Professor Jennifer Curtin, Director of the Public Policy Institute, has been chosen by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) as one of the recipients of the Endeavour Fund Smart Ideas grant for her project: “Building a sustainable gender budgeting strategy for New Zealand”. The Endeavour Fund supports projects exhibiting research excellence and transformational potential aligned with Vision Mātauranga.
Smart Ideas provides funding between $0.4 million to $1 million with a term of 2 or 3 years to promote innovation by facilitating the testing of promising research ideas with potential to greatly benefit New Zealand.
PPI’s project will look at how gender budgeting can be a valuable and effective policy initiative to advance gender-related goals in New Zealand. Gender budgeting has proved to be an effective policy in other countries but New Zealand has yet to trial such an initiative. The project undertakes gender impact assessments of fiscal policy and aims to develop a gender budgeting tool that draws on the combined expertise of government agencies, non-government organisations and academics. By pursuing a non-legislated, cross-sectoral partnership approach, this project will ensure that the needs of women from diverse backgrounds, including Māori women, are taken into account. This approach will support the development of new methodologies to assess the impact of fiscal and related policies on women and men, and to design inclusive, gender-sensitive budget allocation models.
Understanding the importance of capacity building to effective gender-budgeting, part of the project is the creation of training modules for delivery to relevant public servants, experts, civil society partners and consultants. In terms of impact, the project is expected to produce numerous economic and social benefits. International evidence shows that gender-budgeting initiatives help to increase labour supply and human capital and ensure the allocation of public spending is financially efficient, while also being effective in advancing gender equality and enhanced economic wellbeing.