Pre-budget consultation held between children and the Ministry of Finance
To promote good governance, one of the priorities for Save the Children is to ensure that the government listens to children’s views and prioritises child rights in public decisions, including resource decisions. Towards this end we have advocated for the last several years, pushing the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Bangladesh to consult children before finalizing the national budget. Following our advocacy, first pre-budget consultation with children occurred in 2017. This year, on 23rd May, another consultation with children was organized to know about their priorities for the upcoming national budget (2018-19).
The National Children’s Task Force (NCTF), a child-led organisation we support, took the lead and collected budget recommendations of 4800 children from all 64 districts of the country to ensure broader participation. These recommendations were further scrutinised by the children and a list of priority suggestions were presented before the Secretary, Ministry of Finance.
The children, among other things, demanded disable-friendly schools and hospitals, greater coverage of education stipend programs targeting the poor and the disadvantaged, child specialists in the community clinics, ICT project to ensure their online safety, safe space for girls to play among others.
“This is appreciable to see that children make recommendations on budget and place their demand. The government will try to accommodate their recommendations while formulating the national budget,” said the Secretary, Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury in the event.
The children also shared the suggestions to the wider audience on 24th May by holding a press conference in Dhaka.