Papua New Guinea
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Pacific students gain public finance skills

The aim is to effectively communicate with the general public complex economic information in a simplified manner.

This was made possible through a knowledge session provided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with USP as part of the Vaka Pasifika Project funded by the European Union (EU).

Effective public finance management is vital for good governance, yet often technical information fails to reach the public effectively.

Given that, citizens are the ultimate beneficiaries of government funds, it is crucial for them to have access to simplified information, enabling them to understand how public funds are used to deliver services such as health and education.

To achieve this objective, the Vaka Pasifika Project has put emphasis on the importance of making technical economic and financial information accessible to citizens, as well as provided students with an opportunity to learn how to produce easy-to-read citizens' budget guides and citizens' audit guides.

USP’s School of Accounting, Finance and Economics Deputy Head of School (Research), Dr Neelesh Gounder, highlighted the importance of the workshop for postgraduate students in providing them with a broader perspective and understanding of collection, management, and expenditure of public finances.

“The workshop makes a case as to why strong public fiscal management is important when it comes to transparent public finances and strengthening trust between government and citizens”.

During the workshop, students analyzed national budgets from various Pacific Island countries and collaboratively developed sample citizens' budget guides.

These guides simplify complex budgetary information, which can enable the public to understand fiscal decisions and their implications.

Through their contributions to public discourse on budgetary matters, the students can empower citizens to actively engage in discussions about their economic future.

Rustam Pulatov, Effective Governance and Inclusive Growth Team Leader OIC, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, highlighted the value of such engagement in bridging the gap between technical expertise and the general public. She emphasized; “Our investment in your education and empowerment is strategic and forward-thinking.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, His Excellency Sujiro Seam, Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the EU for the Pacific stated, “As the European Union, we firmly believe that effective public finance management is a cornerstone of good governance and sustainable development. By supporting initiatives like the workshop organized by UNDP and USP, we aim to strengthen the capacity of Pacific Island countries in managing their public funds efficiently and transparently. With budget guides especially drafted for citizens, we empower the public to actively participate in fiscal decision-making processes, fostering transparency, accountability, and inclusive economic growth in the region.”

This workshop is just the beginning of a sustained effort to establish a platform for ongoing dialogue, innovation, and reform.