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Be Clear Bahamas: Bringing Fiscal Transparency and Budget Participation to Bahamas

Gearing up for the upcoming budget debate, The Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG) convened key players in government, civil society and the private sector at an event last month to debut ORG’s prototype Fiscal Transparency Portal and Fiscal Literacy Campaign: Be Clear Bahamas. The governance, economic development and education focused organization has partnered with The United States Embassy to tackle fiscal transparency and literacy and citizen participation in the budget process.

ORG is developing the Fiscal Transparency Portal to be an online platform for Bahamian citizens and businesses to get accurate up to date information about the national budget and fiscal policy, and as importantly, to learn about the budget process and participate in a national dialogue on how national funds are managed. The effort complements existing efforts by the Ministry of Finance to make the budget more accessible through its People’s Budget and reflects a growing trend of open and participatory budgeting worldwide.

“Transparency portals (FTPs) are being adopted and recognized as best standards for reinforcing fiscal transparency and accountability across the globe,” said ORG Communications Coordinator and FTP project manager, Chauntez Dillet-Wilson.

“Policy makers from South Africa to Mexico, states in the U.S. to cities in Finland have seen the benefits of FTPs for improving management of budget funds, increasing voter confidence in government institutions, and ensuring resources are distributed to areas and populations who need it most. Furthermore, studies from thought leaders such as the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) show that nations that implement FTPs and other open and transparent budgeting practices gain better access to international financial markets and lower borrowing costs. It is a move all sectors of Bahamian society can benefit from.”

The April event previewed the prototype portal, developed by Travis Miller of Thought and Method Creative Collective, and its accompanying public education campaign “Be Clear Bahamas”, developed by award-winning media and marketing firm Blue Orchid Advertising.  better access to international financial markets and lower borrowing costs. The Portal and Campaign are expected to launch this month to coincide with the impending budget debate.

See the event presentation and full photos from the event below:

Click icon for full presentation

Photos:



ORG Executive Director Matt Aubry welcomes attendees

Douglas Sun, U.S. Embassy, gives an official welcome

Members of Blue Orchid and The U.S. Embassy 

ORG Communications Coordinator Chauntez Dillet-Wilson and U.S. Embassy Economic Officer Erin Boyer

Erin Boyer walks Central Bank Governor John Rolle through the prototype of the Fiscal Transparency Portal

ORG Chairperson Robert Myers addresses attendees

 

Chauntez Dillet-Wilson explains the project's background and progress

Valentino Lloyd of Blue Orchid Advertising introduces the "Be Clear Bahamas" education campaign

Matthew Aubry takes questions from the crowd

 

Jeffrey Beckles, President of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, gives feedback on the project

Central Bank Governor John Rolle gives his feedback on the Portal


Tazmin Darling of Blue Orchid and Aneka Rolle-Beneby of 



International Monetary Fund's Representative to The Bahamas Fabian Bornhorst (left) mingles with local stakeholders

Attendees explore the Fiscal Transparency Portal



David Lee of Blue Orchid shares mock ups from the "Be Clear Bahamas" public education campaign


Minister of Finance K. Peter Turnquest lends his thoughts and support to the FTP Project

     
       

 



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