Fiscal Policy, Accountability and Voice: The Example of Gender Responsive Budget Initiatives


Bakker, Isabella. 2002. Fiscal Policy, Accountability and Voice: The Example of Gender Responsive Budget Initiatives. New York: UNDP. 

Author: Isabella Bakker


The central argument of this chapter is that participatory budgeting and analysis - whether it is pro-poor, environment-sensitive or gender responsive - offers a new potentially innovative means for ensuring government accountability to international and national commitments as well as a more balanced distribution of public resources.

With this argument in mind, the chapter begins with a consideration of the relationship of accountability to fiscal policy. Accountability is explored in terms of its legal, institutional and market dimensions. This is followed by an analysis of budgets and accountability as they relate to four aspects that are of importance. These are: a. comprehensiveness; b. institutional responsiveness; c. transparency; and, d. credibility of commitments. Our next section outlines some justifications for one form of applied participatory budgeting-gender responsive budgeting. This is a preamble to explaining what gender responsive budgets are, and how such budgets relate to the four aspects of accountability sketched earlier. Our elements of accountability are then related to cases that might contribute to an inventory of best practice. These examples are drawn from a variety of countries such as India, Mauritius, Tanzania and Mexico. Also important are initiatives taken by multilateral institutions such as the Commonwealth Secretariat and entities within the UN system such as UNIFEM. The chapter ends with conclusions about lessons learned from these gender budget initiatives, how they might be applied to other participatory exercises and points to next steps. 

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gender Budgeting Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Mauritius, Mexico, Tanzania

Year: 2002

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