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Oxfam believes the key to country ownership is transferring information, capacity, and control to people and their governments so they can lead their own development.

But what does this look like on the ground? Here’s one story from Indonesia, where USAID is working with local governments and citizens to provide transparent information about Indonesia’s national budget and what services people can expect in their districts (including schools, roads, and hospitals). Working with local partners, USAID helped local governments seek community input in the budget process. At the same time, USAID trained civil society organizations to engage in that process. Then USAID encouraged local governments to make the final budget available to the public.

Local governments across the country stepped up to the plate. In the media: in the city of Banda Aceh and in the smaller city of Padang Panjang in West Sumatra, government officials published the annual budget in the local press. With posters: they also distributed 1,000 posters of the budget to be displayed throughout the districts. And beyond: in Boyolali, the town council liked this spirit of transparency so much they passed a law requiring the local government to publicize all development activities funded by the local budget. 

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