PP450 - Public Organisations: Theory and Practice (MPA/MPP)

The course will offer students the analytical frameworks and practitioners’ knowhow for understanding and transforming public organisations and for understanding the challenges of design and implementation of public policies. Public organisations are key determinants of state capacity and this course will draw primarily on economics, particularly principal-agent theory and political economy to understand these. The lectures will take different views of public organisations: a micro, personnel-economics view; a system-level perspective; and a heterodox approach drawing on the recent literature from several disciplines on identity, values and norms.

The seminars will have an applied focus dealing with intractable public policy problems that states and public organizations often face and reasons why it is so difficult to deliver transformative and sustainable change on the ground. The group work during seminars will use a systematic and structured framework to identify pressing policy problems, diagnose the underlying causes of these problems using evidence, and design, test, implement and refine policy innovations. There will be a lot of emphasis on learning-centric approaches to transforming public organizations and to diagnosing and dealing with the challenges of policy implementation and political authorisation and the skill sets needed to address these challenges.

Slides for Seminar 1: Overview of Evidence-Based Policy

Slides for Seminar 2: Smart Policy Design and Implementation (SPDI)

Review of the SPDI framework: Identify and Diagnose

Past Courses

Political Economy (Undergraduate) [Syllabus]

Intermediate Macroeconomics (Undergraduate) [Syllabus]

Public Finance (Undergraduate) [Syllabus]

Introductory Economics (Undergraduate) [Syllabus]