Tailor to resources, but be ambitious

 

The PFI and the accompanying Toolkit follow a modular approach, with separate chapters devoted to each policy area. This approach has many advantages, including being:

  • well-suited to the institutional capacities of most governments who will usually begin with only a few chapters, particularly those most directly concerned with investment (Chapters 1 & 2);
  • more flexible in terms of allowing for the multiple uses and users of the PFI since the various parts can be assembled in many different configurations;
  • easier to delegate responsibility for undertaking the PFI by assigning responsibility for individual chapters to the ministry or agency with relevant competence.

The reform process is not a one-off exercise where problems are identified and remedied once and for all, and the PFI should be seen in the same light. It is most likely to be effective as an iterative process which might begin with an assessment of one or two policy areas (chapters) or a diagnosis of where the greatest impediments to investment might lie. But ultimately the PFI will be most useful when it involves a broad approach to improving the investment climate which incorporates all policy chapters and, possibly, quantitative indicators of progress. Concentrating on only one or a few policy issues at a time risks underplaying one of the key features of the PFI, namely policy coherence and the “whole-of-government” approach to reform. A selective approach to PFI assessments does not lend itself to forming an overall assessment or provide a basis for identifying where the overall priorities for policy reform should lie.

 

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