A Global Initiative on Fiscal Transparency, Engagement, and Accountability

Stakeholders Commit to Launch a Multi-Stakeholder Global Initiative on Fiscal Transparency, Engagement, and Accountability

Washington, D.C., 14 July 2011.

A historic first Steward’s Committee meeting was held in Washington, D.C., on 13-14 July 2011 where stakeholders committed to join forces to design and launch a “Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT).”  Governments, international organizations, professional associations, foundations, civil society organizations, and experts came together to address one of the most critical issues the global community faces – how to ensure that public money is used efficiently, effectively, and equitably to address such challenges as persistent financial stability, poverty alleviation, environmental degradation, and sustainable economic development through increased transparency, engagement and accountability.

This is a pivotal moment to undertake this effort, as the global financial crisis has contributed to crises of fiscal systems around the world. Additionally, over the next few years substantial new resources are expected to flow into countries’ public finance systems from increased domestic revenue mobilization, extractive industries, foreign aid, and the flow of climate mitigation and adaption funds. These resources offer the potential for major gains in poverty alleviation and other priorities, if they are managed transparently.

The meeting was co-hosted by Mr. Jorge Hage, Ministro de Estado do Controle e da Transparência, Office of the Presidency, Brazil, and Mr. Warren Krafchik, Director, International Budget Partnership (IBP). Thirty-nine people representing a variety of constituency groups across sectors and from all over the world participated, and others lent their support, including:

Governments: Office of the Comptroller General (OCG), Brazil; Department of Budget & Management, Philippines; Embassy, South Africa; Department for International Development (DfID) U.K.; Department of the Treasury, U.S.

International Organizations: The World Bank Group; International Monetary Fund (IMF); International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI); Interparliamentary Union (IPU); and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

• Philanthropic Networks/Foundations: Transparency & Accountability Initiative (TAI), Metanoia Fund

• Civil Society Organizations: International Budget Partnership (IBP), Centre for Public Integrity-Mozambique, FUNDAR-Mexico, Greenpeace International, The ONE Campaign

Expert Facilitators: Innovations for Scaling Impact (iScale)

The development of GIFT over the last several months was supported by independent expertise provided by Innovations for Scaling Impact (iScale) with its long experience with multi-stakeholder global initiatives, and the first Stewards meeting was facilitated by its director, Professor Sanjeev Khagram.

The Stewardship Committee meeting resulted in several important agreements. First, the participants agreed that the core value proposition is:

Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) will advance and institutionalize significant and continuous improvements in fiscal transparency, engagement, and accountability in countries around the world.

GIFT was endorsed with high level support from:

  • Minister Jorge Hage, Ministro de Estado do Controle e da Transparência, Office of the Presidency, Brazil;
  • Minister Florencio “Butch” Abad, Secretary of Budget and Management, Philippines;
  • Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director, The World Bank Group;
  • Dr. Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund;
  • Larry McDonald, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury USA;
  • Mr. Martin Tisne, Manager, Transparency and Accountability Initiative (TAI);
  • Mr. Kumi Nadoo & Mr. Samit Aict, Greenpeace International;
  • Adriano Nuvunga, Co-Executive Director, Center for Public Integrity Mozambique, among others.

During the meeting, Minister Hage offered to host the launching of GIFT in March 2012 in Brazil, contigent on progress to be made over the next eight months. The Steward’s Committee meeting participants agreed to establish four working groups to identify and advance key priority outcomes, as well as potential early victories, to dramatically improve fiscal transparency, engagement, and accountability around the world:

  1. Advancing Global Norms for Fiscal Transparency, Engagement, and Accountability;
  2. Technical Assistance & Capacity Building;
  3. Harnessing New Technologies; and
  4. Design and Incentives.

The Steward’s Committee’s broader role is to guide the further development of GIFT, including reaching out widely to all interested stakeholders from across the public, private, and civil society sectors, which are committed to GIFT’s core value proposition.

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