Gender budgeting: Preferences, policies and impact – Gender equality and decentralization
In 2017, to sustain Myanmar’s democratic transition, IDRC and Global Affairs Canada launched an initiative called Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar to nurture meaningful engagement and promote economic growth that benefits women and men, regardless of ethnicity. Working with other development partners, the initiative targets diverse and complementary entry points to strengthen analytical thinking and research capacity. These include capacity development for individuals, including emerging researchers, civil society, and policymakers; capacity development for institutions by providing support for think tanks and government; engagement and collaboration, through roundtables, conferences, and other forms of policy dialogue; and funding research projects on the topics of inclusive democratic governance and economic development. The main thrust of this project is to bring gender considerations into the discussion and preparation of budgets in Myanmar. The project plans to work with the upper and lower houses and specific committees within sub-national parliaments across Myanmar in the jurisdictions of Irrawaddy, Kachin, Karen, Mandalay, and Mon. The researchers will work with these policymakers to raise awareness of the need to incorporate gender considerations into budgets. Further, the absence of reliable data on Myanmar citizens’ preferences hampers policymakers’ ability to respond, so researchers plan to collect high quality data about these preferences, explaining how they differ vis-à-vis the actual budget allocations, and advising them on how to incorporate this information into policymaking. These efforts will contribute to improving gender equality in Myanmar’s budgeting.
The project will be led by the Myanmar Institute of Gender Studies, with research support from international advisors, including the University of Essex and the University of Amsterdam.