Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kasa Organises Financial Management Workshop for CSOs in the Natural Resource and Environment Sector

Kasa, a civil society support mechanism operates within the natural resource and environment sector in Ghana with the main objective of supporting civil society, research and media organisations to advocate in a concerted manner for transparency and accountability in the natural resource and environment sector.

The project facilitates strengthening of civil society engagement in natural resource and environment sector through supporting of research and evidence-based advocacy, provision of grants to aid organisations in their work and facilitate information-sharing platforms between stakeholders in the sub-sectors of forestry, mining, environment, oil and gas, etc in various national forums bringing together state and non-state actors.

Capacity building support is another core tenet of Kasa’s work through which learning events are organised to meet capacity building needs of partners. In line with this, a financial management training workshop is being organised for fifty-two (52) financial staff of partner civil society organisations working in the sub-sectors of mining, environment, land, forestry, the media and others. These organisations have a national spread from the north to the south of the country.

The three day programme which is being held in Noda Hotel, Kumasi from May 17-19, 2010 has the objective of assisting participants to enhance skills in financial management and to ensure that partner financial officers have a clear understanding of the basic financial books and records that need to be kept to present a complete true and fair view of the financial activities of their organisation. Some of the areas for the training include general principles of Donor Funds Management, Budget and Budgetary controls, Roles and Responsibilities of Finance and Programme Management, etc.

At the opening session, the Kasa Project Manager mentioned that, the Financial Management Workshop is important because Kasa provides grants to partners to facilitate their in their different sub-sectors and this brings into sharp focus the essential point of providing grantees with the current trends in financial management principles in order for funding to be well utilised and to upgrade the skills of partners to be able to source for funding from various organisations and manage it well in order for continuity in their work in the sector.

Participants’ expectations cut across learning on internal controls, managing risks, the role of budgets, basic accounting principles and budgetary controls, financial transparency and the issue of fraud both perceived and real.

In the first session of the workshop presentations on the issues of Corporate Governance and General Principles of Donor Funds were made and a discussion session followed to clarify some issues. Under general financial management the issues to be highlighted during the workshop are issues of accountability and internationally acceptable financial standards, budgets and financial planning, internal controls, book-keeping and accounting, Financial Reporting etc.

At the end of the workshop it is expected that participants would have enhanced their knowledge and skills in the concepts of financial management and review of financial reports and also be exposed to donor guidelines for grants.

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