Course Introduction:

How a country organises its public finances forms the basis for how local authorities govern priorities 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.

Fiscal decentralisation enables cities and villages to decide on how and where to spend their allocated and self-generated resources, ensuring a more inclusive response to citizens’ needs. This course will address the efficiency of local authorities’ revenues and expenditures schemes, aiming at improving their budgeting processes and their service delivery responsibility towards citizens.

This course will address the following questions:

  • How can spending responsibilities and revenue resources be best assigned to the different government layers in different contexts?
  • How can sub-national governments optimise their local revenues and strengthen financial management?
  • What is the impact of emergencies (such as pandemics) on local finances?
  • How can citizens hold their local authorities accountable?
  • How can local budgets effectively respond to citizens’ needs?

Participants will discuss the assignment of expenditure responsibilities and revenue sources, the different variations of intergovernmental transfers, financial accountability, inclusive and participatory budgeting, as well as local government spending and monitoring. Case studies will analyse different local finance contexts across the globe. Participants will also visit Dutch institutions including the Dutch Ministry of Interior, the South-Holland Province and the Municipality of The Hague.

Course format:

Due to the travel restrictions associated with the Coronavirus outbreak, the format of the course has been adjustedWe are now offering a practice-oriented online course, consisting of two parts:

First module: This module will consist of several assignments spread throughout the timeframe provided. This is an opportunity to learn about the topic (while enhancing your online skills in an innovative e-learning environment) and prepare you for the next part of the course.
Dates: 8 February to 19 March 2021.

Second module: This module has a duration of one week, in which we will introduce new content and organise virtual study visits and daily live sessions with experts. We expect participants’ full participation during this week. At the end of week one, participants will have two more weeks to complete the training assignments and their back home action plans. During these weeks, they can also ask outstanding questions to the course facilitators and experts, and they will receive feedback on their course work.
Dates: 28 June to 16 July 2021.

Key Information

  • This blended training will take place online.
  • The deadline for applications is 29 January 2021. 
  • Group discounts available if you participate with three or more colleagues.
  • For general inquiries, please contact or call +(31) 70 37 38 695.

Learning Objectives

This course will help you:

  • Evaluate and monitor fiscal decentralisation practices in your country;
  • Increase your insight into financial management and fiscal accountability at the local level;
  • Optimise the different sources of revenue, e.g. taxes, user fees, and intergovernmental transfers;
  • Design inclusive and participatory budgets;
  • Assess the impact of emergencies such as pandemics on intergovernmental fiscal relations;
  • Plan local emergency-response budgets;

After this course, you will receive a professional certificate of completion from The Hague Academy for Local Governance.

Intended Audience

Professionals are responsible for the design and implementation of (fiscal) decentralisation processes, public sector reform programmes, public service delivery or financial management. The course is also aimed at individuals who work for national, regional or local governments, or donor and development organisations.


Experts involved in this course in the past include:

Jenifer Bukhoke
Technical Advisor on local development finance to the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). She has previously worked as a policy officer at UNCDF. Jenifer holds a Masters’ degree in Gender and Women Studies from Makere University and a PhD in Gender and Women Studies from St. Clements University.

Jamie Boex
Public finance expert with extensive experience in decentralisation and fiscal policy reforms in developing and transition countries around the world. Working with organisations such as the World Bank, UNDP, USAID, and numerous other bilateral development agencies. Jamie has contributed to policy reforms in a.o Afghanistan, Cambodia, Georgia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Nepal, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste and Uganda. He has also authored and contributed to numerous books, reports an research articles.

Peter Jongkind
Programme Director for Local Taxation at VNG International. His most recent programme is called the Tax Revenue for Economic Enhancement (TREE). This 4-year programme works with 32 municipalities in Ghana. Peter holds a Master’s degree in Social Studies from the Free University of Amsterdam and previously worked at the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration as a manager and later on as director.

Henri Schreurs
International expert with over 40 years of experience in local public finance and financial management in 27 countries. He has broad international experience in providing technical assistance and training in fiscal policy formulation, (programme) budgeting, revenue collection, cash and debt management, PPP and asset management. He has advised Local Government Associations in Europe, Africa and Asia on Strategic Planning and sustainable Financial Management.

Henri ten Broeke
Senior project manager for local taxes at VNG International. He has (re)designed and implemented business models, processes and IT architecture for local governments, water utility companies, water control boards and national tax administrations. For the past 6 years, he has worked as a consultant on international projects in, a.o. Mozambique, Kosovo and most recently Ghana and Palestinian Territories.



In the past, some of the study visits for this course have included:

  1. Dutch Ministry of Interior: ‘Financing the local governments in The Netherlands’
  2. Municipality of the Hague, Financial Department.
  3. House of Province South-Holland: ‘Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations’.

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 are not included. Group discounts are available if you participate with three or more colleagues in this course. Email us for more information. The course language is English.

For questions or more information about this course, please direct your inquiry to or call +31(70) 37 38 695.

Funding Opportunities

Participants in our courses are predominantly funded by their own employer (municipalities, Ministries, NGOs and training or research institutes) or by a donor or development agency. If you are looking for additional funding opportunities, there are a few organisations you could approach.

Nuffic Scholarships

The Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic) offers scholarships for training courses in the Netherlands. These scholarships seek to develop and strengthen the skills, instincts, and abilities of professionals to enable their organisations and communities to succeed in an ever-changing world.

Please note that the deadline to apply to scholarships for this course has already passed. Visit our Nuffic Scholarships page to learn about future deadlines. 

Application Deadline

The application deadline is 29 January 2021.


After submitting your completed application, you will receive a confirmation of your course registration and an invoice. The payment deadline is 1-week after the application deadline.

Payments can be made by bank transfer or by PayPal. We offer the option of paying in one or two installments. An advance payment of 50% secures the reservation of a seat to the training until the payment deadline. However, your participation in the course is guaranteed only after receipt of full payment prior to the deadline.

If no payment is received before that deadline, then your registration will automatically be canceled. Please note that The Hague Academy accepts registrations on a first-pay, first-served policy.

Visa Applications

Some countries require a visa to enter the Netherlands. Please check with The Netherlands or the embassy for the visa requirements related to your country. Because of the length of time needed for the visa procedure, we advise you to start this process as soon as possible.  Once your payment for the course is confirmed, The Hague Academy will send you an acceptance letter which will assist you in arranging your visa to The Netherlands.


Payments received before the deadline will be reimbursed. However, an administration fee of €150 will be charged to fulfill this request. We strongly encourage you to start with the visa application procedure at least six weeks before the start of the training programme in order to prevent late cancellation.

A cancellation fee of 50% of the course fee will be charged for participants cancelling between four and two weeks prior to the start of the training. If you cancel your participation within the two-week period before the start of the course, then you will be required to pay 80% of the course fee.

In the event that you cannot attend the course, it is possible to nominate a suitably qualified candidate to replace you without extra charge.

The Hague Academy for Local Governance reserves the right to cancel a course if the number of participants is insufficient or due to any other unforeseen circumstances. In this case, your payment will be 100% reimbursed. Other costs such as transportation or hotel cannot be reimbursed.

Contact Information

For questions about this course and the application process, or to inquire about our tailor-made courses on this topic, please contact us by email at, or call +31-70-3738695.