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Using Results from the Budget-Analysis to link the financial tracking with planning and resource mobilization: Tanzania and Malawi

  |   SUN in Practice

A lead-in sentence is needed:
Public Expenditure Review in Tanzania
The Government of Tanzania conducted a Public Expenditure Review (PER) of Nutrition during 2013 to assess the extent of fiscal discipline, allocative efficiency and operational efficiency in the nutrition sector.
The following nutrition interventions areas were identified for revision: micro-nutrient supplementation (e.g., vitamin A, iron, zinc); food fortification with micronutrients (e.g., iodine, vitamin A, iron); breastfeeding and complementary feeding; treatment of severe or acute malnutrition; targeted food aid; nutrition care and support for those with HIV/AIDS; nutrition education / behaviour change regarding nutrition; growth monitoring and promotion; nutrition for pregnant women; and nutrition surveys and surveillance.

  • Findings indicated inadequate spending on nutrition interventions as well as delays in the disbursement of funds to these interventions. The study also identified differences between budgeted and released funds and experienced difficulties distilling data from the various sources. Nutrition was also found to be given relatively low priority at the stage of budget planning, and the report concluded that capacity-building was required specifically in the area of planning and budgeting for nutrition. The findings emphasised the inter-sectoral linkages of nutrition programmes and the need for collaboration across different sectors and different levels of government. Most importantly, results showed that public spending on nutrition interventions was not targeted at the most vulnerable groups, including children under two and pregnant women.

Using a simplified Public Expenditure Review in Malawi
During 2013-2014, development partners in Malawi estimated financial resources spent on nutrition in 2010–12 and tried to get an overview of allocated or committed resources to nutrition for 2013–14. This analysis contained elements of a public expenditure review inasmuch as it reviewed monies spent over the last three years and complemented this overview with a forward-looking analysis of commitments.
 
The absence of a national nutrition strategy supported by a legislative framework (National Nutrition Act) makes it hard to determine the government’s priorities. The ultimate purpose of the simplified PER was to improve nutrition financing and to portray accountability towards resource mobilisation for programmes and projects.
 
The Government of Malawi is legislating for greater transparency through the proposed Access to Information bill, which was passed into law in November 2015.

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