CEGAA is participating in a budget transparency initiative called Vulekamali(vulekamali.gov.za), an initiative of the National Treasury and IMALI YETHU - a budget coalition of civil society organisations with interest in budget policy matters. Vulekamali is an online budget data portal allowing scrutiny of national, provincial and local government budget documents by interested parties.
The Vulekamali stakeholders are hosting a series of provincial events to promote the portal and facilitate analyses and debate among government and civil society stakeholders on Open Budgets for Health and Food Security.
On 26 November 2018 the KwaZulu-Natal Treasury hosted a multi-stakeholder briefing in Pietermaritzburg where stakeholders looked at the portal and practiced using it. It was found to be an invaluable resource for people interested in budget matters, whether in the community or inside government.
The Vulekamali Online Budget Data Portal DataQuest and Hackathon events took place in Durban on the 27th and 28th November 2018.
The Budget Data Quest aimed to bring together a diverse audience to explore their budget analysis and advocacy needs. Participants reflected on the national and provincial budget information available on vulekamali.gov.za to determine what information is of interest to them, and how it should be presented to be of most value.
The Budget Hackathon brought together participants with a wide array of skills and problem solving abilities, with the ultimate goal of exploring solutions to budget analysis and advocacy problems. Participants were encouraged to work in teams to determine and solve these problems, which emanated from the Dataquest, and fed into the next day's Hackathon.
The Budget Hackathon attracted participants with technical and non technical expertise as well as a wide range of skills, including: budget analysis, budget advocacy, fiscal understanding, data wrangling, programming, journalism, economists to name but a few. The focused, problem-solving approach of a hackathon complemented the exploratory discussions in the Data Quest.
Civil society organisations, community interest groups, individuals, government officials, journalists and parliamentarians are encouraged to visit the Vulekamali portal for their budget data needs.
Any questions can be addressed to Zukiswa Kota (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Lead Coordinator of Imali Yethu coalition.