focus on public budgets, human rights based approach, peace and security






Some current and past examples of
work of the consultants


Open Budget Participation Index 2021

  • Click on the links below to access materials and more information on the assignments.

    Open Budget Survey and Index

    The Open Budget Survey (OBS) is a budget transparency, participation and oversight survey that, among other, is translated into an Budget Transparency Index (OBI), which ranks countries. The survey is coordinated by the International Budget Partnership (IBP). MSC has worked as a researcher on the eight OBSs to date - 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021.

    For more information on the OBS 2021 (launched in June 2022), click below:    
    - Open Budget Survey global results
    - Results per country
    - Results for Sweden




Financing Development for Children in Africa - The state of budget transparency and accountability in the continent

Developing an African and child rights focused version of the Open Budget Survey for the International Budget Partnership (IBP) and Unicef. The work was done in close collaboration with IBP in Washington D.C. and the Unicef West and Central Africa regional office – using the Survey data of Unicef's African programme countries.













Study on Budget Transparency and Child Nutrition  



Guidebook Budget Transparency Survey  



  • General Comment 19 on Public Budgeting for the Realization of Children's Rights

    For almost two years, MSC worked for the Committee on the Rights of the Child developing a General Comment on public budgeting for childrens’s rights. The General Comment focuses on public budgets and budget processes and takes its point of departure in the article 4 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which says that states should use their available resources to the maximum extent to fulfil the Convention, and seek international cooperation when resources are lacking.

    The work included consultations with international and national experts - from children themselves, Governments, United Nations agencies and Civil Society Organisations - online, at the United Nations in Geneva and in regional consultations in and with people from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.


    Budget Transparency and Child Nutrition Study
    The study set out to establish the degree of budget transparency in five African countries in relation to one critical issue related to child mortality: child nutrition. It was carried out over 14 months together with partners in the participating countries of Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


    Guide on how to design and conduct a survey on budget
    transparency and human rights

    The guide uses the experiences of the above study looking into budget transparency for child nutrition as a springboard to discuss some of the practical considerations and steps to take for undertaking survey research of this kind.


MSC logo

NIDS logo

DEGE Consult logo

Internews Europe logo

HRDG Team logo

Empowerment and Accountability Consortium
and the Human Rights and Democratic Governance Team

MSC together with NIDS Development Services, DEGE Consult and Internews Europe have formed the Empowerment and Accountability Consortium, which holds the Sida Democratic Governance and Human Rights framework agreement 2015 to 2019.

MSC and NIDS are also members of the Human Rights and Democratic Governance Team, which also works together on the mentioned framework contract. The Team consists of individuals, companies and organisations that work together as a non-incorporated association of experts. The members have key competency within human rights and democratic governance.

In the past few years MSC has taken on a range of Sida commissioned helpdesk assignments on Democracy and Human Rights in collaboration with NIRAS and FCG. The assignments have had a focus on development cooperation strategies, governments, civil societies and sectors - and spanned countries in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.


MSC logo

NIDS logo

HR Team logo

Link to the Open Budget Index

  • Human Rights Based Approach - Sida helpdesk and service framework

    Capacity building, analyses, mentoring and materials development in relation to the theory behind and applying the Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) in practice. The work has been ongoing since 2008 and much has been done within the Sida helpdesk framework agreements HRBA in Sub-Saharan Africa and Human Rights and Public Administration. Examples of assignments:

    Researching and reporting on United Nations, Universal and African Peer human rights recommendations.
    Developing and updating HRBA briefs with a focus on Sida themes and sectors, children's rights, persons with disabilities and LGBTI persons.
    Developing an internal and later external Sida web-based Human Rights Based Approach support.
    HRBA workshops and analyses of projects, programmes, results frameworks, budget support and organisational materials.


    Teaching conflict analysis and conflict sensitive conflict
    development cooperation

    Lectures and workshops held for development practitioners
    from countries around the world in conflict or post-conflict
    situations - for the Rotary Peace Center at the Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand (2006 to 2017). Other example is leactures on gender aspects of violent conflicts held for the Folke Bernadotte Academy and Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation.



Workshops on the public budgeting for human rights

Latest example: Workshop held in Gambia together with the Child Protection Alliance and Save the Children on budgeting for children's rights with a focus on efficiency, effectiveness, equity, transparency and sustainability. The participants came from different organisations working for children's rights, the Parliament, local governments and the Ministry of Finance.


Link to the Open Budget Index


Rights of Children and Young People

Dialogue briefs on children and young people's rights    

The briefs were commissioned by Sida to be used by the organisation's staff globally when in dialogue with different actors. The dialogue briefs cover the areas of:

 Rights of children and young people  
 Children and young peoples' political participation
 Child Protection
 Public Financial Management for the Rights of Children 
-and Young People


Accountability Sourcebook Sourcebook titled Peoples Action for Just and Democratic Governance, Using Evidence to Establish Accountability
Sourcebook: Peoples Action for Just and Democratic
Governance - Using Evidence to Establish Accountability

The Sourcebook was commissioned by MSActionAid Denmark and a reference group of its staff in different countries, and written by Anna Schnell/MSC and Erika Coetzee. It was tested in a workshop in Tanzania with Action Aid staff from a range of countries before being finalised. It explores the concept of accountability as a key element in democratic governance. Most particularly, it looks at the role of civil society can play to strengthen and deepen accountability in governance.

In the Sourcebook four stories are told to make the reader think about ways to approach accountability. The stories take their points of departure in service delivery that is not working properly - in relation to education, electricity, health and garbage collection.

The Sourcebook was developed with African countries in mind. Its resources and 25 tools can, however, be used in any country. Click on the title or image of the Sourcebook above to download it.
Conflict Manual
Publication titled Manual for Conflict Analysis

Manual for Conflict Analysis

The manual was developed to provide Sida with practical guidance on how to analyse violent conflicts to understand how development cooperation is affected by and affects violent conflicts.

The tool is aimed at helping the user to assess conflict risks so that strategies, programmes and projects can become more conflict sensitive. The manual was developed by Erik Melander/MSC in collaboration with a team at Sida.


Monitoring Government Policy Publication titled Monitoring Government Policies, A Toolkit for Civil Society Organisations in Africa

Monitoring government policies - a toolkit for civil society
organisations in Africa

The toolkit provides an introduction to government policy monitoring for civil society organisations. It is focused on Africa, but the methods presented can be used in any country. It was commissioned by Christian Aid, CAFOD and Trócaire, and developed and written by Anna Schnell/MSC and Erika Coetzee.

The development of the Toolkit included testing it in workshops with civil society organisations in Ethiopia, Malawi and Sierra Leone - and a reference group with people from Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe also contributed.

The Toolkit contains 28 different tools for monitoring government policies and is available in English, French and Portuguese.




JIA Toward UNICEF Publication titled Canada, Sweden and the UK, A Joint Institutional Approach, Working together with UNICEF
Joint Institutional Approach (JIA) toward UNICEF

Canada (CIDA), Sweden (Sida and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs) and the UK (DFID) are among UNICEF's major donors. Over a six year period 2005-2010 they came together in a joint institutional approach (JIA), working, in accordance with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, with UNICEF for the world's children. MSC worked for Sida and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, together with a Canadian and a UK consultant to support the JIA. The JIA aimed to:

  • Provide support to UNICEF's Mid-Term Strategic Plan and cross-cutting strategies.
Provide a coherent framework to guide the donor partners' support.  
Contribute to reduction of transaction costs over time.  
Advance harmonisation amongst the donor partners.  

The work focused on the following cross-cutting strategies in UNICEF's Medium Term Strategic Plan: the Human Rights Based Approach, results-based management, gender equality, UN reform, humanitarian assistance and human resources. MSC's focus within the JIA assignment was primarily on the two former areas.





Examples of Anna's project management work as Programme
Officer of Macroeconomics and the Rights of the Child at Save
the Children:

Working for Child Rights from a Budget Perspective

This book was written in 2005 and summarizes some of
Save the Children's experience of child rights budget work in seven countries. Its aim was to share experience and inspire others to do work for children's rights using with public budgets as a tool.

Children and the Budget in Zambia

This booklet is based on a study from 2003-2004 with the same title that analyzed budget allocations and expenditures in Zambia from a child rights perspective. The study was the first of its kind in the country and discusses what the implementation of children's rights mean in terms of public budgets of the country.

Macroeconomic Policies and Children's Rights

The book was developed in 2000 and states that no policies are "child-neutral" and that even policies that seem to have little to do with children, such as monetary or exchange rate policies, are likely to have an impact on the rights of the child.







Publication titled Inventory of Programme Support at Sida 2000 to 2006 HRBA RBM Checklist

Results-based Management (RBM) and the links to the Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA)

Analyses and development of guidelines of RBM in development cooperation (general budget, sector and project support).

MSC also develops analyses and materials - and contributes to workshops - linking RBM and the HRBA in terms of accountability, transparency, non-discrimination and participation.






Human Rights Based Approach to Achieve Results - a checklist Open Budget Survey Participation 2021