What you'll learn

  • 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
  • A lasting global network of colleagues who share a common understanding of the challenges of reforming public financial management systems

Course description

This five-day online executive program goes far beyond traditional public finance management approaches that have yielded decidedly mixed results. Harvard faculty and expert practitioners will lead you through live virtual lessons that examine what constitutes effective reform. They will also focus on political and organizational change, with an emphasis on national traditions, capacities and needs.

Course outline

  • 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
  • Ways of facilitating the implementation of reforms by distributed agents across governments


  • Edward S. Mason Senior Lecturer in International Development
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