Graduate in Public Finance Management diploma awarded scholarship for further study
The story of José Velásquez, former student of the Public Finance Management Diploma of our SECO-funded Subnational Public Finance Management Programme in Peru, offers an insight into how smart initiatives to build capacity among public servants can have a real impact. José has won a scholarship to continue his studies at the University of Chile. He plans to return afterwards to his home country in order to apply his new skills and knowledge to improve public financial management processes in Peru.
How does your story begin?
I’m from the countryside originally. I was born in Tamborapa village in Tabaconas in the province of San Ignacio in Cajamarca. I studied there until high school and then my family moved to the San Martín region. I did my university studies in Moyobamba. Currently, I work in the legal advisory area of the Regional Government of San Martin.
How did the Subnational PFM Programme support you on this path?
In 2017 I learned about scholarships offered by the SECO-funded Subnational PFM Programme to study the Diploma in Management and Public Finances. I applied and won one of the scholarships. The programme gave me the opportunity to study and understand public finance management, strategic planning, results-based management and internal control management. These were all concepts that I had not mastered before.
I also established strong bonds with the Diploma teachers, who encouraged me to continue studying. That is why in 2018 I applied for the EXCELLENCE CHALLENGE of SERVIR, which funds postgraduate studies in the 400 best universities in the world. It is a dream for me to have obtained this scholarship and to be able to go to the University of Chile to do my master's degree in management and public policies.
How do you see this new challenge?
I'll be away for two years to study for my master's degree at the University of Chile. My commitment is to return to my country and work in the public sector to apply what I have learned. My dream is that applying these studies could contribute in some way to Peru joining the OECD.
What public sector problems do you identify in Peru?
We still have a lot of deficits in education, health and infrastructure. I believe that the country's political agenda should mainly promote the issues of health, education, regulatory quality and boost investments. Public budgeting and procurement should be made more dynamic so we can improve public spending processes.
How do you see the work of a public servant?
As a public servant, we must give the best treatment to the citizens. It is through each one of us that the State provides quality services. Administrative procedures need to be simplified. In the Diploma, my proposal was the creation of a citizens’ assistance office. This office still does not exist and it is clearly necessary to help guide citizens in their administrative matters.
What message do you want to give to your colleagues?
To my colleagues, with whom I studied the PFM Diploma, I want to encourage them to apply for postgraduate studies, to continue developing their knowledge and to seek funding for their studies abroad. Politics is like medicine, in other words, we have to keep ourselves continuously up to date. The State is in a process of transformation, and in order to understand these changes it is necessary to study, update and apply new models and knowledge. I am very motivated because my master’s classmates will be officials from the Peruvian Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Central Reserve Bank of Peru.
About José Velasquez
A graduate in Law from Universidad Alas Peruanas, José Velasquez was born on 15 May 1989 in the Department of Cajamarca in Peru. In 2015, he joined the Regional Legal Advisory Office of the Regional Government of San Martín, working until now as a legal specialist. In 2017, he was awarded a scholarship by the Subnational PFM Program of the Swiss Cooperation - SECO to take the Diploma in Finance and Public Management delivered by ESAN University Graduate School of Business and covering public finance management, administrative law and government contracts. in December 2018, he was awarded the RETO EXCELENCIA scholarship by the National Civil Service Authority to pursue a Master's Degree in Management and Public Policies at the University of Chile.
About the Diploma in Management and Public Finances
The Diploma in Management and Public Finances was launched in 2017 with the aim of contributing to public financial management training and specialisation among civil servants and public servants in Peruvian regional and local governments. The training was provided to 246 students from six departments of the country, including civil servants, public officials, academics and PFM professionals.
The Diploma is over for now, but a recent ground-up initiative of the graduates is currently taking off: the Public Finance Management Experts Network, with 200 members and growing.
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