Why Is Public Finance Management So Important To Development?

In response to the Paris Declaration (2005) and the Accra Agenda (2008) leading to commitments for donors to channel more of their aid to developing countries through country systems, there has been a growing shift away from program and project aid – typically managed or overseen directly by the contributing development partner – to budget support where aid is channeled directly through the developing country treasury’s consolidated revenue fund account. As one might expect, as a consequence of this growing shift to budget support there has been a corresponding increase in donor focus on the performance of Public Finance Management in the countries that receive budget support. This is as should be, given the increased real or perceived fiduciary risks associated with the use of country systems to manage the hard earned taxes of the citizens of development partner countries.

But this is only one side of the story. Unfortunately there is not yet that much interest or appreciation in the other side of the story. On the other side of the story are the citizens of the developing countries who may suffer as a consequence of tinkering with Public Finance Management systems in the name of reform, which may only serve to undermine current weak systems and set them back even further. Public Finance Management seems inaccessible to most of us. Even where it is accessible to us we deem it to be boring, inconsequential and something only dreary accountants and auditors need bother about. But think, Public Finance Management is about our money, it is about our children’s future, it is about our development.
The importance of Public Finance Management and its reform derives as a consequence of its direct role in implementing policy – be it about improving education, achieving better health care, promoting tourism, or increasing agricultural yields. With weak Public Finance Management systems, even where policy makers come up with sound policy, it may not be possible to implement such policy effectively. Further, quite uniquely Public Finance Management performance affects the performance of all other sectors – yes the macroeconomic environment and so private sector opportunity and the service delivery in agriculture, health, education, transport, energy, public safety and the list goes on. When it works, all other sectors have a chance of succeeding; but when Public Finance Management fails all other sectors fail.

We as citizens of developing countries ought to be more concerned about who drives the agenda for Public Finance Management reform. Is it the IMF, as it imposes Public Finance Management Reform conditionalities that are not just tied to strengthening or improving budgetary systems, but are tied specifically to the adoption of particular reform approaches – despite such approaches having in some instances failed in more than one country. Is it the World Bank as it makes the adoption of integrated financial management information systems (IFMIS) the basis for support in reforming the Public Finance Management systems? Or is it the result of wide internal debate and consideration by the country citizenry influencing their elected leaders to address the basic things that they know do not work using approaches that are within the reach of our capacity rather than adopt reform methods that may not yet be appropriate to our circumstances?

This donor interest in improving Public Finance Management performance has led to immense pressure on countries to adopt new public management approaches. These have included (1) medium term expenditure frameworks (MTEF) often pushed to be implemented long before a country may have developed the capacity to make credible their annual budgets and even as developing partners themselves continue to struggle with their capability to disburse funds predictably in-year, more so as measured in a medium term perspective; or (2) the use of policy based budgeting such as program and activity based budgeting long before they have the institutional capacity to effectively coordinate programs, develop the fiscal space for meaningful policy consideration, or access the monitoring data to properly evaluate policy outcomes; or (3) the adoption of integrated financial management information systems (IFMIS) to manage expenditure which occurs across as many as thousands of spending units many of which still struggle with issues of staff retention, electricity supply or integration into a national financial administrative network. The challenges of managing at the level of spending units under an IFMIS implementation has led to a roll out strategy limited to treasuries (payment centres). Control over payments is often too late to impact on the accrual of expenditure arrears which can have important detrimental macroeconomic stability impacts; or (4) full accrual accounting even as financial reports based upon a cash accounting standard are not comprehensive, show signs of low data integrity and are issued late. A review of country experience across many developing countries who have adopted the new program management approaches in their Public Finance management reforms shows that these efforts have often not been successful by any reasonable measure.

The primary reason for this widespread Public Finance Management reform failure is often attributed to political economy considerations by developing partners – poor governance, high levels of corruption and the like. Of course that is part of the equation, but in contrast it is striking that there are cases of dramatic success of particular elements of Public Finance Management reform in such areas as debt management, certain aspects of revenue administration and public procurement in even what are considered the most corrupt developing countries. Is the political economy focus just another way of suggesting that the poor success record of many of these new public management approaches is solely the responsibility of the developing countries and has little to do with the immense influence that the donor community has had over in setting the Public Finance Management reform agenda?

Clearly, it is time to recognise that considerations of the different sides of the question as to what reform methods to adopt or whether Public Finance Management is, or should be, driven principally by the disbursement conditionalities set by donors; or arrived at through much wider debate and careful consideration by the citizenry and leadership of developing countries might lead to quite different conclusions. The consequence of wider discussion between developing country actors could lead to a more balanced, realistic, relevant and ultimately effective approach to Public Finance Management reform in developing countries.

7 Things to Know Before Visiting Cusco Peru Tours

Cusco is one of the tourist destinations that many Peruvians choose when to pack up and travel, but there is great uncertainty about whether the budget will reach to know one of the places that houses one of the seven modern wonders like Machu Picchu.

If you are visiting Machu Picchu, in Cusco, for the first time, you will experience some knew things and here are some tips that will improve your whole adventure in strange situations.

Choose the time: You must note that from April to October is the dry season with the cloudless sky. Since November, the clouds and rains that reach their peak in December through March.

Meeting hours: The Cusco Peru tourslasts a whole day. We will move out quickly as we can, to seize the day and avoid the crowds. Another thing you can do is go out in the evening and sleep in AguesClient’s, from there to Machu Picchu the next day morning. You can change Aguesclients’ to Ollantaytambo if you like.

Trekking: Some might want to get walking, but it is not an easy task. You can choose the Inca Trail, Salkantay Trekking to Machu Picchu and Coffee Route. Always accompanied by excellent guides and book your space with several months in advance.

Clothing and accessories: It is advisable to take only what is necessary. Water, a jacket for warmth, sunscreen, hat, insect repellent, and camera. Always have a rain jacket and windbreaker. Machu Picchu is jungle and warm, but the weather changes in minutes, and can rain, cloud and spend a little cold.

Lunch and drinks: It is advisable to get the food in the village of aguesclients before climbing to Machu Picchu. You can also bring your little taper.

You must ask the locals where they eat them, do not go where tourists eat or nearby restaurants to tourist sites, these are commercial, expensive and bad. Explore the markets, eat llama, and enjoy the best experience in a country as lovely as Peru.

About the currency

The currency used in the country is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol (three suns roughly equivalent to one dollar). There are many places where you can change money, for example switched smoothly on the same bus terminal in Tacna. It goes without saying that always look established places to spare potential problems.

Vaccines

You will not need any special vaccinations to enter the country. But keep in mind that if you visit Amazon regions, the Ministry of Health of Peru recommended the yellow fever vaccine. For example, if you go to the city of Iquitos, in full jungle Peru, it is better as a preventive measure you perform the vaccine.

Take Advantage of Online Finance Management Tools to Manage Your Finances Better

Managing your finances is not always easy. It is a time consuming task to keep track of all your bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages and various other details of your personal finance. Traditional way of book keeping doesn’t solve your problem and most good personal accounting software comes at a price.

However, the good news is that there are better and free ways to keep track of your finances. What I am talking about here is free online personal finance management tools which not only help you manage your finances by making it easy for you to keep track of your bank accounts and other financial details but also makes it easy for you to take financial decisions wisely by providing sophisticated analysis. These online tools if used properly can be of great help as apart from tools to manage your various accounts they also offer tools which helps you to analyze your spending, project your savings etc..

If you are still clueless about what I am talking about or have heard about online finance management tools for the first time, you may like to take a look at Mint.com. Mint is perhaps the most popular online personal finance management tool at the moment. It is a free service that integrates all your bank accounts, credit card accounts at one place which makes it easy for you to keep track of them. This saves you the trouble of keeping track of your bank accounts manually which can be quite time consuming if you have multiple bank accounts (we all have right?). Imagine all your bank accounts being tracked for debit/credit and being updated for you to view it on the same place. Sounds quite convenient, isn’t it? These online personal finance management tools provide you with exactly the same thing.

Moreover the online personal finance management tools also provide you with customized analysis of your spending and projection of savings thereby enabling you to make better financial decisions.

Security has been always an issue with financial matters, more so when it comes to trusting a third party website with your bank account details. But most of these websites works by authenticating your bank accounts in a standard secure way which doesn’t require them to store your account credentials and it is verified using standard gateways. This makes them more secure to use.

These online tools only make your life simple by providing you with easier ways to manage your personal finances. You can try out any of these free online tools and know for yourself. There are many online personal finance management tools available today for you to take advantage of them. Just choose any of these services and manage your finances in a better and easy way

Dudhwa National Park – A Treat for Nature Enthusiasts

Residing in the Lakhimpur and Kheri districts in Uttar Pradesh, the Dudhwa National Park is home to a large number of threatened animal species such as the Rhino and the tiger. This tiger reserve houses two beautiful sanctuaries – the Kishanpur and Katerniaghat Wildlife sanctuaries, where you can spot a large number of birds and animal species. Dudhwa is a magnificent wildlife park which offers its visitors excellent views of its lush greenery and beautiful terrains.

Dudhwa is one of the richest bio-reserves in India; the adjacent Indo-Gangetic plains are credited for the flourishing fauna and flora in this region. This wildlife Park spreads over a vast grassland and dense forest. Over 16 species of reptiles, 38 species of mammals and several species of birds are protected here.

Popular Activities in Dudhwa National Park
• Safaris – The Park offers Safari services for visitors, but you can also explore the place on your own by hiring a jeep or a mini bus.
• Jumbo rides – Elephant rides are a popular attraction at the park; the mahouts will be your tour guide, and they will give you a tour of the park on the majestic animal.
• Tharu Village Visit – Tharu is a small tribal community residing inside the Park. Meeting the tribal village is a great opportunity for outsiders to learn about a unique ethnicity and rich culture.

Best time to visit Dudhwa National Park
December to April is the perfect time to visit the park. Since Northern part of India follows the extreme climate pattern, the summers are going to be boiling, and the winters will be freezing. The park stays open from 15th November-15th June.

How to reach?
• Flight – Lucknow is the closest airport to the Park. You can hop on a taxi from the airport to get to the Park.
• Road – Dudhwa has an excellent road connection most of the major cities and States. There are plenty of State-owned as well as private bus services from neighbouring cities like Bareilly, Delhi, Lakhimpur, Kheri, and Shahjahanpur.
• Train – The nearest railway station to the park is nearly four km away. Other railway stations include Palia which is ten km away and Mailani which is 37kms away from the park.

Where to stay?
Accommodation is not an issue in Dudhwa because visitors have plenty of Dudhwa forest resorts to choose from. Apart from the resorts, you can also find forest lodges, dormitory or forest huts to stay. The Dudhwa forest resorts ensure luxurious comfort so that visitors can experience nature with ease. Camping in Dudhwa National Park is a haven for nature-lovers. If you love wildlife, then you will love the Dudhwa National Park.

A Look at Finance Managers

Individuals who aren’t in the finance industry may find all the job titles floating around very confusing. In this article we are going to look at what finance managers actually do, other than manage finance in some way.

A finance manager’s responsibilities mainly revolve around providing finance support and advice to clients or colleagues in their organisation and help them make informed and sound finance decisions.

The organisations and workplaces that finance managers can work in are extremely varied and can be in both the public and private sector. These include Financial Institutions, Charities, Trusts, Universities and Multinational Corporations.

Most major business decisions are based on financial decisions and considerations. Companies need to know financial implications of any business decisions before they can be made, so Finance Mangers must help advise these situations and also make sure that all financial practices follow statutory regulations and legislations.

The role of a financial manager can be very varied, and the title of the role often confuses people so great care should always be taken to analyse the responsibilities in each organisation.

When a finance manager is employed in a large corporation, their role will usually be more concerned with strategic analysis, and finance managers working for smaller companies and organisations might only have to prepare and collect accounts.

Typical activities of a finance manager will include interpreting financial data and making recommendations, analysing cash flows and making predictions on future trends. They will often have to formulate long term strategic business plans. Reduce costs for the business by reviewing and evaluating opportunities, find new sources of income to manage the debt of an organisation.

They will also be expected to keep up to date with regulations and legislation for the finance world to make sure that the organisation is doing everything by the books.

There are obviously a lot of tasks and responsibilities not mentioned in this article but when you take a step back from it all, the role of a finance manager does boil down to various tasks that revolve around managing the finances for a given organisation.

Essential Money-Saving Travel Tips for Beginners

Any plans of taking a break after a few months of stressful work? Then, travelling out of town might be a good idea. To ensure that the hard-earned money will go far, here are some of the budget travel tips to keep in mind:

• Call the hotel first before booking it through the Internet. Though it’s convenient to make travel arrangements online, it doesn’t guarantee to give travellers the best possible deals. It’s recommended to call the hotel depending on the expected time of arrival and speak with a supervisor or manager on duty.

Ask if they can offer an affordable package during the stay. Normally, some hotels would give discounts to travellers who prefer rooms that aren’t as coveted as the others. And for those who are celebrating their birthdays or anniversaries, some hotels offer complimentary upgrades for a night.

• Compare prices of airline tickets. People will prefer to purchase tickets online than over the phone because it’s more convenient. However, it’s essential to make a comparison first by calling the airline and check if the ticket price is similar to what is displayed on the Internet. When purchasing tickets, it’s also recommended to consider the extra fees. Once all of this has been made, go for the one that offers a lower rate.

• Book everything alone. Third parties such as travel agents and booking websites offering services to arrange everything seldom work for free. Normally, there’s an equivalent fee that will go to them. Travellers will save more money by booking each and every element separately through contacting their preferred hotel and airline. By doing so, they will also have the option to contact other choices for price comparison.

• Ask for repositioning cruises or flights. Airlines and cruise lines usually reposition their trips from time to time. it’s cheaper than the traditional trips but also offers similar services to customers. One thing to note though, travel time for repositioned trips may take longer than the usual.

• Avoid travelling during peak seasons. As the number of tourists goes up, the travel cost also does. Though visiting a certain country during Christmas time is a perfect idea, travellers can save hundreds of dollars on flights and hotel accommodations if they can wait to visit once the season is over.

• Share a room with a friend. Stay at the hotel is another essential thing to consider on budget when travelling. There are hotels where room rates for a single person is also the same as the cost of rooms for two persons. Instead taking separate rooms for this situation, why not get a room for two? Aside from the saved money, this will also be a good time to spend bonding moments with a friend while on vacation. Forget about the loud snoring during bedtime though.

• Travel like the locals. As tourists, riding glitzy air-conditioned buses with movies on-board is a convenient option but often comes with a hefty price. Doing this might take away the money that should be spent on exploring other places around the area.

Travelling should not be expensive. All it takes is just the right preparation, timing and budgeting. By keeping all these budget travel tips in mind, everyone can have a wonderful vacation without shedding out too much money from their pockets.