Zahirul Hoque


In recent decades, reforms in the global public sector promoted a culture of private sector style operational performance and accountability mechanisms in public services. Such an emphasis focuses on assessing and reporting on what is being achieved in terms of outcome(s) as opposed to what is being produced (outputs). Within this context, the global public sector is driven by a mission to ensure that government service agencies deliver public value to the community. In doing so, government agencies are required to clearly identify the outcomes they are trying to achieve. The recent emergence of the outcome-based budgeting/performance management approach is a change in thinking from the traditional “inputs-outputs” to an approach that focuses on “outcomes.” Building upon the recent edited books (Hoque, 2021a, 2021b), this article aims to assess critically how selected countries in both developed and emerging economies attempted to address the limitations of traditional government fiscal management approaches by introducing the outcome-based approach in their fiscal management programs. The paper reflects on the lessons learnt from this exercise and recommends for some future studies. It raises a question as to whether the outcome-approach is more “political rhetoric” than a “reality.”