Date : 21/03/2010
The Coalition for Integrity and Accountability-AMAN completed an intensive training course on the means and tools of financial and sectoral analysis of the General Budget and the mechanisms of oversight and accountability as well as lobbying tools and strategies. The course targeted civil society representatives including AMAN’s employees and aimed at encouraging the existence of more open and credible budgets which can be fulfilled through building the capacities of the civil society to review and analyze the General Budget and monitor the implementation and the final statement of account. It also aimed at driving active participation of civil society in preparing the budget.
The three-day training covered topics within four vital sectors; health, education, agriculture and local governance, and was delivered by Nader Tadros, an Egyptian expert in the field of advocacy and a representative of People’s Advocacy- an American organization.
NGOs have a crucial role in influencing public policies, legislations as well as the quality of governance; therefore, the training addressed aspects to empower these organizations to take part in preparing the PNA’s General Budget in a way to comply with the needs and actual priorities of the various sectors. Further, it addressed their role in monitoring the implementation of the General Budget as well as holding the government accountable on decisions of relevance and expenditure.
During the training, participants reviewed, discussed and analyzed the PNA Budgets of past years along with a focus on the international budget transparency index and the indexes and standards listed within.
The training addressed skills like analyzing winning and losing budgets and identifying the growth and loss in each sector while working on an analytical comparison based on the national sectoral needs and priorities.
Additionally, participants practiced lobbying strategies and were introduced to various players in this field for the purpose of influencing general budgets to adopt national priorities based on principles of just distribution of resources and gender equality.
All participants agreed on the necessity of forming a national team that is specialized in reviewing and analyzing the General Budget where it shall have the experience and skills to conduct such work once the general budget is announced and all related documents are fully released. Following, a Position Paper is to be issued in this regard and modified before passing it to the PLC for ratification.
The team is also seeking to form an accountability commission for the Minster of Finance in an annual hearing organized by AMAN on the General Budget before it is approved by competent parties.
Moreover, participants agreed that the Palestinian government shall issue a “citizen budget” which is an uncomplicated version of the Budget that is accessible and easier to breakdown and understand. This budget is to be designed to reach out to the biggest possible number of Palestinian citizens