• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Policy and Governance
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

Contemporary public sector budgeting is about explaining the performance story behind the financial numbers, and working with the inevitable contestability around what the numbers mean. It is about how performance information can be used to better frame dialogue around funding priorities, and to actively manage program delivery within budget constraints.


Current sector-wide performance and accountability frameworks emphasise clear linkages between funding and outcomes, and the integration of performance metrics with budget decision processes, internal organisational management, and external performance reporting. This course uses an integrated case study to survey the strengths and weaknesses of performance-based budgeting approaches in the public sector; steps through intervention logic methodologies for specifying purposes, programs and performance metrics; outlines the role of cost information in performance analysis; and offers an opportunity to apply and appraise these approaches in the context of participants’ own organisational settings and broader public sector institutional reform.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understanding of performance-based budgeting approaches and their role in contemporary budget and policy processes
  2. Analyse key information requirements for performance-based budgeting and reporting
  3. Demonstrate understanding and practice in applying methodologies for specifying public purposes, budget programs and performance metrics
  4. Evaluate basic cost information and its relationship to performance analysis and advocacy in Budget processes

Indicative Assessment

  1. Practice application: Outcome budget statement review. 1000 words equivalent. (30) [LO 3,4]
  2. Research report: Balancing the costs and benefits of performance-based budgeting. 2500 words equivalent. (70) [LO 1,2,3,4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Contact hours: The course will be delivered over three full days of instruction equivalent to 15 contact hours.

Non-contact hours: The course will require assigned pre-reading in the form of case documents, 1-2 short context readings, and 3-5 topic readings. In addition students will be required to conduct independent research for assessment task 2 following course delivery. Total non-contact hours, including class preparation and assignments is estimated to be 40-50 hours.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

Allen, R., Hemming, R. and Potter, B. H. Eds. 2016. The International Handbook of Public Financial Management. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Selected chapters (Allen and Krause; Diamond; Robinson).


Cuganesan, S. 2017. The design of performance budgeting processes and managerial accountability relationships. Public Management Review. 19 (7), pp954-971.


Moynihan, D. and Beazley, I. Eds. 2016. Toward Next Generation Performance Budgeting: Lessons from the Experience of Seven Reforming Countries. Washington DC: World Bank.


Robinson, M. Ed. 2007. Performance Budgeting: Linking Funding and Results. New York: Palgrave Macmillan/International Monetary Fund. Selected chapters (Pierce and Di Francesco; Robinson).


Robinson, M. 2002. Output purchase funding and budgeting systems in the public sector. Public Budgeting & Finance. 22 (4), pp17-33.


The mechanics of a performance budget (A): Preparing a budget in output terms


The mechanics of a performance budget (B): Coping with a budget cut

Assumed Knowledge

Nil. However, at least 2-3 years’ experience in the public sector or in an organisation interacting with the public sector would be advantageous.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
3 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

3.00 0.06250
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

There are no current offerings for this course.

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions