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.
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