In October 2016, UNITAR delivered a training to employees of the Government of Madagascar to support them in efficiently managing the country’s public finances. The training programme took place in Antananarivo over two-week period and included three main themes: negotiation techniques, follow-up and evaluation of public investment projects and internal debt management.
Rova Rakotondratsimba was one of the managers who took part in the training. “I work at the General Directorate of the Treasury, at the Directorate of Public Debt,” says Ms. Rakotondratsimba. “We chose to organize an on-site training so that more staff could attend. This turned out to be a good strategy and, as a result, 40 attendees benefitted from the knowledge of two UNITAR experts. It was our largest in-house training to-date.”
Ms. Rakotondratsimba and her colleagues were pleased with the quality, content and organization of the training.
“The courses were quite interactive, the atmosphere was friendly and the fact that the participants did not all have the same background (some were economists and others were not at ease with numbers) brought a positive aspect because each time we did group exercises the ones that were more gifted in math could help the others.”
The training also proved beneficial in giving attendees knowledge and skills directly applicable to their professional roles. For example, Ms. Rakotondratsimba explains that public finance controllers in Madagascar are given little instruction in negotiation techniques: “It is not something we learn in the public finance controller training programme. We are not prepared for these kinds of situations. So, I was pleased to learn how to guide discussions according to the conversation partner and how to assert our interests knowing we are negotiating a financing arrangement or a loan from a backer who has his own interests to defend as well.”
The most popular part of the training was a module called, “The Effects of Exchange Rate Variations on Debt” which focused on internal debt management. “The content of the course really increased our skills in reevaluating debt stock, a task we undertake every year,” explains Ms. Rakotondratsimba. “In previous years, we fumbled our way along. But, after the course, we realized it is possible to proceed in a very precise way."
“Thanks to the tools the UNITAR expert gave us, we no longer need to wait for the end of the year nor communicate approximate numbers.”
According to Ms. Rakotondratsimba, the attendees were all very satisfied because they could easily transfer the tools and techniques they learned in the course to their daily work. Overall, she says found the training “very intense and fruitful.”