Isle of Man set to welcome international delegates

The Isle of Man is preparing to welcome delegates from around the world to the Small Countries Financial Management Programme (SCFMP), after a three-year Covid-related hiatus.

A total of 22 officials representing finance ministries, central banks and regulatory bodies are set to arrive in the Island this weekend from as far afield as the Caribbean, Pacific, Indian Ocean and Africa.

It is the 13th year the Isle of Man has hosted the highly acclaimed initiative, which contributes to the sustainable growth and prosperity of small state economies through capacity building in regulation and financial management.

Organised by the Small Countries Financial Management Centre, the programme takes place over two weeks, with the initial sessions currently being held at Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford.

The objective is to offer delegates access to a range of eminent practitioners, business school presenters and academics.

Sessions use real-life case studies to focus on operationally useful skills and provide an insight into how other small countries have tackled common challenges. Participants bring and work on a real work-related challenge with the presenters and their peers.

There is a strong focus on financial capacity and integrity, with the presenters covering issues such as risk assessment, debt sustainability, transformational change, negotiation skills, leadership, and regulatory improvement.

The Isle of Man Government provided the initial funding and helped to develop the programme in conjunction with the World Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat and leading faculty from the University of Oxford. It continues to fund the programme. 

An Independent Evaluation Report published in July 2020 concluded that the SCFMP had delivered identifiable, sustained improvements in the capacity and performance of both participants and organisations. The relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of the programme were all rated as “excellent”.  

Mark Shimmin, Executive Director, said: “The initiative provides something that was not available before – advice on regulation and financial management and on “soft skills”, tailored to the needs of small developing countries that is of real value in guiding their future development. The Isle of Man’s own economic journey over the past 40 years into a well-regulated and flourishing international business centre has really struck a chord with participants. Whilst still facing challenges, the Island has overcome many issues that are still being experienced by other small nations and the programme provides an opportunity to share that knowledge.”

He added: “We aim to make a tangible contribution to development in a range of small countries in different parts of the world. Providing first-hand experience gives real meaning to the programme and has inspired many participants to make important progress when they have returned home. The programme also promotes a legacy of lifelong friendships and cooperation between small countries. In an unpredictable world, it is a reminder of what can be achieved when we work together.”