Department of Political Science


Performance Management and Accountability

Course Code


Course Tutor

Dr Mike Seiferling (Department of Political Science).


One 3,000 word policy report

Credit Value


About this course

This course will be divided into two interconnected parts: The first will focus on accountability and performance measurement in the public sector, which has become important in the midst of i) greater global economic exposures (holding of debt and financial assets within and between all sectors) and ii) a very large increase in the amount of information/data available to the public (‘Open Data’), a lot of which can be difficult to interpret or analyse. 

This first part will focus to a great extent on the financial structure of public sector and non-profit institutions pointing out some of the challenges that still remain for achieving efficient and accountable institutions. The second part of the course will be dedicated to Performance Management, which will review both procedural and measurement based methods, but focus will be on the latter. 

This will include a review of private sector performance based management models (Balanced Scorecard, etc.) and how these have been modified to fit within a more complicated framework of the public sector (public corporations and general government) and nonprofit institutions where outcomes themselves are not always directly observable and may be difficult to measure.


To provide students with the necessary skills to design an appropriate performance management framework for public sector or nonprofit organisation and assess these organisations in a meaningful and comparable way. This includes being able to identify any informational gaps within the available data and implications that come with having these gaps.  

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should:

  • Be able to interpret and construct a simple financial statement and balance sheet for public sector or non-profit organisation
  • Be able to design and carry out a performance review of public sector or non-profit organisation
  • Be able to construct and clearly communicate viable performance enhancing policy options based on reliable information