Press Releases, 8/21/2007
Nicaraguan municipal leaders on an educational visit to Finland
Press release 152/2007
20 August 2007
Nineteen Nicaraguan municipal leaders and representatives of regional administration will visit Finland between 25 August and 2 September. During their educational visit the guests will acquaint themselves with, for instance, the activities of Finnish municipalities and provinces and unions between them. The sites they will visit include the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, the Regional Council of Häme, the municipalities of Riihimäki and Hausjärvi, the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK), and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The visit is part of a development cooperation programme between Finland and Nicaragua, aiming at decentralisation of administration, strengthening of democracy and good administration at local level, and improvement of the living conditions of local population in the 20 municipalities participating in the project.
The programme has been particularly successful in improving regional cooperation and, for the first time, municipal leaders across party lines have united their forces for the development of their own region. The programme, initiated in 2004, is implemented by INIFOM (Nicaraguan Institute for Municipal Development) and the support services are provided by Ramboll Finnconsult / Impact Consulting. The programme will come to an end at the end of 2008, but the increased tax revenues in the municipalities will guarantee that the measures launched by the project will continue even in the future.
In Finland, the visitors are particularly interested in experiences from regional cooperation, openness of administration, use of IT and communications technology, and municipal planning. The Nicaraguan municipal leaders, on the other hand, have interesting information to tell about the municipal budget planning that allows direct participation of local residents.
Additional information: First Secretary Emmi Oikari, Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean, tel. +358 9 1605 6053, requests for interviews: Toni Sandell, tel. +358 40 523 7975