John Donahue Photo

John Donahue

Raymond Vernon Senior Lecturer in Public Policy
David Eaves Photo

David Eaves

Lecturer in Public Policy
Eric Rosenbach Photo

Eric Rosenbach

Lecturer in Public Policy
Wendy Sherman Photo

Wendy Sherman

Director, Center for Public Leadership
Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership


Imagine it is the year 2030 and climate change has reached a tipping point. Scientists predict that within the next year irreversible flood damage will plunge your country into a devastating health and security crisis that demands a plan of action. If you were a policy advisor for the Ministry of Energy, the mayor of an at-risk city, or the head of a private firm that will lose 70% of its coastal manufacturing plants due to rising sea levels, how would you plan to tackle this challenge? What skills and frameworks would you need to begin planning and implementing a comprehensive response to a complex public policy problem?

Dealing with the impacts of climate change is just one example of a challenging public policy problem HKS students may face in their careers. Policy Design and Delivery (PDD) will teach you the skills necessary to address a wide range of issues and to craft options for change. The PDD course is grounded in theory, but taught using an immersive case-based methodology. Students will learn to use and apply policy tools and frameworks to hypothetical cases where no current answer exists and see how real-world examples were solved, taught by leading experts with personal experience. Throughout the course, students will build upon their policy-making toolkit to develop skills in leadership, team-building, briefing and writing for policymakers, and effective project management. The course will conclude with a two-week simulation featuring a series of diverse challenges which will require students to quickly adapt and test their ability to employ the skills and frameworks studied in the course.  

This course is required for MPP1 students and not open to non-MPP1 students.