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Gender Responsive Budgeting

 

REPORT FROM A STUDY CONDUCTED ON GENDER RESPONSIVE BUDGETING IN 06 PILOT COUNCILS WITHIN THE SOUTH WEST REGION, Cameroon

  PRESENTED BY MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCILING (MUDEC) GROUP, BUEA

DATE OF PRESENTATION:     5th of April, 2013.

INTRODUCTION:

The following report is an out come of a study on Gender Responsive Budgeting conducted by Youth Alliance for Democracy and Development (YADD) a collaborator and partner of MUDEC Group. The study was done in six Municipal Councils in the South West Region of Cameroon. A questionnaire was used to collect data in these Councils on the extern of the implementation of Gender Responsive Budgeting endorsed by these Councils as a guide in the execution of their Council activities. During this survey, various Council authorities, collaborators and beneficiaries were interviewed. The details below dwell on findings in six Municipal Councils of Buea in Fako Division, Ekondo Titi in Ndian Division, Kumba 1 in Meme Division,  Menji in Lebialem Division, Tinto in Manyu Division and Nguti in Kupe Mwanenguba Division where this study was conducted.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY:

The objectives of the study are as stated below:

i)   To ascertain the degree of the implementation of Municipal Decisions (MD) bearing on GRB in pilot Councils.

ii)  To determine the challenges encountered by Councils in engendering their budgets

iii)  To propose solutions to identified gaps

The findings in the six Municipal Councils visited, are presented below.

1) FINDINGS FROM THE BUEA COUNCIL:

In the Buea Council, the Secretary General (SG), a Councilor, a Committee Chairperson, the representative of women called Buea Women Forum, and some women beneficiaries were interviewed. The Mayor was busy with other public events and had a meeting in Yaoundé as well in relation to the senatorial elections.

Responses from the Secretary General:

  • The budgetary process starts with mobilization of public-stakeholders (Taxation, businesspersons, women etc.) for the meeting. Next the elaboration by Council executive, then the Council session.

1)      Persons involved are the SG, the Treasure, Municipal Service Heads and the Council Executives.

2)      The Treasure is involved from the start to the end to give information. The Service Heads are involved during elaboration. At implementation, it is only the Mayor, the Treasure and the SG that involve right through.

3)      Business persons are the main target in our local area. We do not have many others.

4)      We consider some scholarship allocation for the youths especially girls, and some support for women.

5)      The council has a Council Development Plan (CDP) and a strategic Plan

6)      During elaboration of the CDP, gender was considered and some allocation is always considered for gender (e.g. support to girls, women’s Day support) during implementation.

7)      Our challenges include having funds to make up for the percentage in gender disparity and to have adequate women and youths to make up for the gap in decision-making positions. There is the challenge in over-coming apathy by women in leadership position and other public life. We also need to cause Service Heads to see the need for gender and to institute fair salaries as a motivation.

8)      Shall be willing to acquire skills in engendering the budget

9)      The skills shall help us to overcome some of our challenges

The Buea Administrative Accounts for the past three years as noted reads as follows: 2009 had revenue of 106,717, 571CFA Frs. and expenditure of 96.334, 605CFA Frs. 2010 had 160,316,991CFA Frs. as revenue and 156,124,816 CFA Frs. as expenditure. The revenue for 2011 was 166,081, 182 FRA Frs. and the expenditure was 143,536,054 CFA Frs.  The Public Investment Budget (PIB) in Buea Council for 2010 was 98.699, 000FRA Frs. and for 2011 it was 100,300, 000CFA Frs.

Response from a Committee Chairperson:

I interviewed a councilor and Committee Chairperson and she responded as follows:

  1. This Chairperson is a teacher by profession
  2. She is 56 years old and has Ordinary level Certificate
  3. Has been a councilor and Chairperson for six years
  4. Her function as a councilor is to set in council sessions to deliberate.
  5. As a chairperson she is not invited to sessions
  6. Not consulted during budget preparation but only adopts
  7. Not aware why she is not consulted
  8. That the council has no gender dimension in its budget.
  9. That the council is indifferent on gender issues
  10. Does not belong to any grouping of female councilors
  11. That there is no grouping of female councilors in the Buea area
  12. Gender issues are not considered in the council budget since authorities do not see the need
  13. Gender should be incorporated in council budgets because it ensures justice, fairness and promotes equality.
  14. The challenges in incorporating gender include insuring that the authorities see the need for this and to encourage women to advocate regularly for this.
  15. To overcome these challenges, the authorities need to be trained on gender budgeting. We need to involve female councilors and some beneficiaries too in the trainings.

Beneficiaries of Council Services:

I also talked to the representative of women groups and others. The group representative of Buea Women Forum gave the following responses:

  1. Her profession is a teacher
  2. She is 43 years old and has an Advance Level and a Grade One Certificate.
  3. She has a fair knowledge on Council functions and of services provided by the council
  4. That she has benefited from some council services like support given to women during Women Day activities, the construction of basic infrastructures like public toilets, market stores etc, but has no knowledge about the Council budgetary process and has never been invited for it.
  5. Did not vote during the 2007 elections because there is always rigging so she is not interested.
  6. She registered for 2013 elections because it is a biometric system which makes it better.
  7. Shall run as a councilor in other to ensure the implementation of women’s project
  8. Will also vote for a female councilor to increase their influence

Another beneficiary, a lady as well, was interviewed and had these responses:

  • She operates a business
  • She is  of 58 years old and a secondary school leaver
  • Has little knowledge how the council functions but knows the council executes projects like grading of roads, cleaning of the town, build market shades and public toilets.
  • Has benefited from council services like collection of waste, and utilization of market structures.
  • Has never been consulted during any budget session, though an active women group leader.
  • Voted in 2007 because she wanted her party and candidate  to win
  • Voted in 2007 to promote gender equality
  • Voted through a secret ballot box
  • Registered for 2013 elections
  • Registered to promote the position of women
  • Shall run as a councilor
  • Shall run as a councilor to have a position of influence
  • Shall vote any female candidate because gender needs to be promoted in Cameroon.

Another woman was interviewed in Buea and she responded as follows:

1)      She is a civil servant by profession

2)      She is 52 years old and has the CAP Certificate and an Ordinary Diploma in Public Administration

3)      That she has a fair knowledge on how the council functions

4)      The council recruits through directives from the Mayor. The Council does tax control, and as well finances community projects.

5)      Services provided by the councils are cleaning of the town, town planning, and provision of infrastructure, and to guide against destruction by animals.

6)      Has benefited from a market shade provided by the council.

7)      Has no idea on the budget preparation process and have never been consulted on this

8)      Voted in 2007

9)      Voted to get a qualified person to lead council activities

10)  She voted in 2007 with cards through secret ballots.

11)  Registered to vote 2013 elections

12)  Registered because she wants a change of system in the country

13)  Would run for 2013 elections as councilor because she wants growth and improvement in the system, since the present councilors do not operate well.

Collaborators of the Council:

The following responses came from the representative the Women Empowerment Center and the Family (MINPROFF) Buea – Fako Division:

1)      The nature of the collaboration between the Buea Council and the above service is horizontal. MINPROFF is usually invited in Council sessions during Project Development, to give a view point.

2)      That there is gender consideration in the collaboration

3)      She said the view of women is considered for example during celebrations like Women’s Day, the Council gives support and that the Women Empowerment Center is regularly supported by the Mayor .

4)      Gender considerations are very important

5)      Gender is important because women are the majority and women take care of the community

6)      Our collaboration can be engendered through education; by providing equal chances for all, no force marriages, businesses places for women, land and inheritance right, promoting women in decision-making positions etc.

The responses below came from the representative of the Ministry of Planning and the Economy (MINEPAT) Buea :

1)      He said MINEPAT supports the Buea Council in project realization. That MINEPAT goes all over to gather project information that can enhance development.

2)      Gender is considered.

3)       MINEPAT  looks at gender considerations in terms of the impact of a project on the public

4)      Government depicts projects and MINEPAT does monitoring in different communities.

5)      We do just control and provide advice.

6)      Councils have their tender boards. That MINEPAT can enhance our collaboration with Councils through proper communication of the Growth and Strategy Paper, and to also provide them with technical advice when there is a need.

2) FINDINGS FROM THE EKONDO TITI COUNCIL:

In Ekondo TIti, I interview the Female Deputy Mayor, the Accountant and the head of women groups. I also interviewed the service head of MINPROFF and three female beneficiaries.

The Responses from the Female Deputy Mayor:

  1. The Female Mayor has occupied this position for  4 years
  2. She handles town planning, collect market tolls, handles sanitation and social issues like Youth Day and Women Day activities.
  3.  She is partially consulted during budget preparation and her role is to give suggestions on issues that she handles as stated above.
  4. That the council always has the gender dimension in budgeting. This is by including the needs of women and others in every budgetary session, but the different target groups are not separated.
  5. She belongs to groupings of Female Councilors and Mayors. She is a member of the tender board of Mayors where she represents the Ekondo Titi Mayor. She is also a member of the South West Association of Female Mayors.
  6. The above association was created to enhance women participation in development, foster cooperation among women, and to provide assistance to the needy
  7. This association functions by revolving around different councils
  8. She tries to ensure that gender is always incorporated in the council budget. This is done by mainstreaming gender in all issues. At such the situation of gender has increased.
  9. She thinks gender should be incorporated because women and youth are the most vulnerable and marginalized, so need regular attention
  10. A major challenge is to develop the spirit of advocacy in the different gender groups and to overcome traditional practices like limited economic and political powers allocated to women and the youth. Another one is enabling women to develop more self-confidence. Also to stop early marriages.
  11. To overcome these challenges, we need sensitization with targeted percentages to be realized, not just decisions on paper. We need government policies with the approved articles to be respected by all.

Responses from the Council Accountant:

  1. He thinks gender places a role in his work and that of the council in general. That out of 25 workers, 11 are female and in the Finance Department there is one female cahier, one female clerk and one female finance agent.
  2. Beneficiaries are analyzed in terms of gender, since in budgeting Ekondo Titi Council always considers maternity leaves for women. Social issues like Women’s Day are always considered. Women forums benefit also. He said over 500,000FRS was benefited last year women forums and an organization like the Council Women Association had 150,000 FRS. Some others also benefited.
  3. That the Council analyzes in terms of gender. So they are gender responsive in budgeting
  4. The analysis is done quantitatively in Ekondo Titi and the frequency is every year.
  5. The role of the Treasurer here is to provide statistics of beneficiary groups of the previous year so that the council can know whether to improve on services and how. The Treasurer also ensures the payment of staff benefits to insurance.
  6. The challenges include getting adequate number of beneficiaries in groups. If gotten, it helps in supporting quantitatively. They also envisage the challenge in getting groups registered in the council and other services around
  7. We envisage these problems because thorough findings and elaborate communication are not easily done about groups.
    1. In engendering the budget, the council should always invite the Treasurer and Finance Agents in all budget sessions
The Administrative Accounts and the Public Investment Accounts for the Ekondo Titi Council were presented during the above interview. This was done per sector for some past years as follows:
  • Expenditure in 2009 on infrastructure (building schools) was 10.320, 000CFA FRS
  • Expenditure in 2009 on health (construction of medical wards) was 7.500, 000CFA Frs.

No particular target group was envisaged in the above but just development needs. The Public Investment Budget for some past years was also presented as follows:

  • 2010 budget for education (subsidies to schools e.g. chairs, etc.) was 11.877.600CFA Frs.
  • 2010 budget for infrastructure was 64.8560,000 CFA Frs.
  • 2010 budget for roads was 9,000,000CFA Frs.
  • 2011 budget for education (subsidies to schools) was 6.259,200 CFA Frs.
  • 2011 budget for infrastructure was 52.435,192 CFA Frs.

Here too elaborate administrative and public investment accounts were still being developed so the Accountant could not provide the details of the past three years as expected.

Responses from Council Collaborators:

The Sub Delegate for MINPROFF Ekondo Titi, was also interviewed. Her responses to the questionnaire included:

  • That their relationship with the Ekondo Titi Council is cordial. MINPROFF is always invited for the Ekondo Titi Council budgetary sessions and the Council helps to sponsor Women Day activities, Rural Women Day and the Day of the Family. Also helps to give free legalization of marriages.
  • That gender considerations are important because it helps to reduce marginalization and ensure equality of all.
  • She mentioned that the council can further do promotion of gender by supporting women with tools not only finance and could even help Common Initiative Groups(CIGs) to develop or increase in the council area.
  • That general support to women does not go far to grassroots level but support to CIGs can go far, even to rural areas.

MINEPAT another council collaborator was not identified in the Ekondo Titi Council area.

Responses from Council Beneficiaries:

A women group beneficiary also responded to our interview as follows:

  1. She presented herself as 48years old. She has an Advance Level and a Diploma in Education. She is a teacher by profession.
  2. Says the council functions with directives from the Mayor as the head. The other authorities have assigned roles while the staffs are delegated on assignments. Every year, a budget is developed and adopted by councilors during budgetary sessions. Various stakeholders are also invited for the budget adoption. Implementation of identified projects is then done.
  3. The council provides support for infrastructure, education, health and other social support.
  4. She has not benefited personally in any council service except from stipends in the cause of doing work.
  5. Has no knowledge of the budgetary process
  6. Not consulted as a beneficiary group
  7. Voted in 2007 and this was because she was a group executive and needed to show an example
  8. Voting was by secret ballot with cards
  9. Registered to vote in the 2013 elections
  10. Shall vote in 2013 elections because her vote can make a difference and can bring a change
  11. Shall run  as a councilor to give women more opportunities if in authority
  12. Shall always vote for a female candidate to increase the position of women in decision-making.

Another female beneficiary of Ekondo Titi Women Foundation for Change was interviewed. She also had the following responses:

  1. This beneficiary is a business person by profession, a female and 46 years old
  2. She has an Ordinary Certificate. She said she does not know how the council functions
  3. That the council provides infrastructure and  maintenance, clean the town, and provides holiday jobs
  4. Has never benefited from any council service and has no knowledge on the council budget process. And has never been consulted on any budget elaboration process
  5. She voted in 2007 elections and this was to institute a change
  6. Voted through a secret ballot box
  7. Registered for the 2013 elections. This was done to bring a change
  8. Shall run to become a councilor but shall vote only herself because others do not do their work well

Another beneficiary had the following responses below:

  1. She stated her age as 54 years old, a female teacher by profession and has an Advance Level Certificate and a Grade One Diploma.
  2. She is not aware of how councils function but knows some services the council provides
  3. Services provided by the council are to support community needs through funds from companies, taxes and other support schemes like FEOCOM. The council also cleans the town; support school needs and even build schools etc.
  4. Has benefited from council services like roads, provision of electricity in Ekondo Titi, Holiday Jobs and money from it for the past two years.
  5. Has little knowledge on the budget process. Only councilors are aware of this. She just seats in a session and listen to what the Secretary General (SG) presents and only councilors make comments.
  6. That the budget process starts with the consultation of council executives. Then the SG presents the last budget. Next a meeting is programmed and the public is invited. The budget is presented by the SG and validated. During this process, the speakers are the SDO, the Councilors, and the SG. Others are quiet.
  7. My fair knowledge on the budget process she said, helps me in elaborating my business.
  8. She voted in 2007. This was a sign of civic responsibility. It was done secretly through a ballot  box.
  9. Registered to vote in 2013. This is in other to have a choice and influence the results.
  10. Shall run as a councilor so that she can contribute to development in Ekondo Titi.
  11. Shall vote any appropriate female councilor. This will increase the influence of women in public.

3)  FINDINGS FROM KUMBA ONE COUNCIL:

The Council personnel interviewed in Kumba One included the Secretary General, Female Mayor, head of Council Committees, some collaborators and beneficiaries like the representative of Kumba Association of Women Groups (KAWG). In the interview with the Secretary General, the following responses were given:

  • He said  budget building starts with an orientation meeting with stakeholders
  • That those involved in budgeting include the Secretary General (SG) who Chairs in process, there is the Finance Clerk, the Treasurer, and the Mayor
  • The Finance Clerk provides administrative documents, the Treasurer complements and provides bank statements, while the SG builds the budget.
  • The target groups considered in budgeting are youths and women
  • The gender dimension is considered but timidly because there are few women who work in that domain and the few here are not proactive.
  •  The Kumba One  Council was noted to have a Communal Development Plan (CDP)
  •  Nothing affects the CDP process on elaboration, implementation, monitoring and investment because nothing is talked about Gender Responsive Budgeting.
  • The challenges in engendering our budget are having proactive men and available women
  • We need skills to engender our budget
  • Skills acquired shall make everyone to be proactive and to be engaged in collecting data on gender issues

The Chairperson of the Finance Committee:

1)      The above lady has been Chairperson for six years

2)      Her function include to go through the books and give suggestions to improve work

3)      She is regularly consulted in budgeting now, but not in the past

4)      She gives suggestions or advise

5)      The Council’s budget, she believes , has gender in all dimension

6)      All dimension of gender she believes are considered when presented

7)      Gender she thinks is important because it avoids marginalization of any group.

The Chairperson of Infrastructure Committee:

I talked with the Chairperson of the above Committee. He mentioned that the steps in the budget process in the Kumba One Council include:

1)   Convening a Committee Meeting for Infrastructure in the Council to elaborate this.

2)    Persons involve are the Secretary General (SG) as the Chairperson, the Mayor and the Finance Committee.

3)  He said Committees are not given attention because of administrative lapses

4)  That the Council’s budget has very little gender dimension

5)  He said there are few proactive women and youths in the area to ensure that the Council budget

is gender sensitive.

6) That the Council periodically, provides support to the youth and physically challenged persons.

8)      Gender issues are not our regular needs so do done have a place in the budget. Notwithstanding, the everyday needs like water, good roads, construction of markets, are of much more help but to the different gender groups since it ease their operations.

Collaborators of the Council:

The following responses came from the representative the Women Empowerment Center and the Family (MINPROFF) Kumba in Meme division:

The nature of the collaboration between the Kumba One Council and the above service is horizontal. MINPROFF is usually invited in Council sessions during Project Development, to give a view point.

That there is gender consideration in the collaboration

She said the view of women is considered for example during celebrations like Women’s Day, the Council gives support and that the Women Empowerment Center is regularly supported by the Mayor.

Gender considerations are very important

Gender is important because women are the majority and women take care of the community

Our collaboration can be engendered through education; by providing equal chances for all, no force marriages, businesses places for women, land and inheritance right, promoting women in decision-making positions etc.

The responses below came from the representative (a Chief of Service) of the Ministry of Planning and the Economy (MINEPAT) Kumba :

  • He said MINEPAT is in charge of public investment so supports the Kumba One Council in project realization. We go all over to gather project information that can enhance development and direct the public on what to do.
  • Gender is considered.
  •  We look at gender considerations in terms of the impact of a project on the public
  • Government depicts projects always and we do monitoring in our different areas of operation.
  • We do just control and provide advice.
  • Councils have their tender boards. We can enhance our collaboration with Councils through proper communication of the Growth and Strategy Paper, and to also provide them with technical advice when there is a need.

Beneficiaries of Council Services:

The representative of Kumba One Association of Women Groups (KAWG) and two other ladies were interviewed. The responses from the Women representative were as follows

  1. She is Business lady by profession
  2. She is 50 years old
  3. Has an Ordinary Level Certificate
  4. She is always in Council sessions and knows how it works.
  5. She said, in the Council, the Mayor works with his deputies and Councilors to decide on issues. That a committee develops the administrative accounts and the budget. Then the Mayor and the Secretary General (SG) decide on the implementation. The council also invites some services to take decisions when necessary
  6. The services mentioned as provided by the council include road maintenance work, project realization like water, collection of Market tolls etc.
  7. Have benefited from Council services like payments of her meeting allowances
  8. Have no knowledge of the stages in the budget preparation.
  9. She is regularly invited  to question issues during the budgetary session
  10. Contributes by  questioning issues for clarification
  11. Also gives advice during sessions
  12. Her last  invitation was on the 31st of December,2012
  13. Does not participate in the process or stages but during the last buildup session involving all
  14. She voted in the  2007 elections
  15. Voted because she wanted adequate representatives in the community
  16. Voted through a secret ballot box.
  17. She registered to vote in 2013
  18. To vote because she wants a change
  19. She would vote to be a Councilor
  20. Wants Councilors who are based in their constituencies to lead and not to have outsiders as representatives
  21. Shall vote for a female councilor to increase the influence of women

4) FINDINGS FROM MENJI COUNCIL:

The Council personnel interviewed in Menji included the Secretary General, Female Mayor, head of Council Committees, some collaborators and beneficiaries. In the interview with the Secretary General, the following responses were given:

1) That budget building starts with an orientation meeting with stakeholders

2) Persons involved include the SG as Chairperson, the Finance Clerk, the Treasurer, and the Mayor

3) The Finance Clerk provides administrative documents, the Treasurer complements and provides bank statements, while the SG builds the budget.

4) The target groups considered are; youths, women,- but the council is not very gender sensitive.

5)  The gender dimension was considered but these are not many because there are no women who work in that domain. The few here are not proactive.

6) Menji Council has a Communal Development Plan (CDP)

7) Nothing affects the CDP process on elaboration, implementation, monitoring and investment because nothing is talked about Gender Responsive Budgeting.

8) The challenges in engendering the budget here are having proactive men and available women

9) Said they need skills to engender their budget

10) Skills acquired shall make everyone to be proactive and to be engaged in collecting data on gender issues.

The Store Accountant was not available to collect data from on the Administrative Accounts and the Public Investment Budget of the Council for the past three years. The Female Municipal Treasurer was not around. The First Deputy Mayor too was not available. We were told they might only be by the following week.

The Chairperson of the Finance Committee:

1)      The above personnel has been Chairperson for six years

2)      Her function include to go through the books and give suggestions to improve work

3)      She is regularly consulted in budgeting now, but was not in the past

4)      She gives suggestions or advise

5)      The Council’s budget she believes, has gender in all dimension

6)      All dimension of gender she believes are considered when presented

7)      Gender she thinks is important because it avoids marginalization of any groups.

The Chairperson of Infrastructure Committee:

I talked with the former Chairperson of the Infrastructure Committee and now a Councilor and he responded as follows:

1)      He mentioned that the steps in the budget process in the Menji Council include convening a Committee Meeting for Infrastructure in the Council to elaborate this.

2)      He said persons involve are the Secretary General (SG) as the Chairperson, the Mayor and the Finance Committee. Various Committees used to be invited some years ago. But for the past two years he said no committee is given attention, -only the Finance Committee.

3)      That Committees are not given attention because of administrative lapses

4)      That the Council’s budget has no gender dimension

5)      He said there is no gender dimension in Menji Council budget because Menji is a rural council that focuses on general and common needs like water.

6)      We however, he said, provide support to the youth and disable persons.

7)      We do not have any reason why gender should be incorporated into our budget because our priority is usually rural development like water, roads and our day to day needs.

Collaborators of the Council:

The following responses came from the representative of the Women Empowerment Center and the Family (MINPROFF) Menji-Lebialem:

1)      The nature of the collaboration between the Menji Council and the above service is horizontal, she said. MINPROFF is usually invited in Council sessions during Project Development, to give a view point.

2)      That there is gender consideration in the collaboration

3)      The view of women is considered for example on water projects; women are the most touched, since they often go out for it. During celebrations like Women’s Day, the Council gives support. The Women Empowerment Center is run by the Mayor though the Center has a Director. But the Mayor is a vote holder.

4)      Gender considerations are very important

5)      Gender is important because women are the majority and women take care of the community

6)      Our collaboration can be engendered through education; by providing equal chances for all, no force marriages, businesses places be encouraged for women, land and inheritance right, promoting women in decision-making positions etc.

The responses below came from the representative (a Chief of Service) of the Ministry of Planning and the Economy (MINEPAT) Menji :

1)      He said in the Council area they are situated, MINEPAT is in charge of public investment. So they support the council in project realization. Their service try to let the public know what the government Growth Strategy Paper -as pattern to employment, infrastructure etc is. In this light they go all over to gather project information that can enhance development. They look at the impact before choosing. And based on this, the public is informed.

2)      Gender is considered.

3)       MINEPAT  looks at gender considerations in terms of the impact of a project on the public

4)      For them, each year, government depicts projects and they do monitoring etc in the Division.

5)      They  could not say why or why not gender does stand out because they do just control

6)      Councils have their tender boards. We can enhance our collaboration with Councils through proper communication of the Growth and Strategy Paper, and to also provide them with technical advice when there is a need.

Beneficiaries of Council Services:

The representative of Menji Women Foundation for Change , and two other ladies were interviewed. The responses from the Women representative were as follows

  1. Her profession is a Store Accountant
  2. She is a lady of 55years old
  3. Has an Ordinary Level Certificate
  4. She is always in Council sessions and knows how it works.
  5. She said, in the Council, the Mayor works with his deputies and Councilors to decide on issues. That a commission develops the administrative accounts and the budget. And the Mayor and the Secretary General decides on implementation. The council also invites some services including the CPDM representatives to take decision, since it is a CPDM council.
  6. The services mentioned as provided by the council include road maintenance work, project realization like water, collection of Market tolls etc.
  7. Have benefited from Council services like payments of my meeting allowances
  8. Have no knowledge of the stages in the budget preparation.
  9. She is regularly invited  to question issues during the budgetary session
  10. Contributes by  questioning issues for clarification
  11. Also gives advice during sessions
  12. The last invitation was on the 31st of December,2012
  13. Does not participate in the process or stages but during the last buildup session involving all
  14. She voted in the  2007 elections
  15. Voted because she wanted adequate representatives in the community
  16. Voted through a secret ballot box.
  17. Have registered to vote in 2013
  18. To vote because she wants a change
  19. She would vote to be a Councilor
  20. Wants Councilors who are based in their constituencies to lead and not to have outsiders as representatives
  21. Shall vote for a female councilor to increase the influence of women

5) FINDINGS FROM NGUTI COUNCIL:

In Nguti I interview the Female Deputy Mayor, and the representative of Nguti Women Foundation for Change (NWOFOC) . I also interviewed the accountant, who sad for the Treasurer (Finance Department) and Mayor who were absent. The service head of MINPROFF was interviewed. I also interviewed three female beneficiaries.

The Responses from the Female Deputy Mayor:

  1. The name of the Female Deputy Mayor is Mme Florence Ngabe
  2. The Mayor has occupied this position for  6 years
  3. Her duties as the Deputy Mayor is to handle town planning, handle marketing, tolls, sanitation and social issues like Youth Day and Women Day activities.
  4.  She is partially consulted during budget and her role is to give suggestions on related issues above.
  5. That the council always has the gender dimension in budgeting. This is by including the needs of women and others in every budgetary session. But though trained on budget preparation, different target groups are not separated because if this is done, it becomes a stigmatization.
  6. Belongs to groupings of Female Councilors and Mayors. She is a member of the tender board of Mayors where she represents the Nguti Mayor. She is the Chairperson of the Electricity Committee and represents women. Also a member of the South West Association of Female Mayors.
  7. The above association was created to enhance women participation in development, foster cooperation among women, and to provide assistance to the needy
  8. This association functions by revolving around different councils
  9. She tries to ensure that gender is always incorporated in the council budget. This is done by mainstreaming gender in all issues. At such the situation of gender has increased.
  10. Gender be incorporated because women and youth are the most vulnerable and marginalized, so need to regular attention
  11. A major challenge is overcoming traditional practices that do not give women a place. Another one is enabling women to be proactive and stop being shy. Also to stop early marriages. And to enable men to give attention to gender issues and not deft ears as many do.
  12. To overcome these challenges, we need sensitization with targeted percentages to be realized, not just decisions on paper. We need government policies with the approved articles to be respected by all.

Responses from the Council Accountant:

  1. The accountant I was assigned to is called Soja Terence
  2. He thinks gender places a role in his work and that of the council in general. That out of 26 workers, 12 are female and in the Finance Department there is One female cahier, one female clerk and one female finance agent
  3. Beneficiaries are analyzed in terms of gender since in budgeting Nguti council always considers maternity leaves for women. Social issues like Women’s Day are always considered. Women forums benefited a lot. Last year they had 400,000 FRS. Organizations like the Council Women Association had 150,000CFA Frs. Some others also benefited.
  4. The council analyzes in terms of gender, in other to be gender responsive in budgeting
  5. The analysis is done quantitatively in Nguti and the frequency is every year.
  6. The role of the Treasurer here is to provide statistics of beneficiary groups of the previous year so that the council can know whether to improve on services and how. The Treasurer also ensures the payment of staff benefits to insurance.
  7. The challenges include getting adequate number of beneficiaries in groups. If gotten, it helps in supporting quantitatively. They also envisage the challenge in getting groups registered in the council and other services around.
  8. We envisage these problems because thorough findings and elaborate communication are not easily done about groups.
  9. In engendering the budget, the council should always invite the Treasurer and Finance Agents in all budget sessions

The Administrative Accounts and the Public Investment Accounts for the Nguti Council was presented during the above interview. This was done per sector for some past years as follows:

  • Expenditure in 2009 on infrastructure (building schools) was 9.320, 000CFA Frs.
  • Expenditure in 2009 on health (construction of medical wards) was 7,000,000CFA Frs.

No particular target group was envisaged in the above but just development needs. The Public Investment Budget for some past years was also presented as follows:

  • 2010 budget for education (subsidies to schools e.g. chairs, etc.) was 11.177.200CFA Frs.
  • 2010 budget for infrastructure was 56.8550,000 CFA Frs.
  • 2010 budget for roads was 8,000,000CFA Frs.
  • 2011 budget for education (subsidies to schools) was 5.299,200 CFA Frs.
  • 2011 budget for infrastructure was 49.446,192 CFA Frs.

The elaborate administrative and public investment accounts were still being developed so the Accountant could not provide the details of the past three years as expected. The accounts were also done globally without many distingue heads.

Responses from Council Collaborators:

The Sub Delegate for MINPROFF Nguti, Madam Nzo Grace Emanga was also interviewed. The responses from her on behalf of MINPROFF included:

  • That their relationship with the Nguti council is cordial. MINPROFF is always invited for council budgetary meetings and the council helps to sponsor Women Day activities, Rural Women Day and the Day of the Family. Also helps to give free legalization of marriages.
  • That gender considerations are important because it helps to reduce marginalization and ensure equality
  • She mentioned that the council can further do promotion of gender by supporting women with tools not only finance and could even help CIGs to develop or increase in the council area.
  • That general support to women does not go far to grassroots level but support to CIGs can go far, even to rural areas.

MINEPAT another council collaborator was not identified in the Nguti council area.

Responses from Council Beneficiaries:

Madam Ngabe Florence also responded as a beneficiary representing women groups.

  1. Presented herself as 37years old; has an Advance Level and the ENS-DIBPS 1 Diploma in Education. She is a teacher by profession.
  2. Says the council functions with directives from the Mayor as the head. The other authorities have assigned roles while the staffs are delegated on assignments. Every year a budget is developed and adopted by councilors during budgetary sessions. Various stakeholders are also invited for the budget adoption. Implementation of identified projects is then done.
  3. The council provides support for infrastructure, education, health and other social support.
  4. She has not benefited personally in any council service except from stipends in the cause of doing work.
  5. Has no knowledge of the budgetary process
  6. Not consulted as a beneficiary group
  7. Voted in 2007 and this was because she was a session executive and needed to show an example
  8. Voting was by secret ballot with cards
  9. Has registered to vote in the 2013 elections
  10. Shall vote in 2013 elections because her vote can make a difference and can bring a change
  11. Shall run  as a councilor to give women more opportunities if in authority
  12. Shall always vote for a female candidate to increase the position of women in decision-making.

Another beneficiary, Bisong Alice was interviewed. She also had the following responses:

  1. This beneficiary is a business person by profession, a female and 40 years old
  2. She has an Ordinary Certificate. She said she does not know how the council functions
  3. That the council provides infrastructure, does light maintenance, clean the town, and provides holiday jobs
  4. Has never benefited from any council service and has no knowledge on the council budget process. And has never been consulted on any budget elaboration process
  5. She voted in 2007 elections and this was to institute a change
  6. Voted through a secret ballot box
  7. Have registered for the 2013 elections. This is done to bring a change
  8. I shall run to become a councilor but shall vote only myself because others do not do their work well

Another beneficiary, Madam Akime Grace was interviewed. Her responses are below:

  1. She stated her age as 50 years old, a female teacher by profession and has an Ordinary Certificate and a Grade One Diploma.
  2. She is not aware of how councils function but knows some services the council provides
  3. Services provided by the council are to support community needs through funds from companies, taxes and other support schemes like FEOCOM. The council also cleans the town; support school needs and even build schools etc.
  4. Has benefited from council services like roads, provision of electricity in Nguti, Holiday Jobs and money from it for the past two years.
  5. Has little knowledge on the budget process. Only councilors are aware of this. She just seats in a session and listen to what the SG presents and only councilors make comments.
  6. That the budget process starts with the consultation of council executives. Then the SG presents the last budget. Next a meeting is programmed and the public is invited. The budget is presented by the SG and validated. During this process, the speakers are the SDO, the Councilors, and the SG. Others are quiet.
  7. My little knowledge on the budget process helps me in elaborating my business and family budget.
  8. Voted in 2007. This was a sign of civic responsibility. It was done secretly through ballot a box.
  9. Has registered to vote in 2013. This is in other to have a choice and influence the results.
  10. Shall run as a councilor so that she can contribute to development in Nguti.
  11. Shall vote any appropriate female councilor. This will increase the influence of women in public.

6) FINDINGS  FROM THE TINTO COUNCIL:

In the Tinto Council, the Secretary General, a Councilor, a Committee Chairperson, the representative of women, and some women beneficiaries were interviewed. The other authorities were out on senatorial campaigns for the CPDM and would only be around the following week.

Responses from the Secretary General:

1)      The budgetary process starts with mobilization of public-stakeholders (Taxation, businesspersons, women etc.) for the meeting. Next the elaboration by Council executive, then the Council session.

2)      Persons involved are the SG, the Treasurer, Municipal Service Heads and the Council Executives.

3)      The Treasure is involved from the start to the end to give information. The Service Heads are involved during elaboration. At implementation it is only the Mayor, the Treasure and the SG that involve right through.

4)      Business persons are the main target in our local area. We do not have many others.

5)      We consider some scholarship allocation for girls, and some support for women.

6)      The council has a Council Development Plan

7)      During elaboration of the CDP, gender was considered and some allocation is always considered for gender (e.g. support to girls, women’s Day support) during implementation.

8)      Our challenges include have funds to make up for the percentage in gender disparity which is much; have adequate women and youths to make up for the gap decision-making positions between the genders. There is the challenge in over-coming apathy by women in leadership position and other public life. We need to also cause Service Heads to see the need for gender and to for instituting salary as motivation.

9)      Shall be willing to acquire skills in engendering the budget

10)  The skills shall help us to overcome short-comings

The Tinto Administrative Accounts for the past three years reads as follows: In the year 2009 the account had revenue of 56.717, 571CFA Frs. and expenditure of 56.334, 605CFA Frs. In 2010 it had 162,316,991CFA Frs. as revenue and 156,124,816 CFA Frs. as expenditure. The revenue for 2011 was 136,081, 182 FRA Frs. and the expenditure was 133,536,054 CFA Frs.

The Public Investment Budget (PIB) in Tinto Council for 2010 was 78.699, 000FRA Frs. and for 2011 it was 47.300, 000CFA Frs. The figures for 2012 had not been developed. There were no allocations per sector but just on some broad headings.

Response from a Committee Chairperson:

In the absence of the deputy Mayor and others, I interviewed Mme Nkwanyo Comfort Nchenge, who is a councilor and Committee Chairperson

  1. This Chairperson is a nurse by profession
  2. She is 50 years old and has Ordinary level Certificate
  3. Has been a councilor and Chairperson for six years
  4. Her function as a councilor is to set in council sessions to deliberate. But as a Committee
  5. As  Chairperson she is not invited to sessions
  6. Not consulted during budget preparation but only adopts
  7. Not aware why she is not consulted
  8. That the Council has no gender dimension in its budget.
  9. That the Council is negligent and lacks enough knowledge on gender issues
  10. Does not belong to any grouping of female councilors
  11. That there is no grouping of female councilors in their area
  12. Gender issues are not considered in the Council budget since authorities do not see the need
  13. Gender should be incorporated in council budgets because it ensures justice, fairness and promotes equality.
  14. The challenges in incorporating gender include insuring that the authorities see the need for this and to encourage women to advocate regularly for this.
  15. To overcome these challenges, the authorities need to be trained on gender budgeting. We need to involve female councilors and some beneficiaries too in the trainings.

Beneficiaries of Council Services:

Under this section, we talked to the representative of women groups and others. The Women Group representative, Madam Besong Rose, gave the following responses:

  1. Her profession is a teacher
  2. She is 43 years old and has an Ordinary Level and a Grade One Certificate.
  3. She does not know how the Council functions and not aware of services provided by the council
  4. Says she has not benefited from the Council services; has no knowledge about the budgetary process and the last time she went in during the elaboration process was last two years and they were sent out because they were not invited. That the Council does not accept them.
  5. Did not vote during the 2007 elections because rigging would have made it to have no difference.
  6. She has registered for 2013 elections because the biometric system with ELECAM shall improve the voting system.
  7. Shall run as a councilor in other to ensure the implementation of women’s project
  8. Will also vote for a female councilor to increase their influence

We  also talk to another lady Mme Bahia Martha, and had these responses:

  1. I.  She operates as a farmer
  2. II. She is  of 60 years old and has Ordinary level
  3. III. Not aware how the council functions but knows the council executes projects like provision of classrooms, build market shades and toilets.
  4.  IV. Has not benefited from council services
  5. V. Has never been consulted during any budget session, though she was once a pioneer WCPDM member in Tinto
  6. VI. Voted in 2007 because she was a WCPDM member and wanted her party to win
  7. VII. Voted in 2007 to promote gender equality
  8. Voted through a secret ballot box
  9. IX. Has registered for 2013 elections
  10. X. Has registered to promote the position of women
  11.  XI.  Shall run as a councilor
  12. XII.  Shall run as a councilor to have a position of authority but she sees no possibility to win because their party , the CPDM, encourages only high authorities
  13. Shall vote any female candidate because their party is greedy to gender, so needs forceful persons to promote gender.

Another lady Mme Martha Besong, was interviewed in Tinto and she responded as follows:

1)      She is a business person by profession

2)      She is 43 years old and has  First school Leaving Certificate

3)      That she has a fair knowledge on how the council functions

4)      The council she said staff she said, through directives from the Mayor, does tax control, and finances community projects.

5)      Services provided by the councils are cleaning of the town, provision of infrastructure, and guide against destruction by animals.

6)      Has benefited from a market shade provided by the council.

7)      Has no idea on the budget preparation process and have never been consulted on this

8)      Voted in 2007

9)      Voted to get a real person to carry on with the council activities

10)  She voted in 2007 with cards (white or blue) through secret ballots.

11)  Has registered to vote 2013 elections

12)  Has registered because she wants a change of system in the country

13)  Would run for 2013 elections as councilor because she wants growth since the present councilors do not operate well.

In Tinto I could not find collaborators of the council like the services of MINPROFF and MINEPAT.

Summary of Findings: 

a)      What Council Authorities say that they do in terms of GRB is not what is practiced (process and consultations).

b)      Councils do not have Gender Disaggregated Data on planning, implementation, monitoring & evaluation of council activities. Basic Gender information is limited to Women Day, Labor Day, Youth Holiday Employment, scholarships.

c)      Council staff do not master the skills to engender the budget (Mayor’s Action Plan, Issues raised during Committee deliberations)

d)     Key collaborators / partners (MINPROFF, MINEPAT, MINAS, PNDP) do not insist on Gender Aggregation for council activities. They either lack the knowledge or the will. They might even be gender blind.

e)      Beneficiaries of Council activities are either unaware or nonchalant on the need to track Council activities.

CONCLUSION:

All the six Councils assigned to were covered. The Municipal Council personnel, particularly the Secretary Generals and the Deputy Mayors consulted, helped to facilitate the above findings in all the six Councils targeted. In all the Councils, it was noted that the Council personnel and community dwellers were not aware, and as well not satisfied with the way their Councils work .It was noticed that their role in the budget process is unknown too, since many played a passive role or do not take part in it. At such many do not know the steps in the budget process. The functions of the council are not known by many too. Many do not even know whether they benefit from Council services. As already mentioned, Councils do not have Gender Disaggregated Data on planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Council activities. Basic gender information is very limited (See the available data attached). Council staffs do not even have mastery of the skills to engender the budget. Much therefore has to be done to make councils to have a participatory system.

Proposed Suggestions:

1)      Create & Support Functional Women Foundations for Change toward the Council Budgetary process in all municipalities in the region. These foundations will sustain the sensitization of the population and maintain regular advocacy for GRB in Councils.

2)      Hold regular consultations (may be quarterly) between the Council executive, SG, MT, and executives of Women Foundation for Change. The objectives will center on planning, review and evaluation of GRB.

3)      Create & maintain a data base on Council Funding for Gender Equality.

4)      Develop a Draft Gender Policy for Local Councils & submit to competent organizations such as UN Women, MINPROFF, for deliberations and ultimate submission to the House of Senate for adoption.

Research Assistants:

No Name Qualification Contact
1 Eugene Atabong Atem First Degree (BA) in  English and Literature (+237) 74 50 59 95Email: atematabong@yahoo.com
2 Kima Magdalene Sahmi First Degree (BSc)  in Management (+237) 77946816/ 95191096Email: kima_magdalene@yahoo.com
       

 2012 GENDER TABLE FOR BENEFICIARIES OF SERVICES IN SIX PILOT COUNCILS

 

COUNCILS Youth No Male Female Women No Handicaps No Blind Youth Day  No  WomenDay No 
Buea 2,000,000 4 2,000,000 5 1,000,000 10 500,000 5 groups 600,000 6 groups
Ekondo Titi 1.500,000 6   200,000 3 400,000 8 groups 400,000 10
Ndian    
Menji  
Mundemba    
Kumba One 2,000,000 1.500,000 4 500,000 6 groups 500,000 10

NB: Apart from the three Municipal Councils above with data of the number of beneficiaries and the amount allocated to them in 2012, the other Councils do just joint development activities without any gender reflection in them.

Amount Spent on Selected Target Beneficiaries within Pilot Councils:

Council Total Amount % Men % Women % Youth % Persons with Challenges Others
Buea 5,000,000 (100%) 2,000,000 2,000,000
Ekondo Titi
Kumba I
Menji
Mundemba
Tinto

 

COUNCILS Persons Reached
Men Women Youth Physically Challenged Others
Older than 50 36 to 49 Older than 50 36 to 49 Male Female Cripple Blind Widows Street Children Single Mothers Sex Workers
Buea
Ekondo Titi
Kumba I
Menji
Mundemba
Tinto