Review of Public Financial Management Reform Literature

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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 was envisaged as the preliminary stage of a joint evaluation, and was overseen by a Steering Group of experts from the contributing agencies.
Strong Public Financial Management (PFM) systems are essential to improved service delivery, poverty reduction and to achievement of the MDGs. Effective PFM systems maximise financial efficiency, improve transparency and accountability, and – in theory – will contribute to long-term economic success. Activities range from the preparation and fulfilment of the budget cycle, budget oversight and control, taxing and debt management and procurement, to resource allocation and income distribution, and are increasingly seen as a set of inter-related sub-systems (and organisational and political cultures), rather than a stand-alone activity.