Public Sector Financial Management
We research, lecture and provide consulting services in the field of public financial management and, in doing so, are committed to the active transfer of knowledge into practice. Our mission is to seek innovative and academically profound solutions to current challenges in the financial management of government, administrative, and not-for-profit organizations with the aim of increasing efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency in dealing with public finances and donations.
Our Research and Expertise
In our research, we examine ways to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of the financial management of governments, administrations, and not-for-profit organizations. The focus is on their practical needs and how to meet them by means of academically based approaches and concepts. Research areas include, in particular:
- Modernization of public accounting through HRM2 and IPSAS;
- Alternative financing models in the public sector such as public-private partnerships;
- Effects of digitalization on public financial management;
- Sustainable financial management through the development of a fiscal stress test;
- Evaluation of financing decisions by NPOs;
- Financial governance and planning systems such as budgeting and medium-term planning.
Over the past 10 years, we have supported more than 50 government, administrative, and not-for-profit organizations in more than 20 countries in increasing their efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency in dealing with public finances and donations. Examples of our projects include:
- IPSAS implementation in various latin-american, central-asian and east-european countries
- Development and implementation of an integrated financial reporting system for the Federal Postal and Telecommunications Surveillance Service ("ÜPF");
- Development and implementation of an Impact evaluation Framework for Caritas Switzerland;
- Support of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the implementation of an effective and transparent public financial management system on behalf of the International Monetary Fund (IMF);
- Establishment and development of a diagnostic tool used by the World Bank to identify and evaluate public financial management practices.
- Establishment of internal control systems and risk management systems in various Swiss municipalities and cantons
Our broad national and international network of research partners and our independent research on innovative concepts and solutions help us in providing practical and scientifically grounded solutions that correspond to the latest state of knowledge.
We have a broad national and international network of reliable and experienced partners in the field of public financial management and development cooperation. In particular, we maintain strategic partnerships with:
- The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in public financial management (2018 to 2022);
- The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) in the training and further education of public sector accountants;
- The World Bank within the framework of the Public Sector Accounting and Reporting Strengthening Initiative (PULSAR) in Europe and Central Asia;
- Caritas Switzerland in the development and implementation of an Impact Evaluation model
Our Latest Activities
Review and Integration of Public Financial Management mechanisms
The Center for Public Financial Management at ZHAW carried out an evaluation of the financial governance mechanisms of a medium-sized Swiss canton and derived suggestions on how to strengthen the link between strategic planning, resource allocation and financial management. Public Administrations often have potential to optimize the link between policy planning and the administrative medium-term planning at both process and content level.
Evaluation of the establishment of Public Sector Audit in Tajikistan
As part of the strategic partnership with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in the field of public financial management, the ZHAW Center for Public Financial Management carried out an evaluation of the development intervention supporting the establishment a supreme audit institution in the Republic of Tajikistan.
Support of Caritas Switzerland in the area of Monitoring & Evaluation
The ZHAW Center for Public Financial Management supports Caritas Switzerland in carrying out scientific evaluations of development cooperation projects and in implementing a new framework for measuring the impact of project activities worldwide.