The Know Your Budget Project

The Know Your Budget Project is a project initiated by the Gambia Participates and funded by the International Republican Institute to familiarize citizens with the national budget using modern day technological tools, participatory video and accepted community engagement strategies. This is designed to ignite budget participation interest in citizens at the same time creating space for budget transparency and accountability in The Gambia. The project beneficiaries will be; North Bank Region, Upper River Region, Lower River Region, West Coast Region and Kanifing Municipal Council

The main project implementer will be Gambia Participates. The organization is the first CSO to conduct a transparency and accountability national budget survey in partnership with International Budget Partnership. 2018 budget for GP was $38,808 with an estimate of $100,000 in 2019.

Empowering Citizens With Information

The project seeks to empower citizens with information in order to enhance participatory budgeting process. The project will provide detailed, accurate and a simplified budget information using digital strategies and platforms to promote budget transparency ease access and understanding of budget information. The national budget is the nation’s most important document after the constitution. Thus, it is of utmost significance for citizens to have access to budget information and most importantly understand it. In order for citizens to track government spending, they most have access and understanding of the budget document. The Media and citizens are left to depend on the bulky and huge figures and percentages highlighted on the budget document. These huge figures confuse journalists and citizens because the budget line item and not fully explained or recorded for an ordinary citizen to understand. In addition, lack of effective citizen engagement on budgeting, catapult a budget that does not reflect the needs of the citizens. Budget accountability is realizable if there is a citizen’s budget.

Also these budget documents are not publicly available online and interested individuals will have to buy a copy at the Ministry of Finance or at the public printing office. Making access to budget information difficult. As a result, the Gambia Participates decided to come with the Know Your Budget project that will see us use digital tools to simplify the budget document using infographic, website and mobile application to make budget information easily accessible to the public. The use of technology in this project is imminent in order to ease the understanding of the budget and the budget cycle. This is because, the human brain easily understand figures if they are in pictorial format.

Key Budget Stakeholders

Gambia Participates has a strong relationship with key budget stakeholders in the Gambia (i.e. Directorate of Budget/ Ministry of Finance, SAI and the Legislature). Hence, through this project, the organization will help these stakeholders to improve on making future budget documents simplified and easily accessible to the public. The project will path the way for open budgeting system that will reduce mismanagement of public resources. We will do this through the following activities:

Develop Info graphic

 Develop Website

Develop Motion Pictures

Develop know your Budget Mobile Application (Android Version)

 Print and distribute flyers

Community Engagement

Social Media Sensitization (Facebook and Twitter)