NCCE trains LG authorities on gender responsive budgeting
By Cherno Omar Bobb
The National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) recently concluded a 4 days training of Local Government Authorities on gender responsive budgeting an participatory planning in Lower River and North Bank Regions respectively.
The exercise was funded by UNFPA through the Human Security Project.
The training under the theme: Integrating Gender in Local Government Planning and Budgeting” was aimed to promote participatory planning and the mainstreaming of gender supportive budget within the grassroots decentralized structures.
The training program also aimed to equip LGAs, WDCs, and VDCs with the knowledge and tools necessary to mainstream gender considerations into their budgeting processes and to facilitate inclusive and participatory planning.
The activity involves four (4) training sessions in the two Administrative Regions. It targeted about 200 participants comprising of Local Government Authorities such as Ward and Village Development Committee members, women and youth leaders.
Ansumana Ceesay, senior program officer for NCCE said gender responsive budgeting is a crucial tool for achieving gender equality and empowering women and marginalized communities.
He added that it is an inclusive development with fundamental principles that guide their efforts to create communities that are fair, just, and prosperous for all.
He pointed out that by integrating gender considerations into the budgeting process, we can ensure that public resources are allocated fairly and effectively to address the specific needs and priorities of women, girls, and other vulnerable groups. “This approach not only promotes social justice but also enhances the overall impact of public spending,” he said.
He went on to say that participatory planning also fosters citizen engagement and ownership in the development process, noting that involving community members, especially women and marginalized groups, in decision-making ensures that development projects and programs are responsive to their unique perspectives and needs. “It also strengthens transparency, accountability, and the effectiveness of local governance.”
Mr Ceesay highlighted thatwithout extensively and actively consulting and listening to each other especially women, youth and local authorities on their views and needs, policy-making and development processes will not be holistic and hence will fail to serve the common good. “We believe that when LGAs, WDCs, and VDCs are equipped with the knowledge and tools to prioritize gender equality and community participation, we can create a more equitable and prosperous future for all,” he also said.
Ceesay further said that despite continued efforts to increase inclusion and participation of women through policy and legal frameworks, there are still gaps in active involvement of women and youth in decision making, especially at the grassroots.
He said at NCCE, they strongly believe that no meaningful development and sustainable peace and democratic maturity can be attained if a good chunk of the populace are left behind.
He expressed NCCE’s commitment to continue facilitating trainings and dialogues of this nature to build harmony and promote participation in the society.
He thanked UNFPA and the Human Security Project for their support.