Around the world different governments provide different levels of information about their national budgets, and for some parties, this is a real area of concern. For those interested in this timely subject, the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities has created the Open Budget Index. Released in October 2006, this index rates countries on how open their budget books are to their citizens. As the site notes, this information can help a variety of groups "identify meaningful budget reforms needed in specific countries to combat corruption and strengthen basic services to improve people's lives." A great way to start on the site is by looking through country profiles from Uganda, Mexico, and India that will let concerned parties know specifically how budget transparency improves people's lives. After that, visitors can scroll down through a complete list of country summaries and questionnaires from Albania to Zambia. Visitors should also be aware that many of the materials on the site are available in a number of languages, including Arabic, French, Russian, and Spanish.
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