It was formerly the Eastern and Southern Africa Initiative in Debt and Reserves Management (ESAIDARM) formed in 1994, before being renamed to the Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI) in 1997. The organisation was established to develop and sustain human and institutional capacity; raise awareness on emerging opportunities, trends, and risks amongst decision makers; and promote good governance and prudent management of resources and enhance individual and institutional efficiency. MEFMI is registered as a diplomatic mission in Zimbabwe. In terms of its geographic focus, MEFMI focuses on the sub-regional level (West, East Africa). Member countries include Zimbabwe, Burundi, Rwanda, Mozambique, Botswana, and Namibia, among others. The vision of MEFMI is to continue to be a centre of excellence in sustainable capacity building in selected critical fields in central banks, ministries of finance and of planning in Eastern and Southern Africa. The organisation’s vision and mission are set by the whole organisation.In seeking to achieve its mission, MEFMI uses various means including
- courses/workshops for professionals,
- seminars for senior professionals,
- country missions,
- retreats for heads of relevant departments/divisions/units,
- special policy-related studies, and
- preparation of manuals and guidelines courses/workshops.
MEFMI has Human Resources and Staff Development, Gender and Sexual harassment, IT, and Conflict of interest policies.
MEFMI has a Board of Governors that is the supreme governing body of the organisation responsible for setting the policy of the institute. Below it, the Executive Committee appointed by the Board of Governors oversees the day to day operations of the Institute and reports to the Board. The secretariat is headed by the Executive Director who is assisted by four Programme/Departmental Directors for the Macroeconomic Management Programme; Financial Sector Management Programme; Debt Management Programme, and Finance and Administration. MEFMI also has a Finance Director and Manager; Accountants; Programs Managers, Officers, and Assistants; Technology Officer/IT Manager; and Communications Manager/Officer.
The strategy of the organisation is internally developed by the organisational team. Deriving from the strategy, the organisation’s focus is on three main themes, namely Debt Management, Financial Sector Management, and Macro-economic Management.
1. Debt Management
MEFMI’s debt management focus involves:
- research, sustainability analysis, and the development of alternative policy options and models for the middle, back and front offices;
2. Financial Sector Management
In terms of financial sector management, their focus involves
- implementation of risk-based supervision methodology as a supervisory tool for financial sector oversight;
- production of risk management guidelines, risk-based supervision policy framework;
- capacity around reserves management functions and internal credit risk analysis tool (ICRAT); and
- building member countries’ capacity in securities markets regulation, financial markets fundamentals and financial inclusion.
3. Macro-economic Management
Under the Macro-economic Management Sector MEFMI’s work involves
- strengthening capacity of officials in member countries in the areas of macroeconomic statistics, financial programming and policy, monetary and fiscal policy analysis
- Private Capital Monitoring System (PCMS) to support countries’ capacity to meet emerging needs of high frequency reporting of capital flows
- delivering tailor-made country specific capacity building interventions targeted towards the strengthening of institutional capacity in the use of macroeconomic models, financial programming and policy frameworks, macro fiscal analysis frameworks and development of robust data collection systems.
Knowledge Product Generation and Research
In the last three years, MEFMI produced organisational newsletter/quarterly reports; reports; and journal articles (more than 12 of each in soft copy) distributed electronically (e.g. recipient email database, website downloads). It produced ten hard copies of books. Research at MEFMI is done by the internal team and they occasionally hire external consultants. The research involves desktop research and field surveys. The research is disseminated through the MEFMI website and circulation through email list servers.Over the same period, MEFMI held more than five convenings, organized over 20 workshops, and attended several book launch events with government. The organisation was party to more than five dialogues which were held with CSOs, NGOs, embassies, the business sector, and government. MEFMI had over 20 public written media (newspaper posting) involving CSOs, NGOs, embassies, and the business sector; one to five TV appearances were made on policy-related research and radio appearances on policy-related research, involving government. Further, the organisation had 10 - 15 targeted memos/meetings with policy makers, involving government. MEFMI mainly targets ministries of finance, ministries of economic development and planning or equivalent, and central banks, as well as other public institutions that interface with these core institutions. The Institute seeks to influence policy at the level of client institutions in 14 member countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. It prepares policy briefs to support policy positions, analyses and communicates policy gaps and suggests new models, and engages with policy makers.
Constituency and Movement Building and Collaborations
Beneficiaries of organisation’s work include
- government departments and
- think tanks with technical expertise.
Benefits that accrue to these beneficiaries include training support; use of evidence generated for policy advocacy; leveraging on MEFMI’s name to enhance their own interventions; approaching MEFMI to prepare alternative policy positions; and using the Institute’s online materials in developing their own programs. The beneficiaries helped in the establishment of the Institute.MEFMI engages in collaborative work, partnering with international NGOs, government departments/ministries, think-tank with technical expertise, and multilateral agencies (e.g. UN agencies). Collaborations are in respect of joint implementation in similar projects and receiving research-based evidence from research organisations. Further, the organisation has collaborated with others as a recipient, and in some instances as a provider, of technical assistance. The Institute is part of an existing network of organisations engaged in similar work, engaging with like organisations at the regional and global levels. This has afforded the MEFMI a range of advantages including increasing visibility of its work; enhancing effectiveness; access to vital platforms; training; and access to information and resources.
Measure of Effectiveness
The impact of MEFMI is measured by an internal Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, the organisation’s management, consultants, and donors. Interventions’ effectiveness is measured through the commissioning of regular evaluations, ongoing internal monitoring, promoting feedback from partners, and government’s adoption of recommendations proffered by the Institute. Documented evidence of the impact of the Institute’s interventions is in external reports citing its work, written/recorded affirmation by beneficiaries, and independent evaluation reports. The organisation’s website reaches 32000 people. MEFMI has 1000 Twitter followers and does engage with the media through TV appearances; radio features; and newspapers.
MEFMI has an annual budget of US$4.9 million, distributed using the ratio of 60:40 between programs/projects and institutional support (admin costs), respectively. The organisation funds its work through member country contributions. It has a finance/funding strategy and owns immovable assets/property in the form of an office building.
In its work, MEFMI is mainly affected by funding situation, information technology, limited number of collaborating partners, and the economic situation. The organisation has established a commercial unit to respond to changes in the environment.