14 September 2015

PEMPAL BCOP WG on budget literacy and transparency


The objective of the meeting was for participants to familiarize themselves with the findings of a recent global study of budget literacy practices covering over 30 countries undertaken by the World Bank. Fourteen participants attended the videoconference meeting from seven countries (Armenia, Belarus, Croatia, Kyrgyz Republic, Russian Federation, Romania and Uzbekistan).

The main results of the meeting included the sharing of lessons learnt and useful resources for incorporating budget literacy in school curricula; including examining the available diverse methods and materials to teach budget literacy; and different models of how to build capacity to promote budget literacy education.

The results of the recent Open Budget Index (OBI) for 2015 were also discussed (see this link for full report in Russian and English)

The leadership team congratulated Romania, and Russia who were rated highest among PEMPAL member countries providing ‘substantial budget information’ to their citizens. Romania has demonstrated the highest rating, (75/100), Russia maintained its high position (74/100) and Kyrgyz Republic showed a remarkable progress, moving from 20/100 to 54/100. Kyrgyz Republic also led the PEMPAL region in the sub-index related to ‘public participation’ with a score of 52/100 (compared to the international average of 102 countries surveyed of 25/100).

Future events of the group were also discussed including a proposed study visit in December 2015 to examine budget transparency at the local level in Croatia. The topic of the next workshop was also decided which will be held before the proposed BCOP plenary meeting in Minsk, Belarus in February 2016. As proposed at the BCOP Executive Committee meeting, it was agreed to focus the workshop on citizens’ budget. It was revealed in the survey, undertaken by PEMPAL in spring 2015, that only five countries participating in the working group have citizens’ budget. Therefore, it will be useful to review good existing practices and come up with recommendations on citizens’ budget development and implementation.

The countries agreed to make a presentation include OBI champions – Romania, Russia and Kyrgyz Republic. In addition, it was agreed to review the results of the OBI at the workshop. Finally, leadership of the group proposed to have a discussion of lessons and recommendations, which can be compiled into a knowledge product on recommendations on citizens’ budgets.