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Budget monitoring, tracking skills enhanced

By William Madouk

 

Child Rights Civil Society Coalition (CRC) has partnered with Ugandan Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) to bolster budget monitoring and expenditure tracking (BMET) capabilities of civil society organizations and the media in South Sudan.

CRC, with funding from Save the Children, organized a four-day training workshop on budget tracking for members of civil society and the media.

Jeff G. Wadulo, program and policy advisor with CSBAG, said Bmet training allows public to scrutinize public budget and track how the allocated money is spent by government agencies.

Jeff G. Wadulo, a program and policy advisor with CSBAG, explained that BMET allows the public to scrutinize public budgets and track how the allocated funds are being spent by government agencies.

“Bmet is Budget Monitoring and Expenditure Tracking, the importance of Bmet is that it allows you to scrutinize public budgets and then you are able to track the services that the public spending is supposed to be meant for,” he said.

The transitional constitution of South Sudan, Art 45 and 46 stipulated the role of citizens in monitoring the government programs to actualize the fight against graft and effect development.

“So, based on that constitutional mandate, the citizens of South Sudan should be able to use Bmet to monitor public resources for the benefit of their own good in terms of improved quality, improved quality of services,” he explained.

Wadulo urged government leaders to embrace BMET, noting that it is not meant to oppose them but to work collaboratively to improve public service delivery.

“They [leaders] should know that Bmet is not against the leadership, Bmet is to work with the leadership to improve service delivery,” he noted.

“If services improve, citizens enjoy their life as citizens and then they even increase the support for the government and the leaders,” Wadulo continued.

He advised the Ministry of Finance to improve information sharing by creating a dedicated website for all budget documents and files as their Ugandan counterpart.

Mr. Wadulo, who is optimistic about the training, disclosed how Ugandan government adopted their position to suspend government meetings in hotels to enable the coverage for other necessities.

“You see immediately after that a government officer is speaking about our advocacy and saying no more meetings in hotels – if there are meetings about health, they should be in the hospital,”

“Now that is for us is impact. So, it is possible, as it is in Uganda, it can be possible here in South Sudan.”

Besides, Mr. Marko Madut Garang, chairperson of the CRC urged the participants do not sleep on the knowledge the have learned.

“You have fulfilled one of the objectives of CRC, when we talk of capacity building, because if you are doing an advocacy you need to speak on evidence-based and this come when you have capacity,” he said.

He lauded Mr. Wadulo for outstanding facilitation and for accepting CRC invitation to come and train in South Sudan. He mooted a plan to expend the Right2Grow project to all states.

one of the beneficiaries, Natalia Mbisimo Peace, who is a Nutrition Project Officer at Support for Peace and Education Development Programme (SPEDP) said she is now equipped with Bmet skills.

“I was really backward in BMET, but I can assure you from now onward, I can do budget monitoring and expenditure analysis,” she said.

Another beneficiary, Kinyangwa Isaac, a health and nutrition manager at the Child Relief and Support Fund (CRSF) said they can now execute the knowledge gained from the training.

 

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