Assessing partners' financial management capacity 

Course code: FM9
Course Title: Assessing partners' financial management capacity
Duration: 1 day
For: INGO programme and finance staff who work with and support local NGO partners
Fee basis: Non-residential: fee excludes accommodation.


This course builds the confidence and skills of NGO staff to assess and strengthen local partner NGOs’ financial management systems and capacity.

Target Audience

This course is designed for staff in international NGOs whose role includes supporting programmes implemented by local partner NGOs and assessing the partners’ capacity to manage project funds.

For those with no previous financial management experience or training it is recommended that they first attend the companion course – FM3UK Financial Management for Effective Programmes: a Programme Officer’s Survival Course – which takes place immediately before the FM9.

We recommend that you read this course outline carefully to make sure the content is relevant and meets your learning requirements. If you are not sure if this course is for you, please contact us.

Course Content

The final balance of course content will be decided by those attending the course, according to their interests and training needs.

The core components of this course include:

  • Frameworks and checklists for assessing capacity and analysing financial risk
  • Interpreting partners’ financial reports
  • Identifying strategies to build on strengths and improve on weaknesses

Also see the Programme Guide.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • apply the Seven Principles of Financial Management to identify strengths and weaknesses in financial management systems
  • utilise the Mango Health Check to help partner NGOs self-assess their financial management systems and procedures
  • analyse partners’ financial reports using the ratio analysis technique
  • use a funding mix matrix to assess the financial sustainability status of partner NGOs
  • describe common financial management challenges facing partner NGOs in the field
  • identify strategies to strengthen partners’ financial management systems and procedures
  • appreciate the contribution that effective financial management has on their partner NGOs’ ability to manage project funds.

Training Approach

The Mango training approach is highly practical, participatory and often fun!

We focus on real issues and help participants to use the tools covered, rather than just discuss them.  We work especially hard to explain and take the mystery out of financial concepts to overcome the fear of finance.

“Mango training really does take the fear out of finance!”

We train in small groups to meet the needs of individual participants and use a variety of learning methods to stimulate interest and meet different learning styles.  Participatory techniques include interactive presentations, practical problem-solving activities, case studies and quizzes.

Courses are supported by extensive materials for participants to take away and apply after the course, including a detailed course manual.  We also offer a free follow-up service by email or phone to all Mango trainees.

How to Book

All courses can be booked online or by completing a booking form and sending it to the training team.  Full terms and conditions are also available on our website, as well as the latest calendar, current availability and course fees.

You are also welcome to telephone us with enquiries on +44 (0)1865 423818.

Course Fees

The course fee covers: tuition, all course materials including a course handbook and workbook; complementary Mango pen, ‘jargon ball’ and calculator; lunch and refreshments during the course; and a course certificate.

The course fee does not include the cost of overnight accommodation or travel to and from the training venue.

Programme Guide

 Module Session Topics


Introduction and Overview


  • Introductions and expectations
  • Course objectives and overview of the day
  • Challenges for local partners
  • A capacity-building approach
Frameworks and checklists
  • The Four Building Blocks
  • The Seven Principles of financial management
  • The Mango self-assessment Health Check
  • A Financial Systems checklist
Assessment techniques
  • Reviewing partners’ financial reports
  • Analysing annual financial statements
  • Assessing partners’ financial sustainability status
Strengthening systems
  • Identifying options for improving financial management systems and capacity 
Summary & Review
  • Summary of key learning points
  • Action planning
  • Course evaluation