MODULE THREE: PUBLIC-PRIVATE SECTOR INTERFACE
The interface between the public and the private sectors is increasingly recognized as a crucial element in stimulating economic development and bridging the financing gap to the achievement of the SDGs. Several interactions across this interface have an impact on the opportunities for emerging markets and developing economies to attract investors and help economic activities blossom.
The World Bank developed an Integrated State-Owned Enterprises Framework (iSOEF) in 2019. This framework is based on an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach, which considers a wide range of state-owned enterprise (SOE) policy issues.The framework brings several World Bank Global Practices together to provide comprehensive and coordinated support to client countries via an integrated assessment of SOE sector and a sequenced and prioritized set of recommendations. It consists of four core modules: SOE and the market, fiscal impacts, distributional impacts, and corporate governance and accountability mechanisms.
Since 2020, 13 iSOEFs have been finalized or are close to completion. They include: Angola, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, The Gambia, Honduras, Kyrgyz Republic, Niger, Sri Lanka, Togo, and Ukraine. Discussions have started in several countries including Axerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Laos, Mauritania, and Uzbekistan. The iSOEF of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Laos are being funded under the FMP.
Country – level engagements are happening through both regional and country-specific programs. A regional prorgram to develop accounting technicians encompasses multiple countries in French-speaking Africa. A major engagement focused on state-owned enterprises is underway in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Foundational Accounting and Financial Management Skills Enhancement (FASE) program will level up the skills of accounting technicians to serve in the private and public sectors in Africa, as fully trained accounting talent is in short supply across the continent.
Based on a FASE-conducted study on the state of the accounting profession and needs of accounting technicians, the program led the development of accounting technician qualifications and related educational programs. The team is working closely with the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) and other critical stakeholders and partners.
The Supporting Better, Effective, Sustainable, and Transparent SOEs program is at work on state-owned enterprise reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is making significant headway.
SOEs are the jewel of the political party system in the Republika Srpska jurisdiction of the country, providing 14 percent of total employment. These enterprises handle services ranging from operating and maintaining railroads, to generating and delivering electricity.
However, the SOEs report data on their performance in different ways or don’t report at all.
In the past year, the program helped establish a new department to support the governments of three jurisdictions of Bosnia and Herzegovina in modernizing their SOEs. The central SOE Oversight Coordination Department of Republika Srpska’s government now collects data on SOEs in a standardized way and analyzes it to determine successes and failures. It is the first such institution to be established in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The new database of information about the performance of SOEs will be accessible to other institutions of Republika Srpska’s government, such as the Ministry of Finance, which requires standardized information to analyze fiscal risks stemming from SOEs, and sector ministries, which need data about how well the SOEs are delivering public services such as electricity.