Budget analysis can benefit human rights work. However, there are many human rights organizations around the world which are not using this important tool.
First, budget analysis can help human rights workers forge very persuasive evidence and arguments.
Budget work can add value for human rights workers who are pushing for progressive enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights. It is a tool that can be used to suggest possible solutions to help improve the situation for the members of the general public.
Budget analysis is a powerful tool especially in assessing how efficiently public resources are being used. Since resources are limited, it is important that those limited resources are being used to the maximum effect.
Legislatures may sometimes not be well-versed in budget figures or have an understanding on the implications of the government budget’s budget. Providing explanations of certain expenditures can be an aid to legislators, in turn encouraging them to be more open to proposals made by activists.
Courts have proven to be receptive to human rights arguments that use as part of their evidence data derived from budget analysis.
Finally, communities have become engaged in actions around simple figures setting out government expenditures at the local level, because they can understand the impact of these funds have in their daily lives.
Budget analysts can use their skills to address issues of poverty or to forward social justice.
However, we must always remember that budget analysis as a skill is value-neutral. This means that it can be used for good or ill. However, human rights activists ground budget work on good values. This is because human rights are about what is the right thing to do.
Always remember that there are many ways for public budgets to be spent. Human rights provide a way to choose among different options. The bottom-line is that fiscal options must not violate human rights.
As budget analysts, we are also concerned about government transparency and accountability. The two values are needed by human rights guarantees that individuals enjoy in access to information and public affairs.
Finally, it is important to remember that when human rights are combined with budget analysis, the result is POWER!
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