PubPol 715

PubPol 715.001 Budgeting and Financial Planning

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Winter 2024
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The management of financial resources to achieve public goals pervades every area of public policy, but budgeting and financial management is an area usually left to “experts” who often seem to speak their own language.  In today’s environment of scarcity and uncertainty, however, effective policymakers, public managers, and advocates can’t afford to leave finances to the experts.  They need to understand how to strategically manage their financial resources to achieve their goals.  To that end, this course is designed to:

  • Familiarize students with common financial data and analysis methods and help them understand what kinds of questions can (and cannot) be answered with these data and methods.

  • Help students understand the financial aspects of policy and managerial decisions and learn how to use financial information strategically to make better decisions.

  • Help students understand how an organization’s or government’s finances align with its mission and goals.

  • Highlight the interdisciplinary and applied nature of public budgeting and finance, drawing on insights from political science, economics, and other fields.

  • Help students gain confidence communicating financial information in multiple formats—written memos, spreadsheets, formal presentations, and informal conversations.

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