Pacific Women Partners Undertake Financial Management Training

Partners who attended the training in Fiji and Tonga found the interactive sessions and exercises beneficial and easy to understand. Photo: Photo: Shazia Usman, Pacific Women Support Unit.

In August and September 2016, the Pacific Leadership Program (PLP) conducted two five-day Management Accounting for NGOs (MANGO) training for Pacific Women partners in Tonga and Fiji.

This collaboration between Pacific Women, PLP and UN Women, supported 39 non-finance managers and finance officers to gain a deeper understanding of why prudent financial procedures are everyone’s responsibility.

One of the participants at the training held in Tonga was Mrs Fuiva Kavaliku, Coordinator of the Tonga National Centre for Women and Children. For Mrs Kavaliku, the training was an eye-opener.

As Coordinator and a non-finance person, it is important to understand the finer finance aspects. When an organisation is negotiating funding with donors and partners, it is not just the finance manager and project staff’s responsibility but mine also as it comes back to me to report on the project.”

Following the success of the training in Tonga, partners in Fiji expressed an interest in undertaking the training. The 15 local civil society organisations (CSOs) that took part in the training included: Empower Pacific, FemLINKPACIFIC, Fiji Disabled Peoples Foundation, Fiji Girl Guides Association, Fiji Rights Women’s Movement, Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, Fiji Women’s Muslim League, House of Sarah, Medical Services Pacific, Oxfam Fiji, Pacific Conference of Churches, Pacific Disability Forum, Ra Naari Parishad, Women in Fisheries Network- Fiji, and a representative from the Vanuatu Christian Council and international development agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

The participants found the training informative and a good learning experience. Ms Tabua Salato, General Manager of FemLINKPACIFIC said the training enabled her to “gain more insight on the principles of good and sound financial management and the necessary tools, skills and aptitude to apply these principles.”

Ms Shradha Sharma, PLP’s Finance and Operations Manager and certified MANGO trainer conducted the training in Tonga and Fiji. She said it was encouraging to see participants clearly articulating finance related challenges.

“We did exercises based on real-life problems and saw how each organisation or group handled the situation. Solutions were discussed at length and it was clear to see what needed to be strengthened. All of the CSOs are recipients of grants and it’s critical they understand and develop good financial management systems in order to manage and control financial resources. It’s a timely training for Pacific Women partners.”

Article prepared in partnership with the Pacific Leadership Program.