effectiveness of the reform and its impact on the three main budgetary and fiscal outcomes: aggregate fiscal discipline, strategic allocation of resources, and efficient service delivery (discussed later).

Successive PEFA assessments and other diagnostic tools 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 and other diagnostic tools can be integrated into the government’s monitoring and evaluation system with respect to its overall reform program. It is also important for those tasked with implementing reforms to provide regular progress reports to those responsible for monitoring progress. In turn, the officer responsible for monitoring and evaluation should prepare regular quarterly or half-yearly updates for the government to ensure that the PFM reform process is ongoing, transparent, and accountable.

Some PFM reforms are not suited to annual monitoring because they are too complex and costly or because significant change over a relatively short period of time is unlikely to occur. Many PFM reforms can take several years to implement to the extent that they will affect PEFA dimension or indicator scores. Nonetheless, many new governments consider that having a PEFA assessment early in their appointment provides a useful check on the status of PFM and serves as a benchmark for reform initiatives


PFM reform is rarely linear in its application. Reforms can encounter constraints, and progress can be variable. Governments may need to respond to those constraints and continually adjust their reform plans.

The success or failure of a reform initiative will determine the next steps in the reform process. Failure or partial success will require governments to evaluate the factors that have affected success or failure. Other identified impediments to reform should be addressed. A lack of success may be due to poor or inadequate program design. Practitioners may need to try several iterations of design before a reform is successful.

If reforms are implemented successfully, the government and development partner should move on to the next priority and apply the same approach. In the handbook’s example, several attempts at developing economic models and fiscal forecasting techniques may produce sufficiently robust fiscal forecasts.