In September 2022, FSVC received funding from the U.S. Embassy in Panama to build on the successes of its previous program and continue (1) promoting transparency, accountability and integrity of the Government of Panama (GoP) on budget-related issues; (2) empowering civil society to hold the GoP accountable and participate in the budget process; and (3) paving the way for Panama’s inclusion in the Open Budget Survey.

FSVC will structure practical, demand-driven activities designed to equip the GoP to increase budget transparency, and Panamanian civil society organizations (CSOs) to become stronger advocates for government accountability.  FSVC will implement an 18-month program with the following two objectives:

1) Panama manages public revenues transparently and is accountable for investing public resources responsibly:

FSVC will assist the Panamanian Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) in publishing two key budget documents, (1) the Citizens Budget, a non-technical representation of budget allocations that is understandable by all citizens; and (2) the Year-End Report, which is an evaluation of budget execution at the end of the budget year, as compared to the original plan described in the budget law.  FSVC will also carry out consultations with the MEF on how to gather citizen and civil society input in the elaboration of the national budget.

2) Panamanian civil society demands government accountability and  can influence policy outcomes:

FSVC will train journalists, CSOs and the MEF in open budget principles.  The aim of this training will be to equip journalists to amplify the work of CSOs, and to convey budget information and fiscal decisions to citizens, contributing to greater accountability and awareness of fiscal decisions.  FSVC will also facilitate the formation of partnerships between CSOs to advocate on transparency-related issues.

Program Impact

· 20 CSOs strengthened to promote policy dialogue, advocate for change and serve as watchdogs on key budget-related issues

· 12 media leaders trained in open budgets and the budget cycle

· New, professionalized Citizens Budget template adopted by the MEF that will be updated in future years, institutionalizing the development of this key budget document