This paper questions the celebration of Peru as a successful model of best practice in applying results-based budgeting (RBB) in the field of nutrition, which led to outstanding improvements in reducing stunting. The social indicators that substantiate this celebration are in fact inconsistent with this narrative of success and government documents suggest that RBB has not delivered the expected results regarding resource allocation for public services. Despite this, RBB has become the dominant model of public budgeting in Peru since its official adoption by the government in 2008. Hence, this paper sets out to understand whether the various policy outcomes associated with RBB can actually be attributed to RBB or to other budgeting and public management processes. Specifically, the study examines the Articulated Nutrition Budget Program (PAN) related to child nutrition policy - which stands out as the most likely case to establish the relevance of RBB to the policy outcomes - by applying interviews, review of documents, secondary sources and primary data analysis. The thesis argues that the improvement of services in these programmes – which is arguably a determining factor in the improvement in the targeted social indicators – has been primarily due to a large increase in financial, human and physical resources, and not with the mechanisms of results-based budgeting. The findings shed light on the relevance of the government’s typical decision-making approach to increase supply and public financing for public services embedded in the highly political dimension of the public sector’s resource allocation process, rather than in the rationality stated by RBB. In fact, the study points towards the unclear and inconsistent role of RBB in improving resource allocation and addressing government dysfunctionalities. The research contributes knowledge to the development field on the resource allocation process for public services. Given their importance in addressing development issues, it is essential to understand how the nature of public organizations affects their funding. In this sense, the study provides a forum to discuss and examine whether incentive-driven mechanisms should be the model for developing budget decision-making to achieve policy outcomes.

Results-Based Budgeting, resource allocation, child nutrition, Peru
Social Policy for Development (SPD)
International Institute of Social Studies

Talla Cornejo, Kattia Liz, & Fischer, Andrew. (2019, December 20). More budget than Results-Based Budgeting? The Peruvian success story in overcoming stunting in children “Articulated Nutrition Budget Program”. Social Policy for Development (SPD). Retrieved from