A transparent budget system contributes to effective and equitable public financial management; however, transparency alone is not sufficient to achieve accountability. How can African governments improve transparency to foster participation and accountability?
CABRI’s Benin-Guinea Partnership for Improved Transparency and Participation brings together teams from the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Benin and the Ministry of Budget of Guinea to address this question. Each country developed action plans to improve budget transparency and participation.
As a part of Guinea’s action plan, the Strengthening technical capabilities of civil society organisations on budget process and documentation workshop held in March 2019 in Conakry was designed to build the capacity of CSOs to effectively participate in the budget process and to provide a space for constructive dialogue between the Ministry of Budget and civil society organisations (CSOs) in Guinea. During the two and half days, public officials and civil society representatives from Guinea, Benin, Central African Republic, and Tanzania participated in a peer-exchange and learning dialogue. The programme provided participants with country experiences from Benin and Tanzania to better understand how CSOs can work with a Ministry of Finance and the Legislature throughout the budget process; improved communication skills for better dialogue; review of budget cycle and documents in Guinea to better understand their content and how CSOs can use these documents. A session was also held on ways to improve the Citizen’s Guide to the Budget to meet the budget information needs of CSOs in Guinea.
To provide a robust budget participation process, the Guinean CSOs committed to create a network to work on budget issues, establish focal points by social sectors, and to continue building the capacity of CSOs on PFM. The Ministry of Budget of Guinea committed to include CSOs in the production of the Citizen’s Guide to the Budget to improve its content and more frequent engagement with CSOs.