A traditional budget emphasises only the financial outlay for various schemes and programmes. The performance of the programme is assessed as the expenditure or the infrastructural developments undertaken against these outlays. This approach fails to account for the resulting services and the eventual benefits or outcomes that affect the common man. It absolves the elected representative Government of its obligation to deliver upon the aspirations and expectations of the citizens.
The formulation of a comprehensive Outcome Budget by the Government of NCT of Delhi (GNCTD) is a unique and innovative annual exercise undertaken since 2017-18 to usher in transparency and accountability in public spending. The Outcome Budget establishes a direct link between budgetary allocations of schemes and its annual performance targets measured through output and outcome indicators.
Delhi's Outcome Budget is an innovative exercise with the most extensive linkage of budgetary allocations to quantifiable outputs and outcomes among all Indian states/UTs. The Outcome Budget empowers the residents of Delhi with:
- Information regarding the obligations of the Government and its various agencies
- An understanding of the on-ground performance of various government schemes, programmes and projects;
- Greater transparency and accountability in the use of public money; and
- An atmosphere of an efficient, dynamic and open form of governance.
Ministerial reviews of the schemes at regular intervals against Outcome Budget indicators provide constant feedback, which, in turn, helps in expediting the implementation as well as redesigning of schemes wherever necessary. A dedicated Monitoring and Evaluation unit within the Department of Planning has been functioning to coordinate this exercise and continually evaluate the performance of the Government's schemes and policies.
Every year, a review exercise is conducted by the Planning Department to update indicators and add new indicators for new programmes/schemes of the government. For FY 2022-23, a total of 1136 indicators have been mapped against schemes of 23 major departments of the government as shown below:
Over the years, the Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) of Delhi has been advising the Planning Department on the overall approach of the Outcome Budgeting initiative, specifically:
- Optimising the Choice of Indicators: DDC regularly advises the Planning department on optimising the selection of indicators under the Outcome Budget. In FY 2021-22, an elaborate exercise was conducted by DDC to identify and revise the key performance indicators across schemes to ensure that data collected and presented can be more effectively used for project monitoring and decision-making. The objectives were multifold; to ensure that the information presented in the Outcome Budget was consumable, presentable and useful for decision-making.
- High-frequency Monitoring: The primary objective of the Outcome Budget is to ensure that the schemes and programs initiated by the Government are monitored and evaluated frequently. As part of this endeavour, DDC regularly assists the Planning department in designing surveys to measure citizen satisfaction across the various Delhi Government projects. DDC also facilitates sampling, data collection and data analysis of these surveys. High-frequency monitoring of government schemes is an initiative focussed towards providing quick and efficient feedback on the Government’s service delivery across different domains such as mohalla clinics, services in hospitals, faceless/doorstep delivery of services etc.
- Development of an Outcome Budget Dashboard: In partnership with IDInsight, DDC is working towards developing an Outcome Budget Dashboard, which will track department-wise progress on the Outcome Budget indicators. The dashboard will be accessible on the web and mobile platforms and will enable real-time tracking of all schemes and initiatives through APIs from different data streams within the government. The dashboard can help departments monitor their schemes regularly and also make challenges more salient to decision-makers, such as Ministers and Secretaries. GNCTD remains committed to continuing to set new standards for transparency and accountability in spending taxpayer money.
The annual Outcome Budget publications and the quarterly status report of achievements against targets are periodically updated on the Planning Department's website. To view the same, please click here.