CLEAR FA brought together stakeholders to reflect on public policy effectiveness in West Africa in light of program budget reform and the COVID-19 pandemic
The 2nd CLEAR FA - CESAG Regional Roundtable provided an opportunity to take stock of the implementation of the July 30, 2021 program budget reform in six (6) countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) space, namely; Togo, Benin, Senegal, Niger, Mali, and Côte d'Ivoire.
The presentation of country cases made it possible to highlight the commonalities and differences existing across the region.
The Center for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR FA), which brings us together today, is fully integrated into our mission of empowerment and transformation of African human resources into human capital for development in a spirit of integration, solidarity, and sharing, as evidenced by the roundtable, 'the effectiveness of public policy in the light of the reform of the program budget and the pandemic of COVID-19' said the Director General of CESAG, Professor Balibié Serge Auguste BAYALA in his speech at the opening of the round table.
Country's experiences differ in terms of timing and national priorities. This assessment brought to light three major concerns. The first concern relates to the organizational and administrative structure capable of carrying out the reform, given the gap between the texts and practice, between the performance objectives targeted and those achieved, and between the desired behaviors and attitudes and those observed.
The second concern relates to the level of compliance with program budget principles beyond the technical efforts of transposing texts. The third concern is related to the absence of an assessment of the real effects of the reform and its opportunity cost in relation to the efforts made to implement it.
These concerns underpinned the central question discussed on the second day of the workshop: 'Is the reform relevant in light of the experience of the COVID-19 crisis?'
It appears that the program budget reform remains an effective public finance management modality in the face of unforeseen events. In order to take full advantage of the benefits of program budgeting for the effectiveness of health and employment policies, a number of steps need to be taken. These are presented in the CLEAR FA - CESAG Lomé Consensus for Policy Effectiveness.