With a growing budget deficit and a need to develop the country’s economy, the Government of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) is seeking to improve the planning and execution of its national budget. For eSwatini and other emerging market countries, the national budget is a key economic policy and development tool for governments that aligns a country’s priorities and needs with its means and resources. 

In early September, FSVC volunteer experts David Lara (Chief Administrative Officer, NYC Office of the Mayor) and Stewart Poole (Assistant Unit Chief, New York State Division of Budget) trained permanent staff from eSwatini's Parliament in the budget formulation process, and how to provide input in the drafting of budgets in a proactive way. Using case studies from eSwatini's 2017 budget, FSVC volunteer experts showcased practical ways for Parliament to represent the interests of constituents through responsible government spending.  

As a result, permanent Parliamentary staff have a better understanding of the budget cycle, and of the legislative branch's role in scrutinizing budgets for improved execution and oversight. Parliamentary elections took place on September 21, and permanent staff can now impart the new information to the incoming class of Members of Parliament.