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Sida's Public Finance Management and Aid Effectiveness helpdesk

Between January 2014 and January 2016 SIPU International AB managed a Helpdesk in Public Finance Management (PFM) and Aid Effectiveness on behalf of Sida. The Helpdesk was designed to support Sida’s appraisal and decision making processes through easily accessible and rapidly mobilised short term expert advice, offered upon request from either Sida headquarters or from Embassies. The help desk was intended for advisory services and could be used when Sida e.g:

  • Develops methodological guidance on program and results based aid (RBA).
  • Develops proposals for new cooperation strategies to the Swedish government.
  • Operationalises new government strategies.
  • Contributes to analytical work or studies related to PFM and aid effectiveness.
  • Manages contributions, in particular when working with PFM-reform programs, budget support, sector program support and results based aid.
  • Trains and develops the capacity of its staff.

In total 24 helpdesk assignments were carried out during the period, with a roughly equal split between assignments with a central focus on public finance management and those with a central focus on aid effectiveness.  

Some examples of support provided through the Helpdesk include:

  • Supporting the Swedish Embassy in Cambodia in its role as lead donor of the PFM reform programme
  • Supporting Sida with analysis of risks and opportunities with multi-donor funds in Afghanistan and Somalia
  • Training and research to support the development of Sida’s approach to Results-Based Aid
  • Providing technical assistance to support Sida’s comments on the new global PEFA standard.
  • Providing advice, analysis and value for money assessments on multiple programme proposals in a range of sectors including health, education, energy and civil society.  

The specific technical competences offered by SIPU included PFM systems, including legislations, and the functionality and design of systems;  Pro-poor PFM reform, including the perspective of the poor on development, equality, the human rights perspective and adaptation to the EU’s acqui communautaires; The entire range of PFM functions from planning and budgeting to audit. Different kinds of PFM systems, including the Westminster, Napoleonic and post-Soviet systems; PFM reform including its design, sequencing and sustainability;  PFM in relation to government sector and sub-national government; PFM and related capacity development, organizational and HR development, ICT and financial management systems (IFMIS) design, public administration reform; PFM and the use of results based management models, program budgeting; PFM and the improvement of accountability and transparency; PFM assessment and diagnostic tools, including Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA), Performance Measurement Frameworks, Public Expenditure Reviews (PER) and Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS), OECD Methodology for Assessing Procurement Systems (MAPS) ; Fiduciary risk analysis and risk management, including interpretation and use of audit information and risk of corruption; Budget analysis; benchmarking of unit costs; Analysis of performance assessment frameworks and related indicators, measurement and verification techniques; Design and analysis of aid and finance modalities with regard to effectiveness, use of partner systems and risk management; The aid effectiveness/development effectiveness agenda, as reflected in the Paris Declaration, the Accra Agenda for Action, the Busan Partnership Agreement, including inter alia the alignment of aid and the use of country systems; Program aid, including general budget support, sector budget support, sector program support and multi-donor trust funds; Results based aid and results based financing, their design and application.; Experience of working with Sida, understanding of Sweden’s development policies and strategies; Experience of formulating, implementing, monitoring/following up, reviewing, and/or reporting about strategies and contribution portfolios and specific contributions.; Capacity development in the subject areas covered by this assignment.

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