• Length:
    3 Weeks
  • Effort:
    1–3 hours per week
  • Price:

    Add a Verified Certificate for $49 USD

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About this course

As public policies become increasingly complex and technical in nature there is a clear need for scientifically informed solutions to major public policy challenges. However, most researchers do not have the training to effectively engage with policymakers.

This short course will provide an essential introduction to the policymaking process through the lens of the U.S. federal government, while providing specific steps researchers can take to engage policy stakeholders and articulate the policy implications of their work. Specifically, it will focus on:
  • Understanding the complex public policy ecosystem, its many stakeholders, and the role research and evidence play in the creation of public policy,
  • Strategies for informing the policymaking community with research results,
  • Developing a pitch for policy audiences, and
  • The importance of building two-way dialogues with policymakers

What you'll learn

  • Basic understanding of policymaking and policy stakeholders
  • How to identify and prioritize policy stakeholders
  • Practical skills to enage with policymakers

          Section I: Overview

  1. Introduction to the course
  2. Ten mistakes scholars make when engaging with policymakers

    Section II: The Policy Community

  3. The public policy ecosystem
  4. The Executive Branch
  5. Congress
  6. Congressional ‘Asks’
  7. Other Policy Stakeholders

    Section III: Strategies for Engagement

  8. Identifying and Prioritizing Stakeholders
  9. Assessing Policy Windows

    Section IV: Tactics

  10. Developing a Pitch
  11. Building Relationships with Policymakers
  12. Interview with Professor Lydia Bourouiba

    Section V: The Policy Lab

  13. The Policy Lab at the Center for International Studies: A model for enhancing academic engagement in public policy

Meet your instructors

Chappell Lawson
Associate Professor of Political Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dan Pomeroy
Managing Director and Senior Policy Advisor of MIT's Policy Lab at the Center for International Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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No material is needed to prepare for the course. Related readings and external material will be provided within the course.