Fiscal Policy, Debt and Regional Integration Programmes

FDRIDP 01-R: Regional Online Course on Strengthening Public Expenditure Management (PEM) and Domestic Resource Mobilization (DRM)for Economic Development.

Date: March 21 - April 1, 2022
Duration: 10 days
Venue: Virtual

Background
Public expenditure plays a crucial role in economic growth, development, and transformation. Through domestic resource mobilisation, countries can accelerate their economic development by raising and spending their funds on public goods and services. Policymakers in developing countries will, therefore, have a strong interest to increase domestic ­financial flows that could be channeled to education, health care, water supply, and critical infrastructure (transportation, power, etc.)–all of which are crucial to the sustainable development agenda. 
However, developing countries are facing a range of challenges in mobilising domestic resources effectively to support the development process. There has been volatility of aid flows to developing countries in recent years. Hence domestic resource mobilization is increasingly perceived as an important way of ensuring the predictability and sustainability of funds to finance development projects and programmes in developing countries. 
Domestic resource mobilization is also very critical for public expenditure management (PEM) as an integral part of economic management. Public financial managers, economic analysts and policy makers must, therefore, place local resource mobilization at the center of efforts and policies in tackling development challenges. In this regard it is important to build the capacities and skills of public sector officials for this task.

Objective of the course
The objective of the course is to provide participants with the methodology, tools, and techniques to strengthen capabilities in domestic resource mobilization for financing projects and programmes for sustainable economic development. It will also give participants first-hand appreciation of the challenges associated with the mobilization of resources to finance key infrastructure projects.


Main Themes

  • • perspectives on domestic resource mobilization and public expenditure management
  • • Domestic resource mobilization as an instrument of sustainable and inclusive development
  • • Domestic resource mobilization: opportunities and challenges
  • • Closing the Revenue Gap
  • • Challenges in increasing domestic resource mobilization in low-income countries
  • • Resource mobilization at the sub-national government level
  • • Taxation objectives and tax policies as part of the overall fiscal framework
  • • Assessment and diagnostics tools for tax systems and policies
  • • Reforms of tax/customs administrations as part of PFM agenda
  • • Measuring revenue potential and tax effort as well as forecasting revenue
  • • Tax legislation, tax exemptions and tax expenditures
  • • Tax policy and administrative issues
  • • Reforming the tax systems for domestic resource mobilization
  • • Taxation at local level and of informal sector
  • • Taxation of natural resources such as the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and Country-by-Country Reporting (CBCR) and
  • • Taxation of multinational corporations (notably issues around transfer pricing).
  • • Issues and challenges in reforming public expenditure.
Benefits to Participants/Countries
At the end of the course the participants will be armed with the tools and skills for domestic resources mobilization. Their capacities as policymakers will be built to address domestic resource mobilization challenges in their countries.
Who May Attend
The course is organized for mid-career and senior level government officials working in Central Banks, the Ministries of Finance and Economic Development who are an responsible   for   budgeting, tax policy, resource mobilization, financial sector and investment policy.

FDRIDP 02-R: Joint World Bank/IMF/WAIFEM Regional Workshop on Implementing the Debt Management Strategy (DMS) and Annual Borrowing Plan (ABP) Development.

Date: May 9 - 13, 2022
Duration: 5 days
Venue: Blended Learning

Background
Sound management of public debt is critical to achieving governments development goals. Sound debt management contributes to increased macro-financial stability, complementing prudent fiscal management and monetary policy implementation. Achieving the optimal debt portfolio helps economies such as ours avoid macroeconomic shocks and achieve debt sustainability. And when combined with appropriate fiscal and monetary policies, public debt management is a lever for achieving macroeconomic and financial stability, as well as economic growth.
Developing countries are facing new financial vulnerabilities and an increased risk of debt distress because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused health, social and economic crises across the world. The fiscal pressures exerted by the pandemic containment measures have ruined public finances and debt sustainability situation in our region, moving several countries from moderate risk to high risk and debt distress. MTDS provides a credible and transparent framework for management of the public debt and financing needs of governments in a way that contain the risks to the sovereign balance sheet, while minimizing the potential debt-related burden on taxpayers and maximizing the resources available for other expenditures.

Objective of the course
At the end of the training, participants will be able to
  • • Understand the importance of MTDS within the context of domestic macroeconomic conditions
  • • Identify the linkages between the debt portfolio and the characteristics of new financing
  • • Formulate and evaluate alternative strategies, including proposing the preferred strategy for the approval of the authorities
  • • Use the knowledge gained during the training to prepare debt management strategies and borrowing plans in their respective countries.
Main Themes
  • • Overview of the MTDS framework and Analytical tool (AT) description
  • • Identifying the objectives and scope of the MTDS
  • • Macroeconomic framework and debt management (fiscal policy, monetary policy, the balance of payments, and the real sector)
  • • Analysis of longer-term structural factors and their implications for MTDS
  • • Market rates (exchange rates and interest rates)
  • • Identifying sources of funding and investor base
  • • Formulation of alternative strategies and ranking their performance
  • • Analysis of the implications of the preferred strategy and
  • • MTDS Report Template.
  • Also, the course will provide practical training sessions to strengthen the knowledge and skills of the participants. The exercises will cover:
  • • Essential Excel functions for the preparation of public debt data
  • • Calculation of debt cost and risk exposure indicators
  • • Analysis of the Yield Curve and projected exchange rates.

Who May Attend
The course is organized for mid-career and senior level government officials working in Central Banks, the Ministries of Finance and Economic Development.

FDRIDP 03-N: Joint World Bank/IMF/WAIFEM Liberia National Technical Assistance on Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS)

Date: May 23 - June 3, 2022
Duration: 10 Days
Venue: Blended Learning

 

 

FDRIDP 04-R: Joint IMF/World Bank/WAIFEM Regional Workshop on Fundamentals of Debt Reporing and Monitoring.

Date: June 6 - 10, 2022
Duration: 5 Days
Venue: Virtual

Background
Numerous developing countries, including WAIFEM member countries, are facing unprecedented levels of debt, exacerbated by COVID-19 and other macroeconomic dysfunctions. Reduced tax collections and mounting public sector deficits have increased the risk of unreported obligations appearing, complicating these countries' ability to service or restructure their debt.

According to the World Bank, around 44% of low-income countries are at danger of facing high debt distress, while 12% are already experiencing it. Countries that lack access to international bond markets increasingly rely on off-budget transactions, opaque collateralized debt instruments, and non-market-based domestic issuances or accumulate unreported arrears. These difficulties associated with low debt transparency impair our governments' ability to make prudent borrowing decisions and manage public debt effectively. They expose our countries to risks such as debt distress and delayed debt restructuring, thus jeopardizing their ability to overcome the pandemic and generate a resilient and inclusive recovery.

In light of this, WAIFEM will offer a virtual regional course on debt reporting, monitoring, and transparency in conjunction with the World Bank and IMF. The workshop is intended to strengthen participants' grasp of debt reporting and monitoring fundamentals, as well as the crucial importance of debt transparency. On a more technical level, the course will cover back-office operations, the fundamentals of working with debt data, cost and risk indicators, as well as the processes and procedures required for appropriate government debt monitoring.

Course Objective
The main objective of this course is to provides officials with tools and sound practice in debt disclosure that can help our member countries improve transparency of their debt-management operations. The training will also provide a platform for participants to learn from experiences of peer countries, international organizations and lenders to better educate and persuade senior government officials about the crucial nature of debt disclosure.

Course Content
The course will cover the following topics among others:

  • • Importance of regular debt reporting in the context of the Revised Guidelines for Public Debt Management
  • • Cost-risk characteristics of a debt portfolio, including guaranteed debt
  • • Calculation of relevant debt portfolio indicators and redemption profiles
  • • Key requirements and benefits of publishing comprehensive, accurate, and timely debt data and reports
  • • Debt bulletins, debt reports, and investor relations presentations
  • • Importance of transparency for effective investor relations, market development, and sound debt management
  • • Relevant investor relations practices that improve debt transparency
  • • Sound practices in debt management, debt reporting and monitoring to support debt management operations and improve public debt transparency.
  • Who may attend
    The course is targeted at middle to senior officials in public debt management, research and financial markets, budget preparation, cash management, drawn from the Ministries of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Debt management Office (DMO), Office of the Accountant General, and Central Banks.

    FDRIDP 05-R: Joint World Bank/IMF/WAIFEM Regional Workshop on Local Currency Bond Market (LCBM) Development.

    Date: June 20 - 24, 2022
    Duration: 5 Days
    Venue: Blended Learning

    Background
    Deep and efficient domestic government debt markets help enable resilience to shock in times of financial turbulence and convey multiple additional economic benefits. Recent financial crises, including the turmoil in financial markets caused by the coronavirus pandemic, have shown that efficient Local Currency Bond Markets (LCBMs) can increase financial resilience by mitigating currency risk, which is often a source of financial distress. In addition, the development of LCBMs is a cornerstone of broader capital market development that helps risk to be priced appropriately, allows participants in financial markets to better manage their portfolios, and provides a more effective conduit for monetary policy.
    These factors then help boost a country’s long-term economic growth potential. Developing domestic debt markets is a complex process that requires multiple and interdependent policy actions. Though broad guidelines and general principles to develop LCBMs are readily available, their translation into specific reforms is a daunting task because it requires actions from a broad range of stakeholders, including the debt manager; the central bank; regulators; the providers of trading, payment, clearing, and settlement systems; and other policymakers. As countries tend to be at different levels of development along these various dimensions, the further development of their LCBMs will be path-dependent and require a country-specific and customized approach.

    Objectives of the Course
    Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

    • • Assess the main challenges to deepening a local debt market
    • • Formulate effective policies and practices for the primary and secondary market that support market development.
    • • Explain the need for coordination with a range of government agencies and private sector stakeholders.
    • • Describe the importance of connected markets for the development of the government bond market.

    Course Description
    This workshop will train officials in the building blocks for local debt market development and the sequencing of policies for developing local debt markets. The building blocks will include primary and secondary markets, money market and associated market infrastructure. The workshop will also cover the primary issuance mechanism and strategies, and regulations governing the debt market and will discuss the challenges faced by these countries in developing their local debt markets.

    Who May Attend

    Officials from debt management offices, central banks, and regulators who deal with topics related to the securities markets in middle and lower-income countries from DMF eligible countries.

    FDRIDP 06-R: Regional Course on Medium-Term Budgetary Frameworks and Monitoring.

    Date: August 15 - 19, 2022
    Duration: 5 Days
    Venue: Abuja, Nigeria

    Background

    Many budget decisions by the fiscal authorities have impacts that extend well beyond the current budget year or that even arise mostly in later years. To make rational budgetary decisions, decision-makers must focus on the medium- and long-term implications. Most importantly, new spending initiatives kick in only after the budget year in which they are taken. Similarly, important saving measures usually take longer than a year to take effect.

    It is increasingly becoming standard practice for countries to introduce medium-term budget frameworks to extend the time horizon of their budget management processes. While specific mechanisms and terminology vary, the most successful approaches to development of medium-term budgeting incorporate a medium-term budget framework (MTBF) which includes revenue forecasts and expenditure ceilings for subunits of general government and individual ministries and agencies; as well as baseline estimates for expenditures, which indicate the future costs of current policy.

    The potential benefits of effective medium-term budgeting are well documented. A well-designed and well-managed framework for medium-term budgeting should contribute to improved fiscal discipline and control, allocative efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of service delivery, through increased clarity of policy objectives, greater predictability in budget allocation, increased comprehensiveness of budget information and enhanced accountability and transparency in the use of resources.
    Objective of the Course

    The course seeks to help participants to better understand the objectives and features of medium-term budgeting, to identify the challenges and bottlenecks in introducing medium-term budgeting frameworks, and to share experiences with colleagues in the West African sub-region and beyond on how these challenges are being addressed.

    Broad Themes

    • • Recent developments in medium-term budgeting
    • • Regional and international practice in medium-term budgeting
    • • Medium-term budgeting in the context of fiscal rules and Fiscal Councils
    • • Medium-term budgeting, strategic planning, and public investment management
    • • Importance of medium-term budgeting to ECOWAS convergence programmes.

    Who May Attend

    The Course has been specifically designed for mid to senior level officials at line ministries in WAIFEM member countries who actively deal with budget formulation, strategic planning and budget decision-making, among others.

    FDRIDP 07-R: WAIFEM/COMSEC Regional Training on Fiscal Debt Data Compilation, Reporting and Monitoring with Meridian

    Date: August 29 - September 2, 2022
    Duration: 5 Days
    Venue: Monrovia, Liberia

    Background

    In recent years, the public debt management landscape has undergone significant transformation through new developments such as stronger emphasis on medium-term debt management strategy development, increasing awareness of risk management, growing importance of the management of contingent liabilities, new reporting standards and the need for improved transparency.

    Given the changes in public debt management coupled with significant advancement in technology, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Debt Management Unit (DMU) embarked on a project to and developed a new public debt management system, ‘Meridian’, which incorporates advanced and improved functionalities to better address emerging debt management requirements while also taking advantage of the latest state-of-the-art technologies. 

    The Meridian adopts a holistic approach through the extensive coverage of various types and categories of debt liability and debt related financial instruments for sovereign as well as sub-national governments.  All countries are expected to migrate from CS-DRMS to Meridian. Countries are expected to have upgraded to the latest version of CS-DRMS which is version 2.3. In this regard, WAIFEM will collaborate with the Commonwealth Secretariat, in order to assist the WAIFEM countries to smoothly meet the migration efforts which will differ from country to country depending on the number and types of instruments as well as the types of transactions recorded, and share the methodology of the Identification and monitoring required for fiscal risk assessment framework. 

    Objectives
    The aim of the course is to provide training in the use Meridian including its operational functions to West African Countries. The course will assist debt managers manage their debt data base consistent with sound practices. The training will contribute to the widening of the regional pool of experienced CS-DRMS and Meridian users.

    Main themes
    Specific areas to cover in the broad themes include:

    • • Public and publicly guaranteed debt, lending portfolios as well as private sector debt that can be recorded managed, and analyzed
    • • Customized deployment of solution in centralized, decentralized and hybrid environments defined by member countries IT and institutional infrastructure
    • • Configuration around the delivery to key stakeholders i.e. ministry of finance, debt management offices and central bank, various funding agencies and project implementation agencies thus streaming information flow between various entities
    • • Fiscal Risk monitoring and management
    • • An on-lending capabilities to assist governments in their lending and managing on-lending loans to public corporations and private sector
    • • A debt analytical package called Management Tools; Short-term debt module to capture various types of short-term debt including contingent liabilities and other short-term domestic debt and arrears
    • • Meridian integration with financial systems to allow seamless exchange of debt related data for improving efficiency and accuracy of information. It manages any portfolio size: small, medium or large; and its modular design means that it can be installed and configured to function independently.

    Who May Attend

    The course is targeted at officials of the ministries of finance and debt management offices involve in debt recording and analysis, staff of central banks involved in external and domestic debt recording and analysis, controller, and accountant general offices, etc. among others.