As a founding member of the Addis Tax Initiative, USAID recognizes that gains in development outcomes will only be maintained if strong public revenue and expenditure systems are in place in partner countries to sustain them. Nathan is helping USAID to improve the transparency, effectiveness, and sustainability of these systems through the Leadership in Public Financial Management (LPFM II) project. LPFM II provides rapid and on-demand assistance to USAID missions and host country partners around the world on critical public financial management (PFM), domestic resource mobilization (DRM), and trade and investment issues.
LPFM II responds to USAID headquarters and overseas mission priorities on a demand-driven basis, covering a wide range of economic policy issues. Technical assistance activities include both targeted assessments to address short-term needs identified by a mission, as well as one-to-two year integrated technical assistance programs to support missions with a broader set of objectives.
Some examples of larger LPFM II technical assistance buy-ins include:
- Sri Lanka Procurement and Audit Reform: A two-and-a-half-year program supporting the government of Sri Lanka to improve external audits, support a new independent procurement oversight agency, improve capacity and regulations to implement Public Private Partnerships, and mainstream good procurement practices throughout government of Sri Lanka agencies. Among other results, STAIR provided the government of Sri Lanka with the tools to uncover more than $100 million in fraud and waste by developing a series of five audit manuals and trained over 1,000 government employees on how to implement improved audit and procurement practices.
- Uganda Health Financing: A two-year program supporting the Ministry of Health to implement program budgeting at the central and district levels and to improve public expenditure management processes to empower the Ministry of Health to more effectively and efficiently use its budget resources. This activity empowered Uganda’s Ministry of Health to produce its first-ever program budget and identified ways to overcome procedural bottlenecks limiting the Ministry’s ability to execute its budget.
- Kenya County Health Program Budgeting: A two-year program working alongside USAID’s Health Policy Plus (HP+) project to implement program budgeting for the health sector at the county level. In the context of increased decentralization, this activity equipped county health officials to better plan and advocate for resources to support health and HIV/AIDS service delivery. This activity built the capacities of half of Kenya’s county governments to use program budgeting to better plan and monitor funds for HIV/AIDS prevention and care financing.
- Uganda Domestic Resource Mobilization: A one-year program to improve tax policy and tax administration systems, processes, and capacity. More specifically, this program supported an expansion of taxpayer education activities, improved the accuracy and reliability of the taxpayer registry, strengthened arrears management, enhanced data analytics for tax compliance management, enhanced coordination of the DRM reform agenda, and strengthened capacity to address international taxation issues.
- West Africa Customs Strengthening: Three bilateral programs are working with Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Senegal to support the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in these countries. Technical assistance activities include improving the consultation processes around changes in customs procedures, analyzing trade-related fees and penalties, improving compliance management, and supporting interagency coordination on customs and trade facilitation issues.
- Central America Customs Strengthening: An 18-month activity working with key border posts between El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to improve trade facilitation efficiency. This support includes implementation of an innovative Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system that will increase the efficiency and transparency of customs processes.
In addition to these larger technical assistance buy-ins, LPFM II also supports on-demand assessments, diagnostics, and analytics and designs and hosts trainings and seminars on economic policy topics.
Over the life of LPFM II, Nathan has emphasized the importance of continuously building the body of knowledge that will help in future PFM program design, lessons learned, and best practices, and sharing this knowledge with USAID Missions and their local counterparts that are working to improve domestic resource mobilization and utilization. Under LPFM II, Nathan has demonstrated to USAID how to successfully respond to field mission needs in a timely and effective manner, to deliver tangible improvements to PFM systems, and to serve at the forefront as a global thought leader in, and funding partner for, PFM capacity building.
To learn more about LPFM II, contact Victoria Waite.