The PEMPAL Steering Committee held its face-to-face meeting at the Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF) from February 16-17, 2012. The meeting brought together representatives of all three COPs and five donor institutions, and the PEMPAL resource team. A Steering Committee Chair, representative of SECO, was re-elected for another year.
The agenda of the meeting included four main topics: external evaluation, strategy for 2012 – 2017, COPs budgets, and marketing initiatives and new tools.
Findings of the recently concluded external evaluation of the PEMPAL network were discussed. The Steering Committee agreed that the following evaluation’s recommendations should be included in the 2012 – 2017 strategy, namely that the PEMPAL should:
(i) Develop clear strategic objectives, and by doing so, focus more on building professional competency of individuals who participate in PEMPAL, and less on general results in the PFM systems;
(ii) Provide for conditions, including financial and technical support, to allow the individuals to contribute to PFM reforms in their countries; and, to this end,
(iii) Engage senior officials at a higher political level into the process to think about how PEM PAL can help them make a difference in their countries;
(iv) Provide resourses for creating PEMPAL-branded knowledge products;
(v) Develop a set of key performance indicators to be shared by all key stakeholders;
(vi) Demonstrate the relevance of the PEMPAL for countries at a different level of development, and stress the importance of diversity (in terms of language, cultural and institutional background);
(vii) Develop a clear assignment of roles and responsibilities between the Steering Committee, the Community Facilitator, the resource groups and the Secretariat;
(viii) Provide for quality and sustainability of the network, and encourage the donors to decide on the nature of their long-term engagement with the network;
(ix) Revisit the modality of the secretariat function, given the growth in network activity.
Expected to be launched in April 2012, the 2012 – 2017 strategy was devised to examine the network’s relevance, sustainability and options for the next five years. Three main objectives were identified to contribute to PEM PAL’s depth, quality and impact, namely to (i) ensure quality knowledge resources and services to members (e.g., through knowledge products, virtual library, cross-COP cooperation, experts, diversity of the membership); (ii) improve membership quality and sustainability (e.g., through medium term strategies, co-financing and in-kind contributions of the participating countries); and, (iii) engage the higher political level to PEMPAL (e.g., by exploring options for a MOF network, through targeted marketing and in-depth PFM studies).
Discussing the overall financial situation the Steering Committee noted that the PEMPAL will end the current funding period (July 2010 - June 2012) with a balance, which will allow for a smooth transition into a new funding phase. The COPs activities have been much more ambitious than planned, and could be implemented thanks to a continuous donors’ support, which is expected to be reconfirmed for the beyond July 2012 replenishment phase. The Steering Committee also discussed ways to keep the COPs budgets in check.
The Steering Committee considered the PEMPAL 2011 Annual Report and Success Stories, and approved their publication. It also approved the launch of a new PEMPAL virtual library, which has recently been added to the PEMPAL website to allow for an efficient and cost effective access and upload of laws and regulations, best practices, presentations and country cases, in order to facilitate knowledge and information exchange among the PEMPAL participants.
The Steering Committee members also exchanged views on the tender for the secretariat job. Criteria for COPs Chairs were also discussed under other business.