Public Financial Management

June 28, 2016

How National Audit Offices Can Support Implementation of the SDGs

SDG

Posted by Gijs de Vries [1]

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an ambitious roadmap to a fairer and more equitable world. To turn these goals into reality governments across the world will have to put them at the heart of their action. Governments will also have to put their money where their mouth is. National budgets need to be adapted to the task: revenue and expenditure will have to be managed more effectively and transparently. And national accountability institutions will have to step up to the plate.

Funding the SDGs will be costly, with incremental financing needs in low- and lower-middle-income countries estimated at $1.4 trillion. Much of this money will have to come from the public sector, whether through official development assistance (ODA) or via domestic resource mobilization in developing countries, where governments will have to collect more and spend better. Many countries suffer from weak public financial management (PFM) and inadequate public service delivery.  

Continue reading " How National Audit Offices Can Support Implementation of the SDGs" »

June 03, 2016

IFAC, MOSAIC and Strengthening Public Accountancy

IFAC

Posted by Alan Edwards[1]

Collaboration between the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and various donors that operate under the name MOSAIC is quietly making a big impact on the global accountancy profession, and public financial management (PFM) more broadly. In 2013, MOSAIC issued the innocuous sounding Professional Accountancy Organization (PAO) Global Development Report which launched a program of capacity building for public accountants around the world. In a related initiative, IFAC and one of the MOSAIC partners, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), formed a partnership to invest in the capacity of PAOs in countries that are focal points of UK’s development assistance.

The initial emphasis of the IFAC-DFID programme is on three African countries - Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda. Four accountancy organizations in the UK[2] were selected to partner with the PAOs in these countries - ICAEW for Ghana, ACCA for Rwanda, and ICAS and CIPFA in partnership for Uganda. Tailored terms of reference were developed for each country depending upon their needs. In Uganda, for example, CIPFA is developing a roadmap to assist the national PAO in strengthening public sector accountancy. This work should be completed by December 2016.

Continue reading "IFAC, MOSAIC and Strengthening Public Accountancy" »

May 31, 2016

IMF-USAID Cooperation: PFM Training

IMF USAID
Posted by David Gentry[1]

In August 2015, the IMF and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance cooperation and collaboration between the two organizations in pursuit of common objectives and further strengthening the effectiveness of their respective activities. The MOU covers IMF training for USAID staff; strengthening the capacity of development partner government officials; co-organizing events with the aim of supporting capacity development of their partner government officials; promoting representation by both organizations at meetings of common interest; and enhancing the exchange of information and knowledge sharing.

Continue reading "IMF-USAID Cooperation: PFM Training" »

May 25, 2016

Implementing the PFM Directives in WAEMU

Le Pole

Posted by Jérôme Bonherbe[2]

Directives[3] issued by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) contain many provisions on public financial management (PFM). These provisions include better access to budget information, multiyear budgeting, results-oriented management, decentralized budget execution, and a new accounting and financial monitoring framework. Most of the provisions relating to public information and budget formulation came into effect in 2012. The deadline for implementing the remaining provisions, mainly on budget execution and controls, is set for 2017.

The WAEMU Commission recently carried out a self-assessment of the PFM reforms required by the Directives. This exercise used a tool prepared by the Commission that includes a range of objective, evidence-based indicators for each of the six Directives. A similar approach and tool are being employed by the CEMAC Commission for its countries[4].

Continue reading "Implementing the PFM Directives in WAEMU" »

April 19, 2016

IMF Fiscal Monitor

Posted by PFM Blog Administrator

A recent blog post by Vitor Gaspar [1] and Luc Eyraud [2] of the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department on the IMFdirect Blog highlights the findings in the April 2016 edition of the IMF’s Fiscal Monitor and the  growing fiscal challenges many economies are facing today. The article outlines three major challenges: avoiding the low growth-low inflation trap, addressing the big and lasting drop in revenues, and achieving development goals with constrained budgetary resources. It discusses medium-term fiscal objectives and the importance of policy makers acting both individually and in concert with each other.

[1] Vitor Gaspar is Director of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department

[2] Luc Eyraud is Deputy Division Chief of the Fiscal Policy Division in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department.

Note: The posts on the IMF PFM Blog should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy.

April 18, 2016

Official Launch of PEFA 2016

PEFA logo

Posted by Lewis Hawke [1] and Urška Zrinski [2]

After four years of development, consultation and testing the PEFA 2016 Framework was released on February 1, 2016. [3]   

What is so special about PEFA 2016? What do users think of it? How can it make a difference in understanding and improving public financial management?

These are just some of the questions that will be explored during the PEFA conference and training event in Budapest, Hungary, from April 26-29, 2016. Over 250 delegates from around 50 countries will participate in the event.

Continue reading "Official Launch of PEFA 2016" »

March 18, 2016

Article by CABRI on the Use of Country PFM Systems in Africa

Posted by PFM Blog Administrator

A recent blog post by Neil Cole of CABRI discusses the use of country systems in Africa. The post outlines several cases where development objectives are being achieved using local country systems, and how to strengthen these systems to make more efficient use of aid resources. The increased use of country systems has raised the capacity of governments in areas such as PFM, cross-governmental organization, and the management of donor programs.

CABRI is the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative and a peer-learning and exchange network for senior budget officials working in African Ministries of Finance/Planning.

Note: The posts on the IMF PFM Blog should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy.

 

January 06, 2016

PFM Bible Reaches the Masses!

9781137574893

Posted by Holger van Eden [1]

A paperback version of The International Handbook of Public Financial Management, edited by Richard Allen, Richard Hemming and Barry H. Potter, has just been released by Palgrave Macmillan. The book may be purchased on line through Amazon and other distributors at a much reduced price compared to the hardback version, which was published in 2013. A review of the volume by Philip Joyce and Juan Pablo Martinez Guzman in the PFM Blog (November 6, 2013) noted that :

The International Handbook of Public Financial Management is a must-have resource for many varied audiences. From a practitioner perspective, both development professionals and government officials will find a wealth of ideas and good practices discussed in the pages of this volume. Moreover, faculty teaching courses in financial management who wish to look at traditional PFM from an international perspective, will find no better resource than this book. Given that the pace of PFM reform is notoriously slow, this book should serve as a useful resource for years, perhaps decades, to come. The authors and editors have thus done a great service to the field.”

The International Handbook of Public Financial Management
Edited by Richard Allen, Richard Hemming, Barry Potter
ISBN: 9781137574893
December 2015
Palgrave Macmillan

[1]Holger van Eden is a Deputy Division Chief in the Public Financial Management II Division in the IMF's Fiscal Affairs Department and editor of the PFM Blog.

Note: The posts on the IMF PFM Blog should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy.

 

December 09, 2015

Closing a Gap? The Role of Bottom-up Costing Within MTEFs

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Posted by Michael Di Francesco[1]

The medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) is one of the defining planning and budgeting practices of contemporary public financial management (PFM).[2] The PFM literature is replete with analysis of the relative strengths and weaknesses of different types of MTEF, but all are generally characterized by two features. First is the use of multi-year estimates of expenditure to account for the consequences of current year budget decisions; in other words, an MTEF is a critical ‘framing’ mechanism for more strategic budget preparation. The second feature is the emphasis placed on an iterative budget process that aims to reconcile the disciplinary function of ‘top-down’ expenditure envelopes set by finance ministries, and rigorous ‘bottom-up’ costing of programs by spending ministries.

Continue reading "Closing a Gap? The Role of Bottom-up Costing Within MTEFs" »

December 07, 2015

Sustainable Development and the Role of PFM

ICGFM_logo

Opening remarks by Mr. Vitor Gaspar, Director, IMF Fiscal Affairs Department at the ICGFM Winter Conference, December 7, 2015 in Washington DC

Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon!

It is my great pleasure to welcome you, and thank you for participating in this Winter Conference of the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management. The topic of this year’s Conference is: Transforming Development Finance: PFM’s Role in Meeting Sustainable Development Goals

The international community is in the midst of developing a new framework to promote sustainable development, to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. In this endeavor, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society, and international financial institutions, including the IMF.

Continue reading "Sustainable Development and the Role of PFM" »

December 04, 2015

China Moves Ahead on Accrual Accounting

ThinkstockPhotos-501337209_resized

Posted by Gouhua Hang[1]

With over 15,000 budget entities in central government, and hundreds of thousands in local government, good government accounting is obviously very important in China. From a fiscal risk point of view, local government is perhaps the most important, as they have borrowed extensively through informal mechanisms in the past decade, and have started doing so formally (on a non-pilot basis) through bond issuance at the start of this year. For this reason, China’s State Council approved the Accrual Government Comprehensive Financial Reporting Reform Plan in 2014. As part of the plan’s implementation, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) recently published a package of accounting and financial reporting guidelines, including the Government Accounting Basic Standard, Government Financial Reporting Regulations, and the General Budget Accounting Regulation. The issuance of these critical documents marks the start of a substantial transformation China is making towards adopting accrual accounting.

Continue reading "China Moves Ahead on Accrual Accounting" »

December 02, 2015

Vigilance Pays Off: How to Combat Financial Irregularity

ThinkstockPhotos-146809760

Posted by Yugo Koshima[1]

Financial misconduct and irregularities provide a continuing headache for any government’s financial managers. They prevent a PFM system from functioning as it is supposed to do, even if the system is designed perfectly. They may also signal the existence of widespread corruption. In order to detect financial irregularities and allow policymakers to introduce preventive measures, the audit reports prepared by a country’s external audit authority are critically important.

Continue reading "Vigilance Pays Off: How to Combat Financial Irregularity" »

November 30, 2015

Understanding PFM—New Online Course

 

SOAS

Posted by Dr. Alberto Asquer[1]

The capacity to understand how public finances are managed is much needed nowadays, with more and more citizens in a growing number of countries demanding greater accountability in the use of public monies. No longer is public financial management (PFM) only confined to the expertise of accounting professionals.  As the media increasingly report on how mismanagement of public monies impacts on the lives of individuals, it has become more apparent that some basic notions of PFM should be part of everyone’s core knowledge about how the public sector works.

In this spirit, the Centre for Financial and Management Studies of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, has produced a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) on “Understanding Public Financial Management: How is Your Money Spent?”. The project was realized in collaboration with FutureLearn, a UK provider of online courses with more than 70 partners around the world. You can visit the course at www.futurelearn.com/courses/public-financial-management and register for the first run, expected in January 2016.

Continue reading "Understanding PFM—New Online Course" »

November 20, 2015

Sector Ministries: As Important as the Finance Ministry for Good PFM!

GIZ_logo

Posted by Lena de Stigter[1] and Jennifer Moreau[2]

Post Addis Ababa, the debate on development finance focuses in large part on the generation of the necessary additional resources to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Improving tax systems and compliance is an important element in this regard and strongly supported by the German Development Cooperation agency GIZ. Yet, taxation is only one side of the coin. Sound public financial management (PFM), especially at the level of sector ministries, should be the other. The generation of savings through more effective and efficient budgeting and expenditure policies in sectors may be as important for countries as resource mobilization through taxes. For instance, the IMF has recently shown that there is much to gain by reducing the inefficiencies around public investment management (IMF, 06/2015, Making Public Investment more Efficient). Moreover, the Collaborative Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI), through its sector dialogues, has done important work on highlighting the possible gains of improving value-for-money in program expenditure in key parts of the public sector. Sound investment policies and development-oriented public expenditure will enhance trust of citizens in their government and increase their willingness to pay taxes. Moreover, it will have a positive impact on the socio-economic environment of a country and generally, serve as a catalyst for development. 

Continue reading "Sector Ministries: As Important as the Finance Ministry for Good PFM!" »

November 18, 2015

IDB and IMF Launch a New Book on PFM Reforms in Latin America

Pages from Public Financial Management in Latin America_ The Key to Efficiency and Transparency,Gestion financiera publica en America

Posted by Carlos Pimenta and Mario Pessoa[1] 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched today the English version of the book “Public Financial Management in Latin America: the key to Efficiency and Transparency”. The volume, which was edited by Carlos Pimenta and Mario Pessoa, is a joint work based on extensive technical assistance provided by both institutions. 

The areas covered in the book include treasury single accounts, performance indicators for treasury management, financial management information systems, accrual accounting, cash and debt management, public procurement, and cost accounting. These topics were selected to bridge the gap in the literature about the results achieved in the region. 

Continue reading "IDB and IMF Launch a New Book on PFM Reforms in Latin America" »

November 06, 2015

Trapping the White Elephants: Can the Latest Public Investment Boom Avoid the Mistakes of the Past?

ODI logo_Pantone 329 RGB
By Richard Hughes[1]

On November 11 and 12, the Overseas Development Institute’s Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure (CAPE) in London will be dedicating its annual conference to the question of how developing countries can get a bigger “bang” for their public investment “buck”. The conference takes place against the backdrop of a surge in public (and private) investment in infrastructure in developing countries in recent years. However, the impact of this latest investment boom on economic and social development will depend crucially on the way in which that investment is managed. Past public investment booms in the developing world have often been associated with “white elephant” projects, time delays, cost overruns, inadequate maintenance, illusive returns, and ultimately fiscal instability and retrenchment.  

Will this time be different? On the eve of the 2015 CAPE conference, Richard Hughes, Division Chief in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department and co-author of the Fund’s new policy paper “Making Public Investment More Efficient” explores these issues below.

Continue reading "Trapping the White Elephants: Can the Latest Public Investment Boom Avoid the Mistakes of the Past?" »

August 24, 2015

Book Review - PFM Reforms in Latin America

Pic

Posted by Carlos Pimenta [1] and Mario Pessoa [2]

 Over the last two decades, almost all countries in Latin America have conducted substantive reforms to strengthen their public financial management (PFM) systems and generate reliable information in an effort to promote fiscal stability and sustainable development. These reforms have enhanced the quality of macro-fiscal management in the region and improved economic performance observed throughout the 2000s. As the recent economic crisis demonstrated, however, there is room for further improvement, as well as a need to increase the resilience of the PFM systems.

Continue reading "Book Review - PFM Reforms in Latin America" »

July 23, 2015

How to Prepare for a Commodity Price Shock

NRGI_Logo_RGB_no_strapline

 Posted by Andrew Bauer and David Mihalyi[1]

 Headlines about resource-rich economies faltering under crashing world commodity prices fill the news. "Venezuela in a bind as Nicolas Maduro faces default dilemma;" "Alberta premier considers sales tax to fix ailing, oil-based economy;" "Iran says it can no longer afford Ahmadinejad's cash handouts".

Since February 2013, the metals’ price index has dropped by over 30 percent, led by a 60 percent decline in iron ore prices and a nearly 22 percent decline in copper prices. Crude oil prices have dropped nearly 50 percent since June 2014. The resulting loss in fiscal revenues in resource-dependent countries has exposed severe vulnerabilities in some.

Continue reading " How to Prepare for a Commodity Price Shock" »

July 14, 2015

IMF Launches New Public Investment Management Assessment

FFD3_logo_horizontal-hires

 

Posted by: Richard Hughes

  ADDIS ABABA, July 15, 2015 - The IMF today launched its new Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA) at the Third Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

  Speaking at seminar on Bolstering Country Public Financial Management Systems for Efficiency and Delivery, Sanjeev Gupta (Deputy Director of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department) presented the findings of a new IMF research paper entitled Making Public Investment More Efficient. The paper showed that the average country was losing around one-third of the potential benefits from their public investment to inefficiencies in the way in which those investments are managed. Mr. Gupta stressed that the potential development benefits of closing this efficiency gap are significant, saying “The most efficient public investors get twice the growth “bang” for their public investment “buck” than the least efficient public investors.” 

  Mr. Gupta went onto explain that if government want to realize the full economic and social benefits from public investments, they have to improve the way in which those investments are managed. The IMF’s new paper also found that strengthening public investment management institutions can close up to two-thirds of the public investment efficiency gap.

 To help countries evaluate the strength of the public investment management practices and identify priorities for reform, Mr. Gupta unveiled the IMF’s new Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA). The PIMA evaluates 15 institutions that shape public investment decision-making at the three key stages:

  • Planning sustainable investment across the public sector;
  • Allocating investment to the right sectors and projects; and
  • Implementing projects on time and on budget.

 The IMF will be piloting the PIMA over the coming year in close collaboration with the World Bank, Regional Development Banks, and country authorities

 To learn more about the PIMA and the IMF’s work on public investment click here, watch the video below, or contact us at pubinvest@imf.org.

 

 Note: The posts on the IMF PFM Blog should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy.

June 29, 2015

A Very Short Introduction to Accounting

Posted by Tim Irwin[1]

Snap3

Christopher Nobes’s Accounting: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2014) is about private not public financial management, but it may be of interest to people working on PFM.

For one thing, there are many similarities in the accounting problems faced by firms and governments, even if there are also crucial differences in their objectives, their functions, and their influence on the economies in which they are located. Moreover, Nobes offers a succinct and persuasive explanation of why private-sector accounting developed as it did, in response to the changing needs of businesses and their investors (e.g., why accounts payable and receivable were shown on balance sheets before cash and inventory). That explanation may prompt thoughts about how government accounting should develop.

For another, Nobes’s comments on the rise of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) suggest interesting parallels with the development of International Public Sector Accounting Standards. He writes (pp. 75–76),

  • The UK’s joining the EU was “the main spur to the setting up by accountants of the IASC [International Accounting Standards Committee, the forerunner of the IASB, or International Accounting Standards Board] to try to keep accounting out of the control of governments.”
  • “The EU had always been opposed to the IASC, as a Trojan horse of Anglo-American accounting, but eventually it accepted IFRS as the only practical way of getting harmonized standards for EU capital markets.”
  • “The inability of governments in Roman law countries (e.g. France) to give up control of accounting has led to constant attempts at interference from the EU in the operations of the IASB.”

Nobes also presents interesting data on the number of members of each of several national accounting bodies (pp. 5–6). The chart above expresses these numbers as percentages of each country’s population in 2013, rounded to the nearest decimal point. Nobes notes that international comparisons are “fraught with difficulties” (p. 7) and that there are accountants who are not members of accounting bodies. Nevertheless, the differences are striking. If they reflect differences in the influence of accountants in each country, they may help explain why the Australian and New Zealand governments were among the first to adopt private-sector-like accounting, while the German government has shown little interest in doing so.


[1] Senior Economist, PFM1 Division, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF 

 Note: The posts on the IMF PFM Blog should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy.

June 03, 2015

Job Offer! Public Financial Management (PFM) Advisors, based in Africa (Job Number: 1500535)

Description

The Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) of the International Monetary Fund is looking for qualified candidates to fill positions as Public Financial Management (PFM) Advisors to be based in Africa. The initial appointment term would be for a period of one year, on a renewable basis, subject to satisfactory performance.

Continue reading " Job Offer! Public Financial Management (PFM) Advisors, based in Africa (Job Number: 1500535)" »

June 02, 2015

JICA’s Technical Cooperation in PFM: Key Principles

Jica

Posted by Tomoaki Tanaka[1]

The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is the world’s largest bilateral development institution, with a budget in 2013 of more than one trillion yen. Out of this budget, 177 billion yen was disbursed on technical cooperation (TC), the remainder on overseas development loans and grants.[2] JICA’s operations cover a variety of sectors, such as Planning and Public Administration, Public Works (infrastructure), Agriculture, Education, Health & Medical Care, and Energy, Commerce & Tourism. JICA is represented in over 150 countries and regions, and has more than 100 overseas offices. Much of JICA’s TC is focused on South and South-Eastern Asia, but other regions where it is active include the Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe.

Public financial management (PFM) has become one of JICA’s most important areas of TC. In JICA’s view, effective PFM systems are fundamental to the development process. If such systems are not in place, the flow and control of financing for key development projects may be jeopardized.

Continue reading " JICA’s Technical Cooperation in PFM: Key Principles" »

April 28, 2015

Job Offer! Resident Public Financial Management (PFM) Advisor (based in Belgrade, Serbia) (Job Number: 1500378)

  Job Offer

Description

The Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) of the IMF is seeking a highly qualified expert to act as Resident Public Financial Management (PFM) Advisor, based in Belgrade (Serbia). The Advisor’s position would be for an initial period of one year starting June 30, 2015, with the potential for further extension.

The resident advisor will work within the Ministry of Finance to:

• Strengthen the budget preparation process by developing macro-fiscal capacities; broaden budget preparation and analysis; improve medium-term baseline espenditure methodologies; develop medium-term policy costing processes; and integrate the top-down macro-fiscal forecasts and bottom-up expenditure baseline estimates.

• Build fiscal risk assessment capacity by building the analytical and reporting capabilities of a new fiscal risk unit; develop the capability to assess and report on PPP projects; guide collections and analysis of arrears data; and incorporate financial analysis of state owned enterprises into the budget process.

• Provide general assistance in PFM reforms by assisting the coordination and monitoring of the PFM reform program; assist in the migration of budget analysis and decision making processes to the program budget environment; and working with the regional PFM advisor to provide additional assistance as required.

Qualifications

Applicants should hold a university degree or equivalent qualification relevant to the above duties; possess excellent written and oral communication skills in English; have well developed analytical and research skills; be proficient in standard office IT applications (such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel), and have experience in project management.

Applicants should also possess excellent interpersonal skills, be self-motivating and have an ability to work as part of a team, an aptitude for establishing cooperative relations and sharing technical knowledge with national authorities, as well as capacity to handle sensitive issues with discretion. A flexible and adaptable approach will also be essential in what is a fast moving and challenging work environment.

Preference will be given to candidates with at least ten years of relevant experience, including in a senior or advisory position within a ministry of finance, treasury, or related institution, who have managed or participated in the delivery of TA programs in the above PFM areas. Experience of working in countries with IMF supported programs and/or of working in the region would also be an advantage.

The IMF is committed to achieving a diverse staff, including gender, nationality, culture and educational background.

 Note: The posts on the IMF PFM Blog should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy.

April 09, 2015

Why Sovereign Wealth Funds Should Not Invest at Home

 Refinery

Posted by Andrew Bauer[1]

Developing, capital-scarce countries need domestic investment. Governments in countries such as Angola, Mongolia, and Timor-Leste must invest in education, health and public infrastructure if they hope to achieve middle- or high-income status. What’s more, mineral-rich countries have access to large (yet finite) sources of income that can be used to boost domestic investment and help overcome the poverty trap. On this nearly everyone can agree.

In response to this need for domestic investment, some commentators have recently suggested that there might be opportunities for these countries’ sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) to directly invest at home. Nearly every country with significant oil, gas or mineral exports operates a SWF. Already, governments in Angola, Azerbaijan, Iran, Nigeria and Russia, for example, use their SWFs to channel money to special domestic projects.

Continue reading "Why Sovereign Wealth Funds Should Not Invest at Home " »

March 31, 2015

Double Job Announcement! PEFA Secretariat

PEFA

Job vacancies in the PEFA Secretariat

Are you enthusiastic about improving the effectiveness of public financial management? Do you want to contribute to better public sector management and performance? Are you keen to stimulate public sector reform? You might be one of the people we are seeking to join the PEFA Secretariat.

 

We have vacancies for a Program Advisor and a Senior Program Advisor
to work in the PEFA Secretariat in Washington DC

You can see more details about who we are looking for here

 About PEFA

The PEFA program aims to strengthen public financial management and accountability systems and improve knowledge of the quality and scope for improving public financial management performance. The program seeks to achieve this aim through the application of PEFA assessment methodology, performance reports, research, analysis and application of PEFA results. The PEFA methodology is in over 150 countries.

The PEFA program is directed by a Steering Committee comprising seven partner organisations: World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, European Commission, UK Department for International Development, Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The PEFA Secretariat, hosted by the World Bank in Washington DC, assists the Steering Committee in the development and maintenance of the program. It also provides global support to users of the PEFA methodology through advice, guidance, training, research and information.

About the job vacancies

Senior Program Advisor – click here to learn more or apply on line

The right person for this position will be part of the leadership team in the Secretariat. They will manage and deliver on core activities, including:

Ø Technical reviews of planned and draft PEFA assessments 

Ø Research and reporting on the application of the PEFA Framework

Ø Finalization of the upgrade of the PEFA Framework, including development of guidance, training materials, information and liaison with various stakeholders 

Ø Outreach and cooperation with governments and organisations with an interest in PEFA or related diagnostic tools

Ø Support to clients, peer learning, tracking progress, innovation and active engagement, including training, developing new products and building relationships

The Senior Program Advisor will have a track record of at least 8 years’ experience in public financial management or related disciplines. They will have relevant post-graduate qualifications and demonstrate significant achievements as a leader and manager. They will have a good understanding of the PEFA Framework and experience in application and/or analysis of PEFA assessments. They will have strong inter-personal skills and demonstrated ability to speak and write effectively in English. Ideally they will also be able to work in at least one other language used in PEFA reports (French, Spanish and Portuguese).

Applications for Senior Advisor are to be made through the World Bank job center. The job reference is 150459. Please do not submit your application to the Secretariat directly.

---------------------------------------------------

Program Advisor -  click here to learn more or apply on line

The right person for this job will be a core member of the PEFA Secretariat team. They will work independently and with other team members on:

Ø Technical reviews of planned and draft PEFA assessments 

Ø Research and reporting on the application of the PEFA Framework

Ø Finalization of the upgrade of the PEFA Framework, including development of guidance, training materials, information and liaison with various stakeholders 

Ø Support to clients, peer learning, tracking progress, innovation and active engagement, including training, developing new products and building relationships

The Program Advisor will have a track record of at least 4 years’ experience in public financial management or related disciplines. They will have relevant post-graduate qualifications and demonstrate ability to work effectively in a team. They will have a good understanding of the PEFA Framework and ideally will have some experience in application and/or analysis of PEFA assessments. They will have strong inter-personal skills and demonstrated ability to speak and write effectively in English. It is desirable that they are also able to work in one other language used in PEFA reports (French, Spanish and Portuguese).

Applications are to be made through the World Bank job center.  The job reference is 150467Please do not send applications to the Secretariat directly.

-----------/////-----------

If you want more information about PEFA or the Secretariat, please visit our website at: www.pefa.org or send us an email at services@pefa.org

 

 

Note: The posts on the IMF PFM Blog should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy.

March 03, 2015

New Governance Arrangements for the IPSAS Board

IPSASB

Posted by Delphine Moretti

Following a year-long consultation, the IMF-OECD-World Bank-chaired Review Group on the Governance of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) has today issued its recommendations for strengthening the oversight of the IPSAS Board. They include the establishment of a new Public Interest Committee whose founding members will be the IMF, OECD, World Bank, and INTOSAI and a new Consultative Advisory Group comprised of producers and users of government financial statements.

As discussed several times on this blog and in the IMF’s 2012 paper on “Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Risk”, the global financial crisis highlighted the significant gaps and weaknesses in public sector accounting practices and underscored the need for more comprehensive, reliable, and timely financial reporting by governments. These concerns were echoed by the G-20 at their meeting in Moscow in February 2013, when they called on the IMF, World Bank, and OECD to work to improve the transparency and comparability of public sector financial reporting.

Continue reading "New Governance Arrangements for the IPSAS Board" »

February 20, 2015

Job Offer! Public Financial Management Resident Advisor (based in Dakar, Senegal) (Job Number: 1500093)

493201189

Description

The Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) of the IMF is looking for a well-qualified expert to fill a Public Financial Management (PFM) Resident Advisor position in the Ministry for Economy, Finance, and Planning of Senegal, based in Dakar. The Advisor’s appointment term would be for a period of one year, on a renewable basis, subject to satisfactory performance.

The Advisor will provide technical assistance (TA) on a range of PFM areas and will focus on macrofiscal and policy design and implementation, budget preparation and execution, and public investment management. He/she will more generally contribute to institutional reform and capacity building. The position is opened as part of a TA project designed to support the aforementioned PFM areas, and the Advisor will actively participate in the management of the project and the delivery of all TA activities supported by it.

Continue reading "Job Offer! Public Financial Management Resident Advisor (based in Dakar, Senegal) (Job Number: 1500093)" »

February 12, 2015

IMF Job Offer! Public Financial Management Resident Advisor

Job Description: Public Financial Management Resident Advisor (based in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire) (Job Number: 1500092)

Description

The Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) of the IMF is looking for a well-qualified expert to fill a Public Financial Management (PFM) Resident Advisor position at the West African Regional Technical Assistance Center (West AFRITAC), established in 2003 and based in Bamako, Mali. The Advisor’s appointment term would be for a period of one year, on a renewable basis, subject to satisfactory performance.

The Advisor will provide technical assistance (TA) on a range of PFM areas to the ten (10) countries covered by West AFRITAC, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. The Advisor’s work program will focus on treasury management and government accounting and reporting but will also cover mainly the following PFM areas: treasury operations, cash management,  internal control and audit and the overall legal and regulatory framework.

Continue reading "IMF Job Offer! Public Financial Management Resident Advisor" »

February 06, 2015

Strengthening PFM in the Central African Republic

CAR-PFM
 

Posted by Olivier Benon, Abdoulaye Touré and Marie-Christine Uguen[1]

From November 24—28, 2014, AFRITAC Central (AFC) organized a seminar in Douala, Cameroon, on rebuilding the budgetary and accounting  functions of the Central African Republic (CAR). The workshop was attended by 28 finance officials from CAR’s Ministry of Finance and Budget, the Ministry of Economy and Development, several line ministries (Health, Education, Public Service, and Defense) and the central bank (BEAC).

Background and objectives

Because of the tense security situation in Bangui since 2014, AFC has been unable to deliver technical assistance (TA) in CAR, and have instead used safe havens in neighboring countries such as Cameroon. The November workshop was the first of a series of similar events dedicated exclusively to CAR officials during FY2015.

Continue reading "Strengthening PFM in the Central African Republic " »

February 03, 2015

What Drives Improvements in PFM Performance?

  RPM

Posted by Verena Fritz, Marijn Verhoeven and Stephanie Sweet

Reforms of public financial management (PFM) systems – pursued by many countries and supported by development partners -- have attracted considerable debate and analysis in recent years. Significant variation in progress achieved and lack of broad-based and sustained improvements in metrics of PFM performance, as reflected in the World Bank’s CPIA ratings and PEFA scores, suggests to many observers that outcomes have not matched reform efforts and expectations. 

This has led to a search for better solutions in two directions: first, grounding reform efforts in stronger problem analysis, and based on this, a better fit and sequencing of reform approaches to specific country circumstances and identified bottlenecks. Second, seeking a better understanding of non-technical aspects and, in particular, the role of political economy drivers in influencing which PFM reforms are pursued, in which countries, and with what degree of success. ‘Doing things differently’ along these lines sounds promising, but reformers and development partners may well question whether we know enough to pursue such alternative approaches on a wider scale. 

Continue reading "What Drives Improvements in PFM Performance?" »

January 30, 2015

Angels and Demons – the Political Economy of PFM Reform

 Angels and Demons
Posted by Richard Allen1
 

In a thought-provoking presentation during the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department’s (FAD) 50th Anniversary Conference on December 5, 2014, Professor Ravi Kanbur of Cornell University analyzed the intellectual origins and roots of FAD.  In his view, these roots derive not from the influence of Keynes, one of the founding fathers of the IMF, who was more concerned with issues of monetary policy and balance of payments stabilization than with fiscal policy. A much stronger influence on FAD’s development was one of Keynes’ illustrious colleagues at Cambridge University, Arthur Pigou. Professor Kanbur’s main thesis [Presentation_Available here (.ppt)], however, was that FAD, while responsible for many important applications of fiscal policy, had taken little advantage of important recent work on political economy analysis, and the application of behavioral economics to fiscal issues. These developments derive from the work of notable economists such as Knut Wicksell and 2002 Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman. Another strong influence has been the work on public choice theory and the economics of state bureaucracy, a line running from Pareto, through the great Italian school of public finance to the work of scholars such as Buchanan, Tullock and Peacock.

Continue reading "Angels and Demons – the Political Economy of PFM Reform" »

January 28, 2015

PEFA NEWS FLASH! (33) - Release of the Country Testing Version of the Upgraded PFM Framework

PEFA

Following the public consultation on the draft upgraded PEFA indicator set, the PEFA Partners are pleased to release a version of the entire upgraded PFM Performance Measurement Framework for use in testing at country level– the ‘testing version’ – which incorporates guidance on the indicators and PFM performance report content, available here. A short explanation of changes from the consultation draft is available here.

Continue reading "PEFA NEWS FLASH! (33) - Release of the Country Testing Version of the Upgraded PFM Framework" »

January 27, 2015

Book Announcement: Reconstructing Iraq's Budgetary Institutions: Coalition State Building After Saddam

  Savage, J.D
Posted by James D. Savage, University of Virginia

The invasion of Iraq led to a costly nine-year state-building and reconstruction effort. Reconstructing Iraq's budgetary institutions proved to be a vital element of the state-building project, as allocating Iraq's growing oil revenues to pay salaries and pensions, build infrastructure, and provide essential public services played a key role in the Coalition's counterinsurgency strategy.  Employing a historical institutionalist approach, this book first explores the Ottoman, British, and Ba'athist origins of Iraq's budgetary institutions. The book next examines American pre-war planning, the Coalition Provisional Authority's rule making and budgeting following the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the mixed success of the Coalition's capacity-building programs initiated throughout the occupation. The budgetary process introduced by the Coalition offered a source of institutional stability in the midst of insurgency, sectarian violence, economic uncertainty, and occupation. This book explores the problem of "outsiders" building states, contributes to a more comprehensive evaluation of the Coalition in Iraq, addresses the question of why Iraqis took ownership of some Coalition-generated institutions and not others, and helps explain the nature of institutional change.

Continue reading "Book Announcement: Reconstructing Iraq's Budgetary Institutions: Coalition State Building After Saddam" »

January 15, 2015

PFM Reform: Lessons, Promises and Tears

Cambodia Conferece

Posted by Suhas Joshi and Sandeep Saxena[1]

If you don’t know where you are heading you will not understand why you are walking. This was the key message that emerged from the Asia Regional PFM Conference, held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on November 25-26, 2014. The event was jointly organized by the Cambodian Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF. Around 180 participants from 15 countries discussed the wide range of PFM reforms undertaken in the region and elsewhere in the world, the reasons behind their success and failure, and the lessons that could be learnt from such failure.

Continue reading "PFM Reform: Lessons, Promises and Tears" »

December 18, 2014

PEFA NEWS FLASH!

NewsFlash - Feedback from stakeholders to the draft upgraded indicator set

PEFA

On August 7th 2014, the PEFA Secretariat invited comments from stakeholders on the draft of the upgraded PEFA indicators’ set. By the close of the public consultation period at the end of October, 74 written submissions had been received from a variety of stakeholders.

Continue reading "PEFA NEWS FLASH! " »

December 08, 2014

IPSAS: Guidelines And Realism Needed for Developing Countries

  145840828

Posted by Sylva Okolieaboh[1] and Delphine Moretti[2]

IPSAS adoption both in the OECD and the developing world has been discussed extensively in recent years, including on this blog. However, while many experts have expressed opinions on these standards, few practitioners have provided so far an account of the questions raised by the adoption of IPSAS in their countries, and feedback on the main issues faced in implementing these standards. The guidance note presented in this post, written by Sylva Okolieaboh, is of general relevance to countries wanting to introduce IPSAS. It sets out lessons learned from the ongoing experience in a number of African countries including Nigeria, and aims to provide true-to-life insights.

Continue reading " IPSAS: Guidelines And Realism Needed for Developing Countries " »

November 17, 2014

How Far Can the IMF’s New Fiscal Transparency Code Take Us?

  Transparency_Code

Posted by Carlos Scartascini [1]

The Fiscal Affairs Department at the IMF has been a (if not the) leader on fiscal research, policy analysis, and data generation in the world for the last 50 years. It has influenced the work of scholars, contributed to the development of professionals and policymakers, and more importantly, had a direct impact on the lives of millions of people in the developed and developing world.

Continue reading "How Far Can the IMF’s New Fiscal Transparency Code Take Us? " »

November 10, 2014

A New FMIS Handbook

  152961117

Posted by Cem Dener[1]

Implementing Financial Management Information System (FMIS) solutions is not an easy task, and entails the allocation of significant resources and substantial capacity building efforts. FMIS can be a powerful tool, if designed to meet specific user requirements, and well aligned to a country’s PFM reform strategy and a realistic action plan. Moreover, the development of a countrywide FMIS solution and information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure will be more useful when it is an integral part of a coherent national e-Government strategy. The risks of supply-driven or market-driven choices of FMIS solutions are high. They should be counter-balanced by giving due attention to the design of a tool that is both flexible and responsive to the needs of its ultimate users. FMIS systems are no replacement for good management and robust internal controls, and will not be very useful if budget coverage itself is limited, or budget planning/execution practices are not well established or integrated.

Continue reading "A New FMIS Handbook" »

October 08, 2014

IMF-World Bank Seminar on New Fiscal Transparency Code and PEFA Framework

Image1
Posted by Richard Hughes1

On October 6, the 2014 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings kicked off with a seminar on the new Fiscal Transparency Code and PEFA Framework, two of the key international standards for fiscal disclosure and management.

This joint IMF-World Bank event provided an opportunity to learn about and discuss the changes to these important tools for benchmarking the quality of countries’ fiscal transparency and management practices. It also marked the official launch of the public consultation of the fourth and final pillar of the Fiscal Transparency Code on Natural Resource Revenue Management.

Continue reading "IMF-World Bank Seminar on New Fiscal Transparency Code and PEFA Framework" »

October 01, 2014

Modernizing Treasury Management in Developing Countries

Snap2
Posted by Lewis Murara, Suhas Joshi and Mark Silins1

For one fully packed week, thirty-one participants from twenty Asian countries recently participated in a course at the IMF’s Singapore Regional Training Institute (STI) to discuss how to modernize treasury management in their countries, drawing from international experience . This course evolved from earlier courses, presented at the STI over the last three years, on the sequencing of PFM reforms. It was decided that a more focused and targeted course on treasury management would add most value. The present course was designed to dovetail neatly with technical assistance provided by the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) in the region.

Continue reading "Modernizing Treasury Management in Developing Countries" »

May 20, 2014

Budget Institutions Matter

Posted by Holger van Eden
G20 pix blog post
Most economists would agree that institutions help shape economic and fiscal outcomes. But which institutions really matter, and to what extent, is less clear. A recent IMF Board Paper and annex featuring country evaluations produced by the Fiscal Affairs Department, which was presented today here in Washington, shines a light on the G-20 countries’ efforts to strengthen their budget institutions in the wake of the global financial crisis, and evaluates their impact on fiscal policy. In particular, it asks whether strong budget institutions helped these countries during the 2010–13 period to cope with the substantial fiscal consolidation needs that arose after the Great Recession. The evidence suggests that these institutions have indeed been important.

Continue reading "Budget Institutions Matter" »

April 18, 2014

 Posted by Benoit Taiclet 

Lagarde blog (8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde’s visit to Bamako in January took place while Mali is still healing its historical wounds. In 2012, the defeat of the army against insurgents led to a coup d’état which was met with condemnation by the international community and sanctions by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Faced with the withdrawal of external funding, Mali downsized budget appropriations by one-third and fended off challenges to budget discipline. In spite of these efforts, Mali’s total debt rose by 2 percentage points to 35 percent of GDP.

Continue reading "" »

January 14, 2014

Barcelona Promotes Fiscal Health and Strong Economic Performance

Posted by Jordi Baños-Rovira[1]

Euro
Barcelona City Council has shown what can be done in turning around a huge fiscal imbalances in 2009-11 into a moderate level of debt and a fiscal surplus in 2013. The budget for the fiscal year 2014 shows an 11% increase in expenditures (22% for capital expenditures), prioritizing programs that contribute to the protection of the most vulnerable people and reinforce economic growth, while maintaining a fiscal surplus, freezing tax rates and maintaining a moderate level of debt.

Continue reading "Barcelona Promotes Fiscal Health and Strong Economic Performance" »

December 27, 2013

PEFA Newsflash: Revising the PEFA Performance Measurement Framework

Posted by the PEFA Secretariat

Pefa
The PEFA Program, launched in 2001, has succeeded in creating a credible and comprehensive Framework for the assessment of PFM functionality, which has been successfully applied in a large number of countries: countries with different income levels; different administrative traditions; and in different geographical regions.

The current Framework, although continuing to be relevant and applicable in a wide range of contexts, is being revised with the twin objectives of enhancing its relevance (by recognizing the developments in accepted good practice” which have taken place since it was launched) while preserving comparability over time, to the extent possible.

At their meeting in Paris in early December, the PEFA Partners made significant progress towards finalizing the revision of the Framework, including adding new indicators and modifying several existing dimensions in the light of the evolution in what constitutes “generally accepted good practice”.

The Partners also agreed on a process to test and consult Stakeholders on the revised Framework. The testing will have two distinct phases, the first of which will be restricted to a small number of volunteer countries where the Secretariat will support the assessment team to gather the data required to rate the indicators. Following this initial testing, the draft will be released for a period for Stakeholders to offer comments, in addition to which, opportunities will be sought to link with international and regional events in the area of public financial management and accountability, and the PEFA Partners will also arrange dedicated events where detailed discussions can take place.

Following the consultation period, the draft Framework will be modified as necessary before the second, more substantial testing phase is undertaken, which will be designed to ensure that the Framework is applicable across a wide range of countries contexts and different heritages. The revised Framework is expected to be released in 2015.

Note: The posts on the IMF PFM Blog should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. 

December 16, 2013

ICGFM Winter Conference 2013

Posted by Carla Sateriale

Icgfm
The IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) hosted this year’s Winter Conference of the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) from December 9-11, 2013. Despite the snowfall in Washington, the attendees’ enthusiasm for PFM innovations, which was the theme of the conference, was not dampened. Dozens of officials and PFM professionals from various development organizations, governments and NGOs convened for discussions on a variety of topics related to PFM, from accrual accounting to climate change.

IMF Division Chief Richard Hughes’s opening remarks highlighted worldwide innovations in financial management, including the trend of independent fiscal councils being established, the increasing number of sovereign wealth funds around the world, and the growing adoption of accrual accounting. Major events during the conference included a presentation by Harvard’s Matt Andrews on the role of governance in development, Xavier Debrun’s exposition of FAD research of the efficacy of fiscal councils, and a discussion panel on PFM innovations headed by Richard Hughes and the World Bank’s William Dorotinsky.

The next ICGFM event will be its annual training course, from May 18-23, 2014 in Miami, Florida. The theme of it will be “Good Public Financial Management Practices in a Period of Global Adjustment.”

Download ICGFM Winter Conference 2013 Program

Note: The posts on the IMF PFM Blog should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. 

November 26, 2013

New Blood for FAD

Torben Hansen (below left), formerly the Deputy Permanent Secretary responsible for the budget at the Ministry of Finance in Denmark, has recently joined the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF as a Deputy Division Chief responsible for public financial management. Torben was interviewed by the PFM Blog about his career and what he expects to bring to the new position.

  Torben 2  Richard 2

Q: Why did you decide to join FAD? You have had a varied career working in the Danish finance ministry and elsewhere. What skills, experience and ideas do you expect to bring to the new job?

After working more than 20 years in the Danish finance ministry, the decision to join FAD is a unique opportunity to move my career forward in an international setting. I felt the time was right to seek new challenges, and the new position is a perfect match in terms of both my competencies and professional interests. What I can bring to the new job is first and foremost the practical experience of working with politicians and senior officials in a finance ministry and being at the core of the decision-making processes of government. Setting up the right procedures, institutions and incentives are crucial elements in maintaining a well functioning PFM system. I also hope to bring some knowledge and understanding of change management processes, and not least how difficult these are. At the end of the day, change is about people. And governmental organizations are world champions in avoiding, even opposing, change. Finance ministries have to learn how to work around these obstacles.

Continue reading "New Blood for FAD" »

November 21, 2013

Budgeting in the Real World - What Do We Know? What Should We Do?

This is the keynote speech given last week, November 13th, by Antoinette Sayeh, Director of the IMF’s African Department at the UK’s Overseas Development Institute’s annual CAPE Conference in London on why PFM matters, why reforms are difficult, and what we know to make them successful…..

Sayeh

I am delighted to have the opportunity to deliver this keynote address and would like to thank Messrs. Ed Hedger, Kevin Watkins, and Philip Krause for inviting me to this important conference and for that generous introduction.

Let me start by saying that from the IMF’s perspective, good governance is important for countries at all stages of development. Transparent government accounts and effective public resource management are preconditions for sustained economic growth and prosperity. Indeed, budget formulation, implementation, and oversight lie at the core of good economic governance. Strong budget institutions are essential for countries to achieve sound fiscal policies and effective expenditure programs. Budgets can only be spent once. Getting the priorities right all the way from formulation to execution, and being efficient at it, is all the more important. Transparency and fairness are most important in ensuring that expenditures are aligned with broadly agreed priorities, and in securing society’s buy-in. While most can agree to the underlying principles, the hard part is to have systems and capacity in place that actually ensure that they are respected all along the process chain. As so often, the devil is in the detail. 

Continue reading "Budgeting in the Real World - What Do We Know? What Should We Do?" »

November 20, 2013

Crowd Sourcing Request: A List of All International Comparative PFM Data!

Posted by David Gentry

Database
Public Financial Management (PFM) data sources are rapidly increasing in number and quality. In the last dozen years several new major data sets have been established, such as the PEFA (Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability) Secretariat’s listing of country assessments, the Open Budget Initiative’s Open Budget Survey results, and the IMF’s Fiscal Rules Dataset. Data sets increasingly are well defined, standardized, updated regularly, and often aligned with key analytical issues. They cover at least a large subset of countries worldwide.

An initial list of PFM data sources is shown below. Readers of the PFM Blog are invited to suggest additions, keeping in mind the criteria of useful data described in the opening paragraph above. An updated list, based on reader submissions, will appear in the Blog in the near future.  

Continue reading "Crowd Sourcing Request: A List of All International Comparative PFM Data!" »

November 11, 2013

Online PFM Conference: ODI Event Being Streamed Live this Week

Posted by Ryan Flynn

ODI-CAPE
The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is one of the UK's leading independent think tanks on international development and humanitarian issues. It is organizing a major conference this week: the 2013 CAPE Conference: budgeting in the real world. CAPE stands for Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure, which is hosted by ODI. It aims to shape and drive the agenda for international development assistance, as well as efficient and effective public spending for development at the country level.

The conference will focus on PFM and budgeting in developing countries. The whole two-days (13 & 14 November) will be streamed live online, and questions fielded through social media (#CAPE2013) will be answered by speakers and panellist. You can register to attend here.

Continue reading "Online PFM Conference: ODI Event Being Streamed Live this Week " »

November 06, 2013

Book Review: The International Handbook of Public Financial Management[1]

Posted by Philip Joyce and Juan Pablo Martinez Guzman[2]

PFM handbook
Over the last two decades, public financial management (PFM) has been at the core of many government reforms around the world.  As a subject with many moving parts, the field has become distinctively broad and diverse, with a great array of topics that are strongly linked with each other. For that reason, creating a comprehensive book that covers most, if not all, of the PFM related topics, is a daunting (some might say impossible) task. Richard Allen, Richard Hemming and Barry Potter, three former staff members of the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF, however, have managed to accomplish such an objective with the publication of the new International Handbook of Public Financial Management.  The book’s length (more than 900 pages) is itself a testament to the breadth of the field.

In addition to the broad range of topics that make this book almost inarguably the most comprehensive PFM publication to date, it is important to describe two overarching characteristics that make it unique. First, it provides an extraordinary combination of academic knowledge and empirical evidence. Thus, every topic covered is analyzed both through the lens of how ideal PFM systems should be designed and how they are to be implemented given specific country scenarios. Each chapter of the book combines evidence from developed and developing countries; emphasizing institutional arrangements, political economy constraints, and the interrelations between systems. This makes this book an excellent guide for policymakers, practitioners, and academics. Second, this book benefits from the views of the different authors, many of whom are the leading experts on the topics covered by the many chapters. Readers will benefit greatly not just from learning about the topics, but by learning about them from these world-reckoned experts.

Continue reading "Book Review: The International Handbook of Public Financial Management[1]" »

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