Phnom Penh, June 15 – 17, 2015: The Development Issue Program (DIP) of NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF) conducted a three-day training on Budget Analysis and Advocacy to forty participants as the representatives from NGOs/CSOs and National Assembly, with financial support from UNICEF and technical support from International Budget Partnership (IBP) in India at Sunway Hotel.
With the overall objective to improve knowledge to the participants in term of capacity and with productive working result, the specific for this training were to address the importance of budget cycle, key documents (pre-budget statement, executive’s budget proposal), to provide understanding of the roles of NGOs/CSOs in budget formulation and monitoring, and lastly to share experiences from other countries in strategy, tools, and tactics for budget advocacy.
“We, the NGOF which one of the leading NGOs that has a project and program on monitoring the progress of PFMRP in the area of budget transparency, organize this event to, precisely, improving the budget analysis for the relevant institutions. The National Budget Project (NBP) and NGOF have produced and annual budget analysis and identified issues related to budget formulation, adoption, execution and auditing. Currently, NBP has established a Budget Working Group (BWG) to coordinating a number of NGOs who work on budget issues.” said Dr. Tek Vannara, NGOF’s Executive Director. “However, the BWG still lack an understanding of how to translate collective knowledge into effective advocacy strategies regarding budget expenditure. That is why this workshop happened,” he added.
Despite some challenges and complexity to this training, the learners showed more impression and draw most attention to each lesson provided. Mr. Chea Chamroeun, a representative from Oxfam shared that through this training, he managed to gain more knowledge on the Public Financial Management with vital methods to where should we question, advocate in terms of cooperating with Ministry of Finance and Economy (MOEF), National Assembly (NA), specifically, at grassroots level to the dissatisfied budget draft law.
Ms. Kim Nay, DIP Program Manager of NGOF consider this activity as a mission to improve the working capacity for NGOF partners by building strong foundations, since she believed that budget knowledge requirement would be matched and help stakeholders to improve the advocacy effort.
Additionally, post test result during the training provided on the “Budget analysis and advocacy” indicated that all the participants well absorb about the budget cycle and able to identify the challenges of their organization work in the budget cycle as well as the advocacy approached for the transparency and accountability of the national budget. Apart from the increasing capacity, the relationship of the BWG with the MEF and NAA is strengthened as the BWG can participate and present in their meeting.