The Duke Center for International Development (DCID) partners with organizations and government agencies around the world to design custom programs that meet the needs of finance, tax and budgeting professionals in developing and transitioning countries, as well as those of existing and future public sector managers in general.

Our Global Reach

DCID has offered customized executive training programs for over 5,000 officials from more than 30 countries, from Azerbaijan to Zambia. These programs, which may be held in the client's country or on the Duke University campus, have covered such diverse topics as project appraisal and risk management, tax policy, fiscal decentralization, human resource management, urban planning and e-governance. Some of our most established and long-standing partnerships are with Bangladesh, China, India and Kazakhstan in the broad area of development management. Reach out to us if you’d like to know more about previous programs in your country. 

Our Approach

Drawing from world-renowned faculty at Duke and others from leading academic, research and development institutions, these programs are designed to meet the specific capacity-building needs of our clients. Programs can range in duration from three days to a full academic semester, and can take place in-country and/or at Duke University. Depending on client needs, programs can focus on a particular public policy topic or can encompass a broad range of policy areas and management skills.


Before embarking on any custom program, we work closely with our clients to learn about and acquire a deeper understanding of their needs, challenges and goals. By collaborating directly with our clients, we are able to create programs that meet their needs, achieve their objectives, and help unleash their full potential.

Having determined the needs, requirements and goals, we select a team of key experts to design a training program that addresses all required topics and achieves required outcomes. We work with clients during every step of the design phase to ensure the program is meeting their needs and is tailored specifically to their unique interests and challenges. 

Our faculty collaborates with experts from outside organizations and agencies to deliver program content in a clear, compelling and effective way. They use a combination of classroom presentations, interactive exercises, workshops, case studies, computerized models and problem-solving sessions to help clients fully master new skills and concepts. The primary focus of the training is to provide practical skills that can be implemented immediately to address existing problems and issues. 

Clients are asked to complete a formal evaluation after the conclusion of the program. We use this feedback to adapt future programs to better meet the needs of clients and participants and ensure our courses are equipping them to make a positive difference in their workplace. 

The Duke Difference 

Staff and Faculty Expertise 

With growing interest in executive education programs around the world, we know that you have options for advancing your career in international development. At DCID, we’ve been offering open enrollment and custom programs for two decades and have tailored our programs specifically for senior leaders working in topics related to development. Most of our core program faculty are “professors of the practice,” meaning that before they came to Duke University they held roles and responsibilities very similar to those of our program participants. Additionally, our staff are experts in managing the complex logistics of international executive education programs and study abroad programs. While we handle the details of your accommodations and transportation, you can focus on your learning.  

Field Visits 

Beyond the classroom, professional site visits help participants solidify their learning. Previous site visits have included government agencies and nonprofit organizations in Durham, N.C., home to Duke University, and Raleigh, N.C., the state’s capital. Participants have also visited federal/national agencies and international organizations in Washington, D.C., and similar agencies in New York City.  

Examples of site visits have included: North Carolina Board of Elections, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina Department of Commerce, North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management, Durham Office of Economic and Workforce Development, as well as dozens of other important government and non-profit agencies across the region. We have also taken participants to field visits in New York City and to the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Participants have visited places like USAID, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, World Bank, Center for Global Development and the Federal Trade Commission, among many other agencies and organizations.  

Comprehensive Programming 

Each of our programs includes time for rest and social activities. Duke’s campus, where most of our programs are held, sits on more than 8,000 acres of beautiful land and the city itself has many parks, shops, restaurants, and cultural activities to explore.  Learn more about Durham, N.C.


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Sample of Previous Course Topics

  • Stages in feasibility studies and project cycles 

  • Development of cash flow statements 

  • Financial sustainability of projects 

  • Impact of scale, timing and length of life on project viability 

  • Impacts of inflation and exchange rates on financial viability and risks 

  • Cost-effectiveness measures of social programs 

  • Capital markets and financing projects 

  • Economic cost of human resources, capital and foreign exchange 

  • Economic valuation of goods and services, environmental and social impacts 

  • Basic needs valuation for social programs 

  • Integration of financial, economic and social appraisals of major investment projects 

  • Privatization, contracting and regulation issues 

  • Public-private partnerships (PPPs) 

  • Foreign direct investment, joint ventures and tax incentives 

  • Poverty alleviation and poverty reduction

  • Structuring recurrent and development transfers 

  • Designing effective performance-based grants 

  • Coordinating intergovernmental transfers 

  • Monitoring intergovernmental transfers 

  • Budget and macro-economy 

  • Public finance and economic growth 

  • Budget and stabilization policy 

  • Management and organization of budget processes 

  • Alternative budget frameworks including MTEF (medium-term expenditure framework) 

  • Input-control and output-oriented performance or results-based budgeting techniques 

  • Balanced scorecard approaches to budgeting and management 

  • Budget as an instrument of managerial performance 

  • Monitoring and evaluating of budget performance 

  • Indicators of budget policy, institutions and processes 

  • Budget implementation, cash management and budget monitoring techniques 

  • Fiscal transparency standards and assessment 

  • Fiscal decentralization and budgeting 

  • Budgeting and poverty reduction strategies 

  • Capital budgeting, cost-benefit and cost effectiveness analyses 

  • Debt management 

  • Role, budgeting and management of foreign aid 

  • Fiscal aspects of external and domestic debt management 

  • Negotiation techniques and conflict resolution 

  • Property taxation 

  • User charges and excise taxes 

  • Business taxation, license fees and permits 

  • Income and sales taxation 

  • Budgeting and financial management 

  • Debt management 

  • Resource administration 

  • Special problems of local revenue administration 

  • Public choice and fiscal federalism 

  • Allocating expenditure and revenue responsibilities 

  • Designing intergovernmental transfers 

  • Structuring local government borrowing 

  • Enhancing local resource mobilization

  • Trends in political, administrative and fiscal decentralization 

  • Roles of central and subnational governments 

  • Strategies for effective decentralization 

  • Managing the decentralization process 

  • Value-added and excise taxes 

  • Trade taxes 

  • Personal income taxes 

  • Corporate income taxes 

  • Taxes on natural resources 

  • Property taxes 

  • Principles of taxation 

  • Tax reform and its implementation 

  • Economic impact of taxes and subsidies 

  • Consumption and expenditure taxes 

  • Taxes on international trade 

  • Taxation of income 

  • International tax harmonization 

  • Wealth and asset taxation 

  • Property and real estate taxes 

  • Taxation of natural resources 

  • Taxation of financial sectors 

  • Taxation of e-commerce 

  • Inflation and taxation

  • Leaders for Democracy Fellowship Program 

  • Distinguished Humphrey Fellowship in Development Economics  

  • Leadership in the Public Sector (Bangladesh Ministry of Public Administration)