In 2016, BSI merged with ODI’s PFM team to become the Public Finance and Institutions programme (PFI), and is seeking to successfully correlate its programme of technical assistance with the PFM’s research on public finance. PFI covers research on public finance together with a growing programme of policy and implementation support to Finance Ministries, with a particular focus on fragile states. Current research is focused around three broad themes. These include work on public finance policy and institutional reform, looking at the role of public finance reform in driving development outcomes, as well as covering work on promoting effective resource management and mobilisation.
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- ODI held a widely noted dissemination event in September 2015 on the lessons learnt from BSI’s country programmes in the first five years of operation, titled “Driving change in challenging contexts”.
- Occasioned by the launch of the revised PEFA framework, we published a new paper entitled “PEFA – what is it good for”, along with other activities to investigate and discuss the use and usefulness of PEFA in practice, in particular for low-capacity environments.
- Capabilities of Finance Ministries – the synthesis report has been published and a round-table discussion co-hosted by HM Treasury was held in June. Further research has started that will apply the capabilities framework specifically to budget offices. The finance ministry capability research has fed into the BSI advisory programme in Sierra Leone – through a request by the finance ministry for a presentation and workshop discussion on its findings, delivered in Freetown in August 2016, and for implementation support from late 2016 funded by the Government of Sierra Leone.
- Five PFM Introductory Guides have now been published. These are introductory guides to key PFM topics (fiscal decentralisation, strategic budgeting, public investment management, cash management and the challenge function). They put forward practical suggestions on how low-income and low-capacity governments could approach thinking on these topics and briefly outline the experience of other countries in delivering reforms in these areas.
- BSI undertook a Gender Scan of its past work and is currently in the process of creating a Gender and PFM Introductory Guide.