Project Brief

Background

Gender responsive budgeting (GRB) is an approach to mainstream the gender dimension into all stages of the budget cycle. In general, gender responsive budgeting aims at analyzing the differential impacts of a state's national and local expenditure as well as revenue policy on women and girls, and men and boys, respectively. The concept of GRB is now fairly well recognized and is being adopted in many developed and developing countries.

In Pakistan, gender responsive budgeting was proposed for the first time in 2001 by the Ministry of Women Development in a paper on 'Gender and Poverty' submitted for the Poverty Reduction Growth Facility. The Government's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) advocates use of GRB in analyzing the federal, provincial and district government budgets to determine the extent to which resources are allocated to address gender inequality and impact of budgetary expenditures on different gender groups. The Government's Gender Reform Action Plan (GRAP) has also made provisions for gender budget analysis.

With this backdrop, the Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan with technical and financial support of UNDP and its cost sharing donors namely, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Royal Norwegian Embassy, initiated a two and half year's pilot project 'Gender Responsive Budgeting Initiative' (GRBI), beginning 2005.

Aims and Objectives

The project aims to:

a. Develop skills to prepare, review and analyze budgets using the gender lens;
b. Promote policy and resource allocation with a gender perspective; and
c. Build advocacy skills of GOP and civil society organizations for gender budgeting.

The project is focusing its analysis on the sectors of education, health and population welfare. The analysis is being carried out at the federal, provincial (Punjab) and district (Gujrat and Rajanpur) levels.

Road Map
To achieve the above objectives, activities are envisaged in the following five stages:

1. Awareness raising and consensus-building
As gender responsive budgeting is a relatively new concept in Pakistan, a concerted awareness raising and consensus building is being undertaken. Resource material is being developed and disseminated amongst the stakeholders namely, federal, provincial and district governments, researchers, civil society organizations and parliamentarians.

2. Training in gender budgeting for the stakeholders
In order to build the capacities of stakeholders to analyze the budget from a gender lens, various activities are planned and being undertaken. These activities include development of comprehensive training material as well as various trainings targeting specific groups.

3. Gender analysis of the priority sectors
Along with development of a research agenda for gender analysis in selected social sectors of health, education and population welfare, a number of gender responsive budgeting tools are being employed to carry out research and analysis which range from desk studies to field based surveys.

4. Review of the research
The results and outputs of various research activities are reviewed by the stakeholders including subject specialists to identify research gaps and to help in improving the draft research reports.

5. Advocacy
Various advocacies activities are planned which include meetings with stakeholders at all levels, media discussions, public dialogues, development of website and articles in the print media aimed at advocating for gender equity in budgets.

Key tools of gender responsive budgeting include:
a. Gender-aware policy appraisal
b. Gender-aware benefit incidence analysis
c. Gender-aware beneficiary assessment
d. Gender-aware public expenditure tracking
e. Gender-disaggregated analysis of impact of budget on time use
f. Gender-aware revenue incidence analysis
g. Gender budget statement


Outputs
The following three interrelated outputs are foreseen:

1. Government spending addresses the needs of women and men equitably and attends especially to the needs of the poor;
2. Budget reviewed through a gender lens, in order to analyze if budget allocations are in line with women´s and men´s different priorities and needs; and
3. Civil society and government partnership promotes transparency in the determination of government priorities and in public spending


Implementation Arrangements
The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan and Finance Department, Government of Punjab. For this purpose a federal Project Management unit (PMU) has been established in the Ministry of Finance while the provincial PMU is housed in the Finance Department, Government of Punjab. Both the PMUs are headed by full time serving officials of the Ministry of Finance and Finance Department, Government of Punjab respectively. The PMUs work in close collaboration with 'Poverty Reduction and Gender Unit' of UNDP Pakistan.

A Project Steering Committee (PSC) under the chairmanship of Finance Secretary, Government of Pakistan has been notified for ensuring overall guidance and support to the project.