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LESSONS:

Philippines: Local Government Financing and Budget Reform Program Cluster

sector: Public Sector Management | country: Philippines

The project completion report (PCR) reinforced generally known lessons on program lending. The experience of the Local Government Financing and Budget Reform (LGFBR) program highlighted the critical importance of an accurate and careful assessment of government ownership of reform initiatives. This was especially valid for a complex program, such as the LGFBR program, which involved multiple national agencies and layers of governments. Demand-driven facilitation of reforms was cited as the main reason for the LGFBR program’s timely and successful implementation, which was a substantial achievement. The LGFBR program experience also showed that the flexibility afforded the cluster modality – in dialogue, pacing of reforms, and borrowing – was well suited and liked by the borrower, although the cluster flexibility was not required at the end in designing subprogram 2. This program can serve as a good practice example of how to address public sector reform, in substance as well as in incorporating the political economy environment (i.e., the pace of the reforms). Selective capacity-building technical assistance (TA) activities remain relevant and necessary to assist complex program operations. This validation concurs with these lessons.

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