What is a “Treasure Hunt”?
Treasure Hunts are a highly adaptable tool which can be tailored to support the needs of country-level partners working to use fiscal data to address locally relevant challenges that hinder progress towards development results, no matter what sector those challenges relate to, and no matter what combination of fiscal issues – revenues, budgets, contracts or results – are relevant to the problem at hand. The implementation of the method has four steps:
a. Problem Definition and Preparation: engaging with key stakeholders to identify a particular sectoral challenge, to develop a shared understanding on it, and to conduct an initial assessment of the institutional and data environment around it.
b. User-led assessment: working with participants to explore whether and how they are able to successfully leverage fiscal data in order to address the identified challenge, while collecting clear evidence on users’ capacities, data needs, and their understanding of the institutional and political landscape and how it can be shaped.
c. Validation and reporting: collating the findings from the user-led assessment into a report that validates these findings — distinguishing, for instance, if obstacles faced by participants were due to the characteristics of the data or gaps in participants’ capacities – and distilling actionable insights identified through the process.
d. Planning and strategizing: engaging with country level reformers to use the report to develop a strategy for supporting the use of fiscal data to address the prioritized challenge. This strategy includes not only the actions prioritized by participants but also a framework for collating evidence to trace progress towards addressing the local challenge and inform local reformers in their efforts to adapt their strategy to better navigate and shape the dynamics in their contexts.
We support governments and/or partners from civil society to use the Treasure Hunts method to address the problems they deem important, our work is thus shaped by the problems and needs they prioritize. Examples of this support include: workshops with civil society and government agencies to discuss the value of our approach to address local problems; trainings on the use of the method; follow up in person and through calls during the design and implementation of their initiatives; and technical support for the analysis and use of results to inform reform processes or improve the publication.