This report explores a range of innovative education budget work initiatives from Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda, where civil society has monitored and challenged their governments over education expenditure in order to hold themaccountable for commitments to EFA and the MDGs. It examines the significance and impact of civil society budget initiatives by drawing on interviews and focus group discussions with a range of education stakeholders, including education coalitions, government officials, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), teaching staff and school pupils; and by reviewing research reports and budget manuals developed by civil society organisations (CSOs).

The report focuses on the legal obligations of states and private entities to mobilise all resources at their disposal, including those that could be collected through taxation or prevention of illicit financial flows, to satisfy minimum essential levels of human rights and finds that states who facilitate or actively promote tax abuses, at the domestic or cross-border level, may be in violation of international human rights law.

The report is based on a detailed examination of UN treaty bodies and special procedures’ views on the current interpretation of the scope and content of this obligation to mobilise resources. Further, it is published against the backdrop of increased awareness of the relationship between economic policies and human rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which committed all UN member states to ‘strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection’ and ‘significantly reduce illicit financial flows’.