 2014 –
Last updated: 23 March 2022
Brief overview of the Case Study
This study analyses the efforts of BudgIT, Nigeria’s creative start-up, in making the Nigerian budget simple and accessible to every citizen. This includes its classification of citizens according to their understanding of public finance and its personalised approach in reaching out to them.
In its 53 years of independence, Nigeria, which has an oil-driven economy, has had more than thirty-three years of military rule, which guarded the detailed budget as a state secret. Current efforts in the democratic regime have made both the proposed and enacted budget available to citizens as enabled by law. However, the budget is officially released in a non-readable format. In addition, most citizens have no clear understanding of government finances. BudgIT uses an array of technology tools to simplify the budget for citizens and also works with the civil society and media in data analysis and representation.
BudgIT believes that the amplified voices of citizens based on better access to budgetary data can lead to institutional reform. It also works to improve the capacity of congressional budget offices to enhance budget performance. BudgIT methodology will use refined data mining skill sets to creatively present data and empower citizens to use the information that is available in demanding improved delivery of services.
The challenge or problem
A lack of transparency and accessibility to the Nigerian citizen on the budget
The solution that was implemented
The lack of transparency and accessibility to the Nigerian citizen on the budget led to the emergence of a creative startup named BudgIT. BudgIT initially conceptualised and developed in Nigeria’s foremost technology hub, Co-Creation Hub, has a core goal of making the Nigerian budget simpler and accessible for the average citizen.
What results were achieved?
The availability of budgets in non-readable pdf formats via the government website provided an initial opportunity for BudgIT to stretch forward its innovative idea by simplifying the budgets using infographics and interactive applications. BudgIT with over 4 million web views and over 112,000 unique users believes that active participation in government finance is key to a functional society. Citizens in a clear, timely and transparent manner need to know how government revenues are expended in delivery of public infrastructure, meeting debt obligations or funding the recurrent component of the budget.
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