The Ministry of Finance of Nepal introduced GRB in 2007/08, with UN Women assistance and within the framework of the overall reform of the budgetary system funded by other donors. In terms of this initiative, 13 ministries were required to “score” the allocations for new programmes in both the annual budget and MTEF against five aspects of gender-responsiveness, each of which could be allocated a maximum of 20 marks. The five aspects were:
- Participation of women in planning and implementation
- Capacity building of women
- Share of women in benefits
- Increase in employment and income generation of women
- Reduction in women's workload and quality of their time use.
Programs scoring 50 or more are classified as directly supportive of women, those scoring 20 to 50 as indirectly supportive, and those estimated scoring less than 20 as neutral. In addition to the scoring, any programme or project involving NRs 50 million or more must have a gender audit report attached. While the gender scoring approach was used only for new programmes within these 13 pilot ministries, the country research paper illustrates how it can be used more generally through analysis of the health budget as a whole as well as of overall sectoral allocations.
Alongside the gender scoring, the 13 ministries are required to indicate whether the new programmes are pro-poor or povertyneutral. The responses of the ministries are compiled by the Ministry of Finance and presented as a sector-wise gender and poverty responsive budget analysis of the annual budget. The Nepal report notes that the scoring was not done very rigorously for the 2007/08 budget year. The system was introduced late in the budgetary cycle, and there was not sufficient time to develop a manual and provide adequate training and support. For 2008/08, a higher level of support will be provided. The report notes further that the current system of scoring is appropriate for employment and incomegenerating programmes, but less appropriate for other sectors.
A Gender Responsive Budget Committee (GRBC), coordinated by Division Chief /Joint Secretary of Programme and Budget Division, Ministry of Finance has been established under the Ministry of Finance and given the responsibility for taking the initiative forward. UN Women and the Women's Ministry are permanent members of the GRBC. During each budget cycle, the GRBC invites the Women's Commission Chairperson and members, parliamentarians, party representatives, NGO representatives working on women's issues, gender advocates, line ministry representatives and others for discussions on the budget for the forthcoming year. The mandatory provision of 33% women candidates in elections to the Constituent Assembly/Parliament, which resulted in 192 women of a total 601 members, has increased the likelihood that parliament will be more active than the last interim parliament in respect of GRB. A promising indicator in this respect is the formation of a Women's Caucus.
(UN Women’s work builds on the extensive support and programming carried out by UNIFEM during the period 2001-2010.)
To read more on the GRB work in Nepal click here (page 28-38)