Posts Tagged ‘Emilia Pires’

What’s new at FreeBalance?

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

This weekly news update provides the Government Resource Planning (GRP) community with a brief overview of recent FreeBalance developments and relevant industry news.

What do we care about at FreeBalance?

FreeBalance is very passionate about improving government effectiveness to spur growth and reduce poverty. We believe that our Government Resource Planning (GRP) software and implementation methodologies help governments achieve goals. And, we focus on how we can improve the software and methodologies further. We are passionate about these goals. And, we share what we learn to the broader PFM community. 

So what do we care about at FreeBalance? Find out here >>

Country-Led Reform: the Fragile State Context and example of Timor-Leste 

There is a fascinating speech from Emilia Pires, the Minister of Finance from Timor-Leste held at the Australian National University. Timor-Leste is a FreeBalance customer and user of our Government Resource Planning (GRP) software. Minister Pires describes the conditions facing Timor-Leste on independence and lessons learned. She describes the "new deal for engagement in fragile states." It’s interesting how much her experience in putting policy to practice echoes the work of Matt Andrews. 

See the full interview >>

How Can Government Resource Planning (GRP) Software Automate Good Governance?

FreeBalance released a white paper describing how technology can assist governance reform in developing nation and emerging economy governments. The white paper was launched at the 27th Annual International Training Conference of the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) in Miami. The Automated Good Governance white paper consists of a framework with use cases. 

Download the White Paper >>

Government Financial Management: Build vs. Buy Dilemma – The 3rd Option 

We’ve been noticing the trend of high failure rates in government Financial Management Information Systems (FMIS) world-wide. Most governments use Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software, yet there are regions where the choice is for bespoke systems. Experts in the field remain on the fence when it comes to the most sustainable choice for governments. The problem seems to be that build vs. buy ERP in government is often a choice between two evils. 

Read the full story on the FreeBalance blog >>

Latin American Government Financial Software Trends 

A FreeBalance team attended an Inter-American Development Bank workshop: International Workshop on Public Financial Management for IFMIS Coordinators. [Presentations are located on that web page and my Storify version of tweets during the event are below.] We prefer the term "Government Resource Planning" (GRP) to "Integrated Financial Management Information Systems" (IFMIS). Nevertheless, IFMIS (SIAF in Spanish) is the term most often used among International Financial Institutions. 

Read more >>

Country-Led Reform: the Fragile State Context and example of Timor-Leste

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Doug Hadden, VP Products

I found this fascinating speech from Emilia Pires, the Minister of Finance from Timor-Leste held at the Australian National University. Timor-Leste is a FreeBalance customer and user of our Government Resource Planning (GRP) software. Minister Pires describes the conditions facing Timor-Leste on independence an lessons learned. She describes the "new deal for engagement in fragile states." It interesting how much her experience in putting policy to practice echos the work of Matt Andrews. (You may want to forward to the introduction at around minute 15).

 

The critical takeaways, in my view are:

  • "Public financial management is the engine room" for State building – this is enabled through transparency that builds trust
  • Reform needs to be country-led, it's impossible to deal with multiple donors who are focused on their own objectives and more concerned about internal reporting than outcomes – not to mention the stampede of reports
  • There is a big disconnection between donor developed programs and implementation, the implementors often have no idea what the designers had in mind and are faced with overly-complicated indicators
  • Capacity building is key to improving public financial management
  • She rejects the notion that PFM reform should take 40 years
  • Donors should use country systems – you can't find out where the leaks in a pipe are until you use the pipe
  • It is difficult, in the post-conflict situation, to consider using "best practices" that rate "process" rather than being focused on outcomes

The Government of Timor-Leste has leveraged technology from FreeBalance for "leapfrog" transparency. Minister Pires mentioned budget, procurement and government results portals.

“MDG Idol” or “MDG Survivor”?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Excitement over Millennium Development Goals can Hide what Works!

Doug Hadden, VP Products

Bright lights and big stars in New York this week. Speeches at the United Nations. Explosion in social media discussion. Today is #socialgood day, so make sure your view is heard on this Millenium Development Goal - “MDG Idol”. What goal is best for you?  In the smorgasbord of causes. Advocates press their case for their chosen cause. And, it is hard to determine which cause to pick with such celebrities as Bono, Bill Clinton, Ed Norton and Gina Davis sharing stages. You can’t disagree with any of these points of view.

This where the lesson gets lost. For all the improvement in MDGs, there remains a group of survivors with limited improvements to date. “MDG Survivor.” So, we should be less concerned about what the G7 will do in aid and more about what the G7+ needs. Who is the G7+?  Burundi, Chad, Republic Democratic of Congo, Nepal, Salomon Islands, Sierra Leona, South of Sudan and Timor-Leste. What do these fragile states need?

Statebuilding and Governance and MDGs

‘”Aid is given based on MDG criteria, and from our experience we have found out that before we can get the MDGs, we have to do a few things first. We have to have peace and stability,” Timor Leste Minister of Finance Emilia Pires told IPS in Dili ”It means that you have to build peace and then you have to build a state to manage the whole thing. Peacebuilding and statebuilding must come before the MDGs and if you look at all the literature of the MDGs, it doesn’t talk about that.”‘ That’s why the G7+ have the Dili Declaration that states:

 ”Conflict and fragility are major obstacles for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We recognize that it will be extremely difficult to achieve the MDGs in most fragile and conflict-affected states by 2015. We urgently need to address conflict and fragility by supporting country-led peacebuilding and statebuilding processes. To improve the impact of our efforts we will take immediate actions and develop an International Action Plan on peacebuilding and statebuilding.”

As Daniel Kauffman of the Brookings observes: “there are many explanations for slow and uneven progress on the MDGs, ranging from insufficient donor commitments to the choice of indicators. But, as we have written about before a big part of the answer lies in the highly variable quality of governance across countries.” Good Governance is required to advance MDGs. The Dili Declaration shows “governance” as a key priority.

Transparency for Aid Effectiveness

As our friends at Publish What You Fund emphasize, aid effectiveness is as much about donor transparency as it is recipient government governance. Aid transparency improves aid effectiveness through improved aid harmonization and citizen oversight. That’s the intent behind the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). That’s also why there will be a significant positive impact from the World Bank decision to provide open data at http://data.worldbank.org/.

What is FreeBalance doing about it?

As a For Profit Social Enterprise (FOPSE) whose mission is to bring tools for good governance around the world, the MDGs are critically important. Of course, it helps to have Government Resource Planning software that can be implemented and operated successfully in fragile states like Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Liberia, Afghanistan and South of Sudan. We remain active in IATI pushing for improved budget integration. And, we try to share lessons learned.