WWS Blog

Policy Workshop Course - Providing Policy Solutions to World Issues

Nov 2, 2015
Published by:
WWS Graduate Admissions Office
WWS Policy Workshop

Graduate policy workshops are a unique part of the Woodrow Wilson School graduate curriculum.  Policy workshops provide students with an opportunity to use the analytical skills they have acquired in the first year in the program to analyze complex and challenging policy issues.  The goal of the workshop is to understand a policy issue in greater depth and to make policy recommendations that are both creative and realistic, to a real client, by the end of the term. 

This year’s policy workshops cover a wide variety of policy issues, both domestic and international topics. Those topics include: Education Reform in Chile, Equitable Neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Policy, Political and Implementation Challenges Facing the Affordable Care Act, Foreign Direct Investment in Zambia, Health and Sanitation in India, Poland and the Euro, Learning Lessons from Afghanistan, and Foreign Policy with Former Enemies.

Some of the clients for this year’s policy workshops include the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC), The Research Institute for Compassionate Economics and The Accountability Initiative, based in New Delhi, India, the U.S. State Department and the National Security Council, Marian Aylwin Oyarzún, former Education Minister in Chile, and the State of Tennessee’s Medicaid Innovation Group

In order for the workshops to gather pertinent research within a relatively short period of time, students are permitted to travel to destinations around the world to gather and capture information not readily available via the internet and video/telephone interviews.  Students plan and arrange meetings with high level government officials, NGOs, community members, etc., who are often “on the ground” stakeholders and decision makers of the particular policy issue they are researching for their client.  The information that they gather during their research trips is incorporated in to their final recommendations and report.  This fall, students will travel to Chile, Cuba, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Jordan, UK, Kenya, Zambia, India, Nashville, TN and Philadelphia, PA to conduct their field research.

At the end of the semester, the students produce a group final report and present their analysis and recommendations to their client in a formal presentation for their final grade.

More information on our policy workshops and access to previous workshop final reports can be viewed here.

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