Adv Topics in Policy Analysis
The course is designed to complete a full-cycle experience of research applied to policy processes, from conceptualization and design to effective deliverables. The sequence starts with the foundations offered in the Fall class, and continues with the field work in J-term. The Spring class delves deeper into the same relevant policy issues from the Fall and J-term, seeking to close the cycle with a report to stakeholders. While this report is not expected to be the final word on a complex policy issue, it should be more relevant and useful than could have been accomplished without the field research component.
• The main themes of the Spring class are additional theoretical/conceptual topics in design and policy analysis, as well as specific tools. Please keep in mind that not all tools will be applicable to all, or even perhaps any, of the specific projects chosen, but may be vital to future policy-relevant research and writing in your academic and professional careers.
• Hands-on analysis of the specific projects conducted in J-term, including further refining hypotheses to be tested, bolstering understanding of background materials and context, strengthening argumentation, analyzing data (from surveys, interviews, and/or other sources), and interjecting research findings effectively into the policymaking process.
The hallmark of this class is the intersection of theoretical discussions (covering aspects of policy analysis and research methods, economic development and its measurement, data analysis and effective data presentation, etc.) and the practical imperative of the specific projects, carried over from the first two classes. Student’s ownership of their topics supports a creative environment, assisted by the full faculty team, in which students can produce high-level reports worthy of inclusion in their professional portfolios. Teams will continue their analysis of concrete policy issues in El Salvador, Monterey, and Peru, although the range of research and policy analysis skills and techniques taught will not be limited to those directly applicable to all of these projects. Final deliverables must satisfy your “client,” who may not be one of the course instructors.