Phnom Penh, May 19, 2015: The Development Issue Program (DIP) of the NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF) attended a half-day Parliamentary Workshop, theme “Understanding of Macroeconomic Framework and Public Financial Policy for Preparation of the Draft Law on National Budget Management 2016”, organized by the Commission of Economics, Finance, Banking and Auditing of the National Assembly (NA), in collaboration and supporting by Secretary General of the National AssemblyTechnical Coordination Secretariat of the National Assembly) Asian Development Bank (ADB), NGOF and Oxfam America. And there were 300 participants as members of Parliament, Senators, Government representative, Development Partners, Private sectors, and other related national and international organizations presented in this event presided by Samdech Akeak Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin at the NA.
This workshop, in which mainly focused on the national budget issued, was conducted in order to:
- Increase understanding of the macro economic framework and public financial policy
- Increase dialogue between the government, Development Partners (DPs) and NGO/CSOs to enhance the preparation of Draft Law on National Budget Management 2016
- Gain further insight into The Budget Working Group (BWG) need for budget preparation information at the national level and
- Improve the partnership of BWG and NA which will lead to the better collaboration in the future
To ensure that all the mentioned objectives were met, series of activities including a presentation from different speakers namely Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), ADB and BWG were organized. Additionally, a dialogue was held and all the partakers were encouraged to discuss their understanding on the presented topic, specifically, the macro – economic framework and public financial policy for preparation of the draft law on National Budget Management 2016.
Through the BWG reflection made after the workshop, the team indicated that objectives were successfully achieved while few outcomes still need a proper measuring time with the further activities. Several positive achievements included:
- Participants in the National Assembly workshop had enriched their understanding on the budget issues. This workshop gave the direction to the BWG working on budget areas that could help the government to achieved its goals and empower the communities in participating in the budget planning process.
- Dialogue between the government, DP and NGO/CSOs improved in comparison to the last NA workshop. The NGO/CSOs’ voice was not in the previous workshop because there was no space for the NGO/CSOs to present their work as well as no time for the questions and answers. The presentation of the BWG was interesting for by many national assembly members that is why reaction to the presentation both positive and the negative.
- The BWG group also realized the need to work on the budget preparation information at the national level. First, it is important that the BWG group needs to build their own capacity on the budget knowledge. Second, the BWG should have a clear strategic plan to work with the government at the level of the national development plan. The BWG should have a research to support their claims.
Ms, Kim Nay, DIP’s Manager of NGOF share the positive view on results, yet she also mentioned that there were some challenges from the event such as shortage of time, limited participants form the NGO sectors and limited capacity of the BWG upon the national budget issue. “There are some challenges about this workshop, but we will keep this as lesson learn, and optimistically, manage to arrange to eliminate these obstacles in the next events,” she added.