GBI initiative in Tanzania is bearing fruit

Date: September 30, 2011
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The Gender Budgeting Initiative in Tanzania that began as an NGO process in 1997 has now been institutionalised within government with all line departments required to account for the gender responsiveness of their budgets.

The GBI has its roots in the IMF and World Bank-sponsored structural adjustment programmes of the 1980’s that left women and children on the margins. The civil society – driven initiative, coordinated by the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP), aimed to:

  • Influence planning and budgetary processes for responding to practical & strategic women & men, youth (girls and boys) needs (access education and livelihoods; reduction of violence; more voice in policy making and control of budgets, resources etc).to health, water, education, agriculture for specifically food security etc.
  • Strengthen consensus building, collective action strategies, acquisition of skills relating to economic literacy & lobbying and advocacy for women/gender and human rights oriented groups as regards to gender equity and equality and transformation in policy and budgeting process
  • Broaden women’s and poor men’s participation in policy-making and their exposure to management structures of public resources.
  • Examine the budgeting process in Tanzania from a gender perspective so as to see how national/local budgets are allocated and thus allow for the tracking of the utilization of budgeted resources
  • Gauge the impact this allocation of resources has upon women and other groups such as youth and poor men within Tanzania
  • Lay the foundation of an effective consensus building campaign to influence the public, decision makers, law makers &government officials on the necessity of increasing resources/ budget to sectors impacting women, youths &other the disadvantaged

The process included:

  • Creating space for dialogue and building working relations with key government actors (central and sectors level ministries).
  • Conducting research in selected sectors: Planning, Finance, Education, Agriculture, Health, Industry, and Local Government.
  • Capacity building and training of gender budgeting to planners and budget officers in the selected sectors.
  • Development of GB application of analytical tools such as Gender checklists.
  • GB trials to conduct budget analysis (gender and pro-poor analysis of budgets) to assess/ evaluate to what extent and who is impacted by budgets resulting in engaging government in further discussion &key analysis on: is there under-expenditure in key areas for gender equality?
  • Gender budget tracking initiatives targeted at local government
  • Gender budget initiatives targeted at Support and Donor Harmonization.

Achievements include:

  • Gender Responsive Budgeting institutionalised within the Government: The Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children are now taking a lead in ensuring gender budgeting is being implemented in different sectors. Gender Budgeting is now a requirement for Budgeting
  • Demand driven capacity for gender mainstreaming and gender budgeting among sectors (Health, Education, Water, Agriculture).
  • The Ministry of Water and Irrigation has a policy that directs the establishment of water committees in the country at all levels and the committees to have a 50/50% representation.

The main challenge with the GBI is limited gender and gender budgeting skills and limited allocations for skills development. There are few experts and most of them are within the CSOs. But in Tanzania the message of gender mainstreaming and gender budgeting is taking root and has significant political commitment. Tanzania, and the TGNP in particular, are now recognised SADC-wide centres of learning on GBI.


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