The International Monetary Fund turns 65 this year. Until the current economic crisis, it had reduced its workload drastically to a near-retirement level — its total loan portfolio plummeted by 92 percent in four years. But like many senior citizens, the Fund has kept working past retirement age — and is now expanding its responsibilities.
The I.M.F. has a track record that seems to have been almost completely ignored in discussions of a proposed $750 billion increase in its resources. Nearly 12 years ago, a financial crisis hit Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. The word “contagion” became part of the financial reporting lexicon as the crisis spread to Russia, Brazil, Argentina and other countries. Continue reading
This is a policy brief worth reading. Full text here
Although necessary and often first rate, technocratic solutions alone have been ineffective in delivering real change or lasting results in governance reforms. This is primarily because reform programs are delivered not in controlled environments, but under complex, diverse, sociopolitical, and economic conditions. Real-world conditions.
In political societies ownership of reform programs by the entire country cannot be assumed, public opinion will not necessarily be benign, and coalitions of support may be scarce or nonexistent, even when intended reforms really will benefit those who need them most…
The publication mentions six key challenges for governance practitoners:
Six Key Challenges for Governance Reformers
Uncovering the challenges inherent in building support for governance reform through political analysis;
Securing political will and the best methods for reaching out to political leaders, policy makers and legislators;
Gaining support of public sector middle managers, often the strongest opponents of change;
Building broad coalitions of pro-change influentials and dealing with powerful vested
Transforming indifferent or hostile public opinion into support for reform objectives;
Encouraging citizen demand for accountability to sustain governance reform.
From Harvard Kennedy School Insight
Interview with Stephen Peterson
Lecturer in Public Policy
Faculty Chair of the Executive Program in Public Financial Management
Reforming Public Financial Management in Developing Countries:
“In public financial management reform in developing countries, I think what’s important to remember is that modest improvements can have significant effects. … A modest strategy of evolutionary improvement ensures that the systems work while the reform is in place and they can evolve, eventually, to fairly sophisticated reforms. But you don’t move to sophisticated reforms overnight.”