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Public Financial Management (PFM)

A sound public financial management system enables governments to achieve fiscal discipline and resource allocation based on policy priorities and operational efficiency. It is also the foundation of good governance. Over the past 25 years, with the support of bilateral and multilateral organizations, Africa has seen tremendous progress in building its PFM infrastructure. Most countries have enacted financial management and procurement laws, and several have established accountability mechanisms like anti-corruption commissions, supreme audit institutions, and procurement regulatory bodies. Some are implementing PFM reforms, including financial management information systems, treasury single accounts, program/performance-based budgeting, medium-term expenditure frameworks (MTEFs), and other initiatives—both nationally and sub-nationally. Nonetheless, in most countries, there are simply not enough accountants, economists, legal experts, IT professionals, etc. to support these reforms.

To bridge this gap, Africa typically looks outward to bilateral and multilateral donors for technical assistance in strengthening its PFM systems. However, while this support has been critical for building basic infrastructure, these subsidized technical assistance projects are often expensive and do not always deliver the expected outcome. One major reason for this is that foreign consultants sometimes lack sufficient knowledge about a country’s norms, culture, language, history, and politics.

Public Financial Management (PFM) Practice Group

  • Macro Fiscal Analysis
  • Tax Policy and Administration
  • Domestic Resource Mobilization
  • Budget Formulation and Preparation
  • Public Procurement
  • Cash and Debt Management
  • Accounting and Financial Reporting
  • Financial Management Information Systems
  • Internal and External Audits
  • Parliamentary Finance/Budget and Audit Committees
  • Fiscal Decentralization
  • Civil Society and Media engagement in Public Finance