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(Applications CLOSED on the 25th August)

The GLOBAL INITIATIVE FOR FISCAL TRANSPARENCY is launching the Public Participation in Fiscal Policy and Budget Making GIFT Award, looking for experiences that can tell a compelling story of viable approaches of how governments around the world are integrating the voice of citizens in the way public resources are raised and spent.
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SELECTED PRACTICES  will be:
• PRESENTED at the Fiscal Openness Working Group panel during the Open Government Partnership Regional Summit, Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA, November 21 & 22, 2017 (GIFT will cover expenses, including airfare, lodging, meals and local transportation, for the person responsible for presenting the submission).

• INCLUDED as a mechanism of the GUIDE on Public Participation in Fiscal Policy Principles and Mechanisms (GIFT team will adjust or complete drafting to comply with the Guide’s format and standard).

• DOCUMENTED, including video interview and communication materials, to be DISSEMINATED WORLDWIDE through the GIFT network and network alliances.

A panel of GIFT EXPERTS  will analyze and judge the submissions

to select the winning practices on the merits of:

• Demonstrating the public participation in fiscal policy and budget making mechanism as a key resource to solve a public policy problem

• Implementation of the Principles of Public Participation in Fiscal Policy

• Innovative approach

• Potential impact

• Replicability (possibility of other countries to implement the practice in different contexts)

AWARD BACKGROUND

Public participation in fiscal policy and public spending is a civil right and, also, an essential element of open government, strong governance, and a crucial element of a fiscal accountability ecosystem. The High Level Principles of Fiscal Transparency, Participation and Accountability promulgated by the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) and endorsed by the United Nations in 2012 (UNGA Resolution 67/218) establish direct public participation in government fiscal policy and budget making as a civil right (Principle 10).

Moreover, worldwide, there is an increased awareness of the value of public participation over the last twenty‐five years, accepting that the public, including both citizens and civil society organizations, are important agents of good governance and sustainable development. It has become increasingly accepted that public participation in fiscal policy can strengthen and improve fiscal performance and outcomes by increasing: Efficiency, Equity, Effectiveness, Predictability, Legitimacy and Sustainability of fiscal management.  As such, there is recognition of the critical contribution that public participation can play in the pursuit of poverty reduction, equitable economic growth, and stewardship of the environment and the global commons.

Thus, recently the role of public participation in fiscal policy and public spending has been acknowledged in major fiscal transparency standards and norms, such as the 2014 International Monetary Fund’s Fiscal Transparency Code, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 2014 Principles of Budgetary Governance, and the International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Survey.

However, while the consensus grows, there is a recognition that there is still a gap both in norms and practical guidance in public participation in fiscal policies and budget making. To help fill that gap, in 2012 GIFT embarked on a substantial multi-year work program to generate greater knowledge about country practices and recent innovations in citizen engagement, that included workshops with experts and practitioners, developing case studies and literature reviews, and a web-based consultation. This work program provided a rich source of information on current practices and recent innovations in public participation in a diverse range of countries around the world, which was drawn on in developing, debating, and progressively refining a set of public participation principles.

On December 2015, the GIFT Principles of Public Participation in Fiscal Policy were endorsed by GIFT General Stewards, which include the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as governments from several countries. Additionally, in order to strengthen the role of these principles in enabling change of actual practice in countries, GIFT developed a guide on the principles paired with mechanisms that have advanced fiscal participation in public policy in various countries. The Guide on Public Participation in Fiscal Policy Principles and Mechanisms identifies practices that illustrate the Principles of Public Participation in Fiscal Policy and organizes them across a number of dimensions to provide “how to” guidance tailored to those who wish to implement similar efforts. The guidance is intended to serve as a catalogue of viable approaches to integrate public participation into fiscal policy, each of which must be defined on a case by case basis depending on specific goals and broader context.

In this framework, and to enrich the repository of meaningful mechanisms for public participation contained in the Guide, the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency is launching the Public Participation in Fiscal Policy and Budget Making GIFT Award, looking for experiences that can tell a compelling story of viable approaches of how governments around the world are integrating the voice of citizens in the way public resources are raised and spent.

Applications closed on the 25th August

PARTICIPATION BASES

  1. Objective: The GIFT network aims to increase and disseminate knowledge about country practices and recent innovations in citizen engagement in fiscal policy and budget processes. By identifying practical examples of mechanisms that illustrate how governments around the world are incorporating public participation in the management of public resources, GIFT seeks to support countries’ efforts to accomplish better policy results and development outcomes.
  1. Submissions: The cases submitted should showcase mechanisms that governments have designed, adopted and implemented to engage the public in fiscal policy and budget process discussions and decision-making and that illustrate in practice the Principles of Public Participation in Fiscal Policy.Public participation “refers to the variety of ways in which the general public, including civil society organizations and other non-‐state actors, are invited or have generated space to interact directly with public authorities with respect to the design, implementation and review of public policies, by means of face-to-face communication, deliberation or decision-‐making, or by written forms of communication using electronic or paper media.” (GIFT Principles of Public Participation in Fiscal Policy).

Cases may be submitted by government, legislative or audit agencies that have implemented the public participation practice, as well as by other actors that have participated in it (such as civil society organizations, experts, citizen groups). Cases must be documented or documentable experiences in which there has been an institutional mechanism for the direct interaction between the public and authorities, in any of the stages of the fiscal policy cycle (formulation, enactment, implementation or audit). A methodological framework to guide the presentation of cases is here.

  1. Evaluation process: A panel of GIFT experts will analyze and judge the submissions to select the winning practices on the merits of:

• Demonstrating the public participation in fiscal policy and budget making mechanism as a key resource to solve a public policy problem, for example in strengthening fiscal discipline, improving resource allocation and service delivery outcomes, improving governance outcomes (such as reducing corruption), or ultimately increasing development results in areas such as education or health.

• Implementation of the Principles of Public Participation in Fiscal Policy

• Innovative approach

• Potential impact

• Replicability (possibility of other countries to implement the practice in different contexts)

  1. Selected practices: The best practices will be:

• Presented at the Fiscal Openness Working Group panel during the Open Government Partnership Regional Summit, Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 21 & 22, 2017 (GIFT will cover expenses, including airfare, lodging, meals and local transportation, for the person responsible for presenting the submission).

• Included as a mechanism of the Guide on Public Participation in Fiscal Policy Principles and Mechanisms (GIFT team will adjust or complete drafting to comply with the Guide’s format and standard)

• Documented, including video interview and communication materials, to be disseminated worldwide through the GIFT network and network alliances.

  1. Ownership: The content of the Submission must be a good or service created or provided by the submitter or an organization the submitter can legally represent. The submitter must warrant that the Submission is an original work created solely by its organization(s), which may involve partners, but that they own Intellectual Property rights to the information in the Submission, and that no other party has any right, title, claim or interest in the Submission, except as expressly identified by the submitter in the Submission.
  1. Format for submissions: The FORMAT must be filed and submitted to tania@fiscaltransparency.net between May 22nd and August 25th.
  1. Results: The selected practices will be announced September 11th on fiscaltransparency.net and through the Twitter account @FiscalTrans
  1. Questions: Please address your questions to  tania@fiscaltransparency.net
GIFT reserves the right to disqualify any submitter who violates these Participation Bases, or any standards of behavior expressed or implied in them.
Note: All submissions must be in English/Spanish/Portuguese/French in order to be considered.