Results-based Budgeting for better education in Asia-Pacific nations
IIEP and the UNESCO regional office in Bangkok recently held a workshop on enhancing national capacity in the Asia-Pacific region for results-based budgeting (RBB) to achieve better education results. It brought together 27 participants from eight countries in Bangkok, Thailand, for the three-day workshop from 9-12 October 2017.
The eight countries included Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Uzbekistan.
RBB: A MEANS TO IMPROVE PUBLIC SERVICE
Many governments worldwide are working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending as part of a wider effort to improve public service. To help advance this, many countries have introduced RBB, which seeks to shift the focus of budgeting from inputs to results. While this is a widespread practice in OECD countries, RBB has recently gained traction in a number of Asia-Pacific countries.
SHARING EXPERIENCES ON RBB
In this context, the workshop aimed to enhance the capacity for RBB in the region and provide a platform for the participants to share their knowledge and experience on the topic. With participants coming from both ministries of education and finance, the workshop was able to create new bridges between ministries, as well as between countries in the region.
The countries involved in the project are at various stages in implementing RBB in education. For example, Indonesia and Malaysia have a fairly developed RBB system, while Cambodia and Sri Lanka are in the first stages of implementing it in line ministries. This also contributed to fruitful discussions, as it brought to the table different approaches and challenges faced in putting into place this budgeting system in the education sector.
The participants highlighted several challenges typically confronted in implementing RBB in the education sector, including:
- Limited capacity in line ministries concerning the main components of RBB, and particularly regarding performance measurement, monitoring and evaluation.
- Weak links between performance information and budget allocation, especially how performance information can be used in future budget allocation.
- Dispersed information systems (e.g. financial information system separated from performance information systems of line ministries).
The workshop is part of the regional project, “Enhancing National Capacity for Results-based Budgeting (RBB) to Achieve Better Education Results in Asia-Pacific”. Launched by UNESCO Bangkok and in close collaboration with IIEP, it is funded by the Republic of Korea Funds-in-Trust.