DIPD Dialogue and Resource Centre in Yangon is busy the whole week with training on Financial Management for Political Parties. The course is offered following the expressed interest among the political parties as a follow up to the seminar on Political Party Finance and Regulation which was held in 2013 for the parties and the Union Election Commission, where the importance of good party regulations, financial accountability and transparency was in focus.
Report and all photos by Khin Thazin Myint, DIPD Programme Coordinator, Myanmar
The public trust in political parties is essential in any democracy and especially in the run up to elections. How parties handle their funds and how they are accountably and transparent in their reporting is key. DIPD therefore pioneered in developing a financial management course for political parties jointly with the financial training organization “Mango”. In all 32 participants signed up.
Mango trainer’s Jo Baker reflects after the training, “This is possibly the hardest working group I have worked with in my 10+ years with Mango. They have a huge appetite for learning. Even when the breaks are given, they still sit down and finish the activities first before they go for break.”
Purpose and target audience
The course was tailored-made for Myanmar political parties to strengthen the financial management skills and confidence of political party staff to integrate good financial management systems into operations management and manage and control financial resources more efficiently and effectively.
The course was primarily designed for both financial officers and non-financial managers in the political parties who want to improve their financial management skills and knowledge. Previous financial management experience or training is not a requirement for the course.
The translated version of an overview of the “Political Finance Regulations Around the World” by Dr. Magnus Ohman was distributed to the participants at the end of the training. Moreover, the participants were offered a follow-up service by email or by phone to help implement the skills as improvements needed and a part two of the course will be offered early 2015.
The parties are also recommended to establish a task-team of 3-4 persons around their financial management so that the main points learned from the training can share with the task team and with the parties.
Participants appreciated the style and content of training
“The training is highly participatory, fun and useful. No time to be sleepy.” said a participant with a smile. “I mean this is good. This kind of trainings are usually very boring.” he continued.
One participant from Shan party said, “We really enjoyed and learned a lot from the training. I have a clear idea of what I will do after the training. First of, I will share the key points with my party leaders and suggest to have a good system in place. With their support, I will begin to prepare a project budget in the next month using the skills I learned from this training.” The participant is also a party candidate for the 2015 general elections and is pleased that the course has been of a good benefit to prepare herself as parliamentarian.
“I will share what I have learnt with my party and the Executive Committee Members of my party. We also have quarterly township-level executive committee meeting next week and I will share the benefits with them” another participant added.
A few participants said they were not convinced they would get their party leaders to buy into the ideas shared at the course regarding financial management. However, DIPD was pleased to learn that some have already set up a task team of several colleagues including senior decision makers and one participant has translated the political party financial health check into Myanmar language.
The financial management tools now tailormade to political parties in Myanmar will be available to the benefit of other DIPD partners in other countries.
Read the Mango financial health check manual
Senior Program Officer at DIPD, Martin Rosenkilde Pedersen firstname.lastname@example.org
Khin Thazin Myint, Myanmar Local Programme Coordinator
email@example.com or (+95) 9 519 4929