Designing and monitoring PFM reform programmes (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1215)

Abstract

Query

Map existing information sources for use in designing and monitoring public financial management (PFM) reform programmes. Report what level of coverage each source provides of a PFM system and in aggregate terms, to identify if there are any gaps in coverage. Diagnostic instruments and tools are the main types of sources of information that this exercise should focus on.

Key findings

This review provides a mapping exercise of the diagnostics instruments and tools used to design and assess Public Financial Management (PFM) reform programmes.

Various diagnostic instruments and tools are used by countries and international donors to drive and assess PFM reform programmes. The PEFA framework which is the most comprehensive assessment instrument provides indicators to measure all dimensions of a PFM system. While PEFA assessments are now in wide usage, other diagnostic instruments and tools are used alongside for more specific purposes. It is the case of the IMF Fiscal Transparency Code and of the various World Bank and OECD tools. Alternatively, an instrument such as the CIPFA’s Whole System Approach aims to complement as well as provide a broader approach than PEFA. As an analytical framework it does not seek to measure PFM practice but to inform design and evaluation of PFM systems.

To conclude, while these instruments cover the whole PFM system, criticisms have been made that these standardised instruments should not be used as PFM reforms templates as they do not take into account the functionality of PFM systems.

Citation

Lucia, E.L. Designing and monitoring PFM reform programmes (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1215). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2015) 10 pp.

Designing and monitoring PFM reform programmes (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1215)

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