Integrated national financing frameworks (INFFs) need to be demand driven, and have strong political backing and broad-based country ownership. This calls for governance and coordination mechanisms situated at a high level of government (e.g. the body that oversees the national sustainable development strategy) and engage all stakeholders in a consultative process.
Governance and coordination mechanisms guide the entire process of the INFF – from assessments and diagnostics to policy formulation, implementation, and monitoring and review. They provide a range of tools, including safeguards, screening tools, coherence checks, mainstreaming and incentives for inter-ministerial coordination. These can help facilitate the coherence of financing policies and support effective delivery.
Early experiences from INFF implementation have shown that, when INFFs are developed jointly with a national development strategy or plan, the INFF is more likely to secure broad-based country ownership. Accordingly, governance and coordination was also tasked to the body that oversees the national sustainable development strategy. This also helped ensure that financing policies were closely tied to the overarching strategy.
The governance and coordination mechanism should also lead a consultative process that engages all relevant stakeholders, including parliament, civil society, the private sector and other non-state actors. Such platforms for public dialogue can generate broad-based support, while helping to better inform policymakers of stakeholders’ needs and priorities.
A range of tools can facilitate better coordination and coherence of financing policies and support effective delivery.
Safeguards are a minimal form of policy coordination; that is, they ensure that policies and investments do not harm or undermine specific policy objectives. Screening tools that assess policies for their positive contribution to national development objectives go one step further. Bhutan, for example, has introduced a policy screening tool that assesses all new policies against their contribution to the country’s overall policy objective of increasing gross national happiness. Coherence checks ask institutions to assess rules, standards, regulations and policies for consistency with national priorities. Mainstreaming entails the integration of a specific perspective (e.g. gender equality) into the entire policy process. Incentives can be put in place for greater inter-ministerial coordination and cooperation. For example, allocation of funding for planning and activities can be made conditional on cooperation and joint implementation across several ministries.
The Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development is developing a series of guidance documents to help countries develop and implement their INFFs. Guidance materials on the governance and coordination building block will be available by the end of 2020.
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