Fical Decentralisation and Local Finance course

Fiscal Decentralisation and Local Finance


How a country organises its finances, forms the basis for how local authorities govern their cities, towns and villages. Through fiscal decentralisation, local governments have more authority to decide how and where to spend their resources. This enables them to be more responsive to citizens’ needs.

For successful decentralisation, national governments need to design and supervise clear fiscal arrangements that support local service delivery. At the same time, local authorities are challenged to strengthen their financial capacities and use their limited resources in an effective and efficient way.

In this course, we will discuss the assignment of expenditure responsibilities to local authorities, intergovernmental transfers and local revenue sources. Moreover, we will address principles of financial accountability and transparency, and exchange examples of inclusive and participatory budgeting. Finally, we will zoom in on financial management at local level and local tax systems. 

Key Information

This course is designed for professionals working on (fiscal) decentralisation processes, public sector reform programmes, public service delivery or public financial management. Participants come from national, regional and local governments as well as from donor and development organisations.

This training will take place from 10 November 2025 to 21 November 2025. 

The course fee is € 3,595. This includes all training related costs as well as drinks and warm lunches during the training days. Group discounts are available if you participate with three or more colleagues.

This training takes place in The Hague, Netherlands.

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

Learning objectives

This course will help you:

Understand the fundamental pillars of fiscal decentralisation (expenditure assignment, revenue assignment, sub-national borrowing and intergovernmental fiscal transfers);

Evaluate fiscal decentralisation practices in your country;

Increase your insight into financial management and fiscal accountability at the local level;

Identify the different sources of revenue (taxes, user fees, intergovernmental transfers and public-private partnerships) including examples of formulas;

Design inclusive and participatory budgets;

Understand different mechanisms for transparency and accountability in local government budgeting and spending.


The course includes visits to a municipality, a provincial government and the Ministry of Interior in the Netherlands. Visiting the different levels of government will help you to understand how fiscal decentralisation is organised in the Netherlands and the fiscal interconnections between these levels of government. You will learn about best practices and also about how to overcome bottlenecks in the fiscal decentralisation process. Furthermore, you will engage in analytical exercises, debates and a fun municipal finance quiz. Finally, we will discuss recent experiences with local property tax reforms in Ghana and Palestine, which will give you practical examples to design a local property tax strategy.

Practical information

Find the practical information for the course here.

  • Payment

    After submitting your completed application, you will receive a confirmation of receipt. Once we have assessed your application and admitted you to the course, we will send you an invoice with payment details.

    Payments can be made by bank transfer or by PayPal request. We offer the option of paying in one or two instalments. An advance payment of 50% secures the reservation of a seat at the training until the payment deadline. Your participation in the course is guaranteed only after receipt of full payment.

    Please note that The Hague Academy accepts registrations on a first-paid, 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 we have received your payment for the course, The Hague Academy will send you an acceptance letter which will assist you in arranging your visa to The Netherlands.

  • Cancellation

    Under certain circumstances, participants may need to cancel their participation in the course. For cancellations before the payment deadline, we will reimburse the paid amounts minus an administration fee of €150.

    To prevent late cancellation, we strongly encourage you to start with your visa application procedure at least six weeks before the start of the training programme.

    We will charge a cancellation fee of 50% of the course fee 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 have to pay 80% of the course fee.

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

    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.


The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers scholarships for training courses in the Netherlands. The MENA Scholarship Programme seeks to develop and strengthen the skills, instincts, and abilities of professionals to enable their organisations and communities to succeed in an ever-changing world. To learn if this course is open for scholarship applications, please visit our Scholarships page. Please note that scholarships have a separate application process.

Scholarships page


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