Community Dialogue on Local Budget (EDIC) (BF0013)
Action Plan: Burkina Faso Action Plan 2017-2019
Action Plan Cycle: 2017
Policy AreasCapacity Building, Democratizing Decision-Making, Fiscal Openness, Local Commitments, Oversight of Budget/Fiscal Policies, Public Participation, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information, Social Accountability
What is the public issue for which the commitment is made to address?: Low accountability on budget management within municipalities; What is the commitment?: The challenge is to allow communities to get informed, and associated in budget development, presentation of account and budget implementation. Most municipalities face transparency issues in presentation of account, claims for community participation in budget process. Global Objective : Increase transparency in presentation of account to communities Expected outcomes : • Communities of the 20 municipalities are better informed about budget implementation ; • Local governance and trust among elected representatives and local communities are improved ; • Dialogue and Questioning points contribute towards pacifying social environment and consolidating peace.; How will such commitment contribute towards addressing the public issue?: The implementation of this commitment will consist in supporting 20 municipalities with high conflict rates and which experienced pre and post electoral violence to arrange areas for community dialogue and questioning. Such areas will serve as frameworks where citizens can have direct dialogue with their elected representatives on local budget management. This will contribute towards ensuring transparency and accountability between elected representatives and local communities. This commitment builds on the assumption that culture and the promotion of dialogue, accountability and budget transparency between elected representatives and local communities reduce protests and conflicts between the two parties. This dialogue will be made in consultation with elected representatives, communities, civil society organization and government decentralized technical services.; Why is such commitment relevant in terms of PGO Values?: The commitment is relevant in PGO values, as it contributes to increase transparency, citizen participation and public accountability. Since the commitment sets a direct dialogue between communities and elected representatives on local budget management, it contributes to transparency, improvement in access to public information, and even the right of citizens to have access to budget information. By allowing citizens to participate in a direct dialogue with elected representatives on the life of the municipality in general, and on budget management especially, the commitment creates and increases opportunities or capacities of citizens to get informed and give their opinion on State goods management. As such, it increases citizen participation. When local elected representatives account for their budget management to communities through a dialogue and questioning framework, it helps to improve public accountability. This is the very purpose of this commitment.; Additional information: Links with other programs of the Civil Society : Association monde rural (AMR) ; Diakonia ; Association les mains unies du sahel (AMUS) ; Water aide ; Association Noddenooto (A2N) Links with the National Development Plan Links with other relevant national Plans of Action, such as the National Corruption Control Strategy; Important activities with deliverable outcomes that can be easily checked: Organizing mobilization and awareness raising tours on said among populations of the 20 municipalities: February 2018 - March 2018, Activity cost (in CFA F): 60 000 000; Training town council members on dialogue and accountability techniques: February 2018 - February 2018, Activity cost (in CFA F): 40 000 000; Putting in place one or more organizing and monitoring committee(s) for dialogue/decisions: February 2018 - February 2018, Activity cost (in CFA F): 15 000 000; Arranging an area for dialogue with compulsory attendance of the Mayor: March 2018 - April 2018, Activity cost (in CFA F): 15 000 000; Monitoring actions /decisions by the committee: April 2018 - May 2018, Activity cost (in CFA F): 5 000 000.
IRM Midterm Status Summary
13. Arranging areas for Community Dialogue and questioning on local budget management (EDIC)
Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:
“Arranging areas for Community Dialogue and questioning on local budget management (EDIC)”
The challenge is to allow communities to get informed, and associated in budget development, presentation of account and budget implementation. Most municipalities face transparency issues in presentation of account, claims for community participation in budget process.
Global Objective: Increase transparency in presentation of account to communities
- communities of the 20 municipalities are better informed about budget implementation;
- local governance and trust among elected representatives and local communities are improved;
- dialogue and questioning points contribute towards pacifying social environment and consolidating peace.
Organizing mobilization and awareness raising tours on said among populations of the 20 municipalities
Training town council members on dialogue and accountability techniques
Putting in place one or more organizing and monitoring committee(s) for dialogue/decisions
Arranging an area for dialogue with compulsory attendance of the Mayor
Monitoring actions /decisions by the committee
Start Date: February 2018 End Date: June 2019
Action Plan is available here
Context and Objectives
This commitment addresses the low accountability and transparency of local authorities in municipal budget management. To support decentralization, Burkina Faso approved Law No. 055-2004. This law sets out the legal framework regulating the nature, competences, and responsibilities of territorial communities in Burkina Faso. Article two emphasizes the right of territorial communities to govern themselves independently, with a view to ensuring local governance.  Article 11 protects territorial community members’ right to ask for information regarding the management of local affairs.  In addition, article two of Law No. 008-2013 states that citizens can oversee how public funds of the administration are being managed during public debates.
According to the law, civil servants responsible for budget management must abide by their obligations of integrity, and if not, sanctions shall be effectively applied.  Despite existing legislation, citizens struggle to hold local authorities accountable on budget management and other community affairs.
Additionally, elected authorities–mayors, counselors−often lack the experience and technical knowledge of concepts like decentralization, local development, or regulation of budget execution and management.  In some cases, this leads to legal violations.  Due to political pressure and corruption, local authorities modify budget items, which impacts implementation.  Local authorities seldom provide citizens with information on budget execution, do not involve local actors in budget development, and evaluations of budget execution are minimal.  The absence of legal instruments also prevents good governance and accountability. 
Regarding civil society, culture and participation are key areas to tackle. Individuals are unaware of their rights to information in addressing authorities, which leads to abuses by local representatives in disclosing data on budget expenditures.  Citizens have not properly internalized the concepts of participation and local governance. They do not participate in municipal sessions and rely on mayoral decisions.  The Rural World Association (AMR in French) launched the Areas for Community Dialogue and Questioning (EDIC in French) in 2008 with a view toward improving management of local public affairs by fostering decentralization.  According to the AMR’s Coordinator, misinformation about local management leads to frustration and causes permanent conflict in communities.  A report from AMR found that financial constraints are also a challenge for local communities to host EDICs. 
In this context, this commitment seeks to increase budget transparency and accountability in local communities through many activities. These activities might include training municipal councilmembers on budget accountability and dialogue, launching socialization campaigns to promote dialogue on budget implementation within the 20 communities, and setting up monitoring and evaluation committee(s) to track decisions adopted through dialogue between communities and authorities.
This commitment is relevant to the OGP value of civic participation in that it will create opportunities for civil society to discuss and meet with local representatives. The commitment claims it will also provide opportunities for greater budgetary transparency through a monitoring and evaluation mechanism on the implementation of recommendations arising from these dialogues. It is not clear, however, to what extent this commitment will allow citizens to hold officials accountable for budget mismanagement.
As written, most of the activities are specific enough to be objectively verified. Activities can be verified by assessing whether an area for dialogue with the mayor was created; whether monitoring and evaluation committee(s) were established; and whether mobilization campaigns were conducted in the 20 communities.
If implemented as written, the commitment will contribute to solving the problem, but not to the full extent. Therefore, the potential impact of this commitment is graded as minor. The commitment does not detail discussion topics for the awareness tours, which makes it hard to know if the commitment is targeting the right issues. Therefore, it is unclear whether this commitment will train civil society members on the concepts of decentralization, budget management, and execution. Nor is it clear whether these tours will raise awareness on citizens’ legal rights and responsibilities concerning budget participation.
The commitment does not support legal accountability mechanisms that civil society can use as a resource. Empowering citizens with tools to access justice and information regarding financial mismanagement, as noted in the 2016 Report on Transparency in Burkina Faso , remains key to encouraging financial accountability.
The commitment makes no reference to ensuring that committee recommendations will be enforced. As written, the commitment remains unclear whether the training sessions for council members aim to enhance technical skills on budget management, decentralization, and governance. The commitment provides no information on assessing the training sessions on transparency and accountability.
- This commitment could be continued and be a priority.
- Provide intensive training for civil society members on the concepts of decentralization, encouraging participation, budget management, legal rights on access to information, and addressing authorities. This will guide members to encourage better accountability practices from local representatives.
- Train local representatives and candidates on budget management, from a technical and legal point of view, drawing on findings from CODESRIA, the World Bank, CIFOEB, and the Government. Better education reduces opportunities for conflict. Consider increasing the technical skills required for individuals running as representatives.
- Include activities requiring local representatives to engage civil society members on the development and discussion of the budget.
- Ensure that local representatives can access budget sources, and legal mechanisms are enforced to prevent corruption and reduce the influence of local politics on budget management.