As the first event of the year 2021, from January 11 to 21, 2021, JVI conducted a virtual edition of the IMF Institute for Capacity Development’s course on Fiscal Sustainability.
Seventeen participants from eleven countries participated in the course, which utilized a novel IMF Excel-based Public Debt Dynamics Tool (DDT). Participants used the DDT to understand how public debt is expected to change over time, perform scenario analyses, and assess fiscal adjustment paths to achieve a user-defined public debt target. Practical, hands-on sessions in which small groups of participants applied the tool using country data complemented the lectures. On the last day of the course, participants presented their public debt projections, fiscal adjustment paths, and stress test results. Additionally, the course covered related topics including the debt impact of COVID-19, debt sustainability indicators, and risk of debt distress, fiscal crises, fiscal adjustments, and long-term fiscal pressures.
Participants highly valued the simplicity and user-friendliness of the DDT, which allowed them to quickly and effectively grasp key elements of fiscal sustainability in a virtual context. Participants also welcomed that they were able to immediately apply the tool to analyze the economic and financial conditions of their own countries. Finally, at the request of a participant’s supervisor, a follow-up lecture was given to showcase a tool extension to assess Gross Financing Needs. Thus, the knowledge obtained in the course appears to be highly relevant for participants’ current jobs.
The virtual course on Fiscal Sustainability will be offered a second time in 2021, from July 19 to 30.
Barbara Dutzler, Senior Economist, JVI