FULL CIRCLE TAX WATCH FOR MARGINALIZED POPULATIONS – KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE WORKSHOP

Group photograph of participants and facilitators during the Knowledge Exchange Workshop

FULL CIRCLE TAX WATCH FOR MARGINALIZED POPULATIONS – KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE WORKSHOP

The Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA) organizers of the International Conference on AIDS and STI’s in Africa (ICASA), as a member of the Consortium consisting of the Peer Review Forum Nigeria, Kids & Teens Resource Centre, ARCAD SANTE Mali and Accountability International, are jointly embarked on a project titled Full Circle Tax Watch for Marginalized Populations sponsored by VOICE (UK).

This project aimed to empower young persons, marginalized persons and persons living with disabilities (marginalized communities) in Ghana, Nigeria, and Mali with the skills to improve accountability around fiscal issues, most especially taxes and budgeting as a means to improve access to social services, health and education for marginalized communities. The Pilot phase of the projected was successfully completed in Nigeria with the Implementation phase took place in Ghana, Mali and Nigeria.

The Implementation phase rose awareness on two areas:

  1. A) Current fiscal (both taxation and budget) policy and practice monitoring initiatives in Ghana, Nigeria, and Mali through the lens of the marginalized groups to highlight inclusive and exclusive policies and practices.
  2. B) To research the current budget expenditure on marginalized communities by Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCM), including the Global Fund policy that 15% of CCM budgets should go to community engagement for marginalized populations.

One of the aims of this project was to improve knowledge of stakeholders working in existing budget monitoring initiatives, to improve their inclusion of youth and people with disabilities in their projects and for marginalized people to learn about tax and budget policy and practices at national, and municipal and regional levels.

In line with the above, the Society for AIDS in Africa in partnership with local civil society organisations in Ghana completed the implementation of this project with 10 key marginalised groups as thus:

  1. Persons living with disability
  2. Female sex workers
  3. Persons living with albinism
  4. Persons living with HIV
  5. MSM
  6. Transgender
  7. Persons living with hearing loss
  8. Young people
  9. Injecting drug users
  10. `LGBTIQ

The research training workshop (Phase 1) which took place from 5th – 8th July 2021 and field research workshop (Implementation Phase) was concluded from 21st -27th February 2022 leading to the final phase of the project: The Knowledge Exchange workshop that was concluded from 30th – 31st August 2022

Objectives of the Knowledge Exchange Workshop.

  1. Improve institutional support for inclusion of marginalised groups to proactively engage with tax policy reforms and budget monitoring
  2. Improve understanding of budget and fiscal monitoring, pro poor tax policy, efficient tax collection and budget allocation by organisations addressing the health and educational needs of marginalised populations.
  3. Expand network of engagement of marginalised and key populations with experts and collaborating partners for sustained human rights advocacy efforts.
  4. Improve standard of living of the marginalised populations through meaningful engagements and demand for rights from political leaders.
Group photograph of participants and facilitators during the Knowledge Exchange Workshop
Group photograph of participants and facilitators during the Knowledge Exchange Workshop