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Public Financial Management Program

Public Financial Management Program

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Public financial management reforms are being implemented worldwide to create an environment conducive to economic growth and poverty reduction. The PFM specialization within the MIDP is designed to enable international development decision-makers and managers to improve public sector budgeting and financial management and enhance the efficient, accountable and equitable delivery of public services. In addition, the specialization develops leadership, management and technical skills needed to design and implement successful public financial management reforms throughout the world.

Curriculum and Courses

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Public Financial Management

New PFM handbook

DCID faculty contributed to a book that was recently lauded in the International Monetary Fund’s blog as "inarguably the most comprehensive PFM publication to date."
Read more.

Fellows specializing in Public Financial Management will take core courses in public finance, macroeconomic policy, public budgeting and financial administration, expenditure analysis and fiscal decentralization and local government finance. They will also complete required courses covering policy analysis and applied development economics, as well as a master's project. A range of elective courses is also available depending on specific interests and length of program undertaken. Learn more about the PFM curriculum or see a list of courses.


Faculty members in the PFM specialization have extensive experience as short-term advisors, long-term resident advisors and government officials in numerous public financial management reforms linked to planning, budgeting, fiscal policy, expenditure analysis, tax policy and administration, fiscal decentralization and local government finance in more than 30 countries.

The Oliver Oldman Memorial Scholarship

DCID established the Oliver Oldman Memorial Scholarship in 2009-10 to honor Professor Oliver Oldman, who directed and nurtured the International Taxation Program while it was hosted by Harvard Law School. The scholarship has now been expanded to support up to eight fellows per academic year who enroll in the MIDP with a specialization in international taxation and/or public financial management. The scholarship covers between 25 and 100 percent of the cost of tuition. Fees, health insurance and living expenses are not included. Learn more about the scholarship.


Note: The Master of International Development Policy program offers two optional specializations in Public Financial Management (PFM) and International Taxation (ITP). You must indicate your intent to apply to the ITP or PFM within the general MIDP application.