This $2.1 million WBG-executed technical assistance program aims to support the implementation of results-based budgeting as a means to increase the poverty and equity focus of poverty spending in Zimbabwe. It comprises three subcomponents on program budgeting and specific technical assistance to the Ministries of Health and Child Care, and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
The technical assistance to these line ministries is expected to help address some of the weaknesses in achieving outcomes as by the program budgeting, and to support the formulation of robust expenditure policy decisions within those sectors. The project also supports some demand-side accountability with the Parliament.
The program builds on analytical work supported by the UK Department of International Development, the USAID Strategic Economic Research and Analysis project, the African Development Bank, and the Health Innovation Results Trust Fund. It will also be informed by the 2015 World Bank Health Public Expenditure Review as well as a new Public Expenditure Review focused on education, which is under preparation now.
The main counterparts are the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. Within the WBG, this program is supported by the Macro-Fiscal Management, Health, Nutrition & Population, and Education global practices.
The $0.72 million technical assistance program aims to build capacity for and support the preparation of program budgets for all line ministries. During a series of intensive workshops in July, August and September 2015, programs were designed and output indicators were defined.
The first three pilot ministries - Primary & Secondary Education, Health & Child Care and Public Service, Labor & Social Welfare -submitted both the traditional and program budget format to Parliament for the first time as part of the 2016 national budget presentation. A workshop was also delivered to members of Parliament on how program budgeting would affect Parliamentary oversight of the budget process.
Work has already started with the remaining six ministries: Youth, Indigenization & Economic Empowerment, Women Affairs, Gender & Community Development, Agriculture, Mechanization & Irrigation Development, Local Government, Public Works & National Housing; Justice, Legal & Parliamentary Affairs, and Higher & Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.
These programs will be reviewed in January/February 2016. Thereafter, the budget will be mapped to these programs. Consistent with the project objectives, the 2017 budget will be prepared in both the traditional and program budget format for the first nine ministries.
Health Sector TA
This $0.67 million technical assistance program seeks to improve evidence-based planning and integration of empirical measurement for the health sector after 2015. This specialized technical support to the government will enable a generation of robust evidence to inform policy, planning and management decision making, and the development of key health sector strategy and policy documents.
The work envisages technical assistance in four interrelated areas: National Health Accounts (NHA) 2015 and NHA institutionalization, national health financing policy, development of the National Health Strategy for 2016-2020, including a framework for Universal Health Coverage and the design of a health insurance pilot for Harare.
Education Sector TA
This $0.69 million technical assistance program will provide support to the government’s efforts to improve education outcomes and spending efficiency. The intended outcomes are to increase knowledge, strengthen capacity, and update practices in specific policy areas aimed to address gaps in education outcomes.
The program comprises three subcomponents on Teacher Development and Management, Student Assessment and ICTs in Education. These areas were developed following extensive discussion with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. This work is benefiting from the ongoing preparation by the WBG of an Education Sector Public Expenditure Review. It is expected that this work will also lay the basis for a future stronger engagement for WBG support of Zimbabwe’s education system, following re-engagement.