The World Bank published the annual publication 2020 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals. Each edition of the Atlas has explored different approaches to bringing attention to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year’s Atlas is a web publication that guides readers through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), using interactive storytelling and innovative data visualizations.


SDG 16The key indicator used to measure strong, effective, accountable, and transparent institutions for SDG and evaluate the institutional quality of governments is Goal 16.6. In 2020 governments worldwide have found themselves under strain while managing the fallout and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the UN - WB Data Group SDG Initiative, PEFA Program annually collects data on the governments’ actual expenditure as a proportion of its originally approved budget (SDG indicator 16.6.1) with the support of the WB Government Global Practice, the WB Practice Managers and Economists from all Regions.  

The collected data for 132 countries is available on the WB Data Portal.

In the 2020 SDG Atlas publication, summarized data and information for Goal 16.6 and Indicator 16.6.1 was presented by PEFA Secretariat, highlighting  examples from different countries and the conclusions show that:

  • overspending and underspending undermine budget credibility;
World Atlas - Budgets


  • the average budget deviations vary a lot across countries and while some countries have improved budget reliability, others have regressed;
World Atlas 2


  • the good financial management encompasses more than budget reliability and also relates to transparency and accountability, that includes: public access to fiscal information, the degree to which the supreme audit institution (SAI) operates independently from the executive branch and the ability to prepare fiscal forecasts;


  • few countries perform well in all areas of public financial management;


Institutions need to be transparent, accountable and effective to function properly and cope with crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. For many governments the crisis may help identify weaknesses in current institutions and present an opportunity to make structural improvements.


Data provided by: PEFA Secretariat  - Contact us at:

Summary of Information: Urska Zrinski, Public Sector Specialist, WBG

Data analysis: Zac Mills, Statistician, WBG

Story compiled by: Silvia Kirova, Client Services Officer, PEFA Secretariat