Budget proposals by the government don’t necessarily translate into national outcomes for women and women with disabilities.
For quite a long time, budget performance reviews have been characterised by huge discrepancies and variances manifesting from budget modifications, reprioritisation and reappropriation of the national budget during the implementation stage of the national budget cycle in Zimbabwe.
For the 2021 national budget, ICOD Zimbabwe has developed a Disability 10-Point Plan – Priority Paper, which puts disability and women’s rights at the heart, asking treasury to take all the necessary measures to ensure full application of disability and women’s rights, which should be translated into better outcomes for women and women with disabilities’ (WWDs) lives.
The obligations require women and WWDs’ voices to be considered during preparation, approval and implementation of both local and national budgets.
To this end, ICOD Zimbabwe is committed to the fulfilment of women’s rights and it is working to support the implementation of and strengthen the social accountability mechanisms for monitoring women and WWDs’ budgetary aspirations based on the Disability 10-Point Plan.
Thus, ICOD Zimbabwe has developed this Fiscal Robot Model (FRM) to actively track, analyse and monitor the implementation of the adopted 10-Point Plan aspirations in the 2021 national budget for Zimbabwe.
The FRM is drawn from the extensive body of knowledge and experience accumulated by ICOD Zimbabwe on Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM).
This FRM is themed, “Unlocking the fiscus for women and WWDs in Zimbabwe”.
It was developed with the necessary tools and information about the mechanisms, which can be used to advocate and influence the decision-makers on the allocation of resources for the realisation of women and WWDs’ rights.
The FRM provides a solid basis for understanding and initiating disability and gender-centred budget analysis through introducing some participatory methods and tools that have proved to be effective in other countries in the world such as Albania, Uganda and Ghana.
The model follows a gender-sensitive and disability-inclusive approach, including a presentation of tools and methods adapted specifically to facilitate monitoring and tracking of the Disability 10-Point Plan priorities.
This model has been developed with the recognition that it does not only provides important ingredients necessary for effective monitoring of and advocating for implementation of the Disablity 10-Point Plan priorities, but also requires high level of agency and empowerment as well as good planning and facilitated actions of all the stakeholders such as women and WWDs, civil society organisations, policymakers, line ministries, development partners and other groups of interest to join their efforts in advocating for disability and women’s rights.
Therefore, disability and gender budget analysis is a process that aims to identify what resources were allocated for realisation of women’s rights and how were those resources used to benefit women, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable groups of women such as women in farms, mines and women with disabilities.
To this end, key findings from the FRM will feed into an effective communication and advocacy strategy to ensure adequate resource allocation for women and WWDs.
Influencing budgets through submission of priority papers such as the Disability 10-Point Plan is a necessary, but not sufficient condition to advance the realisation of constitutionally provided rights of women and WWDs.
ICOD Zimbabwe has therefore developed this Fiscal Robot Model to monitor and track national and local budgets throughout the entire budget cycle.
ICOD Zimbabwe is going to triangulate the findings with other national and international budget frameworks such as the open budget surveys (OBS) results and the country policy and institutional assessment (CPIA) findings.
The FRM is going to be produced twice a year, that is after the year mid-term budget review and at the end of each year after budget performance reviews by the Finance and Economic Development ministry.
This model shall be employed for the 2021 fiscal year using the approved/enacted budget and the Zimbabwe Infrastructure and Investment Programme 2021, which is an annexure to the 2021 national budget. Other key policy blueprints such as the National Development Strategy 1 are going to be used to substantiate the analysis.