Women Inclusion in the Budgeting Process: Comparison of Effectiveness of Women Networks and Dialogue Platforms

Published: 10 September 2021

Download the Policy Brief in PDF format here:  Policy Brief no. 2: Women Inclusion in the Budgeting Process (PDF/0.28 MB)

Executive Summary

This policy brief analyses the participation and inclusivity of women dialogue platforms/networks and associations in the budget process in Tanzania. It presents a comparative analysis and findings on how effective women dialogue platforms and networks are in the budget process.

Summary of Findings

  • There is low understanding, participation and inclusivity of women dialogue platforms, networks, associations and groups in the budgeting process. Women living in rural areas participate, and are more aware of the budget process than those living in townships and urban areas.
  • Platforms/networks connected with or established by the government are more effective than those operating without a connection to the government and national level apex dialogue platforms.
  • There is weak accountability of the budget process in terms of planning, approval, execution and monitoring.
  • Women agenda is not featured or mainstreamed in the national dialogue platforms agenda, their voices are not heard.
  • There is no clear women dialogue structure for women representation, hence it limits collaboration, coalitions, and cooperation to develop a common women agenda and forge partnerships and strategic alliances.
  • Dialogue platforms and networks as institutions lack good management systems, financial and human resource capacity.
  • Women platforms/networks representatives/staff lack the capacity to analyze and integrate women issues with other economic activities and this limits their ability to build a case on facts.

Policy Recommendations

  • To develop women campaigns to improve awareness, enhance understanding, and build capacity on mainstreaming gender budgeting at all levels.
  • To motivate central government and LGA staff to have gender sensitive budgets, and reward good performers.
  • To enhance institutional and organization capacity of women platforms, networks and association. Borrow experience from BEST-Dialogue.
  • National Apex organizations such as TPSF, TNBC in collaboration with the government need to support and facilitate capacity building of women coalitions and collaboration in order to improve coordination and create strategic alliance among women.
  • There is a need to have peer to peer learning among the dialogue platforms and networks and develop south-south collaborations with other international dialogue platforms/ networks.
  • Government should establish a center which focuses on promoting equity, transparency and accountability and engagement of women and youths in budgeting process.
  • There is a need to improve registration and compliance laws to allow formalization of women platforms/networks/associations.

 

Introduction and Background

Participatory planning and budgeting process for marginalized groups including people with disabilities, youth and women has been a concern in the society and in many countries. It is generally considered that a majority of people understand the budgeting process, and hence will participate in the execution process. Often, the budget is open to the public when it has been approved, but there is limited participation during formulation, execution, monitoring and evaluation.

This policy brief is part of the selected key findings from the study “Tanzania’s Fiscal Governance, Budget, Needs and Public Expenditure with the analysis on inequalities and Trust”. The study interviewed women leaders and individual members of formal and informal dialogue platforms, networks and associations. The policy brief summarizes observations, findings and recommendations from these women on their understanding, participation and inclusivity of the budget process in Tanzania. It presents voices and concerns about the budgetary process by making a comparison of different women dialogue platforms and networks.

Overview of Women Dialogue Platforms/Networks and Associations in Tanzania

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) 2012 data, women count for 49.7% of the total population. Hence, including their voices in the budgetary process is crucial. Women dialogue platforms, networks, associations and groups in Tanzania are numerous and of mixed types with different women representations. Some are formalized and registered and some are not. The majority of women dialogue platforms, networks and associations are formed and focused on the interests and agenda of their members. Many operate only at the national level, but have limited members in the regions, districts, and lower levels.

A review of women dialogue platforms, networks, and associations showed a very clear distinction about the dialogues. First, are those which are connected to the apex national platforms such as TNBC and TPSF or sector platforms such as ACT, CTI, and TCCIA etc. and the central government or sector ministry. Most of these are formalized, and are few. The second group are those which are not connected and they include professional associations and others. In this policy brief we compare women platforms/networks connected to the apex platforms and Government (e.g., TWCC, TAP, TAWLAE, TGNP), with those professional women networks and associations not connected to the apex platforms and government (e.g., TAMWA, TAWECE, TAWCA) and Individual Women.

Professional Women Networks and Associations Not Connected to the Apex Platforms and Government

These are women networks/associations, and groups , some of which are formally registered, but the majority are not. None have direct connections to the apex platforms and government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Professional women networks and associations not connected to the apex platforms and government
Tanzania Women Professionals:
These are networks/associations representing women professional such as Certified Accountant (TAWCA) and Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA). It is a platform for women accountants both certified and uncertified. The members are from government employees, private sector and students. Member concentration is in Dar es Salaam and Dodoma with regional representation as Ambassadors. It was started by the National Board of Accountants and Auditors (NBAA), and gets support from the NBAA and Ministry of Finance. (TAWLA) represents women lawyers, started by the members themselves.
Women Media Association:
Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA) is a member based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by registration. Members ranges from government employees, private sector and individual media practitioners. The representation is only at national level with active practice in Dar es Salaam and Dodoma. It has strong relationship with the Ministry of Communication, Culture and Sports and Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MHCDGEC) and is usually invited to many official government meetings and platforms as journalists. It h been invited to discuss the budget.

Women Platforms/Networks Connected to the Apex Dialogue Platforms and Government

These are platforms which are connected to the national, sectoral or sub-sectoral apex organizations/networks. The majority are formally registered. Their participation is through TPSF, TNBC, ACT, TCCIA. These include:

Professional women networks and associations connected to the apex platforms and government
Women entrepreneurs’ platforms/networks and associations:
Represented by Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC); Tanzania Food Processors Association (TAFOPA); Federation of Association of Women’ Entrepreneurs (FAWETA); Tanzania Women Miners Association (TAWOMA); the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP); Tanzania Women Entrepreneurs Network and Development Exposition (TWENDE); and the Coalition for Advancement of Women in Agriculture Tanzania (CAWAT), Tanzania Growth Trust (TGT), Nronga Women Diary Cooperative(WOMEN IN DIARY), Muungano wa Vikundi vya Usindikaji (WODSTA), VICOBA Feta etc. Only, TWCC has representation at the regional level, and its representation at the national level is through Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF).
Women Leaders Association:
Tanzania Association of Women Leaders in Agriculture and Environment (TAWLAE) is a member based Non- Governmental Organization (NGO) by registration and was established by the government, with members varying from government employees, private sector and individual practitioners. Representation is at national and regional level taking advantage of Agricultural Extension Officers. They belong to the Tanzania Agriculture Council (ACT), Agriculture Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF), Policy Forum (PF), Tanzania Chamber of Commerce Industry Agriculture (TCCIA) and TPSF.
Women in the Poultry sub-sector:
Tanzania Poultry Association (TAP) is a women dialogue network mainly for poultry keepers and service providers. Representation is through Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) round table (CORT), TPSF, TCCIA, Poultry Breeders Association (PBA), Agriculture Annual Policy Conference (AAPC), Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC), Kinondoni Business Council and Africa Women Agribusiness (AWA).
Women Engineers:
Tanzania Women Engineers Convention and Exhibition (TAWECE). It is membership-based dialogue association for women engineers. The organization operates only at the national level. Their connection to the top is through the Institute of Engineers as an apex organization with support from Ministry of Works and TPSF by invitation. They have never been invited to attend the budget process as women engineers, never had an opportunity to present issues relating to women. As engineers they argued that they are more responsible for infrastructure or all other engineering works, and do not see how their profession can impact women issues e.g., rural roads and electrification to facilitate women’s work/activities in the rural areas.
Women Gender Network:
Tanzania Gender Networking Platform (TGNP) is not a member-based organization, but advocates for gender issues by making sure they are mainstreamed in the organization and institutional activities, and holds them accountable. It operates only at national level, with champions through the Local Government Authorities (LGAs). There is no apex representation. It has been working on issues of water, education, finance and health in their respective ministries. Recently, they have started working in agriculture.

Summary of Findings

Overall, there is low understanding, participation and inclusivity of women dialogue platforms, networks, associations and groups in the budgeting process. Accountability to the women is also lacking, with limited access to government documents. Women living in rural areas participate, and are more aware of the budget process than those living in townships and urban areas/ township. The following sections present comparisons between the two groups and individual women with regard to participation inclusivity, accountability, transparency, openness, trust and accessibility.

Participation, Inclusivity and Accountability

Findings show that there is limited understanding, awareness, and participation of the budget process. Also, there is lack of accountability systems/mechanism.

Professional women networks and associations not connected to the apex dialogue platforms and government (e.g., TAMWA, TAWECE, TAWCA)
Women platforms/networks connected to the apex dialogue platforms and government (e.g., TWCC, TAP, TAWLAE, TGNP)
Participation: there is a limited understanding and awareness of the budget process and low participation – they are never invited to participate.
Inclusiveness: women agenda is not discussed and women issues are not included in the approved budgets. Also, there is no clear dialogue structure for women representation and registration and compliance laws are inhibitive.
Participation: they have a better understanding of the budget process and are invited to participate in the budget formulation. But there is a low collaboration and cooperation as well as no common agenda presented to the apex dialogue platforms and no engagement among themselves before meetings.
Inclusiveness: women’s voices are not heard in meetings, and gender issues are never treated seriously. There is a limited discussion and inclusion of women agenda in platform/network meetings and no common agenda on women/ gender during platforms/ networks meetings, hence there is no discussion on women participation and inclusiveness in the budgetary process to drive gender-based planning and budgeting.

Accountability: in both cases there is a lack of responsibilities and commitment of the Members of the Parliament (MPs) on pushing citizen’s development agenda as well as a limited understanding of the roles and responsibilities of their government leaders from the local to the national level in the budget cycles. Hence, it is difficult to make them accountable. There is also a tendency/ culture of the public – including women – to treat budget as a political matter; hence they don’t want to participate. Overall, there is an unrealizable and opaque accountability process.

Government and apex dialogue platforms such as TNBC and TPSF, CTI and others have not made deliberate efforts investing in gender budgeting and awareness for the women dialogue platform, networks, organizations, groups. Ministry budget officials from MDAs, and members of the parliament lack capacity on gender planning, budgeting and analysis. TGNP and TWCC have started working more in the rural areas, to create more awareness. While the budget process is well documented, women complained that the timing and how the public can participate and contribute is not known to the majority of women; and needs deliberate efforts by the government to ensure participation. Women feel that participation in the budget process is an activity only meant for government officials.

“BAJETI NI KAZI YA SERIKALI NA SIO YA WANANCHI WA KAWAIDA, PIA HAKUNA USHIRIKISHWAJI WA MOJA KWA MOJA NA HUWA HAITILIWI MKAZO KAMA INAVYOKUWA KWENYE UCHAGUZI WA VIONGOZI WA SIASA”.

Leaders or officers running the day-to-day activities of the networks/associations majority are volunteers – this limits their effectiveness. A good number of the associations were established as part of development partners/donor projects and which hinders sustainability after completion.

Transparency and Openness, Trust and Accessibility

There are concerns on the openness of the budget process and media of communication.

Professional women networks and associations not connected to the apex dialogue platforms and government (e.g., TAMWA, TAWECE, TAWCA)
Women platforms/networks connected to the apex dialogue platforms and government (e.g., TWCC, TAP, TAWLAE, TGNP)
Transparency and Openess: Some of the government documents are treated as confidential. Women issues are not included in the budget. Focus more on gender-specific issues. Transparency and Openess: Some of the government documents are treated as confidential

Trust: in both cases there is no clear set budget to implement and/or monitor the approved gender-based budget e.g., sanitary pads. Also, representatives lack analytical and research capacity and capability to integrate women issues with other economic activities in plans and budgets. They lack a champion and collaborators to push the women agenda.

Accessibility: in both cases some of the budget documents are not easily accessible and retrievable and available budget documents are big and posted on the GoT website which most of women cannot access.
Results revealed that women members/ Individual women do not trust their platform/networks/association representatives as they do not give feedback to fellow members, hence their voices are not heard. Their concerns are:

    • Women issues are not discussed or given importance and priority during the budget process. There is no clear set budget to implement and/or monitor the approved budget. A good example is the sanitary towels issue, there are no efforts to find a sustainable solution.
    • Their voices are not heard even when they participate in the apex, association or platform meetings. Their representation is more of physical attendance, but women issues are never treated seriously.
    • Women platforms/networks/associations lack a champion and collaboration to push the women agenda.

Conclusion

Comparative analysis of the women dialogue platforms, networks, groups and individuals has shown that the budgetary process is not participatory, inclusive and transparent. Participation is limited due to low understanding and capacity. The majority of apex organizations and platforms do not have the capacity and knowledge to analyze the planned budget and execution. They also lack human and financial resources to participate when invited. This limits their capacity to carry out their outreach and sensitization programs, hence their voices are not heard. Women issues are not well presented in the budget.

Recommendations from the Women Dialogues Platforms/Networks And Associations and Individuals

To improve participation and inclusivity in the budget process women platforms/networks/organizations and individuals recommended that there is need:

    • For a public campaign to create awareness for the public to understand and participate willingly in the budgeting process and long-term planning.
    • To improve information dissemination. Currently, there is inadequate information regarding the budgeting process and its access.
    • To build their confidence and capacity to analyze and evaluate the whole plans and budgets.
    • To strengthen the feedback mechanisms from platform/network organization leaders to their members before and after the budget process and make sure that women issues are well addressed in the national plans and budgets.
    • All platforms, networks and organizations should undertake capacity building on planning and budgeting to enable them to mainstream women issues in the plans and budgets.
    • For women dialogue platforms/ networks and groups to form a coalition which will unite the women and forge a common agenda.

Lead researcher

Prof. Marcellina Mvula Chijoriga

Prof. Marcellina Mvula Chijoriga

Prof. Marcellina Mvula Chijoriga is a retired Professor in Finance and Business Management who had served at the University of Dar es Salaam Business School (UDBS) for 36 years. She is a seasoned trainer, researcher and consultant for public and private enterprises. She had served in a number of Boards/Institutions including the Tanzania Revenue Authority and IMF. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of LOGIMAC Ltd. Company

Download the Policy Brief in PDF format here:  Policy Brief no. 2: Women Inclusion in the Budgeting Process (PDF/0.28 MB)