IMF/World Bank Capacitates MOF Staff on Public Expenditure Research for Policy Making

A joint mission from International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank is in Sierra Leone conducting training and capacity building for staff of the Ministry of Finance, especially from the Research and Delivery Division (RDD) and the Health Financing team at the Ministry of Health Sanitation as part of ongoing research on the distributional analysis of government spending on health in SL.

This is a follow-up to several virtual workshops that have been conducted over the past year on three ongoing research projects on Benefit Incidence Analysis (BIA) study on education, BIA study on health in collaboration with the World Bank and Wage Bill management.

During a courtesy call on the Minister of Finance Dennis K Vandi on Wednesday 3rd August 2022, Fernanda Brollo, senior economist in the expenditure policy division of the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department stated that they have been conducting this medium-term capacity development engagement on strengthening expenditure policies in Sierra Leone for some time now.

She thanked the Minister of Finance and Team for the opportunity to meet and briefly discuss the Capacity Development Engagement (CDE), by stating that their work at the expenditure policy division of the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department is to Provide policy advice on fiscal and macroeconomic implications of expenditure policies through Policy development and research, Support to IMF country teams, Capacity development to member countries and Cover a range of expenditure policy issues, including Government wage bill management, Price subsidies (including energy subsidies), Social protection policies, Pension system design and Human capital spending.

Fernanda Brollo further stated that this CD engagement is to train MoF-RDD staff in key areas of expenditure policy Initiated by MoF authorities interested in BIA for health and education; later extended to medium-term engagement to assist RDD staff with EP issues, by strengthening capacity to evaluate, design and prioritize expenditure, inform the medium-term budget framework and annual budget processes.

In his statement, the Acting Director of the Research and Delivery Division of the Ministry of Finance, Alhaji Abu Komeh stated that their division has been engaging the expenditure policy division of the IMF over the past year through virtual workshops capacity training and research on public spending on education which why the need for a face to face training on health expenditure research broader.

He expressed delight that the mission is here in the country, stating that the training will benefit economists from different divisions within the Ministry of Finance.

The Minister of Finance Dennis K Vandi welcomes the mission to Sierra Leone and thanks them for the capacity building they have been engaging in for the years. He furthered that as a ministry they have been discussing the need to have sectorial economists dealing with different sectors within the economy like education, health, agriculture, etc.

Minister Vandi continued that research is key in economic policy formulation and hopes that the relationship will continue to see the impact of the outcomes of the different expenditure reports.

MoF Comms Unit.