The training programme to improve public spending across child-sensitive social sectors was launched on 26 May and will last until the 3rd of June. The training is organized by UNICEF Uzbekistan and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The training, which targets staff members of the Ministry of Finance and other line ministries of the social sector such as education, social protection and health, was launched by Mr. Jahongir Negmatov, Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Ms. Zhanar Sagimbayeva, acting UNICEF Deputy Representative in Uzbekistan and will run for 9 days.
The timely training comes against a background of recent studies showing Uzbekistan at the crossroads of a unique demographic transition that could take the country to the next level of high and sustainable socio-economic development. “As UNICEF we strongly believe in the importance of investing in children and youth – the country's future human capital” said Zhanar Sagimbayeva, UNICEF acting Deputy Representative in Uzbekistan. “For this to happen to increase and efficiently spending funds on social sectors, particularly health, education and social protection is imperative”.
Importantly the training is happening as the government of Uzbekistan is implementing several measures to reform the public financial management system as part of the approved Strategy for improving the public financial management system of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2020-2024. Successful implementation of these measures requires the availability of human resources capacity with a set of necessary knowledge and skills. Jahongir Negmatova, as assigned coordinator for cooperation on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, noted that “public spending on social sectors account for a significant part of Uzbekistan’s annual state budget and the training is sought to contribute to acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills needed for successful realization of goals set in the Strategy to enhance the adequacy, efficiency, transparency, equitability of budget allocation in favour of social sectors (i.e. education, healthcare and social protection)”.
The training comprehensively covers principles of budgeting and public financial management systems. It consists of two modules and includes topics such as setting targets and linking them to the budget, program budgeting, analytical methods for budgeting for children, costing, assessing and comparing the costs and benefits of various options for sectoral development strategies, and measuring the effectiveness etc. The training will combine lectures, discussions, individual work, group activities, etc., and provides ample opportunity for case studies and practical exercises.
Upon successful completion of the training, programme participants will deepen their knowledge in program budgeting – planning, execution and monitoring of public spending on health, education and social protection, focused on improving the results necessary to create a positive environment for children.
Following the training, UNICEF will provide coaching/mentoring to the training participants to undertake the budgetary analysis of public spending on child-sensitive social sectors and using various value for money analysis and other analytical tools, to come up with the recommendations on how to improve sufficiency, efficiency, effectiveness and equitability of these spending. In addition, UNICEF and the Ministry of Finance will continue working together to develop instruments/templates/tools to be used by the social sector ministries to undertake value for money analysis for evidence-based budgetary inquiries.
Originally published in UZA