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The Budget Working Group (BWG) meets on a monthly. This group analyses and advocates on the use and acquisition of public money at national and sub-national levels. Its activities include, conducting and sharing analyses on public budgets and the budget process from a civil society perspective, producing analytical briefs from time to time for public dissemination, conducting various advocacy activities to influence policy-making and implementation, and to provide a forum for shared learning and capacity enhancement in budget analysis and advocacy. The group normally meets on a monthly basis. Information about scheduled meetings and BWG activities can be obtained by emailing policy1@policyforum.or.tz. or pa1@policyforum.or.tz

 

Policy Forum’s planned collaboration with Office of Parliament for the year 2008 commenced this month with a series of sessions with Members of Parliament, parliamentary staff and members of civil society organisations.

As part of achieving its objective of quality active participation in national policy processes, Policy Forum has this year decided to further its advocacy by increasing its interaction with the legislature. This builds on last year’s successful seminar with the Office of Parliament whereby participants, who included members of the Parliamentary Committee for Finance and Economic Affairs and members of civil society organisations engaged in the budget process, were given a broader understanding of how the budget process works.

For 2008, PF has planned seven such sessions in partnership with IDASA and the Revenue Watch Institutewith two already organised and one currently underway. The first session for parliamentary staff on May 12 -16 was regarding revenue obtained from the mining sector and the second one on 19-20 May was set for parliamentarians on the same topic. Both took place in Dar es Salaam. The third session (May 27-28) is on MKUKUTA and the budget. These sessions typically involve speakers giving an overview of the budget process in Tanzania; giving a civil society perspective on the process; touching on cross-cutting aspects of budgeting like gender and HIV/AIDS; and like with the session on mining, touching on issues related to improvement of revenue management. All sessions have so far involved members of civil society organisations.

As outlined in its new strategic direction, PF’s engagement in policy processes will be selective to ensure that the approach it takes is most likely to achieve impact and endeavours towards maximum influence. The collaboration with the Office of Parliament is a priority area which serves to attain such influence.

 

This document could take the shape of a weblog, or a regularly produced compilation of advocacy experiences and lessons learned. It may be electronic, but it will certainly be paper-based. It will also be produced in Kiswahili, once we have the resources in place to manage such a thing. The intention of this document is to record the advocacy experiences of Policy Forum members and staff in a candid way. It is intended to facilitate the sharing of information as well as lessons learned in the practice of advocacy. It is written in the belief that accumulating a body of evidence in advocacy will serve to help those who engage in it to do so with the backing of other people’s experience. It is also written in the belief that having honest written records may also produce a body of evidence which can be used to negotiate relations and engagement between Civil Society and Government.

 

Click on the pdf link below to access the full document

Attachment Size
Hindsight 20-20 December Draft.pdf 32.13 KB

 

 

This document could take the shape of a weblog, or a regularly produced compilation of advocacy experiences and lessons learned. It may be electronic, but it will certainly be paper-based. It will also be produced in Kiswahili, once we have the resources in place to manage such a thing. The intention of this document is to record the advocacy experiences of Policy Forum members and staff in a candid way. It is intended to facilitate the sharing of information as well as lessons learned in the practice of advocacy. It is written in the belief that accumulating a body of evidence in advocacy will serve to help those who engage in it to do so with the backing of other people’s experience. It is also written in the belief that having honest written records may also produce a body of evidence which can be used to negotiate relations and engagement between Civil Society and Government.

 

Click on the pdf link below to access the full document

Attachment Size
Hindsight 20-20 December Draft.pdf 32.13 KB

 

To view the documents click here

Attachment Size
Social Sectors brief.pdf 278.31 KB

 

 

While there have been instances where Government and civil society have worked together constructively, the relationship between the two sectors is more often characterized by mutual suspicion and antagonism. Government has validly criticized civil society for not being transparent, and for not always offering tangible solutions when it is critical of Government policy or practices. On its part civil society has often had to fight to be included in policy processes, and has on many instances been included in a superficial manner not intended to give it an opportunity for substantive input. Developing a binding agreement on the way in which these two sectors can engage with each other in a constructive manner can address these problems, and contribute to creating a healthy and beneficial working relationship between civil society in all its diversity and Government. In this note, we are guided by the Code of Good Practice on Policy Dialogue developed in Canada. The document is available at: http://www.vsi-isbc.ca/eng/policy/policy_code.cfm . Tanzania is about to undergo an African Peer Review Mechanism self-evaluation exercise on a national scale, and this could provide an excellent opportunity to address the possibility of an agreement between civil society and Government on quality engagement between the two sectors.

Read more by clicking on the pdf link below:

Attachment Size
Quality of Engagement.pdf 51.41 KB

 

While there have been instances where Government and civil society have worked together constructively, the relationship between the two sectors is more often characterized by mutual suspicion and antagonism. Government has validly criticized civil society for not being transparent, and for not always offering tangible solutions when it is critical of Government policy or practices. On its part civil society has often had to fight to be included in policy processes, and has on many instances been included in a superficial manner not intended to give it an opportunity for substantive input. Developing a binding agreement on the way in which these two sectors can engage with each other in a constructive manner can address these problems, and contribute to creating a healthy and beneficial working relationship between civil society in all its diversity and Government. In this note, we are guided by the Code of Good Practice on Policy Dialogue developed in Canada. The document is available at: http://www.vsi-isbc.ca/eng/policy/policy_code.cfm . Tanzania is about to undergo an African Peer Review Mechanism self-evaluation exercise on a national scale, and this could provide an excellent opportunity to address the possibility of an agreement between civil society and Government on quality engagement between the two sectors.

Read more by clicking on the pdf link below:

Attachment Size
Quality of Engagement.pdf 51.41 KB

 

District level Public Expenditure Tracking

Presented on 17 August, 2006 at the NGO Forum by the FCS

Public Expenditure Tracking (PET) is ‘following the money’ from where it is disbursed by central government authorities, through local government, to end users such as in schools and clinics. Expenditure Tracking promotes greater transparency and accountability, and will therefore improve public service delivery.

It is good to realize that the government is motivated to improve governance, including transparency and accountability. This is clearly described in MKUKUTA, but also more specifically in the plans of the Prime Ministers Office - Regional and Local Governments, in which it seeks to promote public expenditure tracking in districts by CSO’s.

What can you do?
Every citizen has the right to know how District and Village governments spend the people’s money. As NGOs and NGO networks we are in an excellent position to obtain such information, to analyse it and to pass it on to the citizens you serve in an understandable manner. Moreover, we can let our local government know what people think about the way their money is spent.

Here are several ways to get started:

  • Join the Local Governance Working Group of the Policy Forum. Meets every lastThursday of each month at the Policy Forum office from 10.00 – 13.00. Contact: info@policyforum.or.tz
  • Request the PETS Training Manual, developed by HakiKazi, TGNP, REPOA and the Policy Forum. Contact: info@policyforum.or.tz
  • Contact TGNP, HakiKazi or REPOA to follow one of their Public Expenditure Tracking training programmes
  • Share your experiences with the Policy Forum or the REPOA Tanzania Governance Noticeboard (www.repoa.or.tz/tgn)

Read more on District Level PETS by clicking on this link!

Gertrude Mugizi, Coordinator, Policy Forum, P.O. Box 38486, Dar es Salaam, TANZANIA Tel/Fax: (255 22) 2772611

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