Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Policy in Action Project

The Policy in Action Project provides an opportunity for MPA students to apply their academic and professional experiences to examine and analyze a real-world, policy-related challenge or problem for a nonprofit, public, or private sector partner organization.

Throughout the project, students enroll in a class designed to accompany them in the process of producing a final deliverable under the mentorship of Brown faculty members and partner organization professionals. Students work in small teams and apply their skills to address policy-related challenges in a professional setting. Each project will culminate in a final deliverable that includes a set of actionable recommendations for the partner organization. Students will present their recommendations at a Policy-in-Action Project Symposium hosted at the Watson Institute at the end of the Spring semester.

The Policy-In-Action Project is designed to:

  • Provide a rigorous, practical immersion experience with a non-profit, private, or public sector partner organization.
  • Address complex contemporary problems, explore and develop policy and practice-based solutions, and identify strategies and recommend future approaches.
  • Focus on experiential learning and creative problem solving
  • Accelerate proficiency in project management, stakeholder identification and analysis, systems and strategic thinking, and effective presentation of data.
  • Deliver value for both community partners and students
  • Build a student’s professional portfolio and enhance their career development

What MPA alumni say about their experience

Shashank Sreedharan MPA ’17, worked with United Nations for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
"As someone who started the MPA directly after undergraduate study, the chance to get formal work experience under my belt before entering the job market was very valuable....I got a feel of working on fast-paced real-world projects, dealing with difficult stakeholders, and meeting tight deadlines."
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Morgan Peterson, MPA ’18, worked with Global Development Incubator
"I gained exposure to new methods in strategic communications, global policy, and strategy in the development sphere. I definitely continue to apply these skill sets today, namely the ability to view problems from multiple levels of perspective." read more