Interaction on GEDSI Responsive Local Government Planning/Budgeting
Published on August 17, 2021
An interaction program to assess the collective understanding of the local governments on the guidelines of the Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) was held by the Municipal Association of Nepal (MuAN) on July 20, 2021. The participants from the local governments got a chance to raise their concerns to the Ministry of Finance as Joint Secretary of the ministry Mr Dhani Ram Sharma also joined the event organized with support from the Subnational Governance Program (SNGP).
Mr Sharma gave a presentation on the GRB guidelines and highlighted how the use of the indicators and coding mechanism is expected to support the local government to assess their plans and budget impact on service delivery, with a focus on the achievement of gender equity and capacity development of women and people from marginalized communities. “To address and mainstream the GEDSI issues in the revenue and expenditure at the local level, these guidelines can be of great support,” added Mr Sharma.
GEDSI expert of SNGP, Ms Neeta Shrestha Thapa talked about the theoretical and technical aspects of the guideline. Her session focused on how local governments can incorporate gender equality and social inclusion in every step of their budgeting and planning process. She presented a few examples of the budgeting process followed by local governments incorporating the GRB guidelines.
While the first half of the event provided the participants with the necessary information to help them in preparing the annual program and budget, the second half provided them with a platform to share their experiences. Mayors and deputy mayors (those representing the executive committee, women department and provincial committees of MuAN) from all the seven provinces of Nepal, and representatives from the National Federation of the Disabled – Nepal, talked about the challenges of GEDSI mainstreaming. Mayor of Rapti municipality, Ms Prabha Baral pointed out that though the municipality has a separate committee looking after the issues for women, children and elderly people, prioritizing Gender Responsive Budget has been a challenge due to the limited capacity of the committee responsible for budget allocation. She said, “There are no clear terms of the procedure developed for the committee which has resulted in a gap in prioritizing GRB in municipalities”.
Similarly, a representative of the National Federation of Disabled – Nepal said that the needs of people with disabilities (PWDs) have not been incorporated into the guideline, all though the Constitution of Nepal and Local Government Operation Act (LGoA) highlight the importance of inclusion of disability. Deputy Mayor of Halesi Tuwachung Municipality, Ms Bimala Rai stressed the challenges around the implementation. “While the issues for GRB are discussed in the forum, discussion on its implementation is usually left out. For the local governments to allocate and integrate GEDSI in their budget, it is very important to discuss GRB implementation and its challenges,” Rai added.
A total of 67 participants (male 64%, female 36%) participated in the program, through both the virtual and in-person mode of the event.
Subnational Governance Programme is supported by the Australian Government and implemented by The Asia Foundation.