Develop the tools needed to develop and implement decentralization policy reforms to improve local public financial management and stimulate efficient and accountable economic and social development.

Decentralization reform strategies are being implemented worldwide to improve service delivery, economic governance and citizen participation. Our Fiscal Decentralization and Local Government Financial Management (PFD) program is designed to better enable you to lead successful reforms.

About the Program

Topics covered

Fiscal Decentralization

  • Fiscal federalism and public choice
  • Allocating expenditure and revenue responsibilities
  • Designing intergovernmental transfers
  • Structuring local government borrowing
  • Local revenue mobilization

Administrative Decentralization

  • Political and administrative trends
  • Roles of central and sub-national governments
  • Intergovernmental cooperation 
  • Effective decentralization strategies
  • Managing the decentralization process

Intergovernmental Transfers

  • Structuring recurrent and development transfers
  • Designing effective performance-based grants
  • Coordination intergovernmental transfer systems
  • Monitoring intergovernmental transfers

Local Revenue Systems

  • Property taxation
  • User charges and excise tax
  • Business taxation, license fees, and permits
  • Income and sales taxation

Fiscal Planning and Management

  • Local government borrowing and debt management
  • Budgeting and financial management
  • Resource administration
  • Special problems of local revenue administration

This program is open to individuals working professionally on issues of fiscal decentralization, local government finance, intergovernmental transfers and subnational revenue mobilization, governance or other related fields.

Past participants include:

  • Central- and local-level elected politicians, policymakers and administrators
  • Economists
  • Lawyers
  • Finance managers
  • Public sector management specialists

Tuition for the PFD program is $9,500.

Tuition and fees cover:

  • Faculty instruction from Duke faculty and expert guest speakers from the World Bank, IMF, etc.
  • 3-Star Hotel accommodations with in-suite kitchenette and free breakfast
  • Transportation for all program-related activities
  • All course materials and resources
  • Emergency medical insurance

Tuition does not cover airfare, meals, or incidental expenses, as those vary from person to person. 



August 5 - 23, 2024

Application Deadline

July 5, 2024


All classes will be held at the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy on Duke’s beautiful west campus, located in the vibrant city of Durham, North Carolina. 


Email the ExEd Team at


Interested in hearing more about similar courses on public financial management? Check out DCID’s summer course on Project Appraisal and Risk Management.

About the Faculty

Roy Kelly

Roy Kelly is Professor of the Practice Emeritus at Duke University. Previously, he spent 19 years with Harvard University at the Kennedy School of Government, the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID), and the Harvard International Tax Program teaching local government finance, tax analysis and project evaluation. He has over 25 years of experience in teaching, designing and implementing reforms on fiscal decentralization, local government finance, revenue mobilization and property taxation in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Kelly has served as a resident adviser to the Prime Minister’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (Tanzania) from 2007-2009, Ministry of Economy and Finance (Cambodia) from 2005-2007, Ministry of Local Government (Kenya) from 1998-2005, and the Ministry of Finance (Indonesia) from 1982-1988. He worked on a short term basis in Albania, Argentina, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chile, Ghana, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Nepal, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia.

For the PFD program, Kelly is joined by other experienced practitioners from international organizations representing various disciplines, perspectives and country experience.

The long-held notions and beliefs on fiscal decentralization have been challenged and given new perspectives, not just from the experts, but more importantly, from the [other] participants.

Nino Alvina, PFD Participant