Following two years of virtual delivery, the IMF course on Understanding, Assessing, and Managing Fiscal Risks was delivered in-person for the first time at the JVI from February 27 to March 3, 2023. 27 participants from 16 countries were selected from a list of 87 applicants. Most participants work in ministries of finance, covering the areas of fiscal risks, budgeting, macro-fiscal policy, debt management, public investment management, and the oversight of state-owned enterprises. Beyond ministries of finance, fiscal councils, parliamentary budget offices, ministries of economy, and auditors were represented.
Many countries in the JVI region have experienced significant fiscal risk realizations in recent years – from the global financial crisis, the euro zone crisis, COVID-19, and energy and food price shocks to more idiosyncratic issues related to natural disasters, public-private partnerships, and state-owned enterprises.
The course started with an introduction of a framework for managing fiscal risks and presented alternative options for institutional arrangements of fiscal risk management. Participants were then offered a deep dive into the management of macroeconomic fiscal risks, government guarantees and on-lending. The last day focused on how to strengthen fiscal transparency and the disclosure of fiscal risks.
The course was very practical. It included country cases from ten countries represented in the course; hands-on exercises on two of the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department’s (FAD) fiscal risk tools (the Fiscal Risk Assessment Tool, and the Debt Guarantee and Loan Assessment Tool) and group work to apply the pillar on fiscal risks of the IMF’s Fiscal Transparency Code.
Participants rated the course highly and started discussions with IMF FAD for follow up capacity development support to implement lessons learned from the course.
Fritz Bachmair, Senior Economist, IMF