Working group proposal:
Child-oriented budgeting to be piloted in the 2022 Budget
A working group examined how child-oriented budgeting and related expertise should be developed across government terms. The aim is to promote the realisation of children's rights.
In its Government Programme, the Government has pledged to assess the impact of its decisions on children, improve child-oriented budgeting, strengthen knowledge about child wellbeing and foster the inclusion of children and young people. At the end of 2020, the Prime Minister's Office appointed a working group as part of the national strategy for children to examine how child-oriented budgeting and related expertise should be developed across government terms.
Child-oriented budgeting means that the central government budget is examined from the perspective of the rights of the child. It involves monitoring budget expenditure and revenue allocated to children and assessing the impact of budgetary decisions on children.
"We need the perspective of children in the management of public finances. We need to see across boundaries between administrative branches and administrative levels, because a good life for children is an overall package. This is why child-oriented budgeting models must be taken into account in knowledge management in both central government and in the forthcoming wellbeing services counties and from there across to municipalities. The Ministry of Finance will launch this work immediately. At the same time, I would like to note that the inclusion of children and young people is part of budgetary impact assessment at every level. Decision-makers must interact with children and young people so that we can learn more about how investments affect their everyday lives," says Minister Annika Saarikko.
According to the Committee on the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, children's rights should be taken into account at all stages of the budgetary process. However, child-oriented budgeting has so far been modest in Finland.
“Examining the wellbeing of children and young people on the basis of phenomena provides an opportunity to supplement the knowledge base in budgeting. To do so, it is necessary to develop analysis across administrative boundaries with a view to making it easier to identify and make visible whole elements. However, to implement child-oriented budgeting successfully, careful planning and step-by-step progress is required to get started,” says Sami Yläoutinen, Chair of the Working Group, Director-General of the Budget Department at the Ministry of Finance.
The analysis of budgeting in terms of child age groups allows child-related expenditure items to become visible as a whole in budgeting. It can also be used to highlight and solve socially difficult problems affecting children in society.
"Child-oriented budgeting allows us to better identify expenditure items allocated to children. This, in turn, makes it possible to secure services that meet the needs of children and families today and in the future," says Antti Kurvinen, Minister of Science and Culture, Chair of the Ministerial Working Group on Child and Youth Policy.
The work being carried out by the working group on child-oriented budgeting is part of the implementation phase of the National Child Strategy. The working group has made proposals on how child-oriented budgeting could support the implementation of the National Child Strategy.
The committee proposes that
- Child-oriented budgeting be piloted in the 2022 budget proposal and that a standardised version be introduced for the 2023 budget proposal
- child impact analysis be carried out covering each government term
- monitoring and reporting of local government (and later also of wellbeing services counties) budget outturn data be developed as a separate project
- child-oriented budgeting of municipalities and wellbeing services counties be carried out making use of networking once the health and social services reform has entered into force.
The preparation of the pilot is currently under way as part of the formulation of the 2022 budget proposal. The Ministry of Finance has submitted guidelines on the preparation of the budget to the ministries. The guidelines include a description of child-oriented budgeting.
During its work, the working group consulted several key stakeholders, such as the National Audit Office, the Ombudsman for Children, key parliamentary committees, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities and various other organisations. The working group also harnessed the expertise of specialists from different ministries and institutions.
Sami Yläoutinen, Chair of the Working Group, Director-General of the Budget Department, tel. +358 2955 30320, sami.ylaoutinen(at)vm.fi
Piia Pekola, Senior Specialist, Secretary of the Working Group, tel. +358 2955 30594, piia.pekola(at)vm.fi