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GIFT Newsletter #39
 Budgeting for SDGs: 

A Technical Webinar Series this August
- A response to GIFT Network requests -

Robust, transparent and accountable Public Financial Management systems, with responsive and adaptable institutions, are at the core of addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), due to their increased scope, their ambition and interrelation of objectives.
 
Some Stewards have already included, in their GIFT plans of action for 2019-2020, different commitments and approaches of budgeting for SDGs, and have requested the network for examples of implementation in different countries that could be replicated. Network members are increasingly sharing and peer-learning on ways to framing their budgets systems towards pursuing the SDGs, and the interest continues to grow. For example, budgeting for SDGs was voted first place as a subject for the GIFT new Webinar Series, followed by gender budgeting.
 
As such, this set will consist of four technical webinars where
experts from the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), IBP, and The Alan Turing Institute will share their findings on the current and innovative practices. Practitioners will share forms of implementing budgeting for SDGs in different Ministries of Finance, including Mexico, Nepal and Mongolia, among others.
 
These
webinars will provide a practical framework for governments and civil society organizations who are seeking to strengthen public institutions through modern budgeting forms oriented to results.
JOIN US THURSDAYS OF AUGUST!
Launching of Fiscal Open Data in Croatia
Zagreb, Croatia
July 3rd

The Ministry of Finance of Croatia has started to make available its Open Fiscal Data Package, with data from budget and spending which will be updated on a quarterly basis. It was presented, in a high-level event on July 3rd in Zagreb, organized by the Institute of Public Finance (GIFT’ Steward), the Ministries of Finance (GIFT’ Steward) and Public Administration, the European Commission, the World Bank and GIFT, before the presence of Croatian local government representatives who have earned recognition for their transparency efforts.

by Murray PetrieGIFT Lead Technical Adviser

The twin climate change and bio-diversity crises show emphatically that current approaches to environmental stewardship are failing miserably. While myopically protecting current generations’ over-consumption of natural capital we are leaving a legacy of mind-boggling cost, risk and uncertainty for the generations that will follow.
 
There is an urgent need to apply to environmental stewardship at the national level a broadly comparable underlying framework of transparency of goals and targets and ex-post accountability for their achievement.
 
Read the whole
blog about what this implies, and the next steps governments should be taking.

by Zukiswa Kota

In this provocative post, Zukiswa Kota from the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) of South Africa, GIFT’s Steward, reflects on the difficulty of achieving a shared perspective of what meaningful participation looks like and that we do not have a common definition of this kind of participation. In Kay Browns’ words, ‘it’s a bit like trying to make chocolate from scratch when you have no idea what chocolate is or what it’s actually supposed to taste like’ (Ms. Brown is the former Chief Director of Budget Planning at the National Treasury in South Africa). However, Kota and Brown suggest this is not necessarily a negative thing. If interrogated in a robust and solution-oriented manner, these differences may serve to allow the progressive, robust development of Vulekamali, government-civil society fiscal transparency initiative.

Read how South Africa will confidently grind, winnow, and conch towards good quality, value-for-money African ‘chocolate’ through Vulekamali.

GIFT endorsed the Open Data Charter!
We look forward to promote a better release and integration of data, to achieve greater social impact.

COMMUNITY WALL
Hackathon on Improving Costa Rica’s Social Program Payment System
International Monetary Fund and Ministry of Finance of Costa Rica
July 29-30
For two days, developers, economists, and web designers will unite in San Jose, Costa Rica to ideate and develop innovative solutions to improve the links between the National Treasury’s social programs payments system and the unique beneficiary registry. The aim is to improve efficiency and focalization of social programs, enhance transparency, promote financial inclusion, decrease the financial cost of the transactions of the Treasury, and promote innovation.
 
Follow the event on Twitter with the #HackathonCR
UPCOMING EVENTS
Smart Citizenship Academy 2019
NOVA School of Business and Economics, Cascais, Portugal 
October 15 to 18th

The Municipality of Cascais and the New School of Business and Economics in Portugal will hold, for the second consecutive year, the Smart Citizenship Academy, a space for reflection, debate and co-creation on more intense ways of living democracy and citizen participation. GIFT will participate in the organization of some workshops and discussions there.

Registration is now open!

PAST EVENTS
Supreme Audit Institutions making a difference: Auditing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals
New York
July 22-23
Organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), during two days experts discussed the insights and lessons learned from the audits of preparedness for SDG implementation supported by the IDI-KSC program on “Auditing the Sustainable Development Goals”. GIFT was part of the two-day workshop in which peer learning activities on how to audit the SDGs and sharing on the results and recommendations from SDG audits, reflecting on common challenges and opportunities, lessons learned, and the engagement between governments, SAIs and other stakeholders in the follow-up and review of the SDGs.

As part of the discussion about understanding the capacities, methodologies and tools SAIs need for conducting SDG-relevant audits, one important conclusion of the meeting was on the role of public participation and collaboration between SAIs and the public at the sectoral or community level as strategic components to complement and enhance SAIs contribution towards achieving the SDGs in their countries.

In case you missed it, here the
videos of the full event.
Building public participation in budgeting workshop
Washington D.C.
July 9-10

The International Budget Partnership (IBP) and GIFT hosted a workshop that brought together a small number of experts on public participation and government officials from budget agencies. The purpose of the workshop was to generate ideas on designing and implementing participation mechanisms.

The workshop was a continuation of IBP and GIFT’s effort to advance fiscal transparency and public participation in budgeting. The ideas generated through this workshop will be incorporated into the pilot projects implemented by the countries that are covered in the IBP-GIFT project. The meeting brought together representatives from various budget agencies, agencies that have expressed interest in advancing citizen engagement. The meeting included participants from different countries; some individuals have worked to conceptualizing participatory practices, some are committed to the greater fiscal transparency and its use to enhance participation, while others may be newer to the agenda; all participants work in ministries of finance; all of us have a different background and have a rich diversity of experiences to draw on and share.

Advancing budget transparency and accountability through citizen-government dialogue, IBP workshop for Latin-American Countries with the participation of GIFT
Washington D.C.
July 24-25
The meeting brought together members of the community of government reviewers for the OBS 2019 from Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras and Paraguay. The meeting included individuals that have worked to advance budget transparency in their countries and are familiar with the Open Budget Survey, while others were newer to the agenda. While this event was taking place in Washington D.C., IBP has been holding similar meetings in South Africa, Indonesia and France, for more than 40 Ministries of Finance representatives in four continents. These meetings bring together members of the community of government reviewers for the OBS 2019, a critical constituency who are contributors, users, and potentially champions of the Open Budget Survey and budget transparency and accountability, more broadly.
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A multi-stakeholder action network to advance fiscal transparency, participation and accountability worldwide.

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