Gain in-depth knowledge of policy processes and systems in international contexts.

The following learning goals are woven throughout your entire experience.


  • Understand linkages among policy, programs, projects, and people (i.e., primary target groups, secondary target groups, and those affected by unintended consequences of policies).
  • Understand the intertwining roles of actors from government, the private sector, and civil society in solving complex challenges.
  • Understand contested development paradigms, theories, and practices.
  • Understand the reasons that wicked problems exist, obstacles to their solution, and the trade-offs embedded in proposed policy responses.

Specific Abilities

  • Effectively engage in all facets of the policy process (i.e., problem definition, policy research, goal setting, policy option generation, preferred option selection, policy implementation, and policy evaluation).
  • Build networks and partnerships with diverse actors to meet policy-related goals and optimally address complex problems.
  • Communicate and negotiate effectively with diverse, multicultural stakeholder groups to achieve policy-related goals.
  • Appropriately use a variety of social science research methods, both quantitative and qualitative, to inform policy-related decisions.
  • Apply concepts and theories drawn from economics to policy-related decision making to lead individuals, teams, and social change organizations (SCOs).

General Skills

  • Systemic planning to achieve policy-related goals
  • Political and power analysis
  • Research using primary and secondary sources
  • Data generation and analysis (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Critical self-reflection
  • Evidence-based decision making
  • Application of lessons learned and preferred professional practices to all facets of the policy process
  • Collaborative, productive engagement with colleagues and stakeholders