A Global PFM Diagnostic Tools Conference and PFM Tools Expo was organized by the PEFA Secretariat on December 12, 2023 in Washington D.C. to present key findings, global trends, and insights from the latest Stocktaking of PFM Diagnostic Tools Report. A lively and informative discussion took place on how PFM diagnostic tools can contribute to the actual development and strengthening of PFM systems at the country level. In attendance was an audience of 689 via livestream and more than 100 gathered in person.
To engage with and benefit from this knowledge-sharing event, you can access the livestream recorded video. It serves as a convenient way to participate in the event, even if you were unable to attend it in person and immerse yourself in the event's content and gain valuable insights and information.
Here are the highlights from the conference:
Session 1: Initial remarks on the value of PFM tools and lead presentation on Global trends and insights
Franziska Spörri (SECO) moderated the first section of the conference. Initial remarks describing the current value of the PFM diagnostic tools, particularly the cross collaboration facilitated by this stocktaking exercise, as well as future collective aspirations were shared by other representatives of PEFA Partners: Moustapha Ndiaye (World Bank), Cigdem Aslan (IMF), Eric Deschoenmaeker (European Commission), Jean Traband (France), Håkon Mundal (Norad), and Katarina Kovacova (Slovak Republic).
“This conference can be a starting point for the PFM community to make the effort to harmonize the tools, optimize the use of the tools, and provide guidance to countries regarding which tools apply and when to use them.” - Moustapha Ndiaye, World Bank
“PEFA Program acts as a forum to facilitate exchanges around initiatives and innovations in the field of PFM.” - Cigdem Aslan, IMF
“I would like to extend support to PEFA not only for organizing this event but also for compiling these huge numbers of diagnostic tools, not only to just have a list of them, but to see where they were used, how they were used, and how they overlap, which is extremely useful.” - Eric Deschoenmaeker, European Commission.
“The enhanced capacity for NGOs to promote change thanks to diagnostic tools is one of our main focuses in the year to come.” - Jean Traband, France
“By having relevant tools and by doing assessments this creates important discussions on what kind of PFM reform is needed given the country context.” - Håkon Mundal, Norad
“The Stocktaking Report is an excellent product that can serve as a starting point for the selection and application of the most suitable diagnostic tool.” - Katarina Kovacova, Slovak Republic
The harmonization and reduction of the quantity of tools, increased cross-collaboration among custodians and partner countries, the merit of measuring progress over time, and how to effectively translate assessment findings into actionable PFM reforms were topics put forward during this conversation.
Helena Grandao Ramos and Antonio Blasco (PEFA Secretariat) briefly presented the fourth edition of the Stocktaking of PFM Diagnostic Tools Report. Helena dove into the content of Volume I – the Report and Antonio Volume II – Tool Mapping. The report identifies 64 tools and categorizes them into 4 groups based on their intended scope. The 23 custodians of these tools were in close collaboration with the PEFA Secretariat to complete this mapping.
Of the new 31 PFM diagnostic tools created in the period 2013–2019, Helena highlighted the concentration of tool development was in Group B and Group D. Suggesting interest in granular levels of examination and that the broad/overarching tools in Group A continued to meet the needs of broad-based PFM assessments.
While Antonio presented the tools, he shared key takeaways and elements of good practice regarding tool development and maintenance. He highlighted that on average the number of tools used per country is five. To learn more about the tools, visit the interactive website to explore all PFM Diagnostic Tools.
Session 2: Fireside Chat - PFM reforms and the role of PFM diagnostic tools
During the second half of the conference, Serdar Yilmaz (World Bank) moderated a group of panelists actively involved in implementing the various PFM diagnostic tools. The panelists Carlos Pimenta (IADB), Fernando Blanco (World Bank), Teresa Curristine (IMF), Thomas Solomon (USAID), and Srinivas Gurazada (PEFA Secretariat) briefly reflected on their own experiences using different PFM diagnostic tools and their impact in advancing the implementation of PFM reforms.
Some highlights from the discussion:
“To me the tool is the x-ray, then you have to take the medication, this is to take action in the form of PFM reform” - Serdar Yilmaz, World Bank
“We must recognize that the use of these tools also contributes to increase in the country’s institutional capacity on PFM, promoting better diagnostics, baseline indicators, policy dialogues, and an integrated vision of the situation of each area.” - Carlos Pimenta, IADB
“All donors budget, support operations, and reforms should be coordinated and informed by these tools.” - Fernando Blanco, World Bank
Teresa Curristine, IMF, presenting C-PIMA said, “What the C-PIMA (Climate, Public Investment Management Assessment) does is it identifies climate related gaps in public investment management. It provides recommendations to close that gap and to strengthen the existing processes.”
“We use the tools to inform our country development strategies in different countries, as well as specific programs that we work in. We heavily rely on those (PFM diagnostic) tools.” – said Thomas Solomon, sharing three tools that USAID developed and the reliance on PEFA reports and framework to conduct their own assessments. “PEFA is the number one report we go to when we start”
“A good PFM system is a PFM system which works, which delivers, which enables the policy of the government to be translated into action. PFM systems over two decades consistently depicted improvements across the world, establishing the value of PFM diagnostic tools” - Srinivas Gurazada, PEFA Secretariat
“For all of us, the country should be the one who understands what kind of diagnostic they want. We shouldn’t be going there with our diagnostic tool just because we can deliver a very nice tool, but because there are issues the country identifies.” said Carolina Renteria, IMF and added ”…understanding the difference between diagnostic tools and the reforms that come after the diagnostic and contribute in the driver’s seat, is very important”.
After the productive discussion, Dmitri Gourfinkel, PEFA Secretariat, invited all participants to join the PFM Tools EXPO, showcasing the tools from various custodians and introducing new tools created after to 2019 cut-off date of this stocktaking. You will find the tools participating in the EXPO below:
The Expo was a success with a lot of interest in the presented tools and continued discussions following the conference.
Click here to explore PEFA Stocktaking Website with links to each of the PFM Diagnostic Tools
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