From 2017 to 2020, with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), implemented a program to strengthen anti-corruption efforts and procedures in Angola and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland).
FSVC’s program focused on helping Angola and Eswatini combat corruption through increased budget transparency and oversight. Specifically, FSVC’s work focused on 1) building the capacity of legislature to hold the executive branch accountable for public revenues and expenditures; 2) strengthening the audit and analytical capacity of supreme audit institutions (SAIs) to act as budget oversight institutions; and 3) increasing the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) to advocate for budget reform through policy and opinion papers.
FSVC’s program helped to expand and deepen the technical skills of public servants and elected officials to effectively carry out their work, improve their audit capabilities, structure balanced budgets that reflect the needs of citizens, and better oversee the delivery and execution of budgets. It also strengthened the technical abilities of CSOs to analyze budgets and effectively engage their government, including by proposing budget recommendations and advocating for better use of public resources.
Both countries made measurable progress between the 2017 and 2019 International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Surveys: Angola increased its budget transparency score from 25/100 to 36/100, and Eswatini increased it from 3/100 to 31/100.
Specifically, tangible results achieved through this program include:
Improved Budget Oversight by Parliament
In Angola, FSVC built the capacity of permanent staff of Parliament in budget oversight and execution, so that they can provide effective advice to Members of Parliament (MPs) on budget-related issues, and trained MPs themselves to increase their understanding of the budget cycle and their unique responsibilities. The 2019 U.S. Department of State Fiscal Transparency Report stated that Angola made significant progress in 2018/2019 by publishing more budget reports.
In Eswatini, FSVC guided Parliament on the budget formulation process, how they can provide input in drafting budgets in a proactive way, and how to represent the interests of constituents through responsible government spending. FSVC also trained permanent Parliament clerks in techniques to improve minute taking and report writing, and developed two templates to help standardize reporting.
FSVC also worked with the Angolan and Eswatini Parliaments to develop two thematic budget reports that will be used as templates to guide future policy making.
Publication of Audit Reports
Thanks to FSVC’s program, the Angolan SAI published the 2016 and 2017 audit reports after two years without publishing any audit report.
Strengthened Civil Society’s Efforts in Budget Advocacy
FSVC continued to work to operationalize and professionalize CSO coalitions – GOSCOP in Angola and CANGO in Eswatini.
As a result, in Angola, GOSCOP produced 3 budget briefs and held a roundtable discussion with representatives from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) on the national budget and ways to improve its execution. GOSCOP also launched its first public awareness campaign.
In Eswatini, thanks to FSVC’s support, CANGO analyzed the Eswatini Revenue Authority Bill of 2019 and issued a press statement on the 2019 budget speech delivered by the MoF. In addition, members of CANGO and Parliament met to discuss areas for enhanced cooperation. During this meeting, both parties agreed to better collaborate in a number of areas, including the budget exercise, and to meet more frequently to discuss policy objectives.