Public Financial Management (PFM) course available in Portuguese

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Our e-learning course on Public Financial Management (PFM) is now available in Portuguese on the E-Learning Portal. The course has been developed by the Project for strengthening technical and functional skills of Supreme Audit Institutions, National Parliaments and Civil Society for the control of public finances in the PALOP and Timor-Leste (Pro PALOP-TL SAI). The project is fully funded by the European Union and managed directly by UNDP.

The importance of public financial management

Public Financial Management is the administration of public funds for the delivery of public services. Strong PFM systems are critical for effective public policies and sustainable development.


“States can only be effective and accountable when they are underpinned by good PFM institutions and systems.” Manila Consensus on PFM (2011)

Transparency, accountability and efficient controls of public resources are an important feature of good governance. Strong PFM is critical to sustainable economic management and public service delivery. A robust and competitive economy needs to be underpinned by sound planning, resource prioritisation, financial discipline and the ability to match expenditure requirements with sufficient revenue.


“Expenditure scrutiny and legislative financial oversight must be independent and efficient, so that Parliament and the Supreme Audit Institution can effectively monitor public spending.” Ricardo Godinho Gomes, Pro PALOP-TL SAI Project Manager

A PFM system in which budgetary allocations and expenditures are open and transparent is critical to the management of oil, gas and mining revenues in resource-rich countries. Such revenues are typically managed through dedicated ‘natural resource funds’. These funds have often been poorly managed: a lack of accountability and transparency can result in unlawful use of public resources, corruption and wasteful spending. Stronger synergies between government, parliament and supreme audit institutions (SAIs) are key to improving natural resource fund management.


“Recognising that building effective states requires an inclusive approach, countries and Development Partners should work together to train members of parliament and CSOs to access and use the technical content of budget and financial reports issued by the executive and audit reports produced by Supreme Audit Institutions.” Manila Consensus on PFM (2011)

Good PFM systems are also key to ensuring that foreign aid is being used to achieve development goals. With this in mind, representatives from over 40 countries and international organisations met in Manila to look at ways of strengthening developing countries’ PFM and their ability to receive and manage aid. The resulting Manila Consensus on PFM recognises the need for more action at country level to support PFM and sets out a number of commitments.

Given the background, supporting parliaments, supreme audit institutions and civil society in overseeing public finance management can lead to more effective and transparent public spending.

The course

What you will learn: This course introduces PFM. It zooms in on the role of parliaments and supreme audit institutions in public spending, and on the emerging engagement of civil society. The four course modules explain financial management and the budget cycle, introduce supreme audit institutions (SAI) and illustrates the relationship between the parliaments and audit institutions in the African Portuguese-speaking countries (PALOP) and Timor-Leste.

How: To help course-takers work through the subject as effectively as possible, the course uses animations, video presentations and interactive review points. For those looking for more detailed information, the course offers further reading materials.

For whom: The course is addressed to parliaments, supreme audit institutions and civil society but is also recommended for practitioners and students.


Upon completing the course, it is possible to obtain a personalised certificate by taking the test. It consists of multiple choice and true/false questions. To pass, test-takers must correctly answer at least 80% of the questions. It is possible to take the test multiple times.

If you're interested in taking the course, please sign up here.

Check out our Parliaments in Practice e-learning course, now also available in Portuguese.