Advocacy experts in Central Asia learn about open budgeting from Georgia’s experience
On July 5, 2021, six analysts and advocates from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan began a week-long study tour on open budgeting and transparency in public financial management in Tbilisi, Georgia. The study tour is organized by Eurasia Foundation through the funded United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Civil society support program in Central Asia. Georgia is a member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and ranked fifth in the world according to the Open budget index. Participants of the study tour will learn from Georgia’s path to transparency, indicating areas for potential cooperation and applying lessons learned.
The study trip is organized by the Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI). In close cooperation with international donors, non-governmental organizations, state agencies and local municipalities, IDFI works to improve open budgeting, support transparency in public financial management and improve participation citizens in decision-making and budgeting.
Through the study tour, experts from Central Asia will gain an understanding of the open government partnership principles implemented in budget transparency, public oversight and participatory budgeting. They will visit the Georgia Ministry of Finance and State Audit Office to learn more about budget codes, a citizen’s guide to state budgets law, political finance tracking, and a platform. -innovative web form – Budget Monitor, one of the winners of the World Summit Prize 2017.
“Kazakhstan is not yet a member of OGP. Therefore, we are interested to learn how Georgia got membership, how it engages civil society and budget advocacy by working with open data. We can use this knowledge to interact with government agencies and promote civic initiatives in Kazakhstan. It will be helpful for us to find out how to achieve data disclosure so that open data is of high quality and, more importantly, to engage society with the data provided. Because disclosing data is one thing, but involving society is a completely different and difficult process, ”said Zhanat Nurgaliev, head of the non-profit organization Private Institute Integrity Astana, and study tour participant.
USAID is the world’s leading international development agency and a catalyst for development results. To learn more, visit USAID Central Asia website and Facebook page.