fbpx Implementing Public Policy: Curriculum | Harvard Kennedy School

illustration of scheduleImplementing Public Policy is a new and innovative executive program. It offers more opportunity to learn than conventional executive programs that rely primarily on one-time in-class teaching experiences. This program follows a new blended learning format offering a combination of both online and in-person learning, as well as applied action learning—where new ideas are applied to daily implementation challenges. 

The program will be delivered over a period of seven months and will include four components.

Your Implementation Challenge
When you submit your application, you will identify your implementation challenge, which will form the basis of your learning throughout the seven month program. 

Two-Weeks Online 
You will complete an online component that will allow you to reflect on your implementation challenge and consider several issues, such as: are your stakeholders in favor of this change? How will politics affect it? What is your budget? 

One-Week On Campus 
Once at Harvard, you and your peers will be immersed in an intense, interactive environment with Harvard faculty and practitioners to, discuss your respective challenges, and explore different implementation methods that could help achieve your policy goals. These methods include: 

  • Plan and Control (Programmed Implementation) – effective when there are low levels of uncertainty and little new learning is needed. 
  • Adaptive Management (Agile or Design Thinking) – appropriate when the general direction of the policy is known, but more specifics about the policy product or context is needed. 
  • Facilitated Emergence (Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation) – a “learn while you go” strategy used when there are high levels of uncertainty about political support, context and available resources, and a lot of learning is required in the implementation process. 

At every juncture throughout the week, you will apply this thinking to your own implementation challenge, determine the most appropriate strategy to use in addressing this challenge, and identify next steps to take upon returning to your organization. 

Five-Months Action Learning 
Once you return to your organization, you will form an implementation team and continue to work on your implementation challenge using the tools and tactics you learned while at Harvard. You will also engage with faculty and fellow participants in a moderated environment over a period of five months, sharing your experiences, learning, challenges, and breakthroughs. 

Community of Practice 
Upon completing the program, you will become part of Harvard Kennedy School’s Implementing Public Policy Community of Practice, a productive network of professionals committed to improving public policy implementation around the world. You will engage with each other through an online portal to share your practice, challenges, successes and failures. Our goal is to see this community grow into the most vibrant source of global knowledge on public policy implementation anywhere, and the most effective network of professionals working on these important issues. 

Hear from Faculty Chair Matt Andrews

Matt Andrews discusses why he created the Implementing Public Policy executive program.

Looking for more?
Request information