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Public Financial Management in a Changing World, Short Course

  • Application Deadline
  • 6 days
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Every country around the world has embraced public financial management reforms over the last two decades, but many simply have not met expectations. The pressure for reform is even greater after 2008 given that countries are pressured to pursue austerity measures, but still ensure that government services are delivered.

Reform initiatives in public financial management have focused primarily on technical interventions and yielded decidedly mixed results. In practice, public financial management does not lend itself to "one-size-fits-all" approaches to policy making. Effective reform depends on political and organizational change, which requires a deep understanding of national traditions, capacities, and needs. While most attention has centered on public financial management in developing countries, research has shown that many developed countries face similar issues in implementing successful reforms.

Public Financial Management in a Changing World offers a rigorous, evidence-based approach to public financial management. The program is intended to bring together officials in charge of implementing reforms in their countries with leading experts from multilateral organizations to examine the challenges associated with successful systemic reform.

The program will provide participants with:
  • an empirical understanding of the elements of reform agendas that typically succeed versus those that do not, and an analytical framework for interpreting how and why this differs by country;
  • evidence-based insights about the connection between the quality and the outputs of systems in functional areas such as budgeting, accounting, auditing, and procurement;
  • approaches for strategic engagement of stakeholders in reforms and change management; and
  • a lasting global network of colleagues who share a common understanding of the challenges of reforming public financial management systems.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 6 days
  • Languages
    • English
    Schedule TOEFL® Schedule IELTS
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Participants will leave with enhanced understanding of:
  • Approaches to balance the demands on public financial management systems, including common calls for austerity and the simultaneous pressures for increased spending
  • The options available to improve public financial management performance in a wide variety of countries
  • Strategies to adapt common reform options to local contextual challenges; and
  • Ways of facilitating the implementation of reforms by distributed agents across governments


Public Financial Management in a Changing World is designed to bring together senior officials tasked with designing and implementing reform initiatives in their countries. Leaders with responsibility for budgets, internal or external audits, and financial controls in Ministries of Finance and line agencies, as well as legislative branches of government, will benefit from this program.

Participants may include senior officials working in the following areas of government:
  • Budget Directors
  • Budget Officers
  • Treasury Specialists
  • Government Accounting Officers
  • Planners
  • Internal/External Auditors
  • Procurement Specialists
  • Parliamentarians involved in budget processes

Private sector consultants and members of international organizations working in these areas also should consider applying. Diverse perspectives and interactive class sessions will enhance the learning experience for all participants, providing a unique opportunity to build lasting professional networks.


  • Faculty Chair: Matt Andrews
  • Program Director: Mahlet Aklu

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

  • Schedule a TOEFL® test
  • Schedule an IELTS test

Academic Requirements

  1. Create an account
  2. Complete your application
  3. Submit your application
Visa Requirements

As a program participant, you are responsible for securing the appropriate visas (B1 Visa) and travel documents you need to travel to the country in which your program is located.

Once admitted to a program, the Program Director can provide you with a letter as documentation for your visa application.

Please note that you should request a B-1 visa and not an F-l student visa for attendance to a program. Program participants are not considered full-time enrolled students at Harvard University, and they are therefore not eligible for Harvard’s F-l student visa sponsorship.

Because the time required to obtain a visa can be lengthy, we encourage applicants from outside the United States to apply at least 12 weeks before the start date of each program.

Work Experience

At least 10 year(s) of work experience are required.

Most executive programs are designed for participants with at least 10 years of work experience, however there are no formal educational requirements for admission.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    7400 USD/module
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 7400 USD per module and a duration of 6 days.
  • National

    7400 USD/module
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 7400 USD per module and a duration of 6 days.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Cambridge

  • 1814 - 3760 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

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