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4 Nov 2019
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Governance of Public Finance (2019)

5 Weeks
Programme Area
Public Finance and Trade
Course schedule is subject to change. Course fee is non-refundable but transferrable to another course or participant and subject to change as per UNITAR's policy on pricing.
Event Focal Point Email
Public – by registration
Mode of Delivery
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The Course is meant to make students acquainted with the main issues of the new approaches to and techniques of the governance of public finance. The traditional model of public finance was based on established structures of government, and the sole responsibility for an efficient management of public finances was political. This means any mismanagement of public finances (e. g. a significant accumulation of budget deficit and government debt) was potentially sanctioned in the next parliamentary elections by the electorate which may have entrusted a new government with the management of public finances. This system proved, however, obviously inadequate under the conditions of the crisis of the world economy from 2007 on. It turned out that the normal political cycle doesn’t allow for fast reactions by incumbent governments to the deterioration of public finances, and independent (or at least impartial, politically not influenced) monitoring of the budgeting process and especially public spending is of vital importance.

An increasing number of countries have opted for setting up new, independent institutions to increase fiscal responsibility in order to avoid further debt crises in the world. It may be useful to students to acquire in-depth knowledge of how such institutions are set up, operated and, last but not least, how their co-operation with the respective governments (mainly the ministries of finance), national banks, state auditing organisations and parliaments is organised. It is important to show how the independent bodies of public finance governance help increase the credibility of fiscal policy. 

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

  • State and discuss the significance and benefits of politically independent decision-making in the governance of public finance;
  • Explain the relationship between fiscal irresponsibility and inadequate monitoring of public finances;
  • Distinguish factors that cause the emergence of debt crisis;
  • Analyze the institutional structures of fiscal policy and governance;
  • Evaluate the functions and impact of independent monitoring institutions; and
  • Assess the role of independent fiscal institutions in avoiding debt crises. 

The course consists of the following modules:

  • Module 1: The Issue of Independence in Public Policy and Governance
  • Module 2: Fiscal Crises and the Credibility Problem
  • Module 3: Main Institutions and Structures of Fiscal Policy Governance
  • Module 4: The Role of Independent Fiscal Institutions in Avoiding Debt Crises 

In order to ensure the best possible outreach, the course will be delivered through e-learning. Through a multiple-instructional setting, the goal is to achieve the learning objectives by means of learning technologies that match personal learning styles and by the inclusion of non-linear learning that aims at the development of just-in-time skills of adult learners. At the same time, in order to allow participants maximum flexibility of scheduling , the learning will be conducted in an asynchronous manner. Using a state-of-the-art training architecture, UNITAR will combine self-learning with assessments and online discussions. The pedagogy - adapted specifically to professionals in full-time work - will help train participants through various experiences: absorb (read); do (activity); interact (socialize); reflect (relate to one’s own reality). -

Potential beneficiary audience/institutions include government officials; employees of state auditing institutions; central bankers; financial analysts; academics; university/college students.

A certificate of completion will be issued by UNITAR to all participants who complete the course-related assignments and assessments successfully. Course schedule is subject to change. Course fee is non-refundable but transferrable to another course or participant and subject to change as per UNITAR's policy on pricing.

Recommended hardware and software requirements for taking our e-learning courses:

  • Platform: Windows XP sp3, Vista sp2, Windows 7 sp1, MacOS X.
  • Hardware: 2 GB of RAM and higher for Vista and Windows 7.
  • Software: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint and Adobe Acrobat Reader (downloadable for free at
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 8 or higher; Mozilla Firefox 8 or higher.
  • Internet connection: 128kbps and higher. Note: JavaScript, pop-ups & cookies must be enabled.