In recent years, GIFT network members and partners have developed digital tools and technology that have allowed to significantly advance fiscal transparency, with a focus on making budget information meaningful and useful for citizens. To promote the sharing and discussion of such valuable experiences, GIFT is offering a program of monthly webinars around the areas of fiscal transparency portals, open fiscal data, strategies for communicating budget information, and initiatives to educate the public on budget matters.
International experience shows that to successfully engage citizens in the budget discussions and decisions, including overseeing its implementation and results governments and specialized civil society need to display a range of actions. This includes a proactive policy to disseminate budget information in formats that make sense for different types of users, a commitment to communicate this information and educate the public in terms of budget literacy, in a way that promotes the use of such information. The use of communication technology has greatly expanded the variety of ways in which government can reach out to the public, and the ways in which non-state actors can initiate or respond to opportunities to provide inputs.
The objective of this webinar program is to explore concrete experiences around the world in the use of digital tools to disclose and to effectively communicate budget information, with the goal of engaging citizens in the budget process. The tour includes a look at how ministries of finance have implemented successful budget open data policies, how they have built fiscal transparency portals, and their efforts to promote the use of data, including offering online courses about the budget.
Fiscal transparency portals are instruments that can play a very important social role to facilitate the exercise of the right to know how public money is raised and spent. This webinar will take a close look at how is it that governments are designing portals with potential user interaction in mind, addressing both content generation and its structure. For that purpose, we will explore how interactions between government technicians, information access activists, and journalists who work regularly with budget data are taking place, with a look at the challenges and opportunities entailed.
In this webinar, participants will learn about the experiences of Brazil in revamping, their fiscal transparency portal, which now has a new interface, enhanced accessibility, responsiveness, search engine, navigation, and interactive tables, integrated pages and matrixial navigation. Additionally, the Portal includes new information on, for example, procurement and contracts, travelling expenses, CGU’s reports. The Portal is also now boosted with new tools, such as social media, collaboration, QR code, notifications, open data and APIs.
Besides, participants will hear from the experience of a unique collaboration between GIFT Stewards, the South African National Treasury and the Public Service Accountability Monitor, which is part of a coalition of civil society organizations (IMALI YETHU, “our money”) working together to develop a portal that makes budget data accessible, user-friendly and empowering. The initiative also includes a communications and stakeholder strategy centered on widespread public participation and preference revelation. The project has sought to ensure ongoing engagement of CSOs to arrive to the ideal portal design.
- Otávio Neves, Secretariat of Transparency and Corruption Prevention, BRAZIL
- Carmela Zigoni, Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (INESC), BRAZIL
- Raquel Ferreira, National Treasury, SOUTH AFRICA
- Zukiswa Kota, Public Service Accountability Monitor, SOUTH AFRICA
2. Communicating the budget. How to promote the use of budget information
Wednesday, October 24, at 10am EST
3. Building a strong budget open data policy
Wednesday, November 21 at 10am EST
4. Getting real with the use of budget open data. Examples from the field
Wednesday, December 5 at 10am EST
5. Exploring effective ways to engage citizens. The role of digital tools, what works?
Wednesday, January 23, 2019, at 10am EST
6. Educating about the budget- Online courses experiences
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 10am EST