Aug 13, 2021

Strengthened Capacities for Better Costing of Structural Reforms

We were delighted to talk to Ms. Vanina Kalemi Jakupi, Director of the Public Finance Management Directorate at the Ministry of Finance and Economy in Albania, about the benefits the in-country and regional events have created for her personally and the Ministry she works for. All events were delivered as part of the EU-funded “Strengthening Line Ministries’ Capacities to Assess Fiscal Implications of Structural Reforms” (FISR) project.

“Albania has been benefiting from the CEF learning activities for many years. The recent project “Strengthening Line Ministries’ Capacities to Assess Fiscal Implications of Structural Reforms” (FISR) has been very useful to the staff of the Albanian Ministry of Finance and Economy in improving the documentation of the Economic Reform Programme (ERP). 

The training projects organized by the CEF for all Western Balkan countries have created a good approach to share experiences among countries and exchange peer review on the process undertaken for each year. Apart from direct assistance in drafting the ERP document, the activities of this project have helped improve general policymaking, costing and budgeting, and linking the strategic document with the Medium-Term Budget Program (MTPB). 

Furthermore, these activities have provided useful methods to identify policy priorities and challenges and to draft well-designed structural reforms. The annual learning activities on costing structural reforms and drafting the ERP document have built the professional skills of the line ministries’ staff who deal with policy planning and budgeting. The impact of the training courses delivered under the FISR project is notable not only in the improvement of the ERP document, but also in more efficient strategic documents prepared in Albania. All line ministries that have attended these events have improved their skills in budgeting and costing policy documents, which is helpful in revising the current documents and preparing new ones. 

The learning events organized to assist countries in compiling the ERP document have also increased official awareness of the importance of this document. In addition, periodic learning events help all institutions in their ongoing staff training. The redesigned guidance has been highly useful for our country, since it represents a strengthened methodological approach to measuring the costs of structural reform measures under the ERPs. The FISR project has provided general support with capacity building, involving public officials from line ministries and other institutions, and increasing staff skills related to reform budgeting and costing. This is useful for the entire country, and specifically for the Ministry of Finance and Economy.

The project has enabled our institutions to understand and address the challenges to ensure sound and consistent assessment of the fiscal implications of structural reforms. It has contributed to well-designed planning documents of structural reforms; improved budgeting; reinforced practical skills of public officials; established collaboration with technical assistance providers; and enhanced knowledge sharing via training public officials to become trainers.

I would like to express our gratitude to the CEF for their ongoing support to increase and improve capacity building in the Albanian public administration, especially the Ministry of Finance and Economy. This collaboration supports me and my colleagues in moving forward with the reforms undertaken.”