Financial literacy for policy makers and implementers is the aim of this course. It focuses on the tools that public managers in all parts of the public sector need to ensure the successful use of resources to carry out public policy. In achieving this, it will give students an understanding that financial considerations play in

  • How to understand and interpret financial information
    • Basic accounting concepts
    • Financial statements
  • The elements of sound financial management in public sector organization
    • Resource allocation and costing
    • Planning and budgeting
    • Cash forecasting
    • Management control
  • Elements of internal and external financial accountability
    • Reporting
    • Accountability
    • Internal and external oversight.

Learning will be focused on hands-on group and individual exercise, case studies and practical application of the principles.

For more information and a detailed outline, go to

The purpose of this directed reading course is to allow an indepth exploration of the challenges faced by fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS), and a critical examination of the policy approaches by the international donor community to help these states.

The course will examine the international context within which the concept of FCAS emerged and how it evolved.  It will consider some of the theoretical underpinnings for state fragility, including the impact of corruption, crime and terrorism.  It will ask whether and why these states matter to the international community, and what impact they have on their own populations, and on global security and economic dynamics.  The course will consider what makes states successful as a means to understand why somes states are not.

Having examined some of the key issues that help to frame the problem of FCAS, the course will offer a critical exploration of the policy responses to them, examining first policy approaches to prevent state failure, and secondly policy options to address the nexus between conflct and fragility, as well as the challenges of corruption, crime and terrorism.  

The course will then look forward, taking a critical view of the impact of the Millenium Development Goals and the new goals now being considered.  It will also explore the extent to which the west's approach to FCAS is imbued by western values and principles, considering whether these values and principles have  universal relevance and status.  Finally, the course will consider the impact of a focus on FCAS on other global challenges.

The instructor (s) will meet with the student for tutorials every two to three weeks at a date / time / place to be determined to discuss the readings and issues of interest derived from the course outline.

The instructor is Barbara Martin (Public Servant in Residence at the Queen's School of Policy Studies), and Margaret Biggs (Skelton-Clarke Fellow at the Queen's SPS) has agreed to engage with the student periodically to discuss issues relating to FCAS.

The course will be graded as follows:

Weekly summaries of readings                30% (due y 0900 each Monday)

A policy paper on FCAS                           35% (due 3 November 0900)

A speech for a minister                             35% (due 10 December 0900)