During a workshop organized in cooperation with UNICEF, NCFA briefed participants on the findings and recommendation of its newest child budget analysis as part of the fourth phase of the child budget analysis project that was incepted in 2009.
NCFA’s Acting Secretary-General Mohammad Miqdady said that the project covered the budgets of the ministries of Education, Health, Social Development and Labor in its first phase in 2009, the ministries of Justice and Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in 2013, the Ministry of Public Affairs and Housing and the Higher Council of Youth (currently Ministry of Youth) in its third phase in 2016 and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Municipality of Sahab and Greater Madaba Municipality and the National Aid Fund in its current phase (2017-2018).
“Following the adoption of the first phase of the child budget analysis and the mobilization of support from relevant entities, the General Budget Department worked to promote the concepts of the child and results-based budgets and incorporated child budget allocations within the General Budget Law for 2012 Table (22) which became Table (24) in the current Budget Law”, added Miqdady.
The most salient outcomes of the project were the adoption of the Results-Based Budgeting (RBB) in the general budget; assigning Table (24) of the general budget for child budget allocations as of 2017; and the organization of several awareness workshops held over the period of three days in March 2018 on the concept of child budgeting for the middle and higher managements targeting 55 government entities, concluded Miqdady.
Manuel Pumarol, Chief of Social Protection at UNICEF, highlighted that “children constitute 40% of the population and based on the recent assessments carried out by the organization, we found that 20% of them in Jordan suffer from multi-dimensional poverty”.
“In an environment that has budget-related challenges and difficulties, it is imperative to ensure appropriation of sufficient allocations in the budget to help pull these children out of their multi-dimensional state of poverty”, added Pumarol reiterating UNICEF’s commitment to work hand in hand with the government to provide technical assistance and improve the draw up of the budget and the distribution of its allocations to adequately enhance the situation of children in the Kingdom.
During the workshop, Director of NCFA Childhood Affairs Unit Khitam Al-Utaibi gave a general overview of the budgets of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Greater Madaba and Sahab Municipalities and the National Aid Fund illustrating child allocations within each budget.
She also listed the recommendations of the CBA, most notably the importance of setting child-friendly performance indicators that are linked to the programs, projects, and activities of each institution or municipality so as to evaluate and monitor performance effectively and efficiently and achieve the child-related envisaged objectives. Other recommendations included transforming municipality budgets from items in the budget to project or program budgets and building more partnerships among municipalities, the private sector and citizens in local development projects.
Attending the workshop, Senator and member of NCFA Board of Trustees Dr. Sawsan Al-Majali emphasized the important role of municipalities and local councils in identifying project and program priorities pertaining to childhood development in their local communities.
The workshop concluded with an extensive discussion with the participation of NCFA members and representatives of relevant government entities, the General Budget Department and UNICEF on CBA’s findings and recommendations.