May 9, 2019

This event explored emerging ideas, evidence, and debates on the role of public financial management (PFM) in low- and middle-income countries, the persistent challenges of implementing it effectively, and evolving approaches to external support for PFM reform.

Particular emphasis is on the potential benefits of moving beyond PFM's historically technical orientation by linking it to broader public sector priorities and by seeking context-specific solutions to common problems.

See detailed agenda below.

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8:30 AM - Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 9:10 AM - Opening Remarks
Paul Smoke, New York University, Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

9:10 - 10:30 AM - Rethinking Public Financial Management and International Support

This panel reviews perspectives emerging from an NYU-affiliated working group and ongoing ODI efforts considering the case for enhancing PFM linkages to broader public policy objectives and service delivery. Panelists will offer their views on improving PFM’s potential to respond to public sector challenges facing low- and middle-income countries, highlighting implications for international assistance.

Moderator: Edward Hedger, NYU PFM Working Group

Marco Cangiano, Overseas Development Institute
Florence N. Kuteesa, NYU PFM Working Group
Nick Manning, NYU PFM Working Group
Carolina Renteria, International Monetary Fund

10:30 - 10:45 AM - Coffee Break

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM - Mobilizing Revenue

Princeton’s Innovations for Successful Societies spoke with officials who introduced important reforms in tax policy and administration with the aim of increasing domestic revenue. This panel reflects on the experiences of Vietnam, Indonesia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Uganda and the insights they hold for other countries.

Moderator: Jennifer Widner, Princeton University

Salam Fayyad, Princeton University
Monica Tumukunde, Uganda Revenue Authority  

12:00 - 12:45 PM - Lunch (Provided)

12:45 - 1:45 PM - Linking National Health Priorities to the Budget Process

Princeton’s Innovations for Successful Societies interviewed officials from five countries that have scored important successes in linking their health priorities to the budget process. This panel draws insights from the experiences of Vietnam, South Africa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Colombia in addressing common problems and persistent challenges.

Moderator:  Jennifer Widner, Princeton University

Chris Atim, Results for Development (R4D) (TBC, via Zoom)
Keith Craig Househam, MD, Health Management Consultant (video recording)
Yoriko Nakamura, Results for Development (R4D)

1:45 - 2:30 PM - Closing Panel: What Have We Learnt and Where Next for Public Financial Management?

The final session assembles seasoned thinkers and professionals in public sector reform and development cooperation to reflect briefly on themes and insights drawn from the symposium and/or their own experiences. Panelists will suggest practical proposals for advancing reforms to improve the management of public finances.

Moderator: Mark Miller, Overseas Development Institute

Vicente Fretes Cibils, Inter-American Development Bank
Verena Fritz, World Bank
Jens Kromann Kristensen, PEFA Secretariat
Chisom Okechukwu, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

2:30 PM - Close of Symposium (Tea and Coffee Provided)

Part I


Part II


Part III


Part II