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PFM

Political economy drivers of PFM reforms: a systematic look at what we all know somehow

Verena Fritz's picture
“I started working from when I was 8. When father could not send me to school, I decided to do something to support my family financially. Today, I am working as a cook in this tea shop.” - Puran Saud, Achham (Photo Credit – Stories of Nepal)

Goma is a girl, born in rural Kalikot. Her parents are illiterate, belong to the Dalit community and are in the bottom 20 percent of Nepal’s wealth distribution. Champa is also a girl born to a household very similar to Goma’s, but her parents are from a village in Siraha. Avidit is a boy born to an upper caste household in urban Kathmandu. Both his parents have a university education and come from affluent backgrounds.

In a society where opportunities are equally available for children of all socio-economic backgrounds, Goma, Avidit and Champa would all have equal odds of becoming doctors, or engineers or successful entrepreneurs. But in Nepal, the life trajectory of these children begins to diverge very early in life.

How to manage revenues from extractives? There’s a book for that!

Rolando Ossowski's picture
 
Offshore oil and rig platform. Photo: © curraheeshutter / Shutterstock.


Countries with large nonrenewable resources can benefit significantly from them, but reliance on revenues from these sources poses major challenges for policy makers. If you are a senior ministry of finance official in a resource-rich country, what are the challenges that you would face and how can you strengthen the fiscal management of your country’s oil and mineral revenues? Consider some of the issues that you would likely encounter:

For many resource abundant countries, large and unpredictable fluctuations in fiscal revenues are a fact of life. Resource revenues are highly volatile and subject to uncertainty. Fiscal policies will need to be framed to support macroeconomic stability and sustainable growth, while sensibly managing fiscal risks. Also, there is a question of how to decouple public spending (which should be relatively stable) from the short-run volatility of resource prices.

Enhancing government accountability can improve service delivery in Buenos Aires

Daniel Nogueira-Budny's picture

Also available in: Español

Young students in rural areas of Argentina. Photo: Nahuel Berger / World Bank


Public schools in the Province of Buenos Aires generally provide school books and other learning materials to students free of charge. This is important, as the poorest 40 percent of Argentina’s population relies disproportionately upon public services such as education. But, what happens when schools cannot purchase books for students?
 
Fixed expenditures, including personnel costs, generally leave limited space for other quality-enhancing education expenditures, such as school books and training materials. Faced with an unexpected pressure on such fixed expenditures in 2013, some schools were suddenly forced to cut down significantly on teacher training materials and other educational resources generally provided free of charge. As a result, a number of parents were suddenly forced to decide between purchasing learning materials for their children’s education, or paying bills.

Public Financial Management reforms - signals or real change?

Renaud Seligmann's picture


Two decades ago, when I interned at the French Embassy’s economic mission in Moscow, I was asked to look into bankruptcy laws and their implementation. The Embassy wanted to advise French companies on how to get business done in the new Russia—we are talking mid-1990s—when there were no reliable guidebooks on how to navigate the transition to a market economy.

So I was asked to read recently approved, Western-inspired bankruptcy laws, given a phone book and asked to find two dozen companies around Moscow. I was to meet with their CEOs and find out how insolvency and bankruptcy procedures actually worked in practice.

I came away with one key finding: the rules on the books were not a very useful guide to how bankruptcy worked in practice. In fact, the distortions brought about by hyperinflation, bartering and the transition from Soviet to Western accounting meant the liquidity and solvency ratios that underpinned the institution of bankruptcy had essentially become meaningless.

Public financial management reforms: determined by conditions or resulting from the right approach?

Verena Fritz's picture


Photo: Burst | Pexels Creative Commons

Australia’s involvement in the Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF)—as a founding member, and co-chair of the advisory council over the past year—underscores our commitment to lift investment in global infrastructure, which is a critical component to ensuring economic growth and poverty alleviation.
 
Strong economic infrastructure underpins human development, enables movement of people and goods, provides access to and expands markets and services, facilitates innovation, and enhances competitiveness.

Apply for SAFE Trust Fund grants

Soukeyna Kane's picture



The SAFE Trust Fund application (Word document) is now open until 27 February 2015.
 
What is SAFE?
 
SAFE means Strengthening Accountability and the Fiduciary Environment. It is a Trust Fund group administered by the World Bank and established by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the European Commission with the aim of improving public financial management in the Europe and Central Asia region. This Trust Fund group provides support for activities to assess public financial management (PFM) performance, identify and implement actions to achieve improvements and share knowledge and good practices across countries in the region.

New Fiscal Transparency Initiatives Are Key to Good Governance

Mario Marcel's picture


Photo: kupicoo/ iStock

Un desafío clave a la hora de elaborar una política sobre gestión de “IPs” – iniciativas privadas (también llamadas propuestas no solicitadas o “unsolicited proposals” en inglés) en proyectos de infraestructura es lograr un equilibrio entre el hecho de generar interés de empresas privadas para someter IPs y el de crear un entorno que permita generar una tensión competitiva atrayendo a más postores. En un blog anterior, advertimos que las IPs deben utilizarse con cautela como una excepción a la regla general según la cual los proyectos de infraestructura deberían ser iniciativas del sector público, y sostuvimos que contar con una política adecuada para la gestión de las IPs puede ayudar a garantizar la transparencia y la previsibilidad, y a proteger el interés público.
 
Ciertamente, un Gobierno que decida considerar IPs y elabore una política para su gestión esperará recibir propuestas que cumplan los requisitos establecidos. Al mismo tiempo, el Gobierno debe asegurarse de que el proyecto represente un precio justo de mercado y optimice los recursos públicos. Pero, ¿qué incentivo tiene el sector privado para presentar una iniciativa privada si el Gobierno la toma y somete a un proceso de adquisición competitiva? ¿Qué puede hacer un Gobierno para que las IPs despierten el interés del sector privado y, al mismo tiempo, atraigan suficientes oferentes?