•Ongoing monitoring, learning, feedback and adjustment during reform implementation is key to countering and/or leveraging unforeseen events and constraints
•For PEFA, the assessment process (end-to-end) should be leveraged to build capacity and common understanding of reform needs and goals.
9.4 Review and approval of reform plans or initiatives
The nature of a PEFA assessment, identifying the PFM weaknesses, and subsequent PEFA dialogue, as we have seen above, provides a sound basis for identifying ‘what needs to be done’ to achieve a highly functioning PFM system. The challenge for the government and development partners in this dialogue is determining which of the weaknesses are the most important and determining the order in which reforms should be implemented. The latter is determined not only by the importance of the reform to good PFM, but also whether or not implementing the reform is achievable taking into account the prevailing political and institutional environment and other non-technical factors.
It is crucial that prioritization and implementation be driven from the top within government: either the president’s or prime minister’s office or a senior fiscal and budgetary policy minister, such as the minister of finance. There must be clear accountability and responsibility for achievement of the specific, measurable goals in the plan that are linked to the overall reform objectives, within an explicit and manageable timeframe.
STEP 10: MONITORING AND FOLLOW-UP
Monitoring and follow-up measures ensure that actions identified are actually implemented and have the intended impact. A process for making changes to the reform plan is required so that objectives are achieved even if there are deviations from original objectives or when the results do not reflect those intended.
10.1 Monitor PFM reform progress overtime using PEFA
Whether reforms are implemented through a structured, iterative or unstructured approach, it is important to track the actions undertaken, deliverables achieved and hold accountable those who are responsible for carrying out the tasks. It will often be the ministry of finance that will take the lead in developing and sequencing reform activities but also for monitoring implementation.
The MoF will determine whether the reform has been successfully implemented, partially implemented or failed to be implemented. The PEFA framework provides one means of monitoring progress and impact of the reform, but the MoF should also monitor progress with individual tasks. Often full implementation of a task may take several steps over several years.
Individual indicators or dimensions may be used for project progress monitoring, i.e. as an indicator of project implementation results. Progress can be monitored against the implementation of actions/ measures, the outcomes and deadlines achieved measured by specific PEFA performance indicator(s) and/or dimension(s). Successive PEFA assessments can be planned after three or more years to take another cross-sectional snapshot of progress across the entire PFM framework. In this way, PEFA can be integrated as part of the government’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system with respect to its overall reform program.