How can Sweden contribute to institutional reform in partner countries?

1 October, Stockholm

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 a new EBA report presented at this seminar. 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?

Program:

14:30 Registration, Coffee and tea

15:00 Introduction, Lars Heikensten, chair EBA

15:05 Public financial management– can bilateral agencies bring realism to reform? Associate Prof. Matt Andrews, Harvard University

15:35 Deficiencies in reform collaboration in African countries Prof. Adebayo Olukoshi, International IDEA, Addis Abeba

15:45 Are Swedish experiences suited for development cooperation? Per Molander, former Director General,

15:55 …and what does the development practice require? Pernilla Trägårdh, International Director, Statistics Sweden

16:05 Panel discussion, Matt Andrews, Per Molander, Adebayo Olukoshi, Pernilla Trägårdh,

16:55 Summing up, Lars Heikensten

 

Speakers and discussants:

Matt Andrews, associate professor, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Adebayo Olukoshi, Professor, Africa Director at International IDEA, Addis Abeba. Previously head of the African Institute of Economic Development and Planning (UN-IDEP) and prior to that executive secretary of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA)

Per Molander, Director General of the Swedish Social Security Inspectorate (until 30 Sept 2015), Previously consultant on governance reform on behalf of the Swedish government, the World Bank, UNDP, the European Commission and others.

Pernilla Trägårdh, Director, International Consulting Office, Statistics Sweden. Previously with Sida.

Lars Heikensten, Chair EBA, CEO the Nobel Foundation, former Governor of the Swedish Riksbank.

Moderators: Eva Lithman, EBA member, Mats Hårsmar, EBA secretariat