How can we analyze public expenditure to improve fiscal transparency?

BOOST Data Tool

What is it and how can it help? 

The BOOST data tool is a database of government expenditure information. There are two main applications for BOOST: analyzing public expenditures and improving fiscal transparency. BOOST uses raw data acquired from national systems that record public expenditures and organizes it in an easy-to-use Excel-based database. It can be used to assess the efficiency of public spending in specific sectors such as education and health or across the entire public sphere. In addition to budgetary analysis, it is designed to inform policy recommendations to improve the quality and efficiency of public service delivery through improving fiscal transparency.

When does it work best? 
  • Typically BOOST databases are used in Public Expenditure Reviews.
  • Ideally suited when in-depth assessment of the effectiveness of public expenditures in achieving intended outcomes is desired and supported by the client (for example, in the course of a Public Expenditure Review).
  • When extremely detailed budget and expenditure data is available in the national Treasury systems
How do I use it? 
  • The user manual provides guidance on how to use the BOOST database as well as examples of various analyses
  • Data is inputted and presented in Microsoft Excel with a pivot table front-end user interface
  • Mapping and web-based applications are available for BOOST databases that are public
  • Once developed, the database is delivered to the client government as well as stored in World Bank folders. BOOST is then available to clients and successor teams for reference and analysis.
Where has it been used? 

BOOST engagements have taken place in over 40 countries across all Bank regions. These include: Uganda, Kenya, Togo, Moldova, Poland, Armenia, Tajikistan, Guatemala, Seychelles, Burundi, Mauritius Paraguay, Peru, Kenya, Niger, Solomon Islands and Kiribati and many others.

What are its limitations? 

Due to level of detail and sensitivity of the data required, development of a BOOST database for a particular country is reliant on client cooperation and interest in pursuing an in-depth analytical agenda in the area of public expenditures.

Where can I go to learn more?