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GIFT Newsletter #34
This past month we gladly experienced the GIFT Network coming together to make fiscal data more useful for a broader community by monitoring spending in investment projects and analyzing data to improve the budget process and public services. The link between budgets information and public services is possible…
On the 2019 Open Data Day, man
y GIFT members organized coordinated activities and community working in which citizens were encouraged to use fiscal information that is closer to their communities and areas of interest. All events had their own specific touch that made them useful for the context. And, while we will be documenting the results in coming weeks when the last events have passed, we want to take this opportunity to commend all GIFT Stewards taking part in organizing or participating in the country events -notice that this year 30% of our Stewards were already involved-:
 How can open data help Civil Society Organizations produce better products with less maintenance costs 
Kiev, Ukraine
18-20 February
Digital tools to present projects are, as expected, more in vogue than ever and gaining the attention of many funders. But some organizations recognize limitations on the usefulness of such tools when they are not adopted by the intended users and maintenance costs are too high with every update of data.  This was all explored in the Open Budget Data Exchange Workshop organized for Civil Society Organizations by the International Budget Partnership and Center Eidos of Ukraine, in which GIFT coordination team participated providing guidance and examples.
During this three-day workshop we got to know and analyze the potential and challenges of projects related to open data implemented by Center Eidos in Ukraine, INESC in Brazil, ACIJ in Argentina, Inisiatif in Indonesia and BudgIT in Nigeria. This gave way to explore the user-centered approach of designing a product that is fed through open data and the importance of advocating for publishers to provide tools that allow updating interactive platforms in an automatic way.
When we are talking about publishing open data, we always try to emphasize the importance of “publishing with purpose”. This means thinking of a higher objective than the publication per se and thinking of the intended user.  In this workshop we approached the other side of the equation, “using open data with purpose”.
 These 7 countries have achieved outstanding #FiscalTransparency results! 
Reframing Public Finance: Promoting Justice, Democracy, and Human Rights in Government Budgets

The International Budget Partnership has recently published a new research paper by Paolo de Renzio and Jason Lakin. This paper outlines the elements of a proposal to reframe debates around public finance and government budgets, drawing on the inter-related concepts of justice, democracy, and human rights, and putting more emphasis on issues of equity, sustainability, effectiveness and inclusion. The authors procure to address some of the shortcomings of current approaches and propose a more solid, normative foundation on which public finance decisions can be assessed and taken.

Preparing Citizens Budgets
Join us with the Center of Excellence in Finance
While a majority of countries assessed by the Open Budget Survey already produce some type of Citizen Budget document, governments are constantly rethinking the way they communicate to the public. Citizen budgets have emerged as a tool to address such needs, facilitating the communication of budget and policy decisions.
In this webinar we will first explore the role of the Citizen budget in a context of fiscal transparency policies as well as its evolution in a digitalized era. Through the example of the Ministry of Finance of North Macedonia, participants will gain insights on the process of publication and dissemination efforts. And finally, exemplified through Zukiswa Kota of the Public Service Accountability Monitor of South Africa, we will get a civil society point of view of the use and future of Citizen budgets.
Don’t miss this great opportunity to discuss about one of the 8 key budget documents and join
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A multi-stakeholder action network to advance fiscal transparency, participation and accountability worldwide.

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