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GIFT Newsletter #51
1) Six new members of GIFT
2) Fiscal Openness Toolkit for Parliamentarians
3) Costa Rica publishes fiscal open data
4) COVID-19, Fiscal Transparency and Public Participation
5) Guide for budgetary analysis of policies against gender-based violence
6) Mainstreaming Participation in Public Financial Management
7) Building Effective, Accountable, and Inclusive Institutions
8) Budget transparency in Croatian counties, cities and municipalities
9) Promoting Effective Use of COVID-19 Finance in Africa
10) More interesting reads
We welcome our six New Members!
July 8 


At a meeting on July 8, the GIFT Network's Lead Stewards accepted applications for stewardship from six new members. We are happy to welcome our new stewards:
The GIFT Lead Stewards (the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the International Budget Partnership, the International Federation of Accountants, and National Budget Authorities of Brazil, the Philippines and Mexico) expressed excitement and delight to see the network getting larger and stronger!

Strengthening Accountability through Fiscal Openness: A Toolkit for Parliamentarians in the Americas and the Caribbean
ParlAmericas
July 27
This publication provides an overview of good practices to promote transparency, accountability and public participation throughout the financial cycle. It is tailored to parliamentarians, parliamentary staff and relevant stakeholders in the Americas and the Caribbean. It covers the parliamentary financial cycle, including the budgetary process and major fiscal policy or spending bills, such as infrastructure projects or tax reform, and long-term planning. It concisely summarizes and synthesizes the most recent international standards and resources on parliamentary fiscal scrutiny and can also serve as inspiration to develop Open Parliament Action Plan commitments. Along with the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy, GIFT was happy to be part of this effort led by ParlAmericas.
 
The Toolkit is available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese
 

Costa Rica publishes new revenues, budget and spending open data
Ministry of Finance, Costa Rica
July 1

Seeking to provide citizens with more effective access to central government budget information, the Ministry of Finance of Costa Rica published this month the national budgets from 2017 to 2020 using the Open Fiscal Data Package specification. This publication was made in coordination with the Collaborative Laboratory for Public Innovation of the University of Costa Rica (Innovaap-UCR) and with the support of GIFT. The open data can already be consulted here. More to be proud about these two new stewards!
 
With this publication, Costa Rica joins the group of GIFT countries publishing standardized spending open data. Visit the section of the Open Fiscal Data Package to know more about this.
COVID-19, Fiscal Transparency and Public Participation
Juan Pablo Guerrero
July 16

Following the lessons from the book of de Renzio, Khagram and Fung—The political economy of fiscal transparency, participation, and accountability around the world—the author argues that after the emergency, the incentives for governments to enhance transparency are going to be strong. He also sees that post-crisis, countries may have an opportunity to realign their priorities towards development objectives. The writing has been published in the IMF PFM blog post here.

COMMUNITY WALL
Guide for budgetary analysis of policies against gender-based violence in Argentina
Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ), Argentina
July 2
ACIJ recently presented a Guide for budget analysis of policies against gender-based violence in Argentina. Withing that context, the organization also held training sessions for journalists, academia members, civil society organizations, and institutions of the executive and judicial branches, at national and provincial levels. The workshops share experiences and strategies on advocacy for the rights of women and LGBTTIQ++ people. The related training sessions are available on video in their YouTube channel.
 
For more information about this work, please contact ACIJ through cryan@acij.org.ar  or jizcurdia@acij.org.ar.

Mainstreaming Participation in Public Financial Management for Better Results

World Bank Governance Global Practice
July 22

Public financial management (PFM) is fundamental for effective resource management and the backbone for effective and efficient public service delivery. Citizen engagement (CE) in the PFM cycle contributes to achieving better development outcomes by mobilizing citizens in the PFM process, supporting more inclusive budget processes, and establishing pro-poor fiscal policies. This note is intended to provide a menu of CE entry points in the PFM cycle. It indicates that CE in PFM needs to move beyond transparency to achieve development objectives; budget literacy for inclusive CE is critical for both government and citizens; and two polarized types of engagement in PFM — engagement with the general public and engagement with small, selected, and specialized groups for in-depth feedback — are complementary to each other in achieving effective budget outcomes. GIFT was part of a conversation organized by the World in the framework of the launch of this note. Read the report here.
Book Launch: Building Effective, Accountable, and Inclusive Institutions in Europe and Central Asia
World Bank
July 9
Countries around the world are facing the need to build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions. This book explores how governance and institutions play a key role in building economies and delivering quality public services to the people across all countries in Europe and Central Asia. There has never been a more important moment to tackle this agenda, as countries grapple with increasing fragility and migration flows, more complex service delivery requirements, and greater demands for transparency and inclusion, all in a more resource-constrained environment. The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has provided new evidence of the need for effective, accountable, and inclusive government responses.
The book consists of six chapters, each corresponding to one of the governance areas around which governments across the world organize their institutional functions. Download the book here.
Budget transparency in Croatian counties, cities and municipalities
Institute of Public Finance, Croatia
July 1

The Institute of Public Finance presented the results of the sixth annual research cycle of the budget transparency of all 576 Croatian local governments. The overall average level of budget transparency in Croatian counties, cities and municipalities – expressed as the number of budget documents published on their respective official websites – is improving year by year, and in this cycle stands at 4.1 (out of a maximum of 5). This is a significant improvement from 2015, when it averaged 1.8. Although the publication of budget documents does not in itself guarantee absolute transparency, it is considered the first step towards higher levels of transparency necessary for the citizens' participation in the budget process and their control of the collection and spending of public funds.

In order to make the obtained results as accessible and clear as possible, the Institute has published an interactive map showing the results of all counties, cities and municipalities.

Promoting Effective Use of COVID-19 Finance in Africa: An IMF Discussion with African CSOs

International Monetary Fund/GIFT

July 14

GIFT participated in a webinar held by the IMF about the Need for Verification and the Role of CSOs for COVID-19. This session presented a series of questions from local CSOs aimed at listening to  CSOs’ suggestions of safeguards that should be attached to Covid-19 funding in key areas of transparency and accountability, while discussing the IMF’s support to help counters cope with the pandemic. GIFT Director emphasized that CSOs play an important role in complementing the functions of government institutions, from policy design, to implementation and monitoring. In such areas, the strengthening of their capacities is always needed and welcome. This is an important ongoing discussion where more is to happen…
MORE INTERESTING READS
 
  • The Index of Public Integrity for 117 countries is out! How does your country score in it and how can you improve it? www.integrity-index.org
 
 
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