After five years of implementation, a highly effective U.S. government project on strengthening public financial management systems is set to officially end.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Accountable Governance for Improved Service Delivery (AGIS) project worked with the Zambian government to strengthen public financial management systems in the Ministries of Health and Education.
The project also collaborated closely with the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Auditor-General to strengthen internal controls, adherence to public procurement rules and best practices, and the management and oversight of public resources.
Implemented by Crown Agents in collaboration with RTI International and Connexus, the USAID AGIS project provided technical assistance and over the course of its five-year life span, facilitated the training of almost 2,000 civil servants across the country on the prudent management of public resources. Additionally, the project trained over 25,000 teachers across 116 districts on how to manage funds more effectively in line with government policies and guidelines.
Most recently, the USAID AGIS project introduced structures and processes to help schools across the country administer school grants introduced in January 2022—this ensured that the additional funds were properly accounted for and benefitted the students for whom the funding was meant. All schools in Zambia have now created finance committees to manage funds and review spending as well as procurement committees to oversee purchasing, selection, and stores management procedures. This includes running stock books and the signing in and out of goods from school stores. Early evidence suggests a leap in real resourcing, creating more openings in school and allowing increased enrolment without any contribution needed from parents.