About the PEFA Handbook

The Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) program provides a framework for assessing and reporting on the strengths and weaknesses of public financial management (PFM).

A PEFA assessment incorporates a PFM performance report that includes an evidence-based measurement of performance against 31 indicators as well as an analysis of the findings and their impact on desirable budgetary and fiscal outcomes.

The PEFA methodology draws on international PFM standards and good practices and provides a foundation for planning reform, conducting multistakeholder dialogue on strategy and priorities, and monitoring progress. The PEFA program also provides support, monitoring, and analysis of PEFA assessments. A key task of the PEFA Secretariat is to ensure the quality of PEFA reports, which is done by an in-depth review of draft reports and PEFA Check quality assuranc. For more information about the program and the PEFA Check requirements, visit

To support users, the purpose of the PEFA Secretariat has developed a comprehensive four volume PEFA handbook. The purpose of the PEFA handbook is to provide users, including government officials (in both central and subnational governments), assessors, development partners, and other interested stakeholders, with guidance on planning, implementing, reporting, and using the PEFA Framework for Assessing Public Financial Management.

The four volumes of the PEFA handbook are as follows:
Volume I

The PEFA Assessment Process: Planning, Managing, and Using PEFA provides guidance for PEFA users and other stakeholders on the key phases and steps in the PEFA assessment process.

Volume II

PEFA Assessment Field Guide provides detailed technical guidance on scoring the 31 performance indicators and 94 dimensions of PEFA 2016, including data requirements and sources, calculations, and definitions. The field guide also includes a glossary of terms.

Volume III

Preparing the PEFA Report contains advice on writing the report, a template and instructions for each section, and an annex with a standard PEFA report.

Volume IV

Using PEFA to Support PFM Improvement provides guidance on how to use PEFA assessments as part of a stakeholder dialogue to develop and sequence PFM reform initiatives.

Each volume of the handbook is intended to be a dynamic document that will be updated in response to common issues, good practices, suggestions, and frequently asked questions from PEFA users. Periodic updates to the handbook volumes are announced and published on the PEFA website: