Guatemala—National Institutions Strengthening

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2022-2023

Region: Latin America and the Caribbean

Country: Guatemala

Solutions: Governance

Irregular migration from Guatemala has surged, and the U.S. Government has renewed its commitment to partner with the Government of Guatemala to address the main drivers of migration. These include a general lack of attractive employment opportunities, insufficient public services, food insecurity, and violence. These challenges are compounded by natural disasters, drought, and the COVID-19 pandemic, motivating more Guatemalans to make the perilous journey north.

Modest increases in social spending in recent years have not translated into improved access to basic public services for all Guatemalans, regardless of their place of residence, gender, ethnic group, or ability to pay. Thus, social development indicators have not improved.

Poor budget execution rates across the board highlight the necessity for the government to more fundamentally overhaul core governance systems and processes to better plan and deliver resources where those are most effective and necessary.

In this environment, the government must restore trust in its ability to manage public resources and more equitably deliver priority public services by reforming key areas of its public financial management (PFM) targeting far-reaching impact across priority sectors.

The Guatemala National Institutions Strengthening Project supported the Government’s reform efforts, focused on creating a more effective and transparent public financial management (PFM) system, which can, in turn, improve governance, reduce opportunities for corruption, enhance public service delivery, and deter illegal migration.

Building on the U.S. Agency for International Development’s achievements through the predecessor Fiscal Procurement and Reform Project—also implemented by DAI—the Guatemala National Institutions Strengthening Project supported the national Planning Secretariat, the Tax Administration, the Ministry of Finance, and the Presidential Commission for Open and Electronic Government to bolster their institutional capacities to increase tax revenue, improve budget planning and public procurement, and enhance transparency and oversight in the use of public resources.

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Sample Activities

  • Provide training for staff of the Tax Administration to improve tax collection.
  • Engages civil society to catalyze improvements in Guatemala’s domestic resource mobilization, PFM systems, and fiscal transparency and accountability.
  • Apply process optimization and IT transformation methodology to help government ministry IT departments to design, develop, test, and deploy the integrated planning management tool.

Select Results

  • Provided 27 hours of training to staff of the Superintendency of Tax Administration where they learned data management, among other skills.
  • Revitalized the civic space by supporting seven participatory and oversight mechanisms, enabling government-civil society dialogue​.
  • Enhanced fiscal transparency, public accountability, and open data mechanisms.
  • Integrated a gender equity and social inclusion approach into PFM through evidence generation and participation​.
  • Engaged more than 9,000 people through participatory and engagement mechanisms​.
  • Increased compliance with access to public information regulations.
  • Redesigned and automated tax administration key processes.
  • Developed methodologies to modernize the public procurement suppliers’ registry by simplifying processes through interoperability with 11 other government systems, reducing processing times, and safeguarding against bribery to promote greater participation and competitiveness in public contracting.
  • Enhanced detection of tax fraud in international trade transactions ex-post, including eight key risk categories and 19 risk detection indicators.
  • Developed a digital government transformation pilot program.
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