ADB Announces Grants for Civil Society Participation in Government Processes

21 July 2004


The Asian Development Bank July 2 announced a $400,000 technical assistance grant to “help make public service delivery more responsive to the poor by promoting greater civil society participation in resource allocation and budgeting.”

The grant will go to selected regions of three countries, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The areas for the pilot projects will be chosen “for their various stages of decentralization that allow for stronger civil society participation.”

According to the ADB, “The project will engage the poor and their representatives in preparing budgets that will provide efficient, effective, and responsive pro-poor service delivery.”

“Budgets are not only central to planning and controlling a country’s economic activities but are important policy tools with profound implications for poverty reduction and social equity,” says Jak Jabes, director of ADB’s Governance and Regional Cooperation Division.

The ADB said the funds will go for training materials, workshops and local budget forums, “focusing on ways to ensure direct engagement of civil society, such as budget review and analysis and even joint budget formulation with the local government.

One end result will be an action plan on how to replicate participatory budgeting approaches. The work will be conducted over eight months beginning in July 2004.

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By Toby J. McIntosh

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