Many or most of the projects included in these strategies are executed only partially or not at all. Further filtering may be required to bring the list of projects down to a manageable size that aligns well with a country’s fiscal and political priorities. This stage is likely to require more input from senior managers and politicians than from technicians.
In practice, history suggests that countries at any level of development are unable to manage successfully more than one or two major reform projects at one time. In practice, however, it has proved difficult to persuade development partners—many of whom are focused on pursuing their own objectives for achieving good development outcomes and disbursing resources through their official development assistance programs—of the virtues of a lean and focused PFM reform strategy.
The last step of prioritization and sequencing (stage 5) should engage in a dialogue with senior government officials and (ideally) political leaders to discuss the analysis and agree on a set of reform priorities based on the analysis. This dialogue can take many forms.
Focuses on confirming the reform initiatives and developing a reform action plan or strategy for implementation. Table 2.9 provides a template for developing a PFM reform plan that can be adapted for iterative approaches to reform or more sophisticated and comprehensive reform strategies. The template does not intend to be either prescriptive or exhaustive.
Focuses on monitoring and evaluating implementation of reform against specific reforms, actions, milestones, and deadlines as well as the potential impact on PFM performance as measured by the relevant indicator(s) or dimensions of PEFA performance. Monitoring should be used continuously for learning and adjusting objectives, actions, and risk mitigation.
This section focuses on change management and its importance. Change management refers to the “process of helping people understand the need for change and [motivating] them to take actions, which results in sustained changes in behavior” (Schick 2015, 3). The process is important, as the introduction of new ways of working will only deliver results if they are widely accepted and actively used, rather than resisted or circumvented. While change management ideas have originated in the private sector, they have also been applied to public sector organizations, with most observers noting some specificity (Kuipers et al. 2014; van der Voet 2014). Change management and the political economy of PFM reforms are related, but they cover distinct aspects of authorization, implementation, and effective use of reforms.