Vulekamali encourages users to engage with the data available on the budget portal, and offer analyses of their own
This year, the first part of Vulekamali, our budget portal project with National Treasury and civil society coalition IMALI YETHU, came to a close. Project manager Adrian Kearns has already spent some time reflecting on all that has been achieved over the past two years, since Vulekamali was first launched.
Engaging with communities around the country was one of the highlights of the project, and the team has already interacted with close to 2,000 individuals through Civic Information Drives, Hackathons, DataQuests, a webinar and a data visualisation competition.
Participants were invited to use government in-year spending data to create visualisations based on their unique analysis of this. In-year spending is what the government spends on a day-to-day basis.
Journalists, academics and researchers submitted more than a dozen entries, touching on issues related to health, education, agriculture and service delivery outcomes in relation to spending.
The winning entry, submitted by a team from Data Innovator, linked spending to outcomes in Basic Education across South Africa. Starting with an overall view of the budget, they determined the amounts made available to the department as a whole. They went on to track budget trends over the past few years and what improved quality of basic education looked like, particularly in relation to budget spent. Their aim was to highlight where spending should be focused going forward. Their entry can be found here.
With more than a dozen datasets and in-depth analyses now available on Vulekamali, we encourage you to interrogate this information, and provide input of your own. You do not have to be an expert on budget data; in fact, this is the very reason the portal exists. It aims to make budget information more accessible to the public, which includes more specific datasets and guides on how to use them.