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REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON GENDER BUDGETING. Organized by Department of Women and Child Development-GOI In Collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) And Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) New Delhi, 23-24, November 2005 Building Budgets from Below

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Organized by

Department of Women and Child Development-GOI

In Collaboration with

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)


Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA)

New Delhi,

23-24, November 2005

Building Budgets from Below

presentation by

Ahalya S Bhat, SSF

on the

Methodology and Tool Developed in Karnataka to Enable Women in Local Government to Design Fiscal Policy



  • Presentation shows the STEPS required to ensure an outcome

out of a process.

  • It emphasizes the importance of process in generating


  • The following slides represent
  • Process used
  • Value of partnership
  • Adoption of other methodologies
  • Merging of methodologies to generate outcome


  • Women at the grassroots, have always and world wide shown their capacity to design,build and manage development .
  • However , women’s participation in governance including budget matters, education, employment , etc has not materialized
  • Yet in India there has been recognition of the need to include women in governance for many decades

Singamma Sreenivasan Foundation

-A profile

SSF is a public charitable trust dedicated towards the empowerment of women and conservation of nature.

  • Objectives:
  • To facilitate the advancement of women
  • To improve their conditions of living and employment .
  • To document and disseminate information related to women.

Few activities undertaken

  • Strengthening Women’s participation in District Level Governance
  • Creating infrastructure facilities for training rural women in growing and
  • processing of medicinal plants
  • Human Rights Education
  • Evaluation of schemes for Women in Karnataka

Need to link Economic Governance to

Political Governance

With federation formed there

was a need to develop

technical skills.

Federation members expressing their views

Need of the hour – Empowerment of women in Economic Governance

`Building Budgets from Below’ was built on the foundation (Women federation) that was already laid by SSF

aim of the foundation
Aim of the Foundation

Enabling the women from

Grassroot level

to develop plan and

Building Budgets from Below

in local self government

with women’s leadership


Building Budgets From Below


1. Linking economic governance to political governance.

2. Examining and analyzing the budget of both the State

and the Local Governments and helping elected women

to participate in budget preparation.

Project was implemented in 3 phases

designing a methodology
Designing a methodology
  • Over a period of three years a tool/ a methodology has been

evolved in enabling elected women to know and participate in

development planning and financing at local level.

  • This process has been in partnership with
    • UNIFEM/ European Union
    • State Government of Karnataka
    • Janagraha (Citizen's movement committed to increasing citizen participation in local government: the practice of participatory democracy).
steps required to achieve the outcome in summary
Steps required to achieve the outcome in summary
  • Women’s connectivity,
  • Intense process of participation
  • Statistical data/surveys
  • Women’s political will

The experience proved that women elected to local councils who

are never exposed to Budget, Politics/ Education can be agents

of change & can learn techniques and use them.


Sites Location: Federation of women

The Federations were also formed in 3 southern

states –Kerala, Andhra Pradesh & Tamil Nadu

In Karnataka the federation was formed in 9 districts


The process required 9 Steps to enable the outcome

  • The First Brick-
  • Women to be organised in a collective. Usually this is done
  • by women’s organisations.
  • This was undertakenby SSF through

a project “Associating Women in Local

Self Government”

  • SSF formed association of 684 Elected

members of panchayats in Karnataka in 9

districts during 2000- 2005

On a common platform


Step II- sites selection

  • Out of these 9 districts where women

had formed federations, SSF choose 2 GPs and 2 Urban areas for enabling women’s participation in economic governance

  • Honaganahalli Gram Panchayat in Bijapur district.
  • Kogali Gram Panchayat in Bellary district.
  • Udupi City Municipal Council & Tumkur City Municipal Council.

4. Mysore City Corporation

    • In Phase II and Phase III – Tumkur was selected in place of Udupi

Step III – Data Collection

Two levels of data collection was done

  • Quantitative data:
  • Collecting state level budgetary allocations

& of selected sites i.e. Secondary Data

  • Primary data collection in the selected sites
    • Socio-economic profiles of EWRs
    • Socio-economic profiles of Sites
    • Working of Public distribution systems
    • Availability of health services
    • MAPS showing the resources available
  • Qualitative information on their knowledge
  • of budgets was collected from EWRs
  • through check list

EWRs, women folk participating in the deliberation


Step IV - Demystify the budget

Enabled EWRs to demystify the budget by presenting the data to them through participatory mock sessions

  • 1. Engaging women in number of meetings used to understand
  • the area and develop a Budget as they would like to see it i.e.,
  • the “Ought” Budget
  • 2. Presenting them the actual budget and the ought budget and letting them understand the gap between the Actual Budget and Ought Budget
  • 3. Through this process the women were enabled to understand –
  • What was a Budget
  • How Budget was prepared
  • How to influence the Budget

Findings :

Awareness : Women were kept in dark

Perception : Lack of knowledge in governance

Participation : Very minimal and opportunity was not given

  • No System to impart knowledge to elected


  • No linkage between Actual Budget and the `Ought

Budget’ prepared by women

  • Given an opportunity with training, women are

capable of participating in the budget process.


Bridging the Gap – Between Logistics and execution

to bring measurable outcome

  • Problems were identified
  • Data collected and analysis was done
  • Lacked technique/Methodology to solve
  • the problem
  • There was need for intervention to bridge
  • this gap

In this backdrop Janaagraha joined hands with SSF


In order to bridge the gap..

SSF adopted the technique of Janaagraha

  • Collecting data on revenue & expenditure
  • Community participation/ participatory democracy
  • Citizens engage with the government as communities and not as individuals
  • Bringing awareness to the citizens
  • Having three cornered meeting
  • SSF adopted this technique in the GPs and Municipalities to

achieve the outcome

  • In case of Janaagraha it is limited to urban body and with

citizen represented by ward committee in the city


Step V- Site Interventions

  • The technique of Janaagraha was implemented .
  • The stakeholders i.e, SHG members, EWRs, Bureaucrats, Decision Makers, other NGOs participated.
  • Focus on identifying critical issues, find suitable solutions and arrive at financial requirements.
  • Women lobby was formed to influence the budget
  • 25 round of meetings were held

Women participating in the meeting & learning about the budget process


Positive outcome in 2005-06 Budget

  • Mysore City Corporation:
  • - An ad hoc “Women and Child

Welfare Committee” to be


- IWDP enhanced- Rs 5-10 lakhs

- To buy sewing machines for

women enhanced-Rs 7-10 lakhs

- New head `Nirmala Nagara

Yojana’ created with Rs 10000

to each local habitat group

- Number of women self groups

increased from 2-4.



  • Tumkur City Municipal Council:
  • A separate head for women in the budget earmarking 1% of the total budget to women’s development was introduced
  • Honaganahalli GP:
  • Budget was allocated for construction of bus stop in Jumnal village as well as to raise

the compound walls of public toilet for women

  • Allocations were made for repairing of toilets for women

Kogali GP:

  • The EWRs & President of GP assured that suitable allocations would

be made for improving the roads, distribution of ration cards, toilets