Kosovo Presented at Regional Workshop on Gender Responsive Budgeting

On 1-2 June, activists, officials and parliamentarians from throughout the region and beyond gathered in Tirana to reflect on “Gender Responsive Budgeting: From Piloting to Results.” Participants were from Turkey, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania, Macedonia, Ukraine, Moldova and Kosovo, including KWN representatives.
     The workshop served to identify several best practices in the region. For example, the Ministry of Finance has played a key role in institutionalizing gender responsive budgeting (GRB) in Albania, where budget instructions have required each budget organization to identify at least one objective that contributes directly to gender equality. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, gender indicators have been incorporated in their new electronic Budget Management System. Several countries have collaborated to develop a curriculum and textbook for introducing gender responsive budgeting in universities, which participants agreed is crucial for training future officials. Simple concrete guides, like those produced for local and central levels by KWN, can be useful for officials in carrying out GRB. Indeed one participant mentioned that KWN materials distributed during the European Gender Budgeting Network conference last year in Vienna have been useful in explaining GRB in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
     “We cannot say that there is a specific recipe for doing gender responsive budgeting,” said Ermira Lubani from UN Women. “It depends on the level of political support, actors involved in the process, legal framework and systems in place, which differ in each country and context.”
   However, there were certain points on which participants agreed, such as the benefits of GRB: accountability, equality, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency. They also agreed that multi-sector coordination is important among government, parliament, civil society, academia and international actors towards realizing sustainable initiatives. Political will has been particularly crucial. 
     Participants had experienced similar challenges in their countries: still unclear legislation related to GRB; insufficient institutionalization of GRB; lack of primary data disaggregated by gender; insufficient state funding for data collection; inadequate monitoring and evaluation, including impact analyses; poor donor coordination; and lack of knowledge and capacities for implementing GRB among civil servants.
  Among the future needs identified towards institutionalizing GRB in the region included: capacity-building for the executive, parliamentarians and CSOs; sufficient funding for CSOs to carry out their monitoring and support roles; and improved clarity in the legal framework and guidance provided by ministries of finance towards institutionalizing GRB.
    The workshop was organized by UN Women, with support from the Austrian Development Agency and Swiss Development Cooperation