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Public Financial Management Capacity in Somaliland

20-06-2018

by Sara Breen, Bid and Programme Manager – International Advisory, CIPFA

CIPFA is supporting much-needed development and economic growth in Somaliland by building the capacity of planning and budget preparation officials, procurement officers, accountants, internal and external auditors within central finance agencies and targeted sectors, to give them the required knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics required for robust public financial management (PFM). The Somaliland PFM Education and Training Programme is financed by the World Bank and delivered by a consortium led by WYG International and including CIPFA and Michael Parry Consulting.  

The PFM Education and Training Programme is geared towards CIPFA’s Whole System Approach, providing both internationally-recognised qualifications and training focused on region-specific legal and institutional frameworks, as well as practical, hands-on workshops focused on developing budgeting skills. The aim is to create a cohort of suitably qualified PFM practitioners with a range of relevant skills to perform a broad range of PFM tasks, and who will contribute to improving PFM performance and pushing forward Somaliland’s PFM reform agenda. 

The central pillar of the project is delivery of the CIPFA International Public Financial Management (IPFM) Certificate, made up of modules in financial accounting and management accounting. There is a strong emphasis on building sustainable local PFM training capacity, with the aim of gradually building internal capacity to take over functional responsibility from technical assistants. As such, the IPFM Certificate is being delivered through the University of Hargeisa, with the universities’ tutors being trained to deliver CIPFA qualifications by a local PFM consultant and qualified accountant, who also provides ongoing direct support to students. Face-to-face and web-based lectures are supplemented by mentorship and on-the-job learning, and a senior managers scheme ensures that proper workplace coaching and mentoring is provided to students. 

The project commenced in May 2017, and to date 80 students from the Ministry of Finance and key sectoral ministries have undertaken the Foundation level of the programme, which involves an introduction to PFM module and a module focused on the specifics of PFM in Somaliland. Following successful results on the Foundation level, 60 students have now progressed to the CIPFA IPFM Certificate and are preparing to sit their first exam in Financial Accounting in March 2018. In addition to the face-to-face training provided by local trainers at the University of Hargeisa, students are using CIPFA Learning, CIPFA’s new e-learning system, through which they are able to access webinars and learning materials as well as ask questions of international CIPFA tutors.