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Fiscal Planning and Gender Budgeting JML2

Fiscal Planning and Gender Budgeting JML2

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Published by Jean-Marc Lepain
This paper describe how to link gender responsible budgeting to economic and fiscal planning and discuss various approaches of gender budgeting.
This paper describe how to link gender responsible budgeting to economic and fiscal planning and discuss various approaches of gender budgeting.

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Published by: Jean-Marc Lepain on Oct 28, 2011
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By Jean-Marc Lepain, Public Finance Management Specialist(jlepain@yahoo.fr)April 2010
Executive Summary
Most developing countries have adopted a progressive approach of social and economicdevelopment that takes gender issues into consideration. Many of them have set-up a Ministry of Women
Affairs addressing those issues through specific policies. However, decades of experienceshow that such policies usually remain highly ineffective because they are not integrated into anoverall social and economic strategy and do not have proper instruments and mechanisms for beingimplemented. It is now widely believed that socially responsible budgeting, if properly implemented,can offer an adequate answer to such a situation.This paper presents the view that, in order to be successful, gender budgeting must be integrated atall stages of fiscal planning and that the institutional and regulatory framework as well as the deliverymechanisms required for its implementation need much more attention than they are usually given.After more than a decade of implementation a few important lessons have been learnt and itappears that a more comprehensive approach must be taken.
Gender responsible budgeting should not start with budget formulation but shouldencompass the complete budget cycle. Successful gender responsible budgeting requiresthat the gender dimension be taken into consideration at all stages of fiscal planning: sectorplanning and social and economic strategy, fiscal policy, and budget formulation.
Gender responsible budgeting requires a strong institutional and regulatory frameworkbased on a consensus across the whole Government, plus a
Gender Management System inGovernment 
that defines the respective responsibilities of all stakeholders in data collectionand data analysis, policy formulation, social and economic planning, articulation of sectorprograms, fiscal policy, budget preparation and budget implementation reporting. Such asystem cannot function based only on the goodwill of stakeholders. It requires implementingcomplex sets of regulation.
A proper sequencing of Public Finance Management reforms is an important success factorof gender responsible budgeting. Gender budgeting is difficult to achieve without a certainamount of program budgeting, clear sector expenditure assignment and strong fiscal policies.The development of sector Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks can be of great help inimplementing gender budgeting.
Gender fiscal policies are often formulated by gender policy specialists with good knowledgeof gender issues but little knowledge either of the fiscal planning cycle or of sector policyplanning. As a result, a lot of attention is given to policy issues while delivery mechanismsand more specifically public finance regulatory instruments are ignored.
Fully-fledged gender responsible budgeting requires strong capacity but in most developingcountries capacity building remains an issue even for traditional budgeting. Strategies forsuccessful gender responsible budgeting must take into consideration the existing capacitywithout overtaxing the system. It usually requires a multi-year approach in which the systemexpands from sector to sector.
The institutional and Regulatory framework
Institutional issues and respective responsibilities of Government agencies
Gender responsible budgeting cannot exist without a commitment from the Government to addressgender issues in a larger context. This can only been done within a wider system that monitors allaspects of gender policies in the country. This system is called the
GenderManagement System or the Gender Management Framework. Before starting gender responsiblebudgeting, it is essential to ensure that all the elements of that system are not only in place but areinterconnected and able to play seamlessly their role at all stages of fiscal planning withoutdisruption of the PFM system.To achieve such an objective, it is important to define responsibilities of the Ministry of Women
 Affairs (or any proxy), the Ministry of Finance and further line ministries in relation to planning, fiscalpolicy, budgeting and project implementation.The role and responsibilities of the Ministry of Women
Affairs (or a proxy agency such as theMinistry of Social Affairs, etc.) can be defined as follows:
To prepare an assessment of the gender situation in the country;
To define the overall policy addressing gender issues and priorities to ensure that the mostpressing issues receive attention and are adequately funded;
To define requirements for gender data collection and to ensure that gender data areavailable for all economic and social sectors;
To provide to line-ministries technical assistance or expertise for defining sector genderpolicies;
To monitor implementation of gender sensitive projects;
To consult with the Ministry of Finance on all aspects of gender responsible budgeting;
To provide expertise and guidelines to the Ministry of Finance for gender aspects of theannual fiscal declaration and for integration of gender issues in budget call circulars;
To agree with line-ministries and ministries of finance on a set of sector indicators as well asgeneral out-puts and outcomes that will allow progress made in addressing gender issues tobe monitored in each sector;
To provide an interface to donors for gender projects, even when these projects areimplemented by other agencies;The role and responsibilities of the Ministry of Finance can be defined as follows:
To coordinate the sequencing of Public Finance Management reforms in a way that willfacilitate the implementation of gender responsible budgeting (Gender budgeting mustbecome part of the overall PFM reform programme);
To include a gender policy statement in its annual fiscal policy declaration;
To include instructions for gender responsible budgeting in its budget call circulars;
To ensure that line-ministries integrate the gender dimension in their medium term and longterm planning and in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework;
To ensure that priority gender projects are properly funded and to define fiscal targets forgender-sensitive expenditure;
To include gender priorities in the consolidated Medium Term Policy Framework (MTEF);
To ensure that all ministries apply instructions for the drafting of budget requests includingrejecting budget requests when they do not meet minimum criteria;
To ensure that during budget hearings gender issues receive enough attention;
To ensure that the implementation of programme budgeting (wherever it is feasible) goesalong with a gender dimension defining sector by sector budget norms and specific outputsand outcomes;
To ensure that all major investment projects have a gender impact assessment;
To provide a gender impact assessment and a report on progress made for theimplementation of gender responsible budgeting in its annual budget execution report.
To ensure that all Sector Expenditure Assignments integrate the gender aspect and defineclear responsibilities between the Ministry of Women
Affairs and line-ministries for genderspecific projects and programmes.The role and responsibilities of line-ministries can be defined as follows:
To integrate gender issues in the overall sector strategy by defining clear priorities to rectifygender imbalance in access to services, share of public expenditure and development of specific programs targeting women.

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