Practitioners' Course

The Institute of Federalism is pleased to announce that it is organizing its Practitioners’ Course again in 2023. The two-week 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.

About the Practitioners' Course on federalism, decentralization and local governance within multilevel systems

The Practitioners’ Course combines theoretical inputs with practical studies and peer learning. The programme also equips participants with tools and methods to help 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.

  • Course description

    The programme will include lectures, group work, panel discussions, case studies and a large number of field trips. Course preparation includes engagement with a prepared reader on important topics related to decentralization and local governance. Using a mix of case studies, input lectures and simulation exercises, the participants are expected to reflect, discuss and find solutions to the topics under discussion. Courses are taught in English.

  • Course objectives
    • Provide participants with a general overview to concepts related to federalism, decentralization and local governance.
    • Enable practice-learning to participants, in order for them to glean best practices to take home.
    • Enable well-argued reflection on the purposes of decentralization and local government in terms of autonomy, effectiveness of service delivery and (government) accountability.
    • Identifying the constraints that hinder local governments from achieving their objectives, and the remedies to empower local governments to fulfil them.
  • 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 decentralization and local governance. 

  • Application
    • The application deadline has expired

    • Application deadline: 31.03.2023
    • Candidates will receive confirmation by 15.04.2023

    Participants will be required to confirm their participation on notification of their admission in writing, without which the place will be allotted to the next person on the waiting list.


  • Fees

    CHF 6000.-

    The fees include tuition, course material, excursions, board and accommodation (full-board: breakfast, lunch and dinner), access to the library of the Institute and Internet access on campus. 

    The fees do not cover the following costs:

    • Travel costs to and from the course location
    • Transportation within Fribourg
    • Visa
    • Health insurance
    • Personal expenses during stay in Fribourg

    The course fee has to be paid before 30.06.2023

    Further information will be communicated by email.

    The Institute of Federalism offers assistance for applicants who need financial support. For more information, please contact us.

  • Accommodation

    Course location and accommodation:

    Hotel Murtenhof Krone, Rathausgasse 1-5, 3280 Murten, Fribourg

    To discover Hotel Murtenhof Krone

  • Contact

    Yvonne Heiter-Steiner

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

     +41 26 300 8125

The application deadline has expired

Further Informations

 Mrs Yvonne Heiter-Steiner, Executive Secretary

The Practitioner Course 2023 is partially funded by the Stiftung für schweizerisches Baurecht.