On 26th December 2016, EPD launched it research report on “Independent Review of Afghanistan 1396 National Budget Draft” with participation of over 90 representatives from national and international organizations working across all the provinces of the Afghanistan including Cordaid, integrity watch, The Liasion Office and other CSOs, community members as well as the media.
Each year, EPD conducts an independent review of the Afghanistan National Budget, to provide further details to Parliament to review the national budget. The process gives insight to the national budget from a civil society perspective on national budget planning, execution, monitoring and reporting with special emphasis on the role of civil society and citizens in the entire process.
With this annual project, EPD aims to present a simple and coherent review of the budget so that people can understand its relevance in their daily lives and review the quality of services allocated via resources. This independent budget review also provides details to Afghan parliament to review and approve the national budget. The process furthermore provides a platform for input on national budget planning from a civil society perspective. This snapshot budget review is a summary review released along with the sending of the budget to Parliament to provide a timely review of the budget and this year’s developments in public financial management, reforms, and benchmarks.
This event started with a presentation by Mr. Omarzad, the executive director of EPD. He shared the findings and an overall review of the research report. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion facilitated by Ms. Humaira Saqib, founder of the Afghan Women News Agency; Mr. Khalil Raufi, Head of Civil Society Joint Working Group and Mr. Fahim Hakim.
During the discussion, Ms. Saqib stated that lack of authentic information and research is major challenge for incorporating gender aspects in national budget. She recommended that women should be consulted during budget process. Mr. Raufi also presented information about 1396 budget draft. He added that security is a main concern for Afghan government and a high portion of the budget is allocated for the security sector. Mr. Edrees Omarzad mentioned that decrease in budget deficit and increasing in developmental budget is a sign of progress in budget process, however, on the other hand, government is lagging behind in terms of implementing the developmental budget, which needs to be addressed.
Recognizing persistent gender inequalities and their consequences, Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) was introduced as a budget policy reform in Afghanistan in 1390. Furthermore, MoF released the GRB Strategic Action Plan in 2015. According to the research report on review of the national budget 1396, national budget draft for fiscal year 1396 considers gender equity in the provincial budgeting proposal and the integration of gender into BC1 and BC2 forms for provincial budgeting and this year an analysis from a gendered perspective is reflected in the draft national budget. In spite of some progress in consideration of gendered aspects in the draft, still implementation of GRB remains a main concern in terms of capacity and securing buy-in on the concept of GRB from the government staff.
Based on the findings of the research, EPD has developed some recommendations for the Afghan government, international donors and civil society, implementation of these recommendations can promote better budgeting and good governance.
In order to access more detailed information, please download our research report “Independent Review of Afghanistan 1396 National Budget Draft” by clicking on the following link: