2015 Offentlig förvaltning Analys

Has Sweden Injected Realism into Public Financial Management Reforms in Partner Countries?

Matt Andrews

The importance of well-functioning institutions – formal and informal ’rules of the game’ – for development is widely acknowledged nowadays. Much has also been written on how institutions change. However, to bring such knowledge to bear on the practice of development cooperation has been easier said than done. One reason is the widespread use of ready-made ”blueprint” solutions advocated by international organisations such as the IMF and the World Bank. Bilateral donors would be in a better place to advise on reforms if they used documented and tacit knowledge generated from their own reform experience, Matt Andrews from Harvard University argues in this EBA report. He studies Swedish support to public finance management, an area in which reforms seldom are successful in low income countries. Sweden has recent experiences of substantial reforms of public financial management, and experts with practical experiences of implementing these reforms. To what extent has Sweden used its own experiences in supporting reforms? And to what extent has Sweden been able to influence a reform agenda in partner countries? What are the lessons to be drawn for Swedish development cooperation?