Programs

Certificate in Municipal Finance

This Executive Education program, created by the Center for Municipal Finance at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, provides a thorough foundation in municipal finance. You will learn fundamentals of revenue and debt, municipal bonds and financial statement analysis, and gain familiarity with key market players. Learn how to effectively apply tools of financial analysis for strategic decisions. You will gain a broad perspective on the interplay between finance, urban economics and public policy. 


Women in Public Leadership

This Executive Education program, created by the Center for Municipal Finance at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, provides a thorough foundation in municipal finance. You will learn fundamentals of revenue and debt, municipal bonds and financial statement analysis, and gain familiarity with key market players. Learn how to effectively apply tools of financial analysis for strategic decisions. You will gain a broad perspective on the interplay between finance, urban economics and public policy. 


High Performance Government
Optimizing performance in government means being outcome and value focused. The process requires an openness to integrating information systems, examining new service delivery models and alternative methods of financial management; as well as an embrace of progressive human capital strategies. This course will present participants with the tools that are helping innovative public sector organizations achieve high performance. Participants will learn the best techniques for developing and executing a plan, including how to make a business case for process improvements for the purpose of selling it to stakeholders.

Strategies for Effective State & Federal Advocacy
Achieving a policy change or increasing programmatic funding at the state or federal level requires a strategy. This course will help participants design an effective advocacy plan from building the right coalition, to using the media, to developing a reasonable timeframe for executing the plan.

Communication Strategies for Public Policy
While skilled policy design is essential to achieving results, effectively communicating your policy goals to key stakeholders is equally important. Without awareness and support from government officials, non-governmental organizations, taxpayers, affected citizens, the business community, and the media, even the most skillfully conceived policy plan can fail.

Participants in this course will learn to frame and communicate key ideas according to the needs and perspectives of particular audiences. Communications tools to be discussed include developing messages that uniquely appeal to divergent audiences, presentation techniques, media strategy, and internal communication strategies. This course includes analysis of real cases in which major policy changes have succeeded or failed in the political process.

Leadership
The ability to inspire confidence among internal and external stakeholders, mobilize organizational resources and overcome institutional barriers is vital to advancing your organization's mission. Successful leaders are not made overnight, but there are concrete tools and theories that can help any manager-- senior or midlevel-- lead proactively. In partnership with the Graham School for Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies at the University of Chicago, Chicago Harris offers a class that will help you determine your leadership style and strengthen your leadership capacity through studying both leadership theory and practice.

Public Finance
Effective policy making increasingly requires an expertise in finance. This expertise includes the ability to analyze investments and projects, to undertake borrowing operations and portfolio management, and to deal with financial instruments, markets, and institutions in a variety of ways. This class examines budgeting, financial planning, financial reporting, budgetary politics, development of operating and capital budgets, revenue and expenditure forecasting, and debt management.

Policy Analysis
No matter where you are in the world, your effectiveness as a policy maker depends on your ability to accurately define the causes of a problem and design a targeted response. Without a clear understanding of the factors contributing to the problem and a comprehensive examination of effective ways to positively impact the right variables, a policy will almost certainly fall short of its intended goals.

Participants in this course will learn how to gather and effectively analyze data to avoid common policy pitfalls. Participants will gain a greater ability to determine factors contributing to social, economic or political problems; design a response based on data, and ensure that the policy is aligned with the incentives (and disincentives) of the goals of the organization.

Program Evaluation
Whether your goal is to stimulate economic development, encourage higher educational attainment or improve your transportation infrastructure, you want the resources you are investing in your civic programs to contribute to measurable results. Effective programming is essential to efficient use of resources and long-term strategic planning.

This course will provide participants with the tools to successfully evaluate the impact of programs by examining projects in terms of quantifiable costs and benefits. Participants will learn to formulate questions that will lead to effective evaluation and choose appropriate outcome measures. This course has helped decision-makers in government ministries, international foundations and non-governmental organizations determine whether their programs are, in fact, meeting their social, economic or political goals.

Working with Non-Profit Organizations
The need for interaction between the public and non-profit sector has never been greater. As a growing number of government agencies direct funds to and rely on non-profit organizations to deliver direct service to constituents, it is critical that government officials know how to work effectively with non-profit leaders. Learn techniques to enhance collaboration with non-profit organizations.

Designing Effective Surveys & Other Data Collection Methods
Appropriate data collection is the key to credible evaluation and the formulation of effective policy. In this course, participants will be introduced to the key components of survey design and how design choices influence the usability of survey data. The relationship among different types of data collection will be discussed. The course will cover criteria that are important both in evaluating and commissioning surveys. Participants will learn to evaluate data and a source's credibility in order to make informed policy choices.