Engaging the Private Sector in the Journey to Self Reliance – PFM Systems Strengthening in Pakistan
From the inception of the project, the USAID/Pakistan Capacity Development Services – Small Business (PCDS-SB) activity has followed one of IBI’s key principles – providing targeted support for solving problems identified by those affected by them. Awareness of the unique factors that affect the performance of counterparts, and commitment to putting them in the driver’s seat often determine the success of a program. This becomes even more evident when we think about sustainability – positive change will only be long-lasting and lead to self-reliance when locally-led.
IBI follows the problem-driven iterative adaptation (PDIA) approach that cautions against inserting “best practice” solutions without a proper analysis of the local environment, gaps, constraints, readiness for change, and windows of opportunity. To this end, PCDS-SB started with two comprehensive research activities to ensure its interventions are designed based on the locally identified problems and provide support that is tailored to the unique challenges of Pakistan’s PFM system. The team conducted a thorough mapping exercise of the PFM landscape that allowed PCDS-SB to build rapport with the GoP entities on the national as well as provincial levels and identify the most critical impediments to the government’s PFM capacity. IBI designed specific interventions based on the findings of this research to ensure they respond to the GOP’s needs.
IBI worked with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (KPPRA) to design a procurement survey to help to home in on the most pressing challenges faced by
the procurement entities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province. To engage the private sector, the survey collected insights from vendors as well as government officials of procuring entities in five districts. The value of the study cannot be overstated. The report provides a list of actionable recommendations that covers three key areas – policies and procedures, institutional capacity, and opportunities for digitalization.
IBI started implementation of PCDS-SB in February 2019 with the goal of strengthening the ability of government agencies to effectively manage public funds and reducing opportunities for mismanagement and inefficiency. The project provides research and analysis paired with tailored technical support in areas such as policy development, training, and process automation.