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Government Debt and Risk Management (GDRM) Program

  • The Government Debt and Risk Management (GDRM) Program provides customized technical advisory services to middle-income countries in a programmatic approach. The Program assists countries in developing sustainable debt and risk management frameworks to reduce vulnerability to financial shocks.

    Download the GDRM Program Brochure                Download the GDRM Program Phase I Completion Report

    Customized Advisory Services from diagnostic to implementation

    Institutional Strengthening

    • Governance: Focuses on the legal framework, institutional arrangements, accountability and transparency mechanisms that shape and direct the operations of government debt and risk managers: design of government structures with clear roles and responsibilities, with appropriate checks and balances and clear reporting lines.
    • Policy coordination: Focuses on establishing efficient coordination mechanisms between debt management and monetary policy, fiscal and budget planning processes and cash management.
    • Strengthening debt and cash management relations: Aims to improve the implementation of the debt management strategy, and supporting domestic market development.
    • Capacity and management of internal operations: Includes analysis of organizational structures, development of strategies for recruiting and training staff, and evaluation of information technology systems for debt management transactions, with the aim of reducing operational risks and increasing debt management office efficiency.

    Technical Capacity Development

    • Debt management strategy development: Covers formulation of debt management strategies based on sound analysis of costs and risks, considering a country’s macroeconomic framework and level of debt market development, determining the composition of public debt portfolio.
    • Debt management strategy implementation: Covers the development of an annual borrowing plan, access to the capital markets, hedging and the functioning of the primary and secondary markets.
    • Management of contingent liabilities: Focuses on developing models to identify, measure and manage risks arising from sovereign loan guarantees, guarantees issued to public private partnership schemes, legal claims against the government, catastrophic and other risks. 
    • Asset and liability management: Management of the balance sheet risks (fiscal risks) from an asset and liability management perspective where market-based mitigation is possible.


    GDRM Program Approach


    Designed for the medium term, the GDRM Program supports partner countries from upstream, diagnostic work and developing reform plans, to downstream implementation of the plans.

    The right expertise

    The core team consists of public debt management professionals who have held positions in public debt offices in emerging and developed countries. They embody the World Bank Treasury’s asset management expertise, market transactions and banking solutions know-how, as well as reserves advisory and management capability. As seasoned practitioners, speaking the same technical language as their country partners, they provide pragmatic solutions in advanced areas such as issuance in international capital markets, use of derivatives, market-, credit- and operational-risk management, and contingent liabilities management.

    Know your partners

    Once a country becomes part of the GDRM Program, dedicated debt managers build and manage long-term relationships with partner countries’ management and technical teams. They support their counterparts in all debt management related issues, giving trusted advice, becoming a sounding board, and providing much needed continuity. As they develop a deep understanding of the country’s context, they recommend tailor-made solutions, specific to countries needs and national priorities.

    Peer learning

    The Program connects countries facing similar issues, providing a platform for an in-depth exchange of ideas and experiences. Peer Group Dialogues provide a cost-effective way to discuss challenges and policy actions on a virtual platform. South-South Collaboration promotes in-depth engagement by multi-country authorities and WBG experts to tackle common reform priorities.

    Sustainable outcomes

    The GDRM Program is focused on sustainable outcomes. It not only allows time for diagnostic work and plan recommendations, but also time to support the client through implementation, achieving change within the partner country and seeing the reform plans take root.

  • The Swiss-World Bank Partnership

    Switzerland is a valued, active partner of the World Bank Group (WBG). Through its contributions to select funds, Switzerland deepens its partnership with the World Bank Group and reinforces its status as a key partner in the effort to end poverty and boost shared prosperity.  

    The Government Debt and Risk Management Program (GDRM), a trust fund under the World Bank Treasury, initially funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), was established in 2011 to provide support to Middle Income Countries (MICs) on public debt and risk management. The GDRM administers the funding provided by the Government of Switzerland and delivers the work program as mutually agreed and in accordance with the World Bank’s standard operational and administrative policies.

    With the support of the World Bank-SECO GDRM Program country partners are sharing experiences and learning from international best practice to reduce their vulnerability to financial shocks through strengthened debt and risk management capacity and institutions and deeper domestic debt markets.

    Watch the interview with Rosmarie Schlup, Head of the Macroeconomic Support Division.


    President Kim signs the replenishment agreement of the Government Debt and Risk Management Trust Fund with Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) – August 23, 2017

  • Participating Countries

    Albania, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Macedonia, Morocco, South Africa, Serbia, Peru, Tunisia, Ukraine, Vietnam

    Focus on Middle-income Countries

    The GDRM Program focuses on middle-income countries (MICs), which are home to 75% of the world’s poor. MICs face a unique set of fiscal challenges: governments must finance the budget at the lowest possible cost, deepen the domestic market, borrow internationally, and develop capacity to handle more complex financial instruments, often with limited human and technical resources. Most current debt and risk management technical assistance for MICs focuses mainly on upstream diagnostic work and developing reform plans, while assistance for targeted, downstream implementation work is limited. The GDRM Program is designed to fill this gap. 

  • Ukraine: Building the domestic debt market for local currency issuances 
    Through a partnership with the GDRM Program, Ukraine is moving in the right direction for developing the domestic debt market: increased communication with the investors, move to benchmark securities and the expansion of UAH investors

    Looking at the big picture: Sovereign Balance Sheet Risk Management Workshop introduces additional methods to account for both Assets and Liabilities 
    In Thailand, participants of the GDRM Sovereign Balance Sheet Risk Management workshop become the change agents to make the country more resilient to economic shocks

    Colombia: Changes in primary dealer system improve the efficiency of the government securities market 
    Colombia partners with the World Bank Treasury - Government Debt and Risk Management (GDRM) Program in their quest to modernize the primary dealer system for government securities.

    The GDRM Program Phase I Completion Report is published 
    Supporting our clients develop sophisticated skills and tools to manage public debt in a more strategic, less risky, less costly, and more transparent way.

    A classroom where the sound practice meets with the impact: Inaugural Cash Management Workshop
    The GDRM Program is strengthening public servants’ capacity to manage debt  through a new workshop about cash flow forecasting and cash management. 

    Albania: Helping the government reduce the cost of borrowing
    The World Bank and the Albanian authorities have started an innovative Pilot project for developing a secondary market for government securities.

    Azerbaijan: Just-in-time support for the economy
    The Azerbaijan ministry of finance collaborated with World Bank Group to help develop a public finance strategy for the medium term, providing policy guidance for sustainable and sound public debt management for all stakeholders.

    North Macedonia’s drive for excellence: shaping and maintaining a state of the art Public Debt Department 
    North Macedonia’s pursuit to build human capital to make the economy more resilient to fiscal shocks is supported with the World Bank Treasury GDRM Program - North Macedonia Public Debt Department partnership.

    South Africa on the Right Track - Assessing the Contingent Liabilities from State-Owned Enterprises
    The South African debt management office’s partnership with the World Bank Treasury GDRM Program is making significant strides towards assessing and managing government’s contingent liabilities.

    Envisioning the Future in Colombia
    GDRM program’s support for fine-tuning risk assessment and the management of contingent liabilities for the Colombian government.

    Ghana: Catalyzing South–South Dialogue for Managing Contingent Liabilities
    As a part of the ambitious fiscal reform plan, Ghana partnered with the GDRM program to improve risk monitoring and assessment related to contingent liabilities.
    A hard swap – Supporting Tunisia in better understanding the foreign currency exposure for government debt operations

    Tunisian debt management office partnered with the GDRM program to develop an accurate methodology to measure the fair value of currency swaps.

    Serbia: After the Crises -Making the Economy More Resilient to Financial Shocks
    The Serbian Public Debt Administration partnered with the GDRM program to reduce borrowing costs and exposure to financial risks.

    Peru: Sending the Right Market Signals
    Peruvian government worked with the GDRM program on improving the debt management strategy to provide more clarity and transparency in the domestic issuance of government securities to investors.

    Indonesia: Basing Infrastructure Investment on More Solid Ground
    The Indonesian government partnered with the GDRM Program to assess and manage the risks of government guarantees for infrastructure projects.

    Vietnam: Building a Framework for Mobilizing Development
    Vietnam has partnered with the GDRM program to improve its Public Debt Law to support investment in infrastructure and social programs.

    Best-in-Class: Serbia’s Solution for Improved Debt Management
    Serbia partnered with the GDRM program to receive technical assistance to build institutional capacity for debt management.

    Designing a Better Financial Shock Absorber to Improve Risk Management of South Africa’s Debt Portfolio
    South Africa has improved the financial risk management of its public debt portfolio thanks to a tailor-made model designed to analyze the costs and risk factors.


    Ukraine: Making Local Currency Bonds More Attractive for Foreign Investors 
    Video | September, 2019

    Albania: Overcoming the boundaries of a small domestic market 
    Video | July, 2019

    Supporting South Africa: contingent liability management and better communication to stakeholders 
    Video | June 19 , 2018

    How has Serbian Debt Management benefited from the GDRM Program
    Video | March 19, 2018

    Supporting Peru in deepening domestic markets and revising the debt management strategy, an interview with Carlos Blanco
    Video | January 15, 2018

    Supporting Colombia - for a sound debt management framework
    Video | August 10, 2017

    Supporting Ghana in Transitioning from a Low Income to a Middle Income Country: An Interview with Samuel D. Arkhurst
    Video | June 5, 2017

    Why I Fund the GDRM Program: An Interview with Rosmarie Schlup, Head of the Macroeconomic Support Division, SECO
    Video | May 3, 2017


  • 2017 GDRM Roundtable - Navigating Debt Markets

    Event description. October 16-17, 2017

    About GDRM Roundtable: 
    The World Bank Treasury has successfully concluded its second Government Debt and Risk Management (GDRM) program roundtable. 27 government debt managers representing 18 emerging market countries gathered in the World Bank Treasury building in downtown Washington DC to share experiences and sound practices with fellow debt managers.

    The participants discussed a range of topics related to the theme of navigating debt markets, such as currency choice, using cross-currency swaps, innovative financial instruments, international settlement of local currency bonds, and managing relations with non-resident investors. The member countries also had the opportunity to review individual country cases and concluded the roundtable session with discussions about how the second phase of the GDRM program can support member countries in their efforts.

    Learn more here.


    2016 GDRM Day - What Have We Learned and Where Do We Go from Here?

    October 18, 2016

    About GDRM Day: During this seminar, the Government Debt & Risk Management Program leaders and participating countries came together to take stock of the achievements, share experiences on reform implementation and learn from reform initiatives in program countries.

    Learn more here.