6/29/13 – Eighteen officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and foreign governments completed a weeklong course on fiscal policy and public financial management reforms on Friday, June 28.
The customized training program, led by faculty from the Duke Center for International Development (DCID), exposes participants to the principles and recent trends in governing fiscal policy, taxation, budgeting and fiscal decentralization, along with the new USAID PFM risk assessment framework.
“This course is for anyone who is interested in looking more closely at the public financial management systems of developing countries,” said Tyler Holt, economist at USAID. “It helps us do our due diligence and better understand what governments are doing so we can address areas of weakness.”
The program brings together a number of senior faculty members of Duke University as well as practitioners from Deloitte, USAID and international multilateral institutions, all with extensive experience in real-world policy reform, technical assistance and training.
Thomas Solomon, public financial management advisor with USAID, took the course last year and returned in 2013 to present a case study on Liberia’s public financial management system and reform. He said the program is very timely, considering USAID’s mandate to have 30 percent of funds managed by local partners and host governments by 2015.
“Sustainability at the end of the day is only achieved when a country is managing its own finances,” Solomon said. “This course will allow program staff to assess host country strategies and engage their officials more effectively than they did before.”
Faculty also benefit from the course, said Professor Roy Kelly, program director.
“The program provides a valuable opportunity for us to learn more about the specific challenges USAID faces in its country operations,” he said.
The program was developed under the USAID-funded Leadership in Public Financial Management project, which is designed to support rapid and sustainable economic growth and enable USAID to better address economic governance issues.
DCID has offered the program for three years and trained approximately 60 USAID officials and 10 government officials from various countries.