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Home > Degree Programs > Master's Degrees > Master in Public Administration/ International Development > Curriculum > Second Year Policy Analysis
The Second Year Policy Analysis (SYPA) is an integral part of the MPA/ID Program. Designed to serve as the students’ final "thesis," the second year paper offers students the opportunity to deploy the skills acquired during the program, integrate their course work, and provide specific policy recommendations in the context of a concrete developmental problem. For many students, it is also an opportunity to extend and deepen the work undertaken during their summer internship.
In the SYPA, students pose a relevant policy question and draw on the tools of economics, management, and institutional analysis to develop convincing recommendations. Students are free to work on a wide variety of projects in different policy fields.
The second year paper is written in conjunction with the "PED-250Y: Second Year Policy Analysis Seminar." The seminar provides an environment for thinking about general research issues, obtaining feedback on outlines and drafts, and critiquing fellow students' work. After defining a topic, students familiarize themselves with the relevant literature, gather and organize pertinent data, develop an appropriate methodology, identify and evaluate a course of action, and develop recommendations. The final product is a clear and persuasive paper (maximum 40 pages), which includes an executive summary describing the issues and recommendations.
Espen Prydz and Maria Cardenas Mendoza co-wrote their SYPA, which won the Outstanding SYPA Award in 2011. Read about their experience here.
Lecturer Michael Walton brings his extensive professional experience to bear as he advises students on their SYPAs.
From 1980 to 2004 he worked at the World Bank, serving as an adviser to two Chief Economists, Regional Chief Economist for East Asia and the Pacific, Director for Poverty Reduction, Chief Economist for Human Development, and Advisor for Poverty and Human Development in Latin America and the Caribbean.