Introducing Evidence-Based Budgeting

Online course: October 22 – November 5, 2018IWorkshop: November 20 – 22, 2018ILjubljana, SloveniaIApplication deadline: September 23, 2018IBudget Preparation and Execution

The goal of this blended learning initiative is to support public officials from SEE countries, as well as EU member states in the process of deepening their theoretical and practical knowledge in spending reviews. This public policy evaluation instrument offers a more sustainable approach compared to linear across-the-board expenditure cuts which may generate negative economic and social impact in the medium and long term. This learning initiative will give the participants comprehensive theoretic basis about spending reviews framework and methodologies, accompanied by case studies how the analysis is conducted in practical manner.

How will you benefit?

This blended learning initiative aims to help public officials better understand spending reviews, a tool that is seeking a 'smarter' expenditure allocation across national policy priorities as well as increasing efficiency and effectiveness of already approved policies. Participants should learn how applying spending reviews can help them in ensuring better budgeting and design of policies.

Upon completion of this blended learning initiative, the participants will be able to:

  • Understand the role and objectives of spending reviews, as one of the tools used in the fiscal consolidation and the advancement of the expenditure-based policy
  • Understand spending reviews’ scope and framework
  • Identify the connection between spending reviews and budget preparation processes
  • Identify priority spending areas in their national budgets
  • Improve allocative efficiency by identifying potential shifts in expenditure from lower priority to higher priority sectors,
  • Improve value for money, by identifying areas of inefficient spending, where similar outcomes can be achieved with reduced inputs
  • Determine and utilize international benchmarking for better targeting spending review agendas.

What will you learn?

This learning initiative will be delivered as blended learning, consisted of both e-learning phase and a workshop. Its main goal is to bring together public officials to deepen their knowledge in evidence-based budgeting and enhancing efficiency in expenditure allocation.

The learning initiative will be divided into:

  1. E-learning phase: The online learning phase will start on October 22, 2018 and will finish on November 5, 2018. It will serve as preparation for the face-to-face part of the course and will be delivered through the CEF Online Learning Campus:

The participants will be asked to read some preliminary material offering an introduction to spending reviews, and the different stages in the process of conducting spending reviews.

The envisaged workload for participants is about 4 hours per week, consisting of webinar sessions, reading materials, end-of-unit quizzes, assignment and an opportunity to connect with other course fellows to debate ideas and get help mastering addressed subject matters.

  1. Face-to-face workshop: at CEF in Ljubljana from November 20 to November 22, 2018.

During this workshop, the concepts of carrying out effective spending review, both the strategic and the institutional view, principles for improving the quality of public finances through the use of spending reviews, Spending review methodology and Cost-benefit analysis methodology will be elaborated in details. Moreover, a strong focus will be put on developing participants’ skills to detect efficiency savings and opportunities for cutting low-priority or ineffective expenditures in a coordinated effort. However, there is no one-size-fits-all way of carrying out spending reviews. Thus, participants will be also engaged in an interactive exercise to share their country’s objectives and experiences. They will be asked to work on a case study, where they should develop well elaborated advise on a selected topic, and to prepare a strategy that is fiscally sustainable while seeking to maintain a high - quality level of service.

The event will be held in English and it will be organized in a highly participatory and interactive manner. Thus, the participants will be actively engaged in discussions through Q&A sessions and team work on case studies. Moreover, they will be strongly encouraged to exchange their national experiences, good practices and challenges.

Who should attend?

Public officials from countries across Europe, and in particular the CEF constituency countries are welcomed and strongly encouraged to apply:

  • analysts of ministry of finance budget department and macro-fiscal department
  • finance directors of line ministries and public officials
  • heads of policy departments of line ministries
  • officials from Parliamentary budget offices and fiscal councils 
  • analysts from other government agencies and institutions in charge of public policy analysis and performance

Practical information

To participate in the online pat of this blended learning, basic information technology is needed i.e. stable internet connection; and computer, laptop or tablet.

No fee will be charged for the officials working in the public sector. Coffee breaks and lunches during the workshop will be provided by the CEF. Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic will cover travel and accommodation costs for up to 4 participants from Moldova, 2 participants from Serbia and 2 participants from Montenegro. The costs of travel and accommodation for the participants coming from other countries will need to be covered by their sponsoring institution or other donor.

Applications need to be submitted no later than September 23, via online application form.

Candidates will need to be approved by the CEF; confirmations will be sent to selected candidates by September 30.


This learning initiative is supported by:

Slovenia's Development Cooperation Ministry of Finance, Slovenia International Monetary Fund
Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic
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