Participants changed places

Day 3 – Wednesday 6 May

Stefania lost her voice. You need to get very close to hear what she is talking about. She managed any way to go the summary of Day 2 and run through today agenda.

Hot topic like a pepper soup “IFAD anti-fraud and corruption policy” has been addressed by Karen. Karen’s presentation on IFAD anti-fraud and corruption policy was much appreciated but raised a lot of questions on how to address the issue. She gave on how to identify potential fraud and corruption, responsibilities and other potential steps and support that may be provided by IFAD.

One participant asked how to address “lobbying”. Participants requested that the presentation anti-fraud and corruption policy should more practical with case studies.

Another heavy subject addressed today is procurement. According to the participants, procurement is one of the most challenging tasks there are facing.

What they enjoyed the most is the role play on supervision mission. Four roles were played: the “angry” Honourable Minister, the CPM, Mrs Potato, The Project Manager, Mr Rice and the Financial Controller, Mr Yam. The role players acclimated to their role and the situation perfectly. They received a round of applause.

A guest speaker from the World Bank presented his experience on project implementation. The replenishment of special account also raised a lot of interest from participants. Personally, I learnt a lot on WA, disbursement, reconciliation of account, replenishment of account, etc.

Key learning for future training: IFAD anti-fraud and corruption policy needs more be developed for next workshop to include, practical examples case studies and/or role play.

Participants’ opinion

“This workshop is so useful that, it should not only be limited to the Project Coordinators and Financial Controllers of IFAD-financed projects. The entire project Teams need to be trained and sensitized on these aspects.

It may be impractical to close down projects for a week for staff to attend this course and besides, the numbers may be huge at one training session. The solution may be to get IFAD consultants and staff responsible for the fiduciary issues to spend time at each project or pairing projects with geographic proximity for the training.

This course has demonstrated the importance of Project Coordinators taking a close look as well as monitor the Special Account and its reconciliation. We have realized that the Special Account Reconciliation is a powerful management tool to ensure funds availability to the project.

As at now, I can prepare a WA and reconcile the Special Account given the necessary information/documentation in the absence of my Financial Controller. Most Financial Controllers easily change jobs and leave a project stranded.

There are a number of new things such as the direct supervision by IFAD and its potential for improved support to project implementation. One advantage I see is that, it will shorten the previously long chain and/or cumbersome steps of getting WA, AWPB, request for ‘no objection’ delivered to IFAD and also the feedback.

Quoting a popular phrase in Ghana, I will say “we are moving forward in the right direction” with this workshop”, said Roy Ayariga, National Programme Coordinator, Northern Rural Growth Programme, Ghana

By Zoumana Bamba