CAS in Federalism, Decentralisation and Local Governance

Applications for 2023 are now closed

The Institute of Federalism is offering a new Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in the field of Federalism, Decentralisation and Local Governance.

The CAS Programme that is being offered from 2023 onwards has its origins in the Practitioners’ Course on Federalism, Decentralisation and Local Governance that has been successfully conducted over the past few years. The need was felt to offer a CAS programme for those who would like to expand their knowledge and experience gained from the Practitioners Course through an individual project and related paper under the supervision of the Institute of Federalism. The CAS Programme is designed to equip participants with knowledge of the subjects related to federalism, decentralization and local governance as well as tools and methods to explore solutions and guidance on in-depth development of an individual project and related paper. The programme is being offered in English.

The first module of the CAS is the Practitioners’ Course on Federalism, Decentralisation and Local Governance. The two-week residential programme will take place in Fribourg, Switzerland, from Monday 7 August to Friday 18 August 2023, and provides practitioners from around the world with the unique opportunity to deepen their understanding on issues related to federalism, decentralization and local governance within multilevel systems.

The second module of the CAS is the Individual Paper that is to be developed by the participant with guidance from the Institute of Federalism. Each participant will be provided with a guide, either a Senior Staff Member of the Institute of Federalism or an external lecturer. The participant will prepare a project proposal (thesis paper) and develop it into a final paper. At a Seminar (to be organised either online, in person or hybrid modus) the participant will present the final written paper, (potentially) rework the paper, and submit the paper.

  • Course objectives

    The Practitioners’ Course combines theoretical inputs with practical studies and peer learning. The programme also helps participants address questions of fiscal decentralization, accountability and governance that they are confronted with in their professional lives. The focus of the 2023 course is on “Effectiveness and Accountability in Local Governance”. In addition to staff from the University of Fribourg, a range of experienced (inter)national experts will provide their expertise representing various disciplines, perspectives and country experience from various continents.

    The course objectives are the following:

    • To know and understand the concepts of federalism, decentralisation and local governance;
    • To draw comparisons between local experiences globally and to take best practices home;
    • To be able to transfer acquired knowledge into practice.

    The modules are structured to enable practice-oriented learning, both through input lectures and peer learning. The CAS should enable participants to reflect on the purposes of decentralization and local government in terms of autonomy, effectiveness of service delivery and (government) accountability. Finally, participants should be able to identify the constraints that hinder local governments from achieving their objectives, and to identify best practices to empower local governments to fulfil them.

    Upon successful participation in the Practitioners' Course, successful completion of the project proposal (thesis paper), presentation, submission and acceptance of the final written paper, the participant will receive the Certificate in Advanced Studies on Federalism, Decentralisation and Local Governance awarded by the University of Fribourg.

  • Presentation of Teachers and Professors

    The CAS will be facilitated by a group of renowned researchers and professors in the field of federalism, decentralisation and good governance:

  • Target group

    The program of the course has been specifically created for policy-makers, local and regional government officials, elected representatives as well as sector specialists supporting local governments (development agencies) and civil society actors, dealing with decentralisation and governance issues.

  • Application

    Deadline for application: 30 June 2023

    All applications must be submitted online. Admission is based on submission of the application form and required documents. 

    Eligible for application are persons who:

    • Have a university degree (licentiate, master, bachelor) or an equivalent degree;
    • Have at least two years of professional experience; and carry out or have carried out a professional activity related to federalism, decentralisation and local governance, which allows them to elaborate a project corresponding to the objectives of the CAS programme.

    Admission may be granted to persons only partially fulfilling the admission requirements. Meeting the admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the programme. All decisions on admission is made by the Study Board, its decision is final.

    In case of too few applications, the Study Board retains the right to cancel the programme.

  • Fees

    The CAS (consisting of all the modules) costs CHF 7’500.

    The fees are due by 31 July 2023.

  • Contact

    Yvonne Heiter-Steiner

    Institute of Federalism
    University of Fribourg
    Av. Beauregard 1
    1700 Fribourg

     +41 26 300 8125