The 13th session of the DMFAS Advisory Group Meeting took place on 8 and 9 December 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland, after being postponed in 2021 due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions. It occurred immediately following the 13th UNCTAD Debt Management Conference which took place on 5-7 December 2022. The meeting was attended in-person by 160 participants from 53 countries.
The DMFAS Advisory Group Meeting is a forum where stakeholders discuss technical and operational aspects of the use of the DMFAS software by debt management offices of developing countries and provides feedback to UNCTAD for the future development of the software and capacity-building activities delivered by the DMFAS Programme.
This year, the focus was on the results of the mid-term review of the DMFAS Strategic Plan 2020-23 as well as a presentation and demonstration of the DMFAS’ 7th major software release. Additionally, Côte d’Ivoire and Nicaragua shared their experiences with the Advisory Group and participants met in breakout groups to discuss key topics and needs that will inform the development of the next DMFAS strategic plan and workplan.
The main conclusions of the Advisory Group meeting included:
- Endorsement of the evaluator’s conclusions that the DMFAS Programme continues to be highly relevant and that it has demonstrated high levels of effectiveness and efficiency in the implementation of its strategic plan;
- Affirmation that the Programme has had a high, sustainable positive impact on debt management in DMFAS user countries including the availability of comprehensive and reliable databases, effective debt reporting, operational risk management and increased knowledge of debt management;
- Highlighting the critical importance of providing continuous training and capacity development opportunities to Debt Management Offices, and particularly in light of the challenges of high staff turnover;
- Appreciation of the progress in DMFAS 7 development and its demonstration, in particular the new Dashboard, the expanded data coverage, the new more intuitive and user-friendly interface and the enhanced reporting and analytical functionalities;
- Request for provision to countries of comprehensive information on DMFAS 7 features and implementation;
- Reaffirmation of the critical importance of the helpdesk and need to further strengthen it;
- Appreciation of improved coordination with other providers of technical assistance;
- Emphasis on DMFAS’ essential role in assisting countries to build sustainable capacity for effective debt management of public debt;
- Stressing importance of the Programme having the funding necessary to respond effectively to the critical and evolving needs of developing countries;
- Reiteration of appreciation for the financial support from the bilateral donors and the support from DMFAS user countries for the cost-sharing mechanism.
- Endorsement of the extension of one additional year of the current Strategic plan implementation through 2024 and request to prepare a comprehensive strategy for the DMFAS Programme for the period 2025 to 2028.
The donors of the DMFAS Programme also met on 8 December 2022 and addressed the Advisory Group the following day. Representatives from the European Commission, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Switzerland participated in the meeting.
In their statement, donors shared their appreciation that the Programme, “provides a modern, effective and reliable system to register and store debt data, perform safe and accurate debt transactions and facilitate reporting and transparency, […] and more importantly, [that it] offers a comprehensive capacity development framework that accompanies users from the installation of the system up to the point of reporting and analysis”.
They further remarked that "In providing its system and support to over 60 countries, the DMFAS program is a key pillar of debt management efforts globally." They added that they "… greatly appreciate your significant, continuous effort and the impressive impact’ and "We as donors endeavour to continuously support DMFAS in this crucial phase. We would also very much welcome new donor partners on board."
All the presentations and conclusions are available in the Advisory Group Meeting page.