• 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
  • Course convener
    • Dr Michael Di Francesco
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Autumn Session 2024
    See Future Offerings

On-campus & remote (online) learning available. Students participate in interactive, real-time classes. 2024 class dates: May 23,24,30,31 & June 6,7

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

Other Information

In 2021, the class dates are 18, 19, 25, 26 November; 2, 3 December

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]

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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
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $2220
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $3180
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
On Campus
5476 23 May 2024 23 May 2024 31 May 2024 28 Jun 2024 In Person View
5477 23 May 2024 23 May 2024 31 May 2024 28 Jun 2024 Online View

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