The Belize: Making Citizens Count program needs you to participate!
You are invited to participate in this community-based dialogue to propose clear options for action to solve the problem of citizen oversight and governmental accountability. This exchange will consider the types of institutional reforms needed to improve control over public resources, improve the quality of services provided by
institutions and guarantee the constitutional rights of all Belizeans.
The involvement of all Belizeans will result in the merging of citizens’ voices that will be expressed in proposals that should ultimately build Government-citizen trust, and strengthen access to information, citizen participation, public governance and accountability.
To participate, please click here
Save the date
Oct 26, 2023
Follow Up engagement forum
The way in which governments invest public resources should always be a matter of citizen concern. If Governments properly invest our resources, there is progress: we will have better education, health services and better paths for development.
Conversely, if governments are not transparent in the management of finances, don’t inform citizens about their decisions or the way they govern, nor report periodically to their constituents, there’s fertile ground for corruption. This also results in a lack of trust in institutions and it gets difficult to guarantee citizens’ rights, especially to the most vulnerable.
The 2023 Freedom in the World Report prepared by Freedom House points out that despite the fact that in Belize there’s regular change of power through elections and that most civil liberties are granted, there are concerns regarding Government corruption. The report indicates that in Belize, anti-corruption laws are poorly enforced and that there’s little political will to address this matter. The report also points out that there are issues in procurement processes and in financial statement disclosure by Government officials. Following are some statements of concerned Belizeans:
Let’s build a space for dialogue, discussion and action!
Make your voice count!
This is how you strengthen our democracy!
William, a teacher from Punta Gorda: I’m troubled by the high poverty levels and by how the pandemic disrupted the provision of essential health and education services and by a decrease in the protection of children and adolescents. The hike in unemployment and the resulting reduction in income is also worrying.
Rosa, a Belize City house wife: I’m worried by the poor levels of public safety and the increase in crime and violence in the city. I read a report on gangs and how every year many are killed or injured due to their clashes, drug trafficking, and by common crime.
Clifford, a Belmopan NGO employee: The most serious problem is the inability or lack of capacity the Government has to meet the needs of the people, particularly after natural disasters. Insufficient funds and inefficient resource allocation also affects nutritional levels, health, and education of younger and disenfranchised boys and girls.
Participate and search for realistic solutions and have your voice heard and make it count! You can't expect that the Government will do all the work!
Join the tourism, agriculture, industry, merchant sectors as well as the media, social and non-profit organizations, Government, trade unions, professional associations, ethnic groups, women’s associations, LGBTQI+ groups, political leaders, villagers and all of those concerned for a better future for the country.
The allocation of public resources is insufficient and often inefficiently invested, making the fulfilment of basic needs such as nutrition, education, health, water, sanitation, child protection and social protection not fully guaranteed for all.
1. Promote citizen participation
in Government affairs, including public oversight of Government management.
This option considers active citizen participation determining investment needs and priorities. This
would allow the Government to better inform itself
of the demands and needs of the people. Also, citizens will be informed of the scope and criteria used to target programs beneficiaries and how they operate. If citizens actively participate and know how programs are designed, funded, and executed to meet their health, education, and security needs, they could be aware of how public resources are spent and hold the Government accountable.
This option proposes to increase the
transparency and accountability of the Government. This could help social programs and policies to have more objective evaluations and consequently improve planning. It would make it possible to bring the benefits of the programs more efficiently to those in greater in need. Additionally, if the Government regularly reports on the way investment decisions have been made, citizens would better understand the reasons why money is often not enough, as well as the difficulties it faces in reaching out to all the people who need it.
This option proposes that the best guarantee for proper management and effective investment of public resources is the strengthening of the institutional control carried out by the Office of the Auditor General, considering that audit results help the Parliament to hold the Government accountable for the appropriate investment of the resources. resources into programs designed to meet the needs of Belizeans.
The Belize: Making Citizens Count program is an initiative implemented by the German Cooperation for Sustainable Development, through Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in partnership with the Supreme Audit Institution of Belize and the Latin American and Caribbean Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (OLACEFS), within the scope of the Regional Project Strengthening External Financial Control to Effectively Prevent and Combat Against Corruption (Anticorruption OLACEFS).
GIZ is Germany’s leading technical cooperation agency for sustainability and capacity development in a variety of areas including economic development, energy and the environment, and peace and security. They work with government bodies, civil society actors, and research institutions, fostering successful interaction between them.
OLACEFS is an international, autonomous, independent, apolitical organization that conducts scientific investigation, training, technical advice, assistance and coordination for the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) of Latin America and the Caribbean.
In the framework of the regional project Anticorruption OLACEFS, the Making Citizens Count program provides technical support to the SAI of Belize in the design and implementation of a sustainable citizen dialogue strategy with stakeholders. This initiative aims to promote institutional reforms and contribute to the improvement of the oversight and corruption control in Belize.