Introduction and Background
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.
||when slots are full
||September 11 to October
||Minimum of 35 hours
||US $ 400/-
||UNITAR Geneva (Course Administration
and Technical Questions)
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.
Potential beneficiary audience/institutions include government officials;
employees of state auditing institutions; central bankers; financial
analysts; academics; university/college students.
Structure / Outline
This online course will involve a mix of self-study and online interaction
culminating in a practical understanding of governance of public
funds through online group work. Throughout the duration of the
course, participants will go through theoretical and conceptual
material prepared by UNITAR and will have an opportunity to relate
it to real-life situations through online discussions and peer-to-peer
interaction. There will be a quiz/assignment at the end of the program.
This course will comprise of the following modules, each covering
a one-week period.
Module 1: The Issue of Independence
in Public Policy and Governance
This module would expose the growing importance of politically
independent decision-making in key fields of public policy. Central
bank independence is used as an example to explain the benefits
of institutional independence in certain fields of public policy.
Such benefits include higher credibility and longer-term calculability,
therefore more transparency of public policy lines and decisions.
Module 2: Fiscal Crises and the Credibility Problem
This module would focus on the role of politically motivated fiscal
policies in the emergence of fiscal crises. It would also elaborate
on how a higher degree of credibility of fiscal policy can improve
the conditions of external financing for a country struggling
with a high level of foreign and public debt.
Module 3: Main Institutions and Structures of Fiscal Policy
This module would analyze the legal and institutional structures
of fiscal policy and fiscal governance, with a strong emphasis
on independent monitoring institutions.
Module 4: The Role of Independent Fiscal Institutions in Avoiding
This module would discuss the strategic importance of independent
fiscal governance and monitoring in creating sustainable models
of public finance including external financing for the economy.
This course will be conducted over the internet using UNITAR's e-Learning
infrastructure for a four week period. Participants will require a
minimum of 60 minutes of study each day. The course pedagogy will
allow for three levels of interaction. At the first level, the participants
will interact with the training content and reading material provided.
At the second level, the participants will interact with each other
through the online discussion board facility, sharing experiences,
opinions and views, thereby giving the learning a contextual framework.
At the third level, the participants will interact with a seasoned
expert on corporate governance who will act as the course mentor.
The mentor will not only moderate the course for its entire duration,
but also provide feedback and discussion wrap-ups as well as respond
to participant queries.
UNITAR online courses create a progressive
learning environment in which participants have the flexibility
to structure their own learning process and interact with peers
and experts through the discussion board facility. UNITAR encourages
the participants to network with each other both professionally
and amicably, to establish contacts which further promote the dynamic
nature of the learning experience.
The online course will be conducted
in the English language.
This course is designed as an online course in which participants
will be primarily responsible for their own learning. Each lesson
will consist of the following components:
Reading Materials (Compulsory Reading Materials):
these materials are intended to educate the participants
about the basic concepts and principles applicable to the subject-matter
of the lesson. It will include, where appropriate, sample materials.
These materials will constitute the required reading materials
for the lesson
Reading Materials (Optional Reading Materials): this
will consist of optional reading materials for participants who
wish to learn more about the topic than what is covered in the
Links: This will refer the interested participants
to additional books, articles, documents, and websites that deal
with the issues raised in the lesson.
A glossary of terms tailored to the online course will
be provided to the participants and act as a learning support
during the entire course.
At the end of each lesson there will be a set of quizzes
for participants to answer. These quizzes are designed to test
the participant's understanding of the lesson. Participants are
required to pass each quiz and obtain at least 80% or more passing
grade in order to be eligible for a certificate. All quizzes will
need to be taken online.
Discussion Board: There will be a community discussion
board available on which participants can post questions or comments
that can be seen by the instructor and the other participants.
This discussion board will be moderated by the course director
and UNITAR. Structured discussion strings will be posted on a
All successful participants will be
eligible to a certificate after completion of this online course.