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Namibia performs well in open budget survey

Written by on June 7, 2024

Namibia has performed well in this round of the Open Budget Survey, particularly in the areas of transparency and public participation.

This was said by Graham Hopwood, the executive director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), at the launch of the Open Budget Survey results in Windhoek on Friday.

The survey was conducted in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the Civic Society Information Centre.

Speaking at an event where the minister of finance and public enterprises, Iipumbu Shiimi, was guest of honour, Hopwood said the survey was not only about how the country was doing in terms of the budget, but also how much access people have to the budget process.

“That is why when we say budget, we are not just talking about the documents tabled in parliament by the minister every year in February or March.

“It is a process . . ,” he said.

Hopwood said the survey considered public access to government budget information, public participants in the process, and participation of budget oversight institutions, like the parliament and the Office of the Auditor General.

He said the International Budget Partnership launched the Open Budget Survey in 2006.

“In the last three years we have welcomed Unicef taking a global role in supporting the Open Budget Survey as a partner, because it takes place in 25 countries.”

He said in Namibia, civic society has played a crucial role in the past few years by getting civic society activists, government officials and elected politicians to discuss budget issues and consult on priorities.

Shiimi called for more public participation in the budget process and presented copies of the budget in braille to a representative of people with visual impairments.

Unicef country director Samuel Ocran said the partnership between the government, civic society and development agencies had shown true transparency.

“I congratulate the government of Namibia on making financial information available to be measured and compared on a global stage . . .

“Its commitment has resulted in the country improving its transparency score from 42 in 2021 to 54 in 2023, jumping 12 points. Namibia improved its score on citizen participation in the budgeting process from zero in 2021 to 20 out of 100 in 2023. It is indeed a remarkable achievement worth celebrating,” he said. –

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