Economics, Public policy

In co-operation with the World Bank Institute and the Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative of the Open Society Institute, Budapest

Course date

1 July - 12 July, 2002
Application deadline:
15 February, 2002
Course Director(s): 

Jozsef Hegedus

Metropolitan Research Institute, Budapest, Hungary

Adrian Ionescu

Joint Integrated Local Development Programme, UNDP, Moldova

Serdar Yilmaz

World Bank Institute, USA
Course Faculty: 

Robert D. Ebel

Economic Development Institute (EDI) World Bank, Washington, DC., USA

Katalin Pallai

Independent Consultant, Budapest, Hungary

Nicolas Levrat

Graduate Institute of European Studies, Geneva University, Switzerland

Alexei Novikov

Standard and Poor's, Moscow, Russian Federation

Karoly Jokay

Department of Public Policy, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Balazs Kremer

Independent Policy Advisor, Budapest

The objectives of the course are to (i) provide participants with the analytical framework for understanding intergovernmental fiscal economics and various modules of the central-subnational (e.g., local) relationship, (ii) enhance participants’ capacity for successful implementation of public sector resource management reform by analysing mechanisms for the transfer of resources among governments and identifying ways to address the issue of regional disparities and local resource mobilisation, (iii) and increase participants` understanding in the issues of fast restructuring public economy in countries of transition, (iv) enhance the participants’ capacity to understand and use the practical simulation methods on public finance issues (transfers, local taxes).

Course level, target audience

The course has been designed for the practitioners, researchers/academics and trainers in the area of public finance related to local government issues and intergovernmental fiscal relations. Applicants are expected to have a basic knowledge of computer and software usage, e.g. Ms Excel. During the course one day will be dedicated to simple simulations using Ms Excel.

Distance Learning 

The course organisers will send out distance learning materials at the end of April and will involve participants in a pre-course distance learning project. These materials will cover an overview of issues of financial decentralisation as well as those of revenue and expenditure assignments. Course tutors will keep contact with participants sending out and discussing assignments via email. They will also establish email discussion forums among prospective participants so that they can exchange information and views prior to course start.

Assignments and assessment:

The participants will be selected on the basis of the SUN application and completion of a Distance Learning (DL) assignment. Each participant is expected to prepare a presentation on the fiscal decentralization issues of her/his country and on the issues of one public sector. These papers will be presented during the course. The participants will be evaluated according to their attendance and contribution to class discussions and workshop exercises.

Teaching methods:

The course aims to achieve the right mix of exercises, lectures, and interactive learning methods. This includes the dissemination of materials prior to the course presentation (paper and/or electronically) and supplementing the content with simulations, case studies and interactive discussions. Preceding the course the students will receive a distance learning package covering "Concepts of Decentralization" and "Expenditure and Revenue Assignment". Teaching of the DL stage will be conducted via email discussion, guided reading, and a series of exercises via email. It is expected that students will continue to receive support after the course using Internet and Email.