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Fariya Mohiuddin
Senior Program Officer, Tax Equity, IBP  

 
                                       

 

As summer draws to a close, IBP’s Collaborating for Open and Accountable Budget (COAB) project team has provided training and advocacy support to 14 countries around the globe.  

This European Union-funded project has allowed us to engage a broader set of civil society groups to leverage their country’s budget cycles to advocate for greater accountability and advance social justice.  We have held workshops and engaged officials in El Salvador, Tunisia, Zambia, Armenia, Nepal, East Timor, Uganda, and Pakistan. Teams are headed next to Sri Lanka and Niger. 

Our trip to Zambia in July is a perfect example of the potential to turn citizens into budget activists. During the training, participants talked about the budget and the country’s debt situation with the Auditor General’s Office, the Ministry of Finance, UNICEF and a leading Zambian think tank. 

These conversations led participants to actively grill Parliamentarians on how funds meant for local development were allocated, and why recommendations from the Audit Report each year were not implemented. During an event to discuss Zambia’s performance in the 2021 Open Budgets Survey, they challenged the Ministry of Finance to produce the Citizen’s Budget that the government assured them existed, but participants had never seen. Since the Ministry was nearby, the participants demanded copies of the 2021 and 2022 Citizen’s Budget be provided right away – and within 20 minutes, copies were delivered to the event! It became clear to all involved that greater public engagement is needed to ensure essential documents like this get into the hands of everyday people.

These efforts are building a movement of groups and individuals that have the skills and knowledge to drive change.  Our engagements have resulted in new budget advocacy coalitions forming in Cote D’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, in governments like Tanzania and Zambia using the Open Budget Survey to understand where easy but powerful improvements can be made to make their budgets more open, accountable, and participatory, and in expanding IBP’s network of organizations committed to using public budget systems to work for the people. 

We are excited to see what’s next for this growing movement of open budget champions!

 

Devastating floods in South Africa in April and May of 2022 killed hundreds of people and laid bare the inadequate infrastructure and government spending in the informal settlements of KwaZulu Natal.   

Most services in these areas are outsourced and depend on functional and responsive procurement systems – something that most metros don’t have.  Together with the Auditor General, we developed a questionnaire which focused on access to water and sanitation and gathered data on emergency services and flood damage repairs in the communities.  The results were astounding.  

Before the floods, 16 percent of residents indicated that they didn’t have water and 24 percent had no access to sanitation.  After the floods, 86 percent did not have enough water, almost 70 percent did not get emergency water services and almost no emergency sanitation services were provided. Far more needs to be done to support these communities.  

For the full report please click on this link:  https://bit.ly/3AeW2uB 

 

Each month, we shine a spotlight on partners who are using budget advocacy to bring transformational change to their communities. This month we are spotlighting Edil Eraliev, the Chief Executive Officer at Precedent Partners, in Kyrgyz Republic. Read here

 

  • Earlier this month, our Ghana office launched its Open Budget Survey results in partnership with SEND GHANA West Africa. Read details here, and download Ghana’s country results here

  • Our team was in Madagascar for a European Commission-funded workshop with advocates and analysts from education, health, sanitation and other sectors. See pictures here.  

  • We were also in Islamabad, Pakistan for a European Commission-funded workshop and high-level engagement with key officials including the Minister of State for Finance and Revenue, Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha and staff from her ministry and the Auditor General’s office. Read more here and here.  

  • The Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) hosted the 2022 Stewards General Meeting in Bogota. View a video recap.  

  • Our Indonesia partner, SPRI mobilized thousands of its members to protest the 2023 budget cuts for social protection. See pictures here 

 

  • IBP South Africa is hosting a webinar on “Advancing the rights of women through public infrastructure procurement” in partnership with University of South Africa and George Western University. See more information here 


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