Experience gained from around 600 PEFA assessments has demonstrated that a well- planned and systematic process is essential for efficient and timely completion of a comprehensive, evidence-based PEFA.

This volume explains the phases and steps in a standard PEFA assessment process. It highlights key activities, responsibilities and timelines in planning and managing a PEFA assessment and in using the results of that assessment. It provides a chronological PEFA checklist, with detailed guidance on each phase and step in the assessment process, from initial discussions to preparation of the final report and beyond. It also includes links to templates and instructions to support the key activities.

It is aimed at all PEFA users. It is structured around the four phases and ten key steps of the PEFA assessment process. The following diagram, PEFA in 10 steps, provides a visual overview of the entire PEFA process. It includes an indicative timeframe for the four phases of planning, field work, reporting and PFM reform action.

The four phases are presented as modules within volume I and each step is a separate chapter within the relevant module. Volume I sets out specific guidance, suggested timelines and proposed allocation of responsibilities for each module.

The diagram emphasizes the links between each part of the integrated process. Each phase and step of the process is interdependent. It is important that the assessment is well planned from the beginning, in terms of stakeholder consultation, government commitment, and preparation. The field work may

require the assessment team to undertake training and/or capacity development on the objectives and methodology of PEFA. It will also require the active engagement of country officials to participate in the process and provide relevant and high-quality data.

The drafting, reviewing and publication of the PEFA report establishes the basis for a dialogue among stakeholders to examine the reasons for strong or weak performance, including the possible application of other PFM diagnostic tools such as the tax administration diagnostic assessment tool (TADAT), the public investment management assessment (PIMA), the debt management performance assessment (DeMPA), the methodology for assessing procurement systems (MAPS), the supreme audit institution performance management framework (SAI PMF), etc1. The process highlights PFM reforms and prioritizes actions to address weaknesses that are identified. Other PFM diagnostic tools may be useful to gain further insight into performance in specific areas during the dialogue steps at the beginning and end of the PEFA assessment process.

A handy summary table, 10 steps for planning, implementing and using PEFA, that highlights the key tasks, the main issues, responsibility and indicative timeframe is included at Annex 1.1. The summary table also provides advice on where to locate PEFA Secretariat guidance for each step or task.


1 A comprehensive overview of PFM diagnostic tools currently in use is available in the 2018 PEFA Secretariat study “Stocktake of PFM Diagnostic Tools 2016” at pefa.org under Research and Impact