Full Circle Tax Watch for Marginalised Populations
This project uses a simple but highly effective method to empower people from marginalized communities in Ghana, Nigeria, and Mali with the skills to improve accountability around fiscal issues, most especially taxes and budgeting as a means to improve access to social services, health and education for marginalized communities.
Simply put the project uses a hybrid model where marginalised community experts train the fiscal and budget experts on human rights issues and challenges that they face. Then the tax and budget experts train the marginalised community experts on tax and budget monitoring work. The exchange of information creates an equal power dynamic. The process has research outputs which guide the conversations and workshops. The hybridization of the work allows for unusual and powerful results. Please read our Implementation Phase Report below for more information.
As a result of AI advocacy at the CCM Hub in past years, all Country Coordinating Mechanisms (influential decision-making bodies at national level that determine funding for HIV, TB and Malaria) are now obliged to use 15% of their budgets for community engagement. This is now Global Fund policy for all CCMs.
Significantly, this project is also watchdogging the implementation of that 15% budget allocation to community engagement that CCMs have to do. This is a way to follow up on the implementation of that policy at country level. We hope to expand this work further in the future.
- In the opinions of stakeholders, how inclusive of marginalised people are the existing budget monitoring initiatives in Nigeria, and which groups are more included and which more excluded? And why?
- In the opinions of the stakeholders, what barriers result in the exclusion of marginalised groups from existing budget monitoring initiatives? And what is needed to remove those barriers?
- The Global Fund has instructed that 15% of CCM budgets must go to community consultation. Do the Nigerian, Ghanaian and Malian CCM budgets fulfil this criteria? What percentage is allocated, and what percentage has been used in the 2 years since this ruling came into force. Which communities have been consulted? And how? Why have some been included and not others? What barriers exist? And what is needed to remove these barriers?
- How do the partners at country level (budget monitoring experts and key population (KP) experts) think marginalised people can be successfully included in fiscal and budget monitoring measures to increase accountability? What works? And what will not succeed in building inclusion? And why?
Ghana, Nigeria and Mali.
Long term objective (5 years)
Greater accountability to marginalized communities in tax and budget policy and practices in Ghana, Nigeria, and Mali.
Medium-term objective (2 years)
The greater inclusion of marginalized communities in tax and budget policy and practices monitoring dialogues and initiatives in Ghana, Nigeria, and Mali.
- Conduct research (participatory action research) on two areas: a) current fiscal (both taxation and budget) policy and practice monitoring initiatives in Ghana, Nigeria, and Mali through the lens of the marginalized groups to highlight inclusive and exclusive policies and practices and b) to research the current budget expenditure on marginalized communities by Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCM), including the Global Fund policy that 15% of CCM budgets should go to community engagement.
- Develop advocacy briefs based on research findings and recommendations and then pre-test these materials.
- Conduct face to face advocacy meetings, using briefs, with in-country stakeholders on tax and budgeting (FIRS, SIRS, National Tax Justice Network)
- Create knowledge sharing workshops to improve knowledge of stakeholders working in existing budget monitoring initiatives, to improve their inclusion of marginalised communities in their projects. And for marginalized people to learn about tax and budget policy and practices at national, provincial and municipal levels.
- Host a Linking and Learning Event: in Mali, with participants from Ghana and Nigeria at which all three countries get to discuss lessons learnt (successes and failures), strategies, tactics and skills from each other.
- Advocacy Campaign: Run a seven-month advocacy campaign in each country, built on the knowledge gained through the research, advocacy briefs, knowledge sharing, and link and learn events.
- Communications: Run a supporting communications campaign to create awareness of the project, its scope, research, recommendations and as part of a broader advocacy agenda.
- Participatory Action Research to conduct the research components of the project.
- Knowledge exchanges: Mutual sharing of knowledge between experts in particular fields (tax and budget people with marginalized people and human rights); and between the project partners in each country (Ghana-Mali-Nigeria): these exchanges prevent a teacher: learner dynamic and instead create a mutual growth dynamic.
(i) Improved institutional support for inclusion of marginalised people to proactively engage with tax policy reforms and budget monitoring.
(ii) Improved understanding of budget and fiscal monitoring, and budget allocation processes by organisations addressing the health and education needs of marginalised populations in project countries.
(iii) Expanded network of engagement of marginalised and key populations with experts and collaborating partners for sustained human rights advocacy efforts.
(iv) Improve standard of living of the marginalised populations through meaningful engagements and demand for rights from political leaders.
The Kids & Teens Resource Centre (K&TRC): For this project K&TRC is the lead organisation for the consortium. K&TRC is a registered non-governmental organisation in Nigeria established in December 2002 to advance, promote and support efforts of government and all other stakeholders involved in the development of children and young people. K&TRC has been working with children and young people for the past 14 years and have made remarkable impacts in the lives of young people in communities through service provision, information sharing, capacity development, mentoring and participatory community development.
ACCOUNTABILITY INTERNATIONAL, South Africa: Accountability International has a 12 year long history working in partnerships and collaborating with dozens if not hundreds of partners. As an organisation they have worked to popularise accountability, been a leader in participatory action research for human rights in Africa and as a think-tank are steeped in learning and experimenting. AI brings expertise in Participatory Action Research, a broad spectrum of human rights knowledge and experience and a strong network of marginalised people.
ARCAD SANTE PLUS: Formerly known as ARCAD-SIDA Mali, the Association for Community Resilience towards Access to Development and Health PLUS (ARCAD Santé PLUS) is a Malian community-based organisation created in 1994. ARCAD Santé PLUS is a recognized public-interest organisation since 2016 and has been a key partner of the State of Mali since 2000 in the implementation of the Malian initiative for access to antiretroviral treatments (ARV) and in the decentralisation of HIV services across the country.
PEER REVIEW FORUM in Nigeria: The Peer Review Forum is an organisation working towards ensuring accountability of all stakeholders responding to the HIV epidemic in Nigeria towards the goal of elimination of AIDS in Nigeria by 2030. It was inaugurated in 2016 with the institution of a platform to bring together all stakeholders to discuss the status of the HIV response annually. As a watchdog for the Nigeria HIV response, its mission is to amplify the diverse voices of communities, by ensuring that the voices inform and drive the HIV programmes in Nigeria.
SOCIETY FOR AIDS IN AFRICA in Ghana: Founded in 1989, the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA) is a non-government, non-profit making, civic and community oriented organisation with the overall goal of mitigating the impact of HIV and AIDS, TB as well as Malaria in the African continent, through various activities. SAA envisions an African continent free of AIDS, TB, Malaria and emerging infections, where the communities are empowered, with no stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, key populations and their families and where there is social justice, and equity to accessing treatment, care and support.
The research reports will be coming out in 2022.