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What motivated the project Guatemala is a mid/income country, yet has among worst social indicators in LA Constrast between resources and results, and.

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Presentation on theme: "What motivated the project Guatemala is a mid/income country, yet has among worst social indicators in LA Constrast between resources and results, and."— Presentation transcript:


2 What motivated the project Guatemala is a mid/income country, yet has among worst social indicators in LA Constrast between resources and results, and between poverty and wealth indicators Aim: show how fiscal policy has kept rights stunted; bring HR into debates on 2010 budget and new govt’s tax reform plans

3 Measuring ESC rights outcomes Identifying ESC rights commitments Lack of resources or political will? Framework of analysis Assessing policy efforts What do G’s health, educ + food indicators say abt Core Obligs, Non-Discn + PR? What legal + policy commitments has G made to ESCR? Are they the right policies? Sufficient? Who do they benefit? How implemented? Is G using maximum available resources? Who benefits? Increase over time? Analyse outcome indicators (aggregate, disagg and over time) Commitment indicators: Treaty ratification Constitutional provisions Nat/int policy commtnts Indicators of effort: Are services available, accessible etc Patterns of social spending and taxation.

4 1.Measuring ESCR outcomes

5 Core obligations: right to food 1 in 2 children chronically malnourished

6 Core obligations: right to health Highest maternal mortality rate in LA

7 Core obligations: right to education lowest primary completion in LA

8 Non-discrimination: gender Lowest proportion of girls to boys finishing primary

9 Non-discrimination: ethnic/regional MMR: Indigenous women 3 times as likely to die

10 Non-discrimination: intersecting Youth literacy rates by location, ethnicity and gender

11 Progressive realization: food Retrogression in child malnutrition

12 Progressive realization: health Maternal mortality in Bolivia and Guatemala

13 Progressive realization: disparities Ethnic and gender disparities have widened

14 2. Identifying ESC rights commitments

15 Legal and political commitments Constitutional guarantees Incorporation of human rights treaties Peace Accords reaffirm ESC rights MDG commitments Exemplary laws and policies on maternal health, education and food security

16 3. Assessing policy efforts

17 Common policy failures Many attributable to lack of resources Don’t address structural determinants Grossly insufficient in scope and coverage Don’t benefit the most disadvantaged Poor coordination, transparency, participation, accountability, continuity Fail to promote the availability and accessibility of quality and culturally appropriate services

18 Example: Lower spending on school food programs than most LA countries

19 Example: school feeding programs (left) not going where most needed

20 Example: obstetric services (left) not reaching areas where more women die La disponibilidad de médicos obstetras (izq) es menor en los departamentos con las tasas de mortalidad materna más elevadas (dcha)

21 Example: No increase in access to skilled birth attendance

22 Example: health resources declining as population grows

23 Example: accessibility and cultural appropriateness of reproductive care “I couldn’t have my baby in a health centre because they force you to give birth lying down. They treat you bad if you dont speak Spanish.” “Adela had lost a lot of blood. She knew she had to go to hospital but she didnt want to – it’s 75km away and we couldn’t afford the transport. She said it was cheaper for her to die at home than to be brought back dead from the hospital.” –Interviews, Senahú, Alta Verapaz, 2008.

24 4.Genuine lack of resources or lack of political will?

25 Social spending among lowest in LA

26 Social spending has stagnated since 2000

27 Social spending is among most regressive in LA

28 Eg: who benefits from education spending? Incidence by quintile

29 Eg: who benefits from health spending? Per capita spending by department

30 Public health spending has remained around 1% of GDP, leaving households to pick up the cost

31 Low tax base explains G’s “bonsai budget”

32 An inequitable tax system Indirect taxes (VAT) make up 75% of tax income. Burden falls disproportionately on poorest sectors. System riddled with tax exemptions benefiting most lucrative corporate sectors. In 2008, these totalled more than double the amount obtained through income tax. Serious problem of tax evasion, estimated at 4.3% GDP in 2006 (= > health + education budget combined). Economic crisis and tariff liberalization have reduced tax base further: now 3% lower than 2000 target. Fierce resistance to tax reform by the economic elite has kept G a “minimal state” – and the courts are complicit Fiscal policy systematically breaches duty to fulfil ESCR.

33 Recommendations Stepped increase in health and education spending, according to benchmarks based on ICEFI’s costing of minimum interventions necessary to achieve by 2015 universal access to primary health care, and G’s own agreed targets re primary education coverage. New Fiscal Pact to be agreed with full civil society participation, so as to design a new tax system aimed at furthering principles of universality, progressive realization and substantive equality in rights. Pointed to income that could be generated from specific increases in income and property taxes and reduction/elimination of fiscal incentives. Improved mechanisms for fiscal transparency and accountability.

34 Advocacy goals Bring HR into 2010 budget/tax debates Secure govt comtmt Promote nat’nal/local monitoring capacity Counter media and business discourses Press for acctability at MDG + CRC reviews

35 Lessons/challenges Need to promote basic understanding of HR principles to policy-makers, and clarify our own! How prescriptive to be in recommendations (eg costing?) Challenges of inter-disciplinary partnership

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