In Times of Crisis: Making Budgets Work for Children, Women and the MDGs

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© UNICEF/NYHQ2006-1036/Palani Mohan

On 30 November 2008, UNICEF and UNIFEM cohosted a side event in Doha, Qatar at the Financing for Development conference titled In Times of Crisis: Making Budgets Work for Children, Women and the Millennium Development Goals.

As the international community devises policies to help mitigate the adverse impact of the current global financial and ecomonic shocks, it is critical to ensure that sufficient resources are available to protect disadvantaged groups of society and to ensure that they have a voice in setting priorities.

Using examples from Ecuador, Morocco, Kenya and China, this event focused on how international collaboration and broader national participation in decision-making and budget implemenation could lead to greater transparency, accountability and equality in the delivery of social services.

While there is no single definition, the term social budgeting could be described as the process by which society’s goals and priorities as well as the rights of all of the population – including those that could be facing social exclusion and discrimination – are better reflected throughout the budgeting process. The share of resources allocated to realizing women’s and children’s rights is the result of a political process, which reflects both dialogue and conflict between a country’s differing interests and priorities.

Although national budgets may appear gender-neutral, they usually impact men and women differently. Gender budgeting refers to an analysis of the equality of impact of government spending on men and women. Social and gender budgeting is a transparent and participatory process that helps to address information asymmetries and consequently ensures that the budgeting process is more transparent, accountable and equitable.

For more details on the event, please see the agenda.

The following country examples illustrate how international collaboration and broader national participation in decision-making and budget implementation could lead to greater transparency, accountability and equity in the delivery of social services.

Ecuador
Transparency bulletin – Boletín de Transparencia (Spanish)

Morocco
Gender responsive budgeting integrated in budget reform: Highlights of Best Practice from Morocco

Gender Responsive Budgets in Morocco: Illustration of the Paris Declaration Alignment and Ownership Principle

Video: Gender-Responsive Budgeting: Morocco

Kenya
Social Budgeting: Investments in Kenya’s Future

Social Budgeting in Kenya: Concepts and Practice

China
China’s Budget System and the Financing of Education and Health Services for Children

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