For Master in Public Policy (MPP) students, the Policy Analysis Exercise (PAE) is the culmination of the Harvard Kennedy School experience. During the PAE, second-year MPP students serve as a consultant to a public or nonprofit organization and develop solutions to a policy or management issue.
Students and their clients work together to define specific issues, design research strategies, gather data, formulate and evaluate options, and, finally, make actionable recommendations. The final analysis gives students the opportunity to integrate the technical skills and specialized knowledge gained from the MPP curriculum while also helping the client organization tackle a real-world concern. And it’s not unusual for client organizations to implement the PAE recommendations made by students.
Each spring, a select group of MPP students present their PAE projects and share their findings and recommendations with the HKS community.
During the 2023 PAE Showcase on April 25, students presented projects focused on a range of topics—climate resilience planning, reproductive health education, countering far-right extremism, development assistance in Ukraine, bringing early-career talent into the federal government—to name a few.
Clients included the World Bank, U.S. Department of Defense, Southern Poverty Law Center, Norwegian Refugee Council, City of Green Bay, and others.
Learn more about the 2023 PAE presenters and projects.