A strengthened parliament that can exercise good oversight of the executive branch is an important part of Myanmar’s transition to a civilian-led democracy. FCG Sweden recently contributed to strengthening the budget oversight role of the Union Parliament in Myanmar through the provision of an on-demand budget review helpdesk for MPs and parliamentary staff. Through this helpdesk, Myanmar MPs could call on international and national public finance experts to help analyse and address different budget policy issues.
The helpdesk, which was initiated as part of the Support Hluttaw Work on Effective Budget Oversight (SHWEBO) project implemented by International IDEA, provided budget analysis to MPs on a wide range of policy issues- including international experience of Hydropower PPP projects, fiscal and monetary responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, inter-governmental distribution of mining revenues, gender budgeting and the implications of different types of economic support to domestic workers.
To implement the helpdesk FCG Sweden partnered with Stockholm Economics, a network of leading Nordic public finance experts. This collaboration meant that experience and good practice from similar Swedish institutions could be shared with Myanmar counterparts. An easy-to-use macroeconomic-budget analysis tool was also developed, which will make it easier in the future for the Parliament to analyse the budgetary effects of different macroeconomic scenarios.