Newsletter 57 – Jan 2021

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GIFT Community Survey

We need to hear from YOU! Give us five minutes of your time.

Let us know how to tailor-fit our work better for your 2021 fiscal transparency, participation and accountability objectives. We want to hear from you, our fiscal openness champions: what are we doing right? What have we learned, and what can we do better?

Take our 5-minute survey below and help improve our work as a network.

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An Exciting Year Ahead: The GIFT Work Plan
or 2021
Following GIFT’s Strategy 20-22, Accelerating Engagement for Better Public Finance, the GIFT Network is all set and ready to achieve a new set of milestones for 2021!

Find out more about our activities this year from the GIFT 2021 Work Plan here.

Now Available: Guide for Fiscal Transparency in COVID-19 Responses in French
Generating, gathering and publishing quality and timely fiscal information pertaining to emergencies, such as the pandemic, is key to facilitating the monitoring work required to minimize the potential for mismanagement and corruption of public funds. Achieving impactful fiscal transparency amidst the COVID-19 crisis requires the proactive publication of the data underlying strategic emergency responses. In 2020, the GIFT presented the Guide for COVID-19 Fiscal Transparency to help governments in clearly identifying the datasets and data fields that should be gathered for disclosure and ensuring that transparency is embedded in policy responses. This Guide is now available in French.

Données budgétaires pour les interventions de crise :
Guide pour la transparence en COVID-19
Download it now
In Focus: Improving Fiscal Transparency in Francophone Africa
January 19, 2021
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD), in collaboration with the International Budget Partnership (IBP) and with the financial support of the European Union (EU), recently organized the second edition of the Regional Seminar on Fiscal Transparency in Francophone Africa. The aim of the seminar, in which GIFT participated as a speaker in two sessions, was to help these countries strengthen their fiscal transparency practices through peer-to-peer learning and sharing of tools and good practices. Bruno Imbert, Serge Ramangalahy, Claire Schouten and Alex Kreko summarized some of the insights in the IMF’s blog here.

Western Balkans kicks off Transparency Initiative with focus on COVID-19 spending
January 21, 2021
Focusing on issues around COVID-19 and recovery spending, representatives from Bosnia & Herzegovina, North-Macedonia and Serbia kicked off the work for the Transparency Initiative for the Western Balkans through a virtual gathering held last January 21. The activity featured presentations of country experiences on the topic, as well as exchanges on best practices around the globe.

The said initiative seeks to support participating governments in identifying opportunities for strengthening fiscal transparency practices during emergency situations. The project is being implemented under the Good Governance and Investment Climate Reform (GGICR) Trust Fund (TF) with financial support of the Government of the United Kingdom (UK). Access the workshop presentation here.

Fiscal Openness Accelerator Project
starts 2021 stronger with Meeting Series

January 22, 2020
The Fiscal Openness Accelerator (FOA) Project started the new year strongly with the conduct of a series of country meetings that aim to proactively facilitate the implementation of FOA activities in 2021 and 2022. In these meetings, the GIFT team presented a common framework with recommended process and timeline for the selection and implementation of pilot mechanisms on public participation in fiscal policies in South Africa, Nigeria, Benin, Senegal, and Liberia. The meetings also served as a venue to identify other areas for alignment, collaboration and technical assistance between GIFT, IBP, and country stakeholders.

All eyes on Chile: Independent Commission delivers recommendations to improve transparency, quality and impact of public expenditure reforms
January 25, 2021

The Independent Public Spending Commission delivered its Final Report to Chile’s Ministry of Finance, with the invitation to open a constructive and transformative dialogue on structural public financial management reforms. The Report is the result of a cutting-edge initiative to have evidence-based recommendations that take into account both national and international good practices and standards mainstreaming up to the highest level of national budgetary reform.

We, at GIFT, are very proud and honored to have collaborated in this endeavor with our stewards, the Fundación Observatorio Fiscal and Chile’s Ministry of Finance, as well as with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country office. We are grateful for the support from the Inter-American Development Bank for this work.

Find the full report in Spanish here.

Gearing up for Open Data Day: #DataRallyFromHome and #BetterBudget Dataquest Terms of Reference for 2021 is now up
January 31, 2021
2021 is your year to use Open Data! The world has changed and we are in a new normal. We have now learned our way into capabilities that allow many of us to work, have fun, and make our voices heard while staying safe at home.

With this in mind, we are launching terms of reference of the Public Infrastructure #DataRallyFromHome and the #BetterBudget Dataquest for Sustainable Development+COVID19.

Citizen’s engagement and public participation in the budget cycle is now more relevant than ever! Let’s bring our minds together and improve public budgets!

Terms of Reference (EN)
Términos de referencia (ES)

Terms of Reference (EN)
Términos de referencia (ES)

Grant Opportunities!
Open Data Day 2021 mini-grant scheme
#OpenDataDay 2021 is coming up on March 6 and we’re excited to participate! What about you? If you are a local group brewing something too for #ODD2021, you might want to apply to the Open Knowledge Foundation’s mini-grant scheme to get $300 support! Deadline of application is February 5, so hurry, and apply here!
Open Contracting Lift Program
Do you want to make recovery efforts from the pandemic fast, fair and effective through open contracting? If your answer is yes and you need support. The Open Contracting Partnership invites you to apply to the Lift program. Read more about this opportunity here. Deadline of application is March 12.

Indonesia hosts international webinar on Transparency and Accountability in COVID-19 Pandemic
January 12, 2021
The Audit Board of the Republic of Indonesia hosted an international webinar featuring transparency and public accountability efforts amidst the continuing pandemic on January 11. Themed “Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in COVID-19 pandemic: A Multi-Stakeholder Approach/Perspective” the event included presentations and exchange between and among speakers from the Audit Board of the Republic of Indonesia (BPK), the World Bank, the International Budget Partnership (IBP), and from the Certified Practising Accountants Association (CPA).

GPSA webinar reflects on social accountability in the delivery of quality healthcare services
January 11, 2021
Speakers from the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) and the Gavi Vaccine Alliance reflected on collaborative social accountability and how it contributes to improving the quality of design of public sector reforms, mitigating risks associated with the implementation of sectoral policies, including decentralization and, strengthening health systems and governance. The GPSA is housed at the World Bank, while Gavi is an international organisation and a global alliance that aims to improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. Click here to access the webinar recording and more information about the event.

The true cost of procuring at speed
Janury 26, 2021
The Open Contracting Partnership and ACCA jointly hosted the webinar themed “True Cost of Procuring at Speed – Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Procurement Crisis,” last January 26. The event shed a renewed light on the cornerstones of transparent, open, and well-audited public procurement, especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought public procurement to the foreground of public scrutiny, as governments around the world are forced to procure at speed and often without many of the necessary safeguards. Read more about the session here.

What data on extractive industries can help advance women’s rights in the context of the oil, gas and mining sector?
Activists, industry representatives and data users explored what extractives data can be used to advance women’s rights, where to find it, and where we need to push for more disclosure in the webinar held last January 26. The same event served as platform for participants exchanged ideas on how to develop an intersectional and transformative feminist natural resource governance agenda that centres the leadership and lived realities of women and frontline communities.

The activity was part of a webinar series launched by the Gender Justice and Extractive Industries Working Group exploring different policy areas related to women’s rights, the extractive industries, and gender issues. More information about the webinar series can be accessed here.

Leveraging Public Budgets for the Sustainable Development Goals: The Case of Mexico
In this blog, Lorena Rivero del Paso (Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF) writes about the public budget’s crucial role in directing priorities from an economic, political and legal standpoint, especially in financing and implementing programs to achieve the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals.
How Can Civil Society Make Tax Systems More Equitable?
Access more resources that can guide and help civic actors get involved with tax reform and learn from each other from this article written by Paolo de Renzio, Jason Lakin and Fariya Mohiuddin of the International Budget Partnership and this post from the International Centre for Tax and Development.
When Disaster Strikes: Fiscal Responses to Natural and Man-made Disasters
As the world continues to reel from the impact of COVID-19, let’s look back and learn about the options that countries should consider when faced with crises that are caused by factors outside their control from this report on the 2017 Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) Conference.