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PFM in a Changing World – the Harvard Perspective


January 14, 2013

Manuel Pietra, President & CEO

Several FreeBalance executives had the opportunity to participate in the Public Financial Management in a Changing World program last week at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. The program was attended by more than 60 Public Financial Management professionals from 33 countries around the world. The program successfully brought together senior government officials involved in PFM reform with domain experts from international financial institutions and the private sector.

The PFM in a Changing World program was led by Matt Andrews – an Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Mr. Andrews was supported by a diverse faculty with vast practical knowledge of international PFM reform.  Faculty members from Germany, France, South Africa and Italy were able to contextualize PFM reform based on past experience in multiple countries. The full complement of professionals and faculty made for a dynamic and rich program that was highly engaging and interactive.

Mr. Andrews and the faculty of the HKS should be commended for the clever and practical approach that was applied to the course material and sequence of instruction. Program participants were challenged to look at reform differently by re-evaluating the motivation and focus of PFM reform and to understand the impact of local context on the process. Participants were provided with a structured approach and methodology that can be applied within their own country context in support of PFM reform. Program content was bolstered with a series of readings and international case studies.

We were all pleasantly surprised to learn that much of the program reading material came from a new book from Matt Andrews called “The Limits of Institutional Reform in Development”. The book will be available shortly from Cambridge University Press.

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Manuel Pietra

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