Call circulars & gender budget statements

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Call circulars & gender budget statements
Call circulars
gender budget statements
Many GRB initiatives begin with analysis.
But ultimate aim is to change budgets (and related policies)
Call circulars & gender budget statements (GBS) can
assist government officials in this task:
These tools go beyond analysis to planning, allocation and
These tools most suitable to GRB within government
But provide information for parliamentarians and civil society
Call circular exists in all countries (but with different names)
GBS is GRB-specific tool
What are call circulars?
Call circulars are official notices issued by Ministry of Finance
near beginning of each budget cycle.
Purpose: instruct government agencies how to submit
demands for the coming year
(usually) gives each agency a budget ‘ceiling’
gives other instructions how to construct & format the draft
says how to present motivations for the budget
Format of budget submissions differs widely across countries.
Some consist mainly of tables of financial numbers
Others – especially with performance budgeting – include more
narrative plus numbers showing delivery performance
Making the call circular genderresponsive
explicitly that gender must be reflected in
State that gender will be considered an important
criterion during negotiations
Require all relevant indicators to be sexdisaggregated
Require that gender-related indicators be included
wherever relevant
If separate specification of ‘new’ policies &
savings, require clear statement of gender
Clear specifications get the best results
Call circular in UGANDA
Government is committed to mainstreaming gender and
equity objectives in the planning and budgeting process. This
involves articulation of the needs of special groups including
women, orphans, elderly, youth and the persons with
disabilities and integration of the respective interventions with
the existing programmes as part of the budgeting process.
The guidelines have been incorporated in the Terms of
Reference for the Sector Working Groups (SWGs). You are
therefore requested to identify these requirements and ensure
that the cost implications are integrated in the budget
estimates for next financial year 2005/06 and the medium
Guidelines on ‘Gender and Equity Budgeting’ for Sector
Working Groups suggest steps to be taken
Call circular in TANZANIA
2006/07 budget guidelines include “gender section”
which is a page long
Increased from one paragraph a few years ago
Gender section:
explains that the Women and Gender Development
Policy and Strategy provides overall framework for gender
describes both achievements and constraints in respect
of achieving the goals of the policy
ends with 5 policy commitments and 4 priority areas for
resource allocation to guide ministries when they draw up
their budgets
Call circular in PAKISTAN
Punjab province: Recently introduced MTBF
2006/07 call circular required all departments to
provide sex-disaggregated information on
employee-related expenses
2007/08 call circular asks that:
Gender be included in mission, vision, objectives as
All indicators related to individuals be sex-disaggregated
Gender-related indicators be included as appropriate
Ensuring gender-responsive call
circulars achieve their aim
Firstly, agency officials must know that budget submissions will be
considered more favourably if gender issues are addressed:
include reps of national gender machinery on team that
interrogates submissions
ensure that MoF budget officers understand the gender
Secondly, ensure that agency officials have necessary capacity to
follow gender instructions
provide training, mentoring, etc
Thirdly, give specific instructions rather than general call for gender
e.g. all indicators on individuals be sex-disaggregated
e.g. specific gender issues, such as economic empowerment,
to be addressed
Fourthly, provide personal incentives for officials to perform well on
Include in performance assessment
What is a gender budget
GBS is gender-specific accountability document produced by
shows the agency’s intention to do something in respect
of gender equality; and
show that the agency is putting money where its mouth
Sometimes the GBS is part of the main budget document.
May not be read by gender advocates
Sometimes the GBS is produced as a separate report.
May be ignored by ‘mainstream’
Most important: Table GBS on budget day to make it ‘official’
More about GBS
GBS is prepared after government agencies have allocated
resources (budgets) in response to call circular
Preparation of GBS is therefore not part of process of
Instead, GBS is a “post mortem” report
Reflections of government officials, parliamentarians & civil
society on what is in the GBS can result in changes in
prioritisation in following years
What does a GBS look like?
To make it easier:
for government officials to compile the statement &
for parliamentarians & public to read & understand it
use standard format across all agencies
To make it easier for government officials:
Base format on standard budgeting approach used in that
e.g. use same concepts (outcomes, outputs, indicators)
Because GBS is a summary, it cannot cover all activities.
To help choose activities ask:
Where is most money going? i.e. mainstreaming
Which programmes are most important for gender equality?
For 2006-07 Union Budget, Finance Ministry
in India produced GBS for 18 departments
Two categories of allocations highlighted:
allocations targeted 100% at women or girls
allocations where at least 30% of the
allocation was targeted at women or girls.
Not yet performance budgeting in India, so
no outputs or outcomes
GBS in France
Yellow Budget Paper on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality
Produced each year since 1999 together with Finance Bill
2006: 185 pages long
France also has Yellow Budget Papers on other cross-cutting
For the gender Yellow Budget Paper, each department is
required to:
identify all programmes and actions targeted at women
or girls
identify all actions it has taken to promote gender
describe its policy on gender equality
present indicators that it uses to measure its
Since 2003, each department in Gauteng province
produces GBS as part of main budget document.
GBS presented in five parts:
Outcomes & outputs of the 3 largest sub-programmes
(in money terms) & their implications for gender equality
Outcomes and outputs which specifically target women
and girls
Outcomes and outputs which will benefit
women/promote gender equality
Outcomes and outputs which will benefit women
employees within the Gauteng provincial government
Number of male and female government employees by
GBS in Morocco
2005: First GBS
Tabled as annex to Economic and Financial Report
which accompanies Budget Law.
In 2005 focused on ministries considered most
important for MDGs
As in France, narrative rather than standard format
Narrative may be easier to read for some people
Narrative means more work for government officials
Ensuring GBS achieves its aim
GBS will only ensure accountability if used effectively: more
likely to happen
if GBS easily available
if easy to read and understand
if not too long.
Secondary aim: making government officials aware of gaps.
Will only happen:
if government officials take task seriously
if officials understand what they are doing.
Some GRB initiatives employ external gender experts to work
on GBS
If experts work with officials, this can help officials
If experts work on their own, product may be better, but less
likely impact on budget
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