In some cases, therefore, a government’s approach to reform may be less structured and more piecemeal based on individual (and achievable) reform initiatives. Specific problems may be responded to in a more ad hoc manner or may simply reflect what is considered achievable given a particular set of circumstances (depending on the political environment, the skills capacity available, or the institutional framework). Such circumstances may not lend themselves to a formal work plan. It is nevertheless important to be clear regarding what the objective of a reform may be, what actions are required, who is responsible for working on the reform, and when the reform is expected to be completed.

Capacity development takes time and is often nonlinear. Content and approach to capacity building will have to be adjusted over time, reflecting impact and unintended consequences. Special attention should be given to the effectiveness of one-off training compared with a country’s institutional strengthening and capacity building.

Work on developing the action plan and identifying the specific reform initiatives and tasks should commence as soon as possible after the PEFA report has been completed. The organizational setup for this work should reflect the circumstances of the country. For example, the work could be anchored by a high-level meeting of senior government officials, with a PEFA oversight team set up for the assessment and all the main stakeholders participating in the workshop disseminating the PEFA report.


Stage 7

Monitor and evaluate reform implementation



Progress on implementation should be monitored against specific reforms, actions, milestones, and deadlines, as well as for the potential impact on PFM performance as measured by the relevant PEFA performance indicator(s) or dimensions.

Monitoring should be undertaken continuously for learning and for adjusting objectives, actions, and risk mitigation. Whether reforms are implemented through a structured, an iterative, or an unstructured approach, it is important to track the actions undertaken and deliverables achieved and to hold accountable those who are responsible for carrying out the tasks involved.

Full implementation of a PFM reform task may take several steps over several years. As a result, PEFA indicators and dimensions may not always be suited for measuring progress over the short term. There is also a distinction between monitoring implementation of the reform and evaluating the impact of that reform. Evaluation of longer-term periods should also address the efficiency and