Leveraging research and innovation to improve human capital development and public financial management are hallmarks of Amujae Leader Dr. Yakama Manty Jones’s career in public leadership.
Joining a panel of high-level public financial management experts at an Overseas Development Institute event in London, Dr. Jones discussed the importance of digitization in supporting governments to improve resource mobilization and utilization.
For Dr. Jones, technology can help governments to maintain fiscal discipline and improve service delivery. She emphasized the importance of tailored, agile design approaches that allow digital platforms to better adapt to governments’ overall fiscal strategies. She stressed the need for interoperable digital solutions that cut across various public financial management architectures and the broader data ecosystem.
Speaking from her experience working at the top levels of public financial management in Sierra Leone, Dr. Jones stressed that improving governments’ work is not an end in itself, but a means to address the needs of society as a whole.
“We are managing resources, not for the sake of managing resources, but we are managing resources for delivering services.”
Digital platforms can improve the financing of key sectors in Sierra Leone by linking expenditure to performance information, Dr. Jones argued. She highlighted opportunities for efficiency gains, particularly in the health and education sectors that seek to improve human capital outcomes and gender budgeting. Such targeted investments and performance-based financing models “need to be built into the public financial management architecture,” she added.
Dr. Jones also said that including data, technology, and service delivery experts alongside those working in public financial management allows digital platforms to “add value to everyone’s work.” She advised that as stakeholders chart the future of Personal Finance Management (PFM) platforms, investments in digital public goods, other open-source solutions and building local capacity must be actively explored to make digital PFM tools more accessible and affordable by all countries.
Dr. Jones is the Director of Research and Delivery at the Ministry of Finance in Sierra Leone and is currently on secondment to Delivery Associates Ltd. Her vast expertise in systems approaches to public service delivery and leadership potential are contributing to improving public financial management and human capital development in the country. Through her foundation – the Yak Jones Foundation – she is also changing lives across Sierra Leone by offering children unique opportunities to improve their literacy and reading skills.
Watch the full discussion here.