Michael Di Francesco

Michael Di Francesco
  • Category: Faculty, Staff, EMPA Faculty
  • Job Title: Associate Professor
  • Organisation: ANZSOG and UNSW
  • State/Region: NSW
  • Country: Australia
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Areas of expertise

  • Performance management
  • Public budgeting
  • Public management

Michael Di Francesco is an Associate Professor in Public Sector Management and Director of the Case Program at ANZSOG, on secondment from the School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales (UNSW).

Dr Di Francesco has held academic appointments at the University of Melbourne, the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington, and the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, where he also directed the Graduate Program in Public Policy.

Dr Di Francesco has extensive public sector practitioner experience. Between 2003 and 2009 he was principal advisor in financial management policy at NSW Treasury, where he led strategic budget and performance management reform. He has held many short-term technical assistance appointments with the International Monetary Fund (advising finance and planning ministries in Poland, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Sao Paulo State in Brazil), the World Bank (researching comparative costing practices for multiyear budget frameworks and advising finance ministries in Brazil, Dominican Republic and Indonesia) and the Asian Development Bank (advising on medium term budgeting in provincial governments in the People’s Republic of China). Michael has advised on budget reform practices for the Australian Department of Finance and the NSW Treasury, and was appointed to an international review team by the Government Technical Advisory Centre of the National Treasury of South Africa.

Having twice served as a Councillor with the NSW Division of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, Dr Di Francesco is an Editorial Board member of the Australian Journal of Public Administration, and has published extensively in the areas of public budgeting and financial management, performance evaluation, public management policy, and executive politics. He has twice been a recipient of IPAA’s prestigious Sam Richardson Award for the most influential or important article in the AJPA.

Dr Di Francesco holds a PhD in public policy from the Australian National University, and a BEc with first class honours in government and public administration from the University of Sydney. He is EMPA Subject Leader for the capstone Work Based Project and the Public Financial Management unit offered at UNSW, and has been a lead instructor on various Executive Education programs.

ANZSOG programs

Dr Di Francesco teaches in the following ANZSOG courses:

  • Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA)
  • - Work-Based Project (subject leader)
  • - Public Financial Management (subject leader; delivered by UNSW)
Selected publications
  • Di Francesco, M. & Alford, J. (2017) Balancing budget control and flexibility: The central finance agency as ‘responsive regulator’. Public Management Review, 19(7): 972-989.

  • Di Francesco, M. & Alford, J. (2016) Balancing Control and Flexibility in Public Budgeting: A New Role for Rule Variability. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Di Francesco, M. (2016) Rules and flexibility in public budgeting: The case of budget modernisation in Australia. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 75(2): 236-248.

  • Di Francesco, M. & Alford, J. (2016) Budget rules and flexibility in the public sector: Towards a taxonomy. Financial Accountability & Management, 32(2): 232-256.

  • Di Francesco, M. & Barroso, R. (2015) Bottom-up costing within medium term expenditure frameworks: A survey of practices in selected OECD countries. Public Budgeting & Finance, 35(3): 44-67.

  • Di Francesco, M. & Barroso, R. (2015) Review of international practices for determining medium-term resource needs of spending agencies. Policy Research Working Paper No. WPS 7289. World Bank Group, Washington, D.C., June.

  • Di Francesco, M. & Alford, J. (2015) Flexible Governmental Budgeting: Not Fewer Rules, Just Different Ones. Occasional Paper No. 27, ANZSOG-VPSC Occasional Paper Series, ANZSOG, Melbourne.

  • Di Francesco, M. (2015) Policy analysis instruction in Australia. In B. Head & K. Crowley (eds), Policy Analysis in Australia. Bristol, The Policy Press: 261-282.

  • Di Francesco, M. (2014) An evaluation crucible: Evaluating policy advice in Australian central agencies. Reproduced in B. Guy Peters and J. Pierre (eds), Public Administration, vol 3. London, Sage: 3-20.

  • Di Francesco, M. and Barroso, R. (2014) Review of International Practices for Determining Medium Term Resource Needs of Spending Agencies. Governance Partnership Facility Trust Fund Project. Report No. 983995-BR. The World Bank, Washington DC, May.

  • Barroso, M. & Di Francesco, M. (2014) Research Report on Brazilian Subnational Governments’ Experiences with Public Sector Costing. Governance Partnership Facility Trust Fund Project. Report No. 983995-BR. The World Bank, Washington DC, December.

  • Di Francesco, M. (2013) Under cover of Westminster: Enabling and disabling a public service commission in New South Wales. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 72(4): 391-396.