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Managing COVID Funds in The Gambia Communications toolkit

The COVID crisis has resulted in governments committing more than $14 trillion in emergency spending. IBP conducted a rapid assessment of 120 countries' performance on transparency, oversight and public participation in COVID relief packages. On May 24, we published our findings and recommendations for how governments can advance open budget reforms that ensure assistance reaches those who need it most and helps build back better.

Accountability of COVID spending in The Gambia

Country Datasheet Score

Join the conversation

Join people around the world in discussing this latest assessment, national results, and examples of good practices on social media. We have provided below some suggested social media posts, but please feel free to adapt them to your own context.

HASHTAGS: #OpenBudgets, #Account4COVID

WEBSITE: http://www.internationalbudget.org/covid

IBP HANDLES: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram

Sample posts on The Gambia

POST 1 and GRAPHIC 1

The #Gambia’s government provided minimal transparency, minimal opportunities for public participation, and limited oversight in its #COVID fiscal policies: https://internationalbudget.org/covid #OpenBudgets #Account4COVID

POST 2

The #Gambia’s legislature played an important role in approving some emergency measures and established a special COVID-19 Finance and Procurement committee, but there was little opportunity for public input in deliberations. https://internationalbudget.org/covid #OpenBudgets #Account4COVID

POST 3

Lack of transparency on loans & grants used to finance COVID stimulus packages and on emergency procurement procedures hampered efforts to hold The #Gambia’s govt accountable on their crisis response. https://internationalbudget.org/covid #OpenBudgets #Account4COVID

POST 4

#Gambia’s govt should act NOW to strengthen #accountability in the ongoing response to the COVID crisis by empowering @NAOGambia to conduct expedited audits on emergency spending & ensuring audit findings are quickly acted upon. https://internationalbudget.org/covid #OpenBudgets #Account4COVID

Other content and suggested posts

IBP's research in 120 countries shows govt fiscal policy responses to the COVID crisis are undermining #accountability—by bypassing legislatures, relaxing procurement procedures & not seeking public input. View your country's scorecard at www.internationalbudget.org/covid #OpenBudgets

New @OpenBudgets research finds that only 4 countries out of 120—Australia, Norway, Peru & Philippines—allowed for adequate levels of accountability in COVID fiscal policies. How open & accountable has your govt been in their COVID response? www.internationalbudget.org/covid #Account4COVID

IBP's research in 120 countries found that more than 2/3 of govts failed to provide enough info in COVID relief packages, and almost half bypassed legislatures to introduce them. How open & accountable has your govt been? https://internationalbudget.org/covid #OpenBudgets #Account4COVID

The COVID crisis has had a disproportionate impact on women and girls, but only 22 countries published info on COVID relief policies targeted towards women. www.internationalbudget.org/covid #OpenBudgets #Account4COVID

If we are serious about equity and justice, we must get serious about #accountability. How open & accountable has your govt been in their COVID response? https://internationalbudget.org/covid #OpenBudgets #Account4COVID

When govts introduce COVID fiscal policy responses through executive actions, they sidestep the normal process and prevent public debate. Urgency is no excuse for a lack of transparency & accountability. www.internationalbudget.org/covid #OpenBudgets #Account4COVID

In only about 25% of countries were govt auditors able to publish audit reports before the end of 2020. Check your country’s COVID #accountability scorecard at https://internationalbudget.org/covid #OpenBudgets #Account4COVID

Even during terrible crises, #accountability can work if everyone does their part in an open & collaborative way. @OpenBudgets documented numerous good practices among govt & accountability institutions in their COVID responses: www.internationalbudget.org/covid #OpenBudgets #Account4COVID

Key Messages

To build back better, governments should facilitate public debate and oversight. When officials are transparent and inclusive—and make space for historically marginalized voices to be heard—they ensure scarce resources are used wisely. When speed and accountability are pursued together, the public gets better services, which builds confidence that government can deliver. Public trust is critical to recover and renew our societies after COVID.

The international community must also make clear that governments should not just “keep the receipts,” as the IMF urged at the start of the crisis, but publish openly what they spend and what impact it is having. Donors should urge and support country-led efforts to publish more information about what they are spending and its impacts, and to facilitate oversight by legislatures, auditors and citizens.

COVID was an unprecedented shock. This was an undoubtedly difficult emergency for governments to manage. It required swift action, but too many are using the excuse of urgency to not be as transparent, accountable, or inclusive as they could be.

The volume of funds channeled for COVID-19 relief laid bare weaknesses in accountability we have seen consistently in the Open Budget Survey.

When a crisis hits, no one has all the answers. It takes all hands-on-deck to have an effective response and a resilient recovery. When citizens have a say, governments can fill informational gaps and make better decisions to ensure relief reaches those who need it most. When auditors and legislators have the independence and mandate to monitor implementation, governments can course-correct if assistance is not meeting its targets.

Make no mistake, this crisis is not over, and we must keep mobilizing resources for the global COVID response, including filling the funding gap for COVAX to ensure everyone has equitable access to vaccines. But if we are serious about equity and justice, we must simultaneously get serious about accountability. This is about ensuring assistance reaches those who need it most. When governments do not deliver as promised, underserved communities bear the brunt.