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Connecting People and Ideas for Integrated Development

More active participation in public financial management by CSOs in Tajikistan

Workshop Attendees

SUNY/CID joined the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation-Tajikistan (OSIAF-TJ) to implement the "Support to Public Financial Management (PFM) in Tajikistan" program funded by UKAID (the UK Department for International Development, or DFID). SUNY/CID's activities promoted more active participation of citizens and civil society organizations (CSOs) in the budget process by building CSOs' capacity for budget engagement.

SUNY/CID's local subject-matter and international training experts created four technical training modules on key areas of budget advocacy and delivered them to three cycles of training participants. Each cycle also included a training-of-trainers (TOT) module to build participants' skills to re-present the materials in the future. Drawing on approaches and materials from IBP (the International Budget Partnership, https://www.internationalbudget.org/), the modules use examples from international good practice as well as original materials developed by our experts on Tajikistan's budget formulation process. Participants gained understanding of very practical aspects of budget advocacy skills—monitoring budget data, formulating budget proposals, and communicating findings effectively to government—through presentations and group exercises. Participants learned and shared their experiences in targeting decision makers in their sectors of expertise on budget - or resource-related issues and explored how to communicate recommendations to them as well as to the specific line ministries.

One participant shared that as a result of studying IBP cases he learned that budget advocacy can be done on all levels and that even small and seemingly insignificant CSOs like his can successfully influence the process (at least on their local level). Another participant said that the case of DISHA (India) was like an eye-opening experience for him, since he saw how a small NGO can affect all levels of government including the central apparatus and how it managed to attract the support of Parliamentary deputies. One participant shared that the Ukrainian case reminded her of the experience she had with local mass-media; it helped participants to realize the power of mass media and how it can be used to promote budget issues in society.

These materials and presentations are now available online in Russian and Tajik. The compendium, titled "Guide to Budget Advocacy," will serve as a reference for past program participants as well as for those who will deliver or receive training through future programming. It is available on the Open Education Resource website of the Dushanbe ICT Centre.

Posted September 3, 2019