Malaysia is classified by the World Bank as an upper middle economy. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) placed Malaysia as 63rd of 177 countries in human development while Malaysia’s Gender Gap Index recorded an improvement in gender inequality from 0.34 in 1980 to 0.25 in 2009.1 However, the index for empowerment of women showed high inequality of 0.578. As Malaysia strives to become an Upper Income Country, the government felt it was necessary to develop more equitably and the concerns of women and gender addressed. This emphasis was in time as the Government of Malaysia (GOM) embarked on reforming its financial system from modified budgeting system (MBS) to Outcome-based Budgeting (OBB), which provided a good opportunity to revisit the budget and capture gender into the planning and budgeting processes.
Mr. Harjeet Singh, Secretary General of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (MWFCD), requested the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-sponsored Asia-Pacific Community of Practice on Managing for Development Results (APCoP) assistance in engendering the budget and making it results-based. With support from the ADB Gender and Development Cooperation Fund, APCoP, the Gender CoP, and the GOM, specifically MWFCD and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) jointly conducted a capacity building initiative in Malaysia on mainstreaming gender in planning and budgeting systems using results-based approaches.
Under the APCoP’s assistance, the following activities were undertaken:
(i) Scoping exercise by international gender specialist Ms. Benita Sharma in October 2012 that identified with the pilot ministries gender issues that needed to be addressed and conducted a needs assessment of officials so that policies are implemented in a gender responsive manner.
(ii) First workshop in November 2012 on “Promoting Women’s Empowerment through Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) and Planning in Public Sector Management” in Putrajaya, Malaysia that introduced the results-based public sector management (RBPSM) framework and gender and GRB concepts; identified the entry points for GRB in OBB; and defined the way forward for GRB.
(iii) Second workshop in January 2013 that developed the strategies on enhancing GRB in public sector management (PSM) and OBB in Malaysia, engendered the Treasury Call Circular (TCC), developed gender methodology and checklists for selected ministries, and provided capacity building on GRB for Economic Planning Unit officials.
(iv) Third and last workshop in February 2013 that assessed the application of GRB in budget preparation and conducted needs assessment of pilot ministries for the development of a gender toolkit.
The Malaysia experience on GRB mainstreaming using results-based approaches through OBB was distilled into a Knowledge Product to be disseminated to APCoP members and gender practitioners as good practice. The GOM, in a parallel effort, likewise produced a GRB toolkit that ministries will use in preparing their budgets. The GRB toolkit has now been finalized and is being field tested in pilot ministries.
This Knowledge Product is organized into the following sections:
(i) Introduction discusses the initiatives undertaken by the GOM with support from APCoP in engendering the budget to achieve equitable growth. This focuses on the background of ADB capacity building activities undertaken with GOM officials through workshops on GRB, series of consultations with officials from six pilot ministries, developing a knowledge product, and preparation of the GRB Toolkit.
(ii) Chapter 1. Gender Situation in Malaysia which discusses the progress of Malaysia’s gender policies, accomplishments, and current initiatives of the government on gender.
(iii) Chapter 2. Results-based Public Sector Management and Gender discusses the importance of RBPSM as a tool to achieve development outcomes, and incorporating the gender dimensions in Malaysia’s PSM to achieve equitable growth.
(iv) Chapter 3. GRB discusses the principles, tools, and application of GRB in government programs.
(v) Chapter 4. OBB in Malaysia discusses OBB as the new budgeting system replacing the modified budget systems, the GRB entry points within OBB, and international experiences on OBB.
(vi) Chapter 5. International Experiences on GRB presents India’s and Bangladesh’s experiences on GRB.
(vii) Chapter 6. Conclusions, Lessons Learned, and Way Forward includes important points to consider in establishing GRB identified by the participants, lessons learned in the course of implementing this assistance, and the way forward for the GOM on gender mainstreaming in PSM.
- Asia Pacific Cop
- Asia Pacific Cop