Sondergaard, Lars M.

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Education finance
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Last updated September 20, 2023
Lars M. Sondergaard is a lead economist in the World Bank’s Education Global Practice, East Asia and Pacific Region. In different regions of the world, he has led both operational and analytical work to support improvement in educational outcomes. His policy research encompasses a range of issues, including education, poverty, growth, and fiscal policy. He is the coauthor of several World Bank publications, including Skills, Not Just Diplomas: Managing Education for Results in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and Getting Back on Track: Reviving Growth and Securing Prosperity for All. Before joining the World Bank, he was a senior economist at the European Central Bank. He holds doctoral and master’s degrees in economics from Georgetown University.

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    A New Data Tool to BOOST Public Spending Efficiency
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-09) Kheyfets, Igor ; Mastruzzi, Massimo ; Merotto, Dino ; Sondergaard, Lars
    The BOOST data tool makes it easy to analyze how the allocation and use of public expenditure can be made more efficient. BOOST makes detailed public spending data, including data on sub-national spending, more open and accessible than ever before. The global financial crisis has prompted many governments to seek efficiency savings in order to reduce budget deficits and restore medium-term structural balance without harming long-term growth prospects or service quality. To reap savings from inefficiencies, governments must be able to identify such inefficiencies and examine their root causes. One way of doing so is through analytical work that sheds light on where in the budget more can be done with less the process starts by gathering detailed government expenditure data directly from a country's treasury system. By requesting raw data at the most disaggregated level available, the resulting BOOST database takes advantage of the full breadth and depth of the country's budget classification system. The data on expenditures, organized using all of the country's budget classification codes, is then compiled in one database that covers all sectors, all spending units, and all types of expenditures recorded in the treasury system. Obtaining more detailed data than what is commonly available to researchers and making it readily available in an easy-to-use format will facilitate the work of many different actors within and outside the World Bank. Any opportunity to conduct more insightful analytical work improves the quality of advice provided to policymakers.