PROJECT SUMMARY. BUDGET ANALYSIS FOR THE ENGAGEMENT OF KEY POPULATIONS IN DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES
In July 2020 New Generation Humanitarian NGO (NGNGO) started the implementation of Budget Analysis for the Engagement of Key Populations in Decision-Making Processes project within the grant issued by Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) as a part of the Eurasian Regional Consortium, funded by the Robert Carr Fund for civil society networks (RCF). The grant was issued within the framework of “Thinking outside the box: overcoming challenges in community advocacy for sustainable and high-quality HIV services” project.
Budget advocacy – and budget work in general – is a new topic for Armenia. However, our organization has shown a great deal of interest in this topic, especially in health budget advocacy as one of the strategic directions of the organization is access to healthcare and services for the vulnerable groups of society.
Before the implementation of the budget analysis NGNGO conducted trainings among the beneficiary groups on Budget advocacy, budget analysis and budget accountability within the framework of a grant project financed by the Eurasian coalition on Health, Rights, Gender and Sexual Diversity, building their capacities and developing their leadership skills. As a result of the project a strategic document presenting concrete steps for further budget advocacy actions was developed.
To implement the budget advocacy process, it is especially important to have data about budgets and public spending of Armenian national budget. Thus, Budget Analysis for the Engagement of Key Populations in Decision-Making Processes project started the aim of which was to analyze the national budget of Armenian state funding in respect to health and social services for MSM and trans* people.
COVID-19 pandemic proved that vulnerable groups experience a high epidemiological impact from the diseases, face increased risk, vulnerability, frequent human rights violations, social and economic marginalization and criminalization — which reduces their access to essential services. KPs and other vulnerable groups of society have been excluded from the anti-pandemic measures foreseen by the RA Government.
An international expert was engaged in the project who developed methodology guideline for the analysis of Armenian national budget for the selected experts.
3 experts who have field experience were the members of Armenian national pool of experts.
The following analysis and research were conducted by the national experts:
1․ Identification of the funding gaps in Armenian national budget in respect to health services for MSM and trans* people;
2․ Identification of the funding gaps in Armenian national budget in respect to social services for MSM and trans* people;
3․ International experience on budget advocacy in respect to health and social services provided to MSM and trans* people.
These 3 analysis and research were joined in one general study.
The results of the analysis were used by another expert to develop an Advocacy roadmap to address financial gaps of health and social services provided to MSM and trans* people in Armenia with recommendations and further advocacy steps.
The opinions and recommendations of RA Ministry of Health, National Center for Infectious Diseases of RA Ministry of Health, health experts, MSM and trans* community-based organizations and communities were taken into consideration while developing the Advocacy roadmap.
Case-study of the practical experience based on conducted budget analysis was developed which reflects the obstacles, achievements of the analysis and further advocacy steps.
The recommendations made during this analysis, as well as the developed roadmap, will enable interested organizations, including NGOs, to take steps towards budget advocacy.