The Ghana Trades and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC) has urged government to adopt elements of the Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) in order to strengthen the Programme Based Budgeting (PBB) currently being implemented.
“PBB is the way to go but we need to strengthen it with elements of the GRB to ensure that we reach out to many people including the poor and vulnerable to enable better implementation of budgets for national development,” said the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
Mr Ibrahim Akalbila, the Coordinator of GTLC, urged the government during a media interaction on the role of the media in the adoption and implementation of GRB in local and national government budgeting processes held in Wa.
GRB, a term synonymous with gender budgeting and gender sensitive budgeting, is a public financial management practice that has been adopted by many governments across the world as a way of ensuring that their budgets are responding to the needs of all people.
Mr Akalbila noted that GRB influences coverage, which enabled the vulnerable to be reached, thereby ensuring reduction in inequalities that was on the rise in the past few years in Ghana.
“One of the key things the PBB looks at is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which has the theme: “Leave no one behind” – if we’re going to leave no one behind, we believe that GRB has tools to ensure that is achieved,” he said.
The GTLC Coordinator noted, however, that before implementing the GRB, there was the need to conduct gender based situational analysis to ensure availability of gender disaggregated data in order to inform planning.
According to him, there was therefore the need to have gender impact assessment on the plans and budgets that they draw for implementation.
He believed when this was done alongside having performance based indicators drawn out of the gender situation analysis, then they would be able to extend the reach of budget implementation to cover the vulnerable and all those that needed support, so that no one was left behind.
Mr Akalbila also highlighted the concern regarding the poor implementation of the guidelines for the implementation of the national development plans and budgets at the local levels and called for legislation to enforce implementation of the PBB.
“We think budgets are the most important development tools that ensures our aspirations inherent in the development agenda are met and therefore if we do not go ahead to ensure that the tools that are needed are put in place, we will not achieve the objectives of the development we set for ourselves,” he said.
“Having access to revenue is very important to districts, but a common concern is the challenges involved in the mobilization which government must put in systems to ensure that Assemblies really focus more on revenue generation within their districts rather than heavily depending on the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) and other donor funds,” he added.
Meanwhile, a joint study, titled “GRB in Ghana”, conducted by Oxfam, SEND Ghana and GTLC in February and March 2020, identified some institutional challenges in the adoption and implementation of GRB at the local government level.
This therefore necessitated the policy dialogue engagements to enhance adoption and implementation of GRB in local and national government budgeting processes as well as the interaction with the media.