Gender-Sensitive Budgets as a Social Innovation in Local Governments
Industrialized societies struggle with a growing number of challenges that may not be solved solely with technological innovations. Citizens in post-industrial societies demand more sophisticated approaches from public administration offices at all levels of governance. Social innovation has become even more important for sustainable economic growth in recent times. Today the understanding of innovation in the government sector is changing. There is an increasing need for creative and innovative solutions for fostering sustainable growth, securing jobs, and increasing competitive abilities.* This paper examines one particular social innovation, namely 'gender-sensitive budgets", and contains the insights gained by the authors who participated in an EU project conducted by Vistula University. The aim of the project was to improve the quality of management in twelve selected local governments in Poland. One of the deliveries in the project was the creation of a set of tools supporting the introduction of gender-sensitive budgets. Those tools included educational materials, manuals, guidelines and measurement instruments for employees, including decision-makers at the county (powiat) level of public administration. Gender-sensitive budgets are a social innovation in Poland. This paper describes the first early practical experience from the implementation of gender-sensitive budgets in local governments in Poland, and is in fact, also one of the first such endeavors among OECD countries.(original abstract)
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