Helena Hofbauer is manager for partnership development at International Budget Partnership, an organization that works to reduce poverty and improve quality of governance by helping civil society groups analyze and influence public budgets.
From her base in Mexico City, Helena works in 20 countries with more than 40 nongovernmental organizations to increase their advocacy role in government policies and budgets through access to grants, technical assistance, mentoring, and networking opportunities.
For example, Helena helped South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign encourage the government to provide more funds for anti-retroviral drugs for people with HIV. She also supported India's National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights in monitoring the use of public resources for the country's Dalit population.
"A budget is a key instrument for a government to realize its citizens' civil, political, social, and economic rights," Helena says. "While many people view budgets only as technical and fiscal issues, I see them as tools for social justice and human rights"
Before joining International Budget Partnership, Helena founded and directed Fundar, an advocacy research institute that promotes democracy and human rights in Mexico.