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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Review: A Review of PFM Reform Literature

Carole Pretorius & Nico Pretorius

DFID Evaluation Working Paper EV698 (2008)


Reviewed by Andy Wynne – andywynne@lineone.net

This review of literature on experience with Public Financial Management Reform was commissioned by DFID on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). It aims to synthesise the main theoretical approaches and findings from evaluations of PFM reform programmes, and to identify knowledge gaps. The literature reviewed includes academic and technical articles, development practitioner guides, manuals, handbooks and websites.

The review seeks to address two sets of information: an overview of models and approaches, and a review of reform experience. It did not prove possible to relate reform experience to the models presented, which represents a significant shortcoming in our understanding of PFM reform. In reality, the links between theoretical and practical approaches are weak – in the case of the newer approaches, reform experience has pre-dated the models, and indeed informed their development. The evaluations reviewed here did not make use of theoretical models to inform their evaluation frameworks. It would therefore contribute to the PFM evaluation literature if the forthcoming evaluation was to base its design framework explicitly on recent theoretical models, and our understanding of the institutional basis of each model.
PFM Lit Review Final

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