Public Financial Management – 2021


Welcome to the e-Learning module on Public Financial Management (PFM). This is a supplementary module to the Health Financing Policy for Universal Health Coverage. It is strongly encouraged to complete this course before starting this PFM module.

This supplementary module will look at some of the issues surrounding Public Financial Management (PFM) and explore how PFM can provide a supportive environment for health financing reform toward universal health coverage. You will learn about the key steps of the budget cycle – budget formulation, budget execution and budget monitoring – and understand how they matter for health financing. After completing this module, you will have a better understanding of key PFM issues and how they can be addressed in the health sector.

This e-learning module comprises of five sections, which will walk you through the different stages of the budget cycle. From budget formulation, to budget execution and monitoring, the module highlights key bottlenecks facing the health sector as well as possible policy remedies to address these barriers. 

This course is designed for anyone contributing to health financing towards UHC. Knowledge on PFM is not a prerequisite.


Course purpose

The main purpose of this module is to raise awareness on the importance of public financial management for designing and implementing health financing reforms that effectively support progress toward universal health coverage.


Learning objectives

Main objective

After completing this module, you will have a better understanding of why and how PFM matters for progressing toward UHC, what are the most common PFM challenges facing the health sector and how to address these barriers.

Specific objectives

This module on Public Financial Management (PFM) is expected to:

  • Foster awareness on the basic principles of PFM and their interactions with health financing;
  • Capture the most common PFM challenges in the health sector- from budget formulation to budget execution and monitoring;
  • Learn from recent country experiences in addressing key PFM bottlenecks in the health sector;

Module Structure:

Section 1: Frameworks

  • Understand the different stages of the budget cycle
  • Capture the PFM principles for the health sector
  • Understand the roles of the different stakeholders in PFM
  • Understand how the health sector can engage in PFM reforms


Section 2: Budget formulation

  • The importance of budget development process
  • Key issues in budget development from a health sector perspective
  • Benefits and challenges of some policy measures


Section 3: Budget execution

  • Get evidence of chronic underspending in health
  • Understand the causes of underspending from a finance and health perspective
  • Assess the links between budget execution and budgetary space for health expansion


Section 4: Budget accountability

  • The importance of budget monitoring
  • Key requirements for budget monitoring in health


Section 5: Knowledge check

  • 6 multiple choice questions that evaluate participants on their understanding of the course content.