Azerbaijan: National Budget Group U.S. Study Tour

The National Budget Group (NBG) of Azerbaijan, a longstanding RWI partner, is an alliance of civil society experts on budget transparency working to combine and coordinate the resources of member organizations to address the most pressing challenges to budgetary transparency in Azerbaijan.

With additional support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this RWI capacity-building project sponsored a U.S. study tour for NBG members in 2006 to learn about domestic budget processes and civil society participation in national budgeting. RWI developed the agenda to focus on budgeting at the government and non-governmental levels and to furnish participants with information on the preparation and implementation of budgets. Other areas of focus included training in budget advocacy and monitoring techniques; networking with institutions for future collaboration and exchange opportunities; and raising awareness of the Azerbaijan's NBG through publicity and domestic outreach. RWI plans to offer similar international exchange and training programs for other coalitions.

This project directly supported RWI's goals of building the capacity of its regional partners. RWI's previous support for the NBG indirectly facilitated the creation of the coalition and other local initiatives geared towards increasing public awareness of local budgetary processes in Azerbaijan. RWI saw NBG's study tour as the next logical step to reinforce our historical commitment to our local partners and ensuring sustainable outcomes to our project funding. Providing logistical and financial support to similar exchanges is an important goal for RWI, as such sharing of information and experience is the main mechanism for exercising our role of facilitating technical assistance and information exchange among our partners.

For more information on the activities of the National Budget Group of Azerbaijan, please see www.nbg.az/.