Products and Services
As an independent non-government organization, FITRA has responsibilities to discharge on two dimensions simultaneously. At one level, it has to empower civil society, while at the other it has to “enlighten” government on the need for policy change. If civil society is to be empowered to exercise social control over government and ensure that public policies, programs and budgets are of direct benefit to the general public, it needs to be provided with accurate information and sufficient know-how to do what needs to be done. As for government (the policy maker), it is currently dominated by administrative, procedural and bureaucratic processes and is largely operating behind closed doors. It therefore needs critical feedback and suggestions to encourage it to become more enlightened and to adopt genuinely pro-people approaches to formulation and discussion of public policy. Below is an outline of the products and services FITRA has been providing thus far to meet these needs:
FITRA has already helped to enhance community awareness and understanding of public budgeting and to increase the level of public participation in budget planning processes; it has also had an impact on public policy formulation within both the executive and legislative wings of government. Its products have thus far included books, policy and budget briefs, conferences, seminars, budget-related modules, software, websites and films. The number of these products has grown significantly over the years: up from 4 in 2007 to 21 in 2011.
FITRA has established a Budget Resource Center (BRC) or “budget knowledge center” to routinely meet the needs of both civil society and policy makers at both the national and regional level. The BRC provides several budget-related services: information on budgets, analyses of budgets, learning about budgeting and budget advocacy.
Following is more information on these various types of services provided by FITRA’s BRC:
a. Budget Information Center
This unit catalogues and documents data on planning and budgeting; the information it holds is reworked into more simple formats before publication to make it easier for ordinary people to understand.
b. Budget Analysis Center
Research/analysis is done on already reworked planning and budgeting data to identify inconsistencies between planning and budgeting and to assess the effectiveness of both budget spending and budget planning processes. Findings are then published in the form of critical commentary, policy briefs, budget briefs, position papers or press releases.
c. Budget Study Center
This unit has several purposes, including: development of educational curricula, provision of vehicles for training aspiring budget analysts and facilitation of training for tertiary students, community groups (ormas) & civil society organizations (CSOs), members of the House of Representatives (DPR), members of Regional Representative Councils (DPRDs) and local government officials.
d. Budget Advocacy Center
This activity is undertaken to achieve changes of public policy by way of, inter alia, public campaigns, public discussions, “road shows”, lobbying, technical assistance, and public hearings.