Course introduction

The way public finances are organised in a country forms the basis for how local authorities run their activities in cities, towns and villages. While national governments have the responsibility to design and supervise a system that works, local authorities are challenged to use their often limited resources for delivering better local services.

This course helps you in answering questions such as:

  • How can spending responsibilities and revenue resources be best assigned to the different government layers, taking into account the country context?
  • What are the responsibilities of national government in designing and supervising a system that works?
  • How can sub-national governments be supported to increase local revenues and strengthen financial management?
  • How can local authorities be held accountable by their citizens?

You will discuss the assignment of expenditure responsibilities and revenue sources, the design and implementation of intergovernmental transfers, financial accountability, gender budgeting and local government spending and monitoring. Country cases from a.o. Bangladesh, Kenya and Tanzania on intergovernmental transfer will be analysed. You will visit Dutch institutions amongst which the Dutch Ministry of Home Affairs and the Court of Audit of the Municipality of Rotterdam.

Learning objectives

This course helps you in:

  • assess and monitor fiscal decentralisation practices in your country;
  • optimise the different sources of revenue, e.g. taxes, user fees and intergovernmental transfers;
  • find effective financing structures and partnerships to accomplish most with limited resources;
  • be able to use revenue and  expenditure tools;
  • increase your insight in financial management and fiscal accountability at the local level.

After successful completion of the course you will receive a certificate of The Hague Academy for Local Governance. 

This training is designed for

People who are responsible for the design and implementation of (fiscal) decentralisation processes, public sector reform programmes, public service delivery or financial management, and who work for national, regional or local government or donor and development organisations.

Practical information

The course fee is € 3.150,-. This includes all training-related costs, as well as drinks, lunches, training materials and travel during the training programme. Travel to and from The Hague and accommodation is not included. Group discounts are available if you participate with three of more colleagues in this course. Email us for more information.
The course language is English. This course takes place in our office in The Hague, The Netherlands.

If you would like to receive more information or in case you have any questions, you can contact us at or +31(70) 37 38 695.

Application procedure

Deadline for application is 30 January 2017. For more information about the application procedure and the online application form, click here.

Fellowship opportunities

Nuffic Fellowship:
The Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education (NUFFIC) offers the opportunity to apply for a fellowship for this training course, as part of the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) for short courses. To see if you are eligible for a fellowship and to learn more about the rules and regulations for the NFP fellowship, please see

The deadline to apply for a NFP fellowship for this specific course has passed. Please check other opportunities on our fellowship page.

Talent for Governance

Talent for Governance is The Hague Academy’s own scholarship programme. This programme is for young, talented and motivated civil servants working for a local government in one of the countries on the DAC country list. The programme consists of the two-week training course on fiscal decentralisation, a week-long internship at a Dutch Municipality, Talent for Governance networking activities and a back home action plan.

Application for our Talent Progranmme is now closed. The deadline was the 18th of November 2016. For more information about this programme, click here.