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Public Financial Management & Country Development News Digest


September 20, 2017

PFM and country development news from last week, found by the FreeBalance Strategy & Innovation Group.

CLIMATE FINANCING AND CLIMATE DISASTERS: The largest multilateral banks funding for climate financing reached $27.4B, and “total funds mobilised for climate actions reached $65.3bn last year”, reported Simone Rensch in Public Finance International.This financing cannot come too soon given recent hurricanes in the Caribbean region. Rensch also reported recommendations from the Jubilee USA Network for donors to suspect debt repayments. An article in the Economist recommended that Caribbean countries should “adapt to climate change” rather than focus on rebuilding. Another Economist article found that the pioneering form of disaster insurance was too “little, but not too late.”

WORLD BANK HERALDS PFM IN CAMBODIA (WHILE NGOS BANNED, OPPOSITION LEADERS ARRESTED): Sok Chan in the Khmer Times described World Bank acknowledgement of improvements of  the Cambodia Public Finance Management (PFM) system. This comes amidst allegations of increasing democratic and civil space restrictions in the country, including the potential ban of an opposition party and the prosecution of an opposition leader , reported by Reuters.

DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES IN AFRICA IN NEED FOR RECONSIDERATION? A report from Richard Allen, Taz Chaponda, Lesley Fisher and Rohini Raythe for the IMF found that disappointing results from the use of Medium-Term Budget Frameworks in Sub-Saharan African countries. “In most countries, early successes were not sustained, and budgetary outcomes did not improve, partly for technical reasons, such as poor data and inadequate forecasting methodologies, but also because the reforms were largely supply driven.” This comes at a time when the development paradigm of “best practices” has come under criticism. Matt Andrews of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government described the latest positive research in problem-driven, rather than solution-driven, approaches to development and building state capability in an interview with Alice Evans. Andrews summarized some of the key finding from the open access book Building State Capability that he co-authored with Lant Pritchett and Michael Woolcock. This examination of development comes at an important time Africa given the reduction of official development assistance to the continent, as Simone Resch reported in Public Finance International.

GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT PRACTICES IN THE NEWS: Complex government procurement practices are in the spotlight given so many difficulties with large government IT and military contracts. Adam Stone described numerous ways to speed up government procurement in Government Technology. A policy brief from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Government Performance Lab described the benefits of active contract management that applies “high-frequency use of data and purposeful management of agency service provider interactions to improve outcomes from contracted services.”

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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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