Belgrade, 21 December – UN Women with the support of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), launched an e-learning platform for gender responsive budgeting at local level, as a tool to improve gender equality.

According to Milana Rikanović, Head of the UN Women Office in Serbia, the Covid-19 pandemic crisis has not only transformed the way we live and work, but also widened existing gender inequalities.

“Gender responsive budgeting (GRB) is a key tool designed to help us achieve gender equality by taking into consideration the needs of everyone, women and men, girls and boys. This is the reason why we launched this e-learning platform, primarily to educate administrative staff at local government level to apply GRB as a tool to improve the quality of the everyday lives of Serbia’s citizens and eradicate inequalities, but it will also be made available to other interested parties,” stated Rikanović.

This e-platform, called “People in center of budget” (Ljudi u centru budžeta – ROB (peoplecenteredbudget.com)), is intended to provide basic knowledge and skills in the GRB area to all interested citizens, as well as expert professionals who directly use GRB in their work at local level. The training is divided into four separate thematic modules, with several interactive learning sessions per module.

“Budget decisions are decisions about everyday lives of people – reconstruction of a kindergarten, personal assistance to persons in need or a subsidy to local businesses. Through interactive sessions and examples, “People in center of budget” platform will support civil servants in better understanding, how budgetary decisions effect gender equality”, said Markus Maier, project leader from GIZ.

The Ministry of Finance, the Coordination Body for Gender Equality, and the AP Vojvodina Secretariat for Finance, with the support of the UN Women Office in Serbia, have been implementing GRB since 2015. As a result, Serbia has been recognized as a European good practice example in the GRB area, as one of the two countries outside the EU that have introduced GRB in the Budget System Law. In the Budget of the Republic of Serbia for 2020, 66 institutions at national and provincial level have defined gender responsive budget programmes and objectives in response to the diverse needs of certain groups in society.

This platform was developed by UN Women under the German-Serbian Development Cooperation project – Social Services for Vulnerable Groups, implemented by GIZ.