The Equity Budgeting Tool (EBT) has been applied in Guatemala’s agriculture and health sector and has led to several findings, such as:
the budget and the geographic coverage of Guatemala’s budget programs do not respond to the needs of the most vulnerable groups and needed regions,
the budget process does not enable a public debate on public issues,
budget execution by each public entity may vary significantly from the budget approved by Congress, which could undermine the ability to achieve specific equity goals,
budget programs and projects are not formulated with equity considerations in mind, and
government departments have a limited ability to produce, process and analyse disaggregated statistical information for an in-depth follow-up and review of the impact of the programmes.
These findings emphasise the need to design and implement efficient mechanisms to open communication channels between public institutions and other stakeholders, such as civil society organisations, as well as to integrate equity issues into the budget cycle and outcomes by providing comprehensive guidelines for all public entities. As a result, EBT training is offered to sectoral planners (including the Finance Ministry) to gain a comprehensive understanding of the tool and the related equity issues. In addition, civil society can learn more about political fiscal incidences through online training to carry out social audits and to formulate and propose alternative fiscal policy road maps. As next steps, a monitoring report on the implementation of national development priorities with a focus on gender and the “Leave No One Behind” (LNOB) principle will be published, and the development of a planning tool for public entities that allows for differentiation of beneficiaries is currently under discussion.