Since mid-2010 we have been supporting the Liberian Government’s work to improve public finance management. Initially the programme focussed on providing remote technical assistance, peer learning support, and high-level expert advice. However, it has since expanded to include two advisors based in Monrovia providing full time support to the Ministry of Finance.
High-level policy advice
In late 2010, we supported an extended video conference between BSI Advisory Board member Professor Paul Collier and the Minister of Finance, together with all the senior officials from the Ministry. This resulted in Professor Collier being invited to Liberia where he met with President Sirleaf and her ministers to talk about natural resource management. He also delivered a public lecture at the University of Liberia which was broadcast live on TV and radio.
ODI Senior Research Associate Alastair Mckechnie has provided advice to the Ministry of Finance on the rehabilitation of the hydro-power scheme.
We have provided technical support to the Department of Budget, the Aid Management Unit, the Macro-Fiscal Unit, and the Department of Revenue.
A key stream of this work has been supporting the introduction of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework. Highlights have included:
- Helping the Ministry to derive medium-term estimates of expenditure
- Assisting with sector planning and budgeting
- Enhancing transparency, accountability, and budget scrutiny to focus more clearly on development results. This has included helping to develop a Citizen’s Guide to the Budget, designing a monitoring and evaluation system for the Poverty Reduction Strategy and advising on strategic capital investments with high rates of socio-economic returns.
Other highlights have included:
- Support to aid management, including developing a staffing plan, staff training, integrating the Aid Management Unit into the Medium Term Expenditure Framework process, and presenting aid flows alongside Government of Liberia funds in the fiscal year 2012/13 budget.
- Support to the Macro-Fiscal Analysis Unit by providing strategic advice to the “Growth and Macro Framework” component of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, identifying some of the building blocks for the Poverty Reduction Strategy and framing aspects of the 150-day Action Plan.