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August 2016

August 30, 2016

Innovative Financial Instruments for Fighting HIV/AIDS

Innovative Financial Instruments for Fighting HIVAIDS

Posted by Taz Chaponda[1]

The International AIDS Conference in July 2016 reported a resurgence of the disease, particularly in Africa and South Asia[2]. The number of people becoming infected every year, which had been dropping, has now stalled and is rising in some countries. Just under 2 million people become HIV positive every year; as the epidemic continues to grow, the cost of keeping people alive continues to rise. UNAIDS has reported that funding from donor governments fell last year for the first time in five years, from $8.6bn in 2014 to $7.5bn in 2015. This raises questions about the efficacy of current funding models, and the implications for fiscal sustainability in those low-income countries that have a large proportion of the population on HIV/AIDS treatment.  Most of these countries are in Africa and Asia.

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August 26, 2016

Organization of Central Finance Functions in Sub-Saharan Africa

Logo_afritac_south Headlights_afritac_south

Posted by Peter Murphy and Richard Allen[1]

The IMF’s Regional Technical Assistance Center for Southern Africa—AFRITAC South (AFS)—organized a one-week seminar on the Organization of Central Finance Functions at the Africa Training Institute in Mauritius from August 15-19, 2016. The seminar was attended by 37 participants from 12 countries[2]. The presenters and facilitators were Peter Murphy (AFS, IMF), Richard Allen (Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF), Renaud Duplay (Ministry of Finance, France), and Francois Vaillancourt (University of Montreal, Canada). The program for the seminar together with relevant materials may be viewed at www.southafritac.org

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August 23, 2016

Cash Basis IPSAS Needs to be More Ambitious

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Posted by Andy Wynne[1]

The IPSAS Board has issued an exposure draft to revise its Cash Basis IPSAS and comments were being requested by end July:

http://www.ifac.org/publications-resources/exposure-draft-61-amendments-financial-reporting-under-cash-basis-accounting

Late comments are still welcome, however, and this article could be considered my informal submission. As a PFM practitioner in Africa and elsewhere I have worked on accounting reforms that are both achievable and of practical use. The proposed revised Cash Basis IPSAS is feasible, but does not add much for informing policy makers or providing accountability to the public. The initiative to amend the present standard is indeed welcome, but more is needed to make the standard a useful guide to good practice. Below we provide some comments on how the revised Cash Basis IPSAS could be improved.

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August 17, 2016

How to Link SDGs to the Budget

SDGs and the Budget

Posted by Suren Poghosyan[1]

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were critical in presenting a global policy agenda with country-specific targets. MDG processes, however, were not well coordinated with countries’ national policies and budget processes. Ministries of finance were detached from the core dialog on MDGs, and there was a mismatch between the MDGs and budget classification systems. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have replaced the MDGs with a more comprehensive policy agenda that now covers all countries. Developing countries, however, will face challenges in effectively transforming the SDGs into national policies and budgets. How therefore to build a stronger bridge between the SDGs and countries’ budget processes?

Even if development goals are effectively transformed into sector strategies, budget decisions are based on their own set of processes and parameters. Some reports suggest that the UN’s functional classification system (COFOG) has been used to bridge budget allocations with the MDGs, but COFOG was never designed to serve that purpose. In some countries, civil society organizations (CSOs) have monitored the impact of selected MDGs on the budget. However, in most cases, finance ministries have continued their routine budget planning and execution processes with only occasional reflections on the MDG targets.

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August 15, 2016

Job Offers: UNICEF New York Seeks Public Finance Specialist

Unicef

Posted by Matthew Cummins [1]

UNICEF Headquarters in New York is looking for a Public Finance Specialist to join its Public Finance and Governance Team.

The purpose of the position is to support UNICEF country and regional offices in their efforts to leverage greater, more effective and equitable domestic public investments in children. This role will provide technical, knowledge management and staff capacity development support to UNICEF field engagements in the area of public finance for children (PF4C) across all sectors, with specific attention to the health programmatic context.

The complete details and application process can be found through this link: http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=498454

Note that the deadline to apply is August 24, 2016.

[1] Matthew Cummins is a Policy Specialist in the Public Finance and Governance Unit, UNICEF New York

Please check in with the PFM Blog's Job Board Page frequently to learn about the latest opportunities for PFM positions. 

August 08, 2016

Job Offers: Regional Public Financial Management Advisor for South Asia, based in New Delhi, India

Job Number:1600720

Advertising Department: Fiscal Affairs Department

Description

The Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund is seeking two experienced public financial management (PFM) experts for the IMF’s South Asia Training and Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC) that will start its operations in early 2017. SARTTAC to be located in New Delhi, India will provide training and technical assistance support to six South Asian countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The advisors will coordinate and deliver technical assistance (TA) to ministries of finance and related institutions in these countries, including the sub-national level in India. They will support modernization of fiscal management, budget planning and execution, and institutional capacity development in these countries. The advisors will need to liaise effectively both with senior officials, technical staff, and other TA providers. The advisors will be appointed for and initial period of one year, with possible renewal for a maximum period of four years. They will work under the administrative control of the SARTTAC Director and technical supervision of the Fiscal Affairs Department.

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Latin American Treasurers Discuss Fiscal Forecasts

FOTEGAL

Posted by Mario Pessoa[1]

During July 27-29, 2016 the Paraguayan Ministry of Finance organized the seventh Latin American Treasury Forum (FOTEGAL) together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the World Bank. FOTEGAL aims at providing a permanent regional dialogue for technical discussions and exchange of experiences among national treasurers. The annual seminar has been a key component of the IMF’s technical assistance program and a testimony of significant improvements in treasury management in Latin America.

The Minister of Finance of Paraguay, Mr. Santiago Peña, in his opening remarks emphasized that public finances are related not only to financial stability but also provide a tool to promote growth and development. In a country such as Paraguay with significant development needs, it is important to use public resources wisely. The Minister mentioned that the fiscal rules approved in 2013 had improved the reliability of fiscal policy, and highlighted the country’s efforts to increase public investment to promote development and benefit the population.

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August 02, 2016

Estimating the Public Capital Stock in Post-Conflict Countries

Estimating the Public Capital Stock in Post-Conflict Countries

Posted by Yugo Koshima[1]

In order to analyze the efficiency and effectiveness of public investment – and the size of any “infrastructure gap” – it is necessary to estimate the public sector capital stock. This is not an easy task even in a country with plentiful access to national accounts and other statistical data. For a country that is still recovering from two bitter civil wars that lasted from 1989 until 2003, together with the devastating impact of the Ebola crisis, the challenges are formidable.

Recently, the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department was invited by the Government of Liberia to carry out a Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA) of the country. One of the tasks of the mission was to estimate Liberia’s stock of infrastructure and other public capital assets, and the efficiency of its investment in key areas such as electricity supply, health, education and water. The mission used an analytical framework set out in the IMF Board Paper (“Making Public Investment More Efficient”) that was published in April 2015. This paper sets out a relatively simple methodology for estimating the public capital stock and measuring public investment efficiency. The methodology is applicable to countries with limited statistical data, as well as more advanced economies. What were the challenges that we faced in applying this methodology to Liberia, and how did we address them?

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