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The Government Debt and Risk Management (GDRM) Program

The Government Debt and Risk Management (GDRM) Program

The GDRM program, a World Bank Treasury initiative sponsored by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), provides customized advisory services to middle-income countries to improve macroeconomic and fiscal management by reducing vulnerability to financial and other shocks.

The Program delivers practitioner-to-practitioner support for middle-income countries that is tailored to national priorities and reflects their unique constraints and opportunities.

Advisory services are organized around five focus areas to help governments develop and implement sound debt and risk management strategies. 

  • Governance: The legal framework, institutional arrangements, accountability and transparency mechanisms that shape and direct the operations of government debt managers
  • Policy coordination: Coordination with cash management, macroeconomic policy and debt market development
  • Capacity and management of internal operations: The skill mix of staff, internal management processes, procedures and systems
  • Debt management strategy and contingent liabilities: The formulation of debt management strategies based on a sound analysis of costs and risks to determine the composition of public debt; includes assessment of contingent liabilities and other fiscal risks where market-based mitigation measures may be possible.
  • Borrowing and related financing activities: Implementation of the debt management strategy by accessing capital and derivatives markets and executing the domestic borrowing program.

Support for the reform process is provided through the three main stages as follows:

  1. Needs assessment/diagnostic
  2. Design of reform plan
  3. Implementation

The World Bank Treasury provides strategic oversight for each country project, leads advisory components, contracts partners, coordinates with relevant programs, such as the Debt Management Facility (DMF) and Financial Sector Reform and Strengthening Initiative (FIRST), undertakes quality assurance, and acts as a sounding board. Countries are expected to co-finance 10 to 15 percent of the cost to help ensure a high-level of commitment and ownership.

Country projects are led by debt management professionals at the World Bank Treasury in close partnership with countries and donors.