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November 09, 2010

Conference: Accelerating the Transition out of Fragility—The Role of Finance and Public Financial Management Reform

Paul Ackroyd and Marco Cangiano[1]

With the issuance of the OECD Global Report on the implementation of the Principles on Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations,[2] it is very timey that the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) have organized a joint conference in London to discuss how to manage the transition out of fragility. This year’s conference, the sixth in a series of annual conferences on development of finance and public financial management reform organized by the Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure (CAPE) at ODI, will investigate the lessons that have been learned supporting transition in fragile states and what this means for how we should work together in the future.

The conference will bring together government policy makers, international agencies, practitioners, and academics. The conference is intended to be participatory and will be focused around a number of panels followed by plenary discussions amongst participants. To encourage fruitful discussion at the actual event, the conference is by invitation only.

The conference will be framed around four themes:

  • Delivering effective financial support—joining the dots from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. This will explore the lessons that have been learned when delivering rapid, coordinated assistance in the context of limited partner capacity and high fiduciary risk.
  • Developing local financial management capacity—moving from quick fix to sustained reforms. OECD principles for engagement in fragile states stress the need to focus on institutions and this session will explore why long-term, sustainable, changes across all government ministries have proved hard to achieve.
  • Role of transparency and accountability. Evidence from the Open Budget Index shows that some of the poorest and most aid-dependent countries have the worst record of transparency in public finance management. There is a need to investigate how fragile states can move in the right direction, particularly when aid flows can hinder accountability between governments and citizens.
  • Public financial management reform in fragile states—what is working and why. This session will establish why and how state fragility affects PFM reform design, implementation, and success.

The program, which may still be subject to last minute amendments, is attached. The lessons learned will be captured in a conference report and through interviews with keynote speakers that will be posted on the event’s website. One conference outcome is intended to be a set of “guiding principles” encapsulating lessons learnt on how to deploy finance and support financial management reform in fragile states. 

Download CAPEODI Conference Program

[1] The authors are senior advisor, ODI, and assistant director, FAD, respectively.

[2] See corresponding PFM blog post.

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.


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