The Government of Panama has committed to following the standards of the Open Budget Survey (OBS), an international survey that measures the utilization of governance and accountability mechanisms in a government’s budget process. To help strengthen open budget standards in Panama, FSVC has been building the capacity of local civil society organizations (CSOs) to advocate for adoption of international standards in the budget cycle and process.
In March, FSVC conducted a virtual training for CSO representatives to help them gain a better understanding of key public financial management concepts. The covered topics included how budget transparency relates to macroeconomic issues like debt, the importance of budgetary statistics and their implications, and Panama’s ranking in international indices.
This training helped CSOs better understand the importance of fiscal transparency. Furthermore, participating CSOs are now better equipped to advocate in the budget process, and to play a monitoring role. For example, the Panamanian Chamber of Commerce published an editorial and gave an interview on national TV about open budgets following FSVC’s trainings.
This activity was implemented with funding from the U.S. Embassy in Panama.