Using Your Toolkit 

The Second Year Policy Analysis (SYPA) is an integral part of your MPA/ID Program experience.

Your capstone project is an opportunity for you to apply the skills you’ve acquired during the program, integrate your coursework, and provide specific policy recommendations for a concrete development problem. For many of our students, the SYPA is also an opportunity to deepen the work they undertook during their summer internship.

In the SYPA, you will choose a current development issue of interest to you, select your faculty advisor, and draw on the tools of economics, management, and institutional analysis to define the problem, analyze the evidence, develop alternatives, and produce practical policy recommendations. 

Second Year Policy Analysis Seminar

You’ll write the second-year paper while enrolled in the Second Year Policy Analysis Seminar (DEV-250Y).

Under the guidance of a faculty member, the seminar provides an environment for you to think about general research issues, give and receive feedback on outlines and drafts, and practice your presentation skills. After defining your topic, you’ll familiarize yourself with the relevant literature, gather and organize data, develop an appropriate methodology, identify and evaluate a course of action and develop recommendations. The final product is a clear and persuasive paper—no more than 40 pages—that includes an executive summary summarizing your findings, followed by your analysis of the issues and your recommendations. 

Read the award-winning SYPAs of some of our MPA/ID graduates:

Minimizing Smuggling and Restoring Public Trust in the Philippine Bureau of Customs
Kenneth Isaiah Ibasco Abante MPA/ID 2019
Four-Page Summary Brief

Reshaping Beliefs to Promote Higher Female Labor Participation in Chile
Clara Gianola and Daniela Paz MPA/ID 2019
Four-Page Summary Brief

An Economic Framework for Venezuela’s Debt Restructuring
Thomas Moatti and Frank Muci MPA/ID 2019
Four-Page Summary Brief

Renewable Energy Auctions in Mexico: The Gap Between Design and Implementation
Carlos Andrés Guadarrama Gándara MPA/ID 2018
Four-Page Summary Brief

Exploring Barriers to Scale for Women Entrepreneurs in India
Niriksha Shetty MPA/ID 2018
Four-Page Summary Brief

Special Economic Funds Expanding Special Economic Zones Beyond Spatial and Industry Boundaries for the Development of Mexico's South
Angel Sarmiento Hinojosa MPA/ID 2017
Four-Page Summary Brief

Improving Conflict Early Warning Systems for United Nations Peacekeeping
Christy Lazicky MPA/ID 2017
Four-Page Summary Brief

Reducing Informality: Bridging the Gap Between the Two Mexicos
Alfonso de la Torre and Joaquin Rey MPA/ID 2017

Award-winning Second Year Policy Analysis papers

Read the SYPAs of some of our MPA/ID graduates

Identify solutions to a real policy issue.
Rohan Parakh MPA/ID 2018 talks about working on his Second Year Policy Analysis (SYPA): "A Penny For Your Thoughts: Reducing Labor Market Frictions For Graduates In India"