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GIFT Newsletter #36
The GIFT Network Welcomes a New Steward!
PEFA Secretariat joins GIFT

The Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) program, established in 2001, is a partnership of seven international development partners: European Commission, International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, and the UK's Department for International Development.

The PEFA flagship assessment provides a thorough, consistent and evidence-based analysis of public financial management systems around the world. Fiscal transparency is now recognized as a stepping stone of PFM and is reflected in the Pillar 2 of the PEFA assessment framework of 2016.
This assessment has been applied 609 times in countries all around the world. 

We are very excited that the PEFA Secretariat has agreed to strengthen collaboration with GIFT to enhance discussions on fiscal transparency and public participation, engage in peer-learning activities and identify new opportunities for promoting discussions on advancing the common goal of transparent, participatory and accountable management of fiscal policies, as already embedded in the PEFA framework. Their participation will surely contribute to strengthen the network of fiscal transparency champions.

More information about the PEFA program is available at
www.pefa.org

Women Lead Economics of the World Bank, IMF and OECD for the First Time in History  
April 8-14, Washington D.C.

For the first time in history, the first time the Chief Economists of the IMF, the World Bank and the OECD are women. This is just part the great introduction on the discussion of Income Inequality Matters during the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings.

The Spring Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and the IMF bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives, representatives from civil society organizations and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness.

Some of our highlights this year were the GovTech panel that aimed to drill down on the role of digital technology in the public sector in reducing extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity and the Fiscal Monitor, a report that takes an in-depth look at how corruption impacts government policies and operations, the fiscal costs, and how fiscal institutions can help fight corruption.


Budgeting and Public Expenditures in the OECD Countries 2019
April 11
This report provides a comprehensive view of practices and developments in the governance, implementation and performance of budgeting across OECD countries. It looks at recent practices such as the application of medium-term frameworks and the use of data and analytics to highlight the impacts of policies on concerns such as gender equality and the environment. Reflecting countries’ efforts to strengthen the institutions supporting fiscal policy, the report also discusses trends in Parliamentary oversight, citizen participation, transparency, infrastructure governance and the management of fiscal risks.
Read the complete report
A Look from Civil Society in Chile
By Jeannette von Wolfersdorff
Executive Director / Observatorio del Gasto Fiscal en Chile

April 29
The “Observatorio del Gasto Fiscal” of Chile analyzed the Budgeting and Public Expenditures in the OECD countries 2019 report and shared with us some reflections of the highlights and limitations of the study.
 
As stated in the text, while being an interesting work, they see in it some challenges, especially in two aspects: (i) it only bases its diagnoses on government’s self-assessments, without considering voices of other actors that could contribute to a less subjective auto-evaluation, and (ii) uses the OECD budgetary principles without referring to an updated version, such as the ones referred to in the OECD's "Toolkit for Budget Transparency", for instance. While the latter considers the important role of citizens, as taxpayers, contributors and participants in the debate on budget transparency and the allocation of public resources, the 2015 budgetary principles still have a document based approach to fiscal transparency that seems a bit dated.
 
Read the whole text in a blog post shared with us in
Spanish (original).
Despite the Push, Less than 10 Countries Publish Expenditures in Open Data

Being able to follow public money flows is an important step towards more effective governance of public funds. Despite this, according to the most recent edition of the Open Data Barometer, the number of national governments that publish their budget and spending reports and figures as data is still very limited. In the last year we have witnessed the publication of spending data of three new governments (South Africa, El Salvador and Argentina), but we still have a long way to go in standardizing the form of publication in a way that is useful for a broader audience.

In this blog post from Open Knowledge International and GIFT, we exemplify the expected structure of a budget and spending dataset for successful open data. Improve your publication.

COMMUNITY WALL
Training on Public Financial Management with the International Monetary Fund 
Online, Starting on May 1st
This online course designed and lectured by the IMF aims to strengthen participants' abilities to assess why Public Financial Management (PFM) is important; and how it supports macroeconomic stability, economic growth, and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The course is an excellent opportunity to learn about all stages of the budget cycle, discuss key concepts from budget preparation, to government accountability in budget execution and reform implementation.

The participants will need to invest between 4 and 6 hours weekly, through the course of 8 weeks. It is free of charge or you can opt for a verified certificate through edX.
Click
here to learn more and subscribe.
Who wants to pay taxes? 
April 17
A recent study from Wampler, Touchton and Peixoto analyzing the effects of participatory mechanisms in the municipalities of Brazil, finds that there can be a 33 percent increase in local tax collection when local governments adopt specific types of citizen participation programs. Building from those findings this article by Wampler and Touchton parallels to the tax payment situation in the United States and highlight the role of democratic governance for revenue collection.
A Strategic Partnership for Independent and Effective Supreme Audit Institutions 
April 15
The INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) and the International Budget Partnership (BP) signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement, out of mutual recognition of a shared vision and belief that synergies would better enable both partners to better achieve their goals. The partnership will advocate for independent and effective SAIs as essential to good public budgeting, effective governance and reducing poverty. It will also support effective engagement between SAIs, legislative and civil society in order to enhance accountability, audit impact and make a difference to the lives of citizens. Learn more about this new partnership.
UPCOMING EVENTS
May 29-31
Draft agenda
June 11-12
Ankara, Turkey

First Governance Conference of the Europe and Central Asia Region on Building effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions.
RSVP, ECAGovConference@worldbank.org
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Copyright © 2016 Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency - GIFT, All rights reserved.

A multi-stakeholder action network to advance fiscal transparency, participation and accountability worldwide.

Contact us: info@fiscaltransparency.net

 

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