The purpose of the PEFA supplementary assessment of gender responsive budgeting (GRB) is to collect information on the extent to which gender is mainstreamed in Tonga’s public financial management (PFM) system and establish a baseline for future assessments. Tonga has taken initial steps in mainstreaming gender, so the assessment results are expected to facilitate the measurement of progress.
The findings are also envisaged to serve as an input to the Government’s existing efforts to mainstream gender anchored by the Women Affairs Division (WAD) – a government agency within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, responsible for coordinating, monitoring, and providing advisory service to the development of gender and gender equality in Tonga. The Division issued a handbook on mainstreaming gender earlier this year with step-by-step guidance, including assessing gender impacts of budget proposals; and produced a document on gender statistics in Tonga that can serve as an input to line ministries in preparing their annual corporate plans. These assessment findings will help determine the baseline and where further efforts are required.
This report was compiled using the draft PEFA GRB framework. The PEFA GRB assessment was led by the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Tonga and was funded by the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center (PFTAC). The assessment team was led by Celeste Kubasta, and included Richard Neves and Kris Kauffmannn (PFTAC), Martin Bowen and Urška Zrinski (PEFA Secretariat), and Kelera Kolivuso Ravono (Ministry of Economy, Fiji). Quality assurance has been applied in accordance with the PEFA Secretariat guidelines. Five reviewers have been nominated: Ministry of Finance, PEFA Secretariat, IMF Fiscal Affairs Division, World Bank, and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Kingdom of Tonga has not formally adopted gender responsive budgeting; however, there is commitment to advancing gender equality and development at the national, regional, and international levels. Tonga aware that, for gender policies to be effective, and men and women to benefit equitably, they must commit the necessary resources for initiatives to be implemented. This is referenced clearly in the National Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality Tonga (NWEGET) policy and its Strategic Plan of Action 2019-2025.