Why it Worked: Critical Success Factors of a Financial Reform Project in Africa
Little is written about the critical success factors that make or break a project implementing a public financial management reform in Africa. Based on the twelve year experience of Harvardâ€™s DSA project which transformed Ethiopiaâ€™s financial management in the third best on the continent, this paper presents the key factors of the projects success: task, context, patrons, roles, staff and decisions. The task was focused from the start on the basics of financial control (budget and accounts and their budget classification, chart of accounts and financial calendar) and the development of an often forgotten end state in PFM reformâ€”the self-accounting unit. Three features of context supported the project: political (close ties between the US and Ethiopia government established during the civil war), task environment (a hard budget constraint) and, serendipity (a war that ensure one set of cooks in the kitchen and removed the inevitable critique by foreign aid agencies, and the government policy of second stage devolutionâ€”which made the focal point of district level decentralization). The third CSF, the projects patrons, stayed the course, met stated commitments and did not meddle. The project performed four roles (go-between in the vacuum of decentralization), decider (making the key decisions on pilots), first responder (providing PFM innovations not specified in the terms of reference) and perhaps most important, the furniture (an object that could be kicked and blamed). The project was able to assemble the array of essential staff: all rounders, managers, technicians, networkers and a closer.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138|
Web page: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:4876869. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Office for Scholarly Communication)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.