It is obvious, the government budgets are the most potent instrument of any government in carrying out its policies, realizing its goals and driving the socio-economic development in the country.
The EDRC supported introduction and application of budget analysis and budget monitoring in Armenia. Our first “budget project” we launched back in 2002, in collaboration with Oxfam GB and supported by DFID – the “Armenia Budget Analyses Project” (2002-2006). The project was aimed at analysing the central government and local self-government budgets, raising public awareness of budgetary policies and financial literacy.
Over the past two decade, we have conducted series of public policy and reform assessments, budget programme monitoring and evaluations. We supported public administration bodies and local self-government authorities, as well as CSOs to develop capacities in budget monitoring and expenditure reviews and tracking methods, public finance management reforms and performance-based budgeting.
We supported the RA Parliamentary Committees on budget execution monitoring within USAID/SANAP programme (2016). Within EU funded projects, we conducted a number of state budget programme evaluations in different sectors (2011-2013, 2014-2016, 2021-2022), within GiZ projects (2018-2022) we provided practical recommendation and on-job trainings on budget programme revisions and redesign, developed methodological notes and concepts on budget transparency, participation and state budget programme evaluation.
Our efforts resulted in generation of evidence in support of policy formulation and advocacy; strengthened the ability of CSOs. Our findings and recommendations used during the Parliamentary budget discussions and led to revisions of the state budget programmes in agriculture, social protection, public health sectors, etc. We provided technical background and succeeded to support the final introduction of Programme Budgeting reforms in Armenia.
The EDRC developed and introduced series of:
- Simplified budgets,
- Budget bulletins and Budget guides,
- Participation and monitoring guides,
- Monitoring, evaluation, and policy assessment reports.
All these recourses are available in our website and serve to a number of CSOs and experts in their on-going tensions.
The EDRC is presented in the WB BOOST initiative. Our several publications are available also at WB Open Budgets Portal: http://wbi.worldbank.org/boost/country/armenia
The introduction of the Programme Budgeting Reform in Armenia
In 2018, EDRC provided advisory services to the Ministry of Finance of RA and line-ministries to improve programme information in budget documents; review and update the structure and content of budget programmes in line with new methodology; and, finally, to introduce Programme Budgeting reform in Armenia.
The project was supported by the GiZ “Public Financial Management in the South Caucasus” programme. In particular, the EDRC provided guidance and support in:
- revision and adjustment of all budget programmes,
- development of programme goals, objectives and KPIs,
- drafting 2019-2021 MTEF bids and 2019 State Budget Law,
- delivery of trainings and capacity building.
In 2019, EDRC continued advisory services to the Ministry of Finance, particularly:
- reviews of relevant methodological and regulatory frameworks for further introduction of Programme Budgeting and new MTEF-Annual Budget development processes,
- design of relevant training materials and delivery of trainings,
- proving on-job trainings/coaching and mentoring to support development and revision of MTEF and annual budget bids,
Recent projects (2020-2022) covered further improvement of budgeting processes and budget information availability, as well as design and introduction of “Monitoring and Evaluation System of State Budget Programmes” for MoF.
Despite decades of several efforts, the EDRC has been succeeded to provide technical background for the final introduction of Programme Budgeting reforms at national level in Armenia.