The Small Countries Financial Management Programme
The Small Countries Financial Management Programme (SCFMP) is a major initiative developed through a partnership between the Isle of Man Government, the World Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Small States Network for Economic Development and Oxford professors.
The aim is to promote the sustainable development of the economies of small states and give them a more powerful voice within the international community. With its major emphasis on financial integrity and improved regulation, the programme is also intended to help these countries respond to increasingly challenging requirements of international standard-setting bodies.
World Bank President, Robert B. Zoellick, told delegates at the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in October 2009:
‘The new Small Countries Financial Management Programme, developed with the support of the government of the Isle of Man, is a great opportunity to try to deal with some of the particular challenges of financial management and learn from one another, but also draw on the quality and experience of a global university.’
Participants on the programme are drawn together from officials within finance ministries, central banks, and regulatory bodies in small developing countries and have access to some of the best practitioners and professors in the world, along with an opportunity to share their own countries’ challenges and ambitions, during an innovative two-week learning experience.
The programme takes place annually at both the Isle of Man International Business School and Oxford, and covers key issues such as risk assessment, management and regulation, debt and cash management, and regulatory collaboration.
To administer the Programme, The Small Countries Financial Management Centre (SCFMC) was established as a charity (company limited by guarantee) in the Isle of Man in June 2009. Its purpose is to contribute to the growth and prosperity of small countries through capacity building in the government financial sector.
The Centre was established through a generous commitment from the Government of the Isle of Man. This funding enabled it to develop and implement two-week core programmes in 2009 and 2010, which benefited a total of 53 officials from small countries, with the third annual session scheduled for August- September, 2011. The World Bank and the Commonwealth Secretariat were both key partners in the establishment of the Centre and have also contributed funding to its initial annual programmes.
Treasury Minister of the Isle of Man, Hon. Eddie Teare MHK, commented:
“All of us in small countries face special challenges that are unique, and which are often not widely recognised. We have to deal with much bigger and more powerful countries, and in various ways, we have all been affected by the global financial crisis. We welcome our guests who attend the Small Countries Financial Management Programme each year with a considerable feeling of solidarity. We are all keen to work cooperatively with international standard-setting bodies, and believe that small countries can be successful and that they are entitled to be taken seriously.
This programme delivers a rare combination of world-class strategies for managing change, taught by professors from Oxford, Harvard, and other universities, and more technical sessions taught by a wide range of outstanding practitioners. These include experts from the Financial Services Authority in the UK, as well as from other financial regulators. The head of our own Financial Supervision Commission and our Tax Assessor also play key teaching roles. A huge amount is packed into the programme and although it is demanding for participants, they have told us that they find it extremely stimulating.
The Isle of Man was honoured to become the first Associate Member of the Small States Network for Economic Development, and we are proud to be the primary sponsor of this programme and to be working in close partnership with the World Bank and the Commonwealth Secretariat. For almost a decade, the Isle of Man has been at the leading edge in developing forms of collaboration between both small and large countries in the global economic community. As a centre of financial excellence, we welcome the opportunity to share our expertise and resources by supporting this innovative education programme.
This programme delivers unique insights and practical solutions and we continue to look forward to welcoming successful candidates to the Isle of Man.”