Public participation in climate budgeting: learning from experiences in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal

Effective climate budgeting requires meaningful participation and systematic public engagement. Without these it is difficult for governments to provide climate financing that aligns with household priorities, and households will continue to spend large amounts of money responding and adapting to climate change without, and sometimes against the flow of, public financing. Using a case study approach, this paper explores the role of public participation in climate budgeting in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Indonesia by assessing these governments’ adherence to the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) principles of public participation in fiscal policy. It also analyses secondary data on household climate and disaster priorities against government climate and disaster expenditure estimates, and finds that households in these countries are significant financiers of climate resilience. But their governments are not yet enabling households to meaningfully participate throughout the public financial management (PFM) process that would lead to better alignment and targeting of the public climate budget. The paper also identifies cross-country learning and makes recommendations to support improvements in public accountability and participation processes, particularly through interventions to improve national adherence to the GIFT principles.