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MIDP Fall 2019 Seminar Descriptions  |  MIDP Spring 2020 Seminar Descriptions


MIDP Seminar Descriptions (Fall 2019)


PUBPOL 598.01                                              

Economic Growth and Development   |  Fernando Fernholz

This course explores the basic economic principles and policy issues in the study of economic growth and development. During the course, we analyze the relationships between economic growth and development and the roles of physical, natural and human capital and technological innovation, productivity improvements, history and institutions in explaining patterns and causes of variations in growth and development performance of countries.  Topics will include effects on growth, development, welfare, sustainability and poverty of many current policy issues and challenges including climate change and environment, social sector policies (e.g. health and education), public finance, infrastructure, financial crises, internal and external debt management, trade and private sector activities, foreign aid and investment, institutions and governance.


PUBPOL 700S.01/700S.03/700S.04

Policy Analysis for Development |  Natalia Mirovitskaya/Rosemary Fernholz

The broad objectives of this seminar are: 1) to examine the role of policy analysis in solving important social problems; and 2) to develop the analytical and communication skills of participants in order to undertake effective policy analysis. This seminar examines the public policy objectives and the role of policy analysis in achieving these objectives, market and government failures, the role of the public and private sector, policy analysis tools (e.g. cost-benefit analysis, decision analysis, etc.), and policy implementation and evaluation. Emphasis is given to specific policy problems (e.g. social, environmental, health problems) based on the interests of the participants. This seminar relies on case studies, application of policy analysis tools, exercises, memos, policy critiques, and discussions with policy analysts. At the end of the semester participants should be able to understand policy issues and choices, why policies fail, how to use policy tools to reach decisions, and how to evaluate policies.


PUPBPOL 701.01                             

Economic Foundations for Development | Cory Krupp         

This course is an overview of microeconomic and macroeconomic principles related to development. The objective of the course is to provide analytical tools for the study of economic policies and problems in developing countries. The seminar includes presentation of theoretical material and its application to current topics and problems.


PUBPOL 711.01                                              

Public Policy Writing Practicum | Dean Storelli

The goal of this course is to introduce you to several key principles of good writing. We will use your own writing for your other courses as the "raw material" of the class. The key principles we will cover - through in-class exercises, lecture and homework - will include the following: 1. the role of culture in determining style; 2. writing clear sentences; 3. writing focused, connected paragraphs; 4. motivating your reader; and 5. pulling papers into a coherent whole.


PUBPOL 713.01                                              

Professional Editing Practicum | Dean Storelli

To be effective, policy writing must be well-structured, clear and free from distractions. While most of our writing efforts must be focused on content, in today's world, writers must also learn how to pay attention to form and format. In this short course, you will learn the mindset and specific skills need for a professional level of writing and editing.


PUBPOL 721S.01               

Institutional Design for International Development Managers | Francis Lethem

The objective of this seminar is to explore organizational and institutional design methodology and its application towards promoting a more sustainable development. The seminar is structured to deal with the macro and micro institutional levels; structures and processes, including design of interagency coordination mechanisms; basic principles for managing people; and how to evaluate whether an institutional design is successful. Intensive use is made of case studies dealing primarily with the environmental, social and infrastructure sectors in developing and transitional countries, and often based on final papers prepared by MIDP and NSOE alumni. As a seminar product, participants are expected to apply the seminar’s methodology either to an institutional situation or design of their choice which would be relevant to the development of their preferred country, or to a comprehensive case written by the instructor.


PUBPOL 724.01                               

The Politics of International Aid in Low-Income Countries  |  Phyllis Pomerantz

The effectiveness of aid in low-income countries has been the subject of intense debate.  The course will examine the context and objectives of international aid, the record and lessons, and recent efforts and proposals for change within the international community.  There is a special (but not exclusive) focus on Africa, since more robust growth and poverty reduction on that continent are at the center of the aid effectiveness debate.  In this exploration of the politics of aid, attention will be focused on the principal stakeholders, their motivations, and the quality of interaction among the various players (Governments, NGOs, bilateral donors, and multilateral institutions), along with the bottom line – whether aid is resulting in poverty reduction in low-income countries.  By the end of the course, students will be familiar with recent literature on the topic, key debates surrounding aid effectiveness, the policies and actions of different donors, and recent proposals and measures aimed at improving development assistance.  The course is primarily a group discussion, with occasional mini-lectures, student presentations, debates, case studies, two papers, and a final simulation.


PUBPOL 761.01                                              

Human Rights and Conflict | Catherine Admay

In this course we learn the most important basics of the overall international human rights and humanitarian law framework and the ways it is helpful to use—or not—when faced with concrete cases of conflict, be it war or other forms of large scale suffering.  We learn the political history of this legal framework so Fellows have an unglorified, concrete and realistic idea of this law as it stands today.  Indeed, a central aim of the course is to help Fellows know about, and then be equipped to better navigate in your own professional lives, the three leading practitioner camps that have developed to promote conflict resolution and peacebuilding, including (1) conflict resolvers, (2) human rights advocates/lawyers and (3) humanitarian workers.  How is conflict, and the various ways to address it, framed by each of these camps of practitioners? What sort of tradeoffs and priorities must we consider in any situation and stage of conflict? Is “peace versus justice” one of them? When might demands for human rights precipitate or fuel—as much as prevent or transform—conflicts? Are human rights essential for what the field of conflict resolution has termed “positive peace”?  Or for “restorative justice”? Or should policymakers involved in multiple stages or types of conflict be more cautious about viewing rights as a remedy for conflicts? What practical measures have been developed for post conflict situations? Where lies the promise and the peril for key institutions like the International Criminal Court, UN Special Rapporteurs, and the Human Rights Council and their various proceedings? How must we take into account the relevant power and cross-cultural considerations? Can we ourselves be productively inspired by the particular peace-building and conflict transformation work we learn about in the course of the class? To consider these and other questions of interest to the members of the class, we connect the contemporary legal framework for human rights and the three-camps approaches to real-world efforts underway by practitioners to reframe and transform conflict and build peace. There is no expectation that students have prior academic exposure to law; instead we are always enriched by whatever experience, including with the law, our class members, and practitioners who join us as guests, bring to the class.


PUBPOL 770.01                               

Public Finance in Developing And Emerging Economies  | Gangadhar Shukla/Sandeep Bhattacharya                                                                                                                                       

Covers the basic theory, policy and practice of public finance in these economies. It examines the economic roles and rationale for government and potential methods of financing government expenditures. The nature of fiscal policy and its relationship to macroeconomic policy is examined, including issues of foreign aid, debt financing and inflation. The course analyzes the approaches to pricing, financing and evaluating public sector outputs such as roads, water, education and electricity. It then reviews and analyzes taxes on trade, consumption, income, property and natural resources considering their economic efficiency and administrative costs and distributional impacts. The methods and importance of forecasting revenues are presented. Special topics include the design and role of tax incentives and environmental taxes.


PUBPOL 776.01                                              

Public Budgeting and Financial Management  |    Gangadhar Shukla/Roy Kelly

Focuses on the policies, procedures, and skills needed for effective budgeting and financial management in the public sector. Core topics to be covered in the course include budget systems and controls, public sector accounting and costing, financial reporting for accountability, and capital budgeting and debt management. The course provides the analytical skills needed to understand the links between budgeting and the macro-fiscal framework, the political decision-making process, and the interests of citizens. The emphasis is on the theory and international practice of budgeting, with particular application to developing countries. Issues of program and performance budgeting, participatory budgeting and citizen accountability, and decentralized fiscal systems will be discussed.


PUBPOL 779.01/LAW 560.01                        

Sales and Value Added Tax Law | Peter Barnes/ Gangadhar Shukla

Sales and Value-Added Tax Law covers the legal frameworks and detailed technical issues related to VAT and sales tax systems. Com­parisons are drawn between the VAT and sales taxes, and between the tax legislation provisions used in various countries. Aside from the basic tax structures, the course also highlights innovations in VATs and the treatment of special sectors such as the real property, financial, agriculture and public interest sectors. Approaches for dealing with the application of VATs and sales taxes in the context of federations and common markets are also considered. The principal focus is on VAT, with sales tax being compared as appropriate to highlight the differences.  The aim of the course is to enable you to think about VAT (or sales tax), whether from the perspective of what the law is, what it should be, or how it might be administered.  More generally, the course is designed to sharpen your skills to think like a lawyer, like a policymaker, and like a tax administrator.  We will also examine VAT law on a comparative basis, and discuss what contribution a comparative law viewpoint brings to an understanding of VAT. After taking the course, you should understand how the VAT works, be able to interpret VAT laws (we will consult several, as well as discussing cases), be familiar with the main problems and issues of VAT (for example, the consequences of exemptions), and have a feel for how the VAT differs from the income tax.  We will discuss the definition of all legal elements of the VAT (taxpayer, taxable event, tax base, rates, tax period) and how the tax is collected as a matter of procedure.  The focus will be on problem areas of defining these elements.  This analysis should equip you with the ability to handle VAT problems in the future, or indeed to deal with any tax, since all taxes have these basic common elements.


PUBPOL 790.02                                                            

Big Debates in Development |  Indermit Gill

This course takes students to the frontiers of development policy. It introduces core economic concepts and provides students with methods to formulate their own views.  The course covers eight debates, each centered on a current policy discussion around the world. Examples include: Are capitalist economies destined to grow ever more unequal? Was the Washington Consensus for Latin America correct after all? Does democracy help or hurt development? Is China headed into a middle-income trap? What makes Africa special: its geography or its institutions? Upon completing this course, students should be able to deconstruct arguments on current issues in international development, and provide policy briefings on these questions.


PUBPOL 790.03                                                            

Monitoring and Evaluation  |  Hans-Martin Boehmer

Over the past few decades, there has been a tremendous growth in the demand for evidence-based decision making in development. The evidence that the use of sound Monitoring and Evaluation frameworks leads to better project outcomes in the private and public sector has long been established.  Nevertheless, multilateral institutions are struggling to raise the quality of project level M&E frameworks.This course is structured around the three roles that require a sound understanding of the practice and theory of monitoring and evaluation.  In addition, it provides a common language for monitoring and evaluation and concludes with a group-based project that puts to practice, and challenges, the understanding of each of the roles.  The seminar will introduce the participants to the essential analytical framework used in evaluation and the variety of tools.  This first segment will also address the full range of evaluation work that fellows may encounter in the future.  The second segment looks at the role of the commissioner of evaluations.  The third segment looks at the role of the evaluator in carrying out an evaluation.  The fourth segment focuses on the role of the user of evaluations.  The final segment focuses on integrating the entire cycle, reviews elements, and most importantly tries to identify areas where future (or already existing technologies and governance structures), could advance the state of the art in development monitoring and evaluation.  This goes to the fundamental premise of the seminar that development M&E remains a relatively young profession with huge potential for the future of development.  The greatest mistake would be to consider the status quo in any country or development organization as having reached its pinnacle.  The successful student should emerge with a thorough understanding of the current practices, as well as a critical view of areas where the potential for future improvements is significant.


PUBPOL 790.04                                              

Science, Technology & Development Policy  |    Ravtosh Bal

Science and technology play a crucial role in sustainable and inclusive development. They have the potential to provide solutions to societal challenges and contribute to outcomes that enhance the quality of life. Achieving these goals requires responsible governance of science and technology, consideration of the social and ethical implications of new technologies, and policy making that is attuned to the interconnectedness between science and society. This course examines the complex interactions between science, technology, policy and development using a comparative perspective. The course will cover the role of science and technology in development, the tools and methods used to regulate science and technology, and the differing structure and impacts of science and technology policies in various contexts. The goal of the course is to critically examine the linkages between science, technology and development and the myriad ways in which they shape and are shaped by policy.


PUBPOL 790.05                               

Introduction to Peace and Conflict Resolution  |   Rosemary Fernholz

The objective of this seminar is to provide an introduction to the multi-disciplinary field of Peace and Conflict Studies as a foundation for and complement to the overall Rotary Curriculum through course content which: 1. Provides an introduction to the field of Peace and Conflict Studies,  2. Emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of peace and conflict studies, 3. Provides students with the appropriate analytical tools to think critically about questions relating to the origins and dynamics of conflict, as well as the possibility of peace.


PUBPOL 790.06                                                                           

Impact Evaluation  | Sandeep Bhattacharya

This course is designed as a complement to Empirical Analysis for Development (PUBPOL 741) or other introductory courses in empirical methods.  It aims to explore techniques in regression analysis with the objective of using them in quantitative impact evaluation. It introduces students to STATA and builds on the use of regression analysis, covering topics such as panel data techniques, instrumental variables, limited dependent variables, regression discontinuity etc. eventually culminating in the application of regression techniques to impact evaluation. The course  will focus on (1) learning the tools of regression required for quantitative impact evaluation using STATA (2) learning the theory on  which quantitative impact evaluation is based (3) applying the skills learnt to actually design and implement impact evaluations. The course places more emphasis on the nuts and bolts of actual program evaluation using STATA and the choice of techniques based on available data, and less on the philosophical or broader theoretical aspects. It will rely strongly on publicly available materials prepared by the World Bank with the aim to familiarize students with the actual design, conduct and quantitative evaluation of real world programs.




MIDP Mini-Seminar Descriptions (Fall 2019)


PUBPOL 789.01                               

Learning and Capacity Development |  Lisa Moreau

Over the last 40 years our understanding of the what, the why, and the how of capacity development has continued to evolve. While there remain challenges in gaining agreement on which practices are most effective we have a great number of successes, failures, and lessons learned from which to pull. What we do know is that those efforts which are most enduring include a multi-pronged approach working at the various levels; individual, organizational, and environmental. During this mini seminar we’ll look at:

  • the various levels or dimensions of capacity development; individual, organizational, and environmental;
  • the role of training, learning, performance, and advocacy in developing capacity at the various levels;
  • frameworks, assessments, and strategies for developing individual and organizational capacity; and
  • the role of systems thinking and practice in capacity development.


PUBPOL 789.02                 

Economic Appraisal of Transportation Projects |   Mehmet Uzunkaya

The objective of this seminar is to emphasize the key role of transportation infrastructure and to provide a firm foundation for the economic appraisal of transportation projects towards selecting viable projects that would contribute to economic growth and development. Given limited resources and the conditions of international competition for development, undertaking viable transportation projects that would yield net socio-economic benefits is essential. Economic appraisal requires measuring and comparing the costs and benefits of a project from the viewpoint of the country as a whole. As observed market prices do not reflect true resource costs and benefits to the society due to a variety of reasons that are particularly applicable in a developing country context, the measurement needs to be done based on a shadow pricing perspective. The seminar provides the necessary economic foundation for converting market prices into shadow prices and presents an integrated appraisal methodology to conduct a sound economic appraisal. The integrated approach includes financial appraisal, economic appraisal, risk analysis, risk management and stakeholder impacts and reconciliation. The seminar also covers the fundamental principles that will be necessary in conducting the analyses, such as the concepts of risk, discounting, cost of capital and alternative criteria for investment decision. The methodology presented in the seminar will be applied on a hypothetical transportation project using a spreadsheet program and risk analysis software.


PUBPOL 789.03                 

Promoting Accountability of International Agencies for Better Development |  Catherine Admay

If a community is concerned about the potential harmful effects of a development project sponsored by an international financial institution, what steps can it take?   A relatively little- known and innovative institutional governance review process, used increasingly frequently, is making it possible for ordinary people to raise questions about whether international development agencies (eg the World Bank, InterAmerican Development Bank, IFC, Global Environmental Facility) are adhering to the stated goals and policies of those agencies.  This mini-seminar will simulate and examine two different real-world cases: the first centers on Sanctions Procedures created to deter procurement-related fraud and corruption; the second centers on Inspection Panel dynamics for national governments, communities, local NGOs and international financial institutions. We will explore how a community and civil society can initiate mechanisms that voice serious concerns about development projects funded by international development agencies.  And we will ascertain accountability for these initiatives and analyze their effectiveness.  What future do these mechanisms have? How might they be improved? Frequently including guest practitioners who work in international financial institutions, this mini seminar will provide tools for public servants and development practitioners who partner with these agencies, civil society, and communities to promote better governance through better accountability. Legal background is not required.


PUBPOL 789.04                               

Indigenous Peoples and Development |   Rosemary Fernholz

This seminar focuses on indigenous peoples, their opportunities and challenges, and strategies for inclusive development.  ‘Indigenous peoples’ is a collective term for the diversity of peoples who identify as members of nations or communities with distinct historical and ancestral ties to land and culture. These can include the Cherokee or Sioux in the US, the Ik in Uganda, the Maori in New Zealand, or the Mapuche in Chile. We will examine their claims to ‘territory’ including that of natural resources (for example, addressing conflicts over land and minerals), their political structures and negotiating power, and their socio-cultural and economic condition and prospects. Our focus will be on strategies to support inclusive development where these communities of people have the capacity to participate meaningfully in development. 


PUBPOL 789.05          

Leveraging Information and Communications Technology (ITC) for Development Motivations, Successes and Challenges  | Jean Pierre Auffret

The rapid adoption of mobiles and cloud computing is reenergizing efforts to integrate ICT as part of the overall international development agenda.   ICT is considered as an enabler in strategies to meet many of the Millennium Development goals and as a key component of national development in healthcare, education, rural and urban development, poverty reduction and financial services. The mini-seminar reviews ICT for Development motivations; role in the efforts of major development organizations; case studies from multiple countries and sectors; and factors leading to successes and failures.  The mini-seminar concludes with discussion of ICT for Development opportunities and challenges and best practices in policy, financing and human capacity development to foster scalable and sustainable ICT for Development efforts.



MIDP Fall 2019 Seminar Substitutes and Noted Electives of Interest


For current instructors, days/times taught, and course descriptions, please look up classes in DukeHub or visit the home department/school’s website. As always, you should discuss seminar substitutes and electives with your advisor before enrolling. Duke undergraduate courses (numbered 499 and below) may NOT be taken for credit towards the degree.

Fall 2019 Seminar Substitutes

These courses offered by the Sanford School can count toward your degree as an MIDP seminar rather than an elective course. MIDP does not control enrollment in these courses. Should any course below require a permission number to enroll, please contact the professor. Many are open enrollment, so students enroll on a first-come, first-served basis, although some have a similar initial enrollment hold for MPP students, like the 48 hour hold we have for MIDP courses.


PUBPOL 606.01 Macroeconomic Policy and International Finance

PUBPOL 820.01 Globalization and Governance

ENVIRON 755.01 Community Based Environmental Management

Electives of Interest

Note: this is not an exhaustive list

PUBPOL 590S.01: The Challenge for Business and Society: From Risk to Reward 

This class will focus on the role of business in addressing some of the most critical societal problems, like labor practices, environmental performance, community engagement, supply chain practices, diversity and inclusion. We will begin with a historical view of the role business has played in cooperation with government and civil society, highlighting key events that took place over the past 100 years. We will highlight and discuss examples of both negative actions that violated ethics, values and law and regulation. The course will then focus on where we are today focusing attention on the current state of actions across the private sector, again focusing attention on the most promising and most negative actions and activities. At this point we will focus a good deal of attention on the role of governmental actions, via regulation and legislation to control negatives actions, and the role that ethics has played and is playing in discouraging negative action and encouraging real leadership. The course will then focus on the future. Especially on ways that the private sector can exercise real leadership to engage communities, government and civil society in formulating a range of innovations to address societal concerns and solve problems effectively. To the extent possible we will have some outside speakers to attend certain classes


PUBPOL 590.04: Politics of Development & Humanitarianism

This class will examine the historic changes now under way in the fields of humanitarian and development aid.
The UN’s General Assembly recently finalized new “Sustainable Development Goals,” and has launched innovative discussions on aid financing. In the U.S., the first two Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Reviews have reshaped relations between the Department of State, USAID, and the Pentagon; while the incoming Trump administration proposes to move away from the traditional features of U.S. aid policy. Since 2009, the European Union has attempted to combine all strands of its foreign policy into a coherent whole, which has challenged the structure and purpose of EU aid programs – soon to be deprived of their British component.  Lastly, the growing clout of emerging powers, and of private, grassroots, and non-governmental organizations, means that this policy area is no longer a Western or a public-sector monopoly – in terms of stakeholders, as well as underlying norms such as the “humanitarian principles” and the “Responsibility to Protect.”
Our topic therefore is not only urgent per se – at a time when the Syrian crisis highlights the importance, and the limits, of humanitarian action – but also because it provides a litmus test for the emerging features of 21st century threats, the reallocation of global power, and the outlook of Western values.


PUBPOL 890.01: Qualitative Methods

This course will introduce students to basic qualitative methods including data collection, data management, analyses, and presentation to diverse audiences. Methods to be covered include semi-structured interviewing, focus groups, open-ended surveys, and mixed methods research. Analysis approaches will include content analysis and grounded theory and will employ early skill development with NVivo software. Diverse topics more briefly covered will include Delphi method, phenomenology, and ethnography.


PUBPOL 840.01: Demographic Measures/Concepts

Introduction to demographic concepts, measures, and techniques. Focus on population change, mortality, morbidity, fertility, marriage, divorce, and migration. Illustration of broader application of demographic measurement and techniques to other aspects of society and population health, such as educational attainment, labor force participation, linkages between mortality, morbidity and disability, and health and mortality differentials. Students will also learn how to apply methods discussed


ENV 680.01: Economics of Forest Resources

Required prerequisites: college-level calculus, microeconomics and statistics, as well as Excel proficiency.


ENV 727.01: Forests in the Public Interest

Discussion and analysis of current forestry issues of concern to the public, both in U.S. and abroad.




MIDP Seminars: Spring 2020


PUBPOL 646S.01

Strategic Storytelling: Narratives of Development  | Catherine Admay

This course taps into the growing evidence that the distinctive way humans think is in story. “Good” stories have a much higher “stick-iness” factor: they are structured so that insights stick in the minds of the audiences that drew those insights.  Stories invite numerous sorts of partnerships and processes: readers come to think and live in someone else’s world and develop deeper powers to hear others who might never be heard, or never be heard in that way; storytellers have incentives to consider the needs of those who are following their stories. Using a broad array of storytelling mediums, this course tracks how stories told about poverty or development strategically can add to our ability to understand poverty and to conduct development more effectively. Amongst the narrative frameworks we have considered are memoir, short story, short doc, radio essay, telenovela, community theatre, TED talks, spoken word, songs, nationally-followed talk shows like the one hosted by Aamir Khan in India, extracts from novels, multi-media performance including dance, children’s story and film (Bollywood, Nollywood, Hollywood and independents). The course is intended for MIDP and MPP Fellows and others who are seeking out creative ways to analyze our practice more insightfully and who wish to be exposed to numerous communications and translation strategies that we might put into practice professionally. 


PUBPOL 647S.01 

Legal Analysis for Development Governance | Catherine Admay

This seminar is designed, on the one hand, to enable development-centered professionals, with no legal training to function effectively when legal and governance issues are in play, and, on the other hand, to enable lawyers to integrate their legal knowledge with development and governance challenges. For those who come to this course without legal training, governance and legal issues are at play in development, and knowing how to engage law and legal arguments will greatly enhance your professional lives. For those who come to the course with legal training, the value of the course emerges from the integration of old and new areas of expertise. It is one thing to be a lawyer, and another thing to be a lawyer who brings added-value to development. In short, this course makes accessible--to future public servants, development workers, and private sector workers--law, legal frameworks, and legal analysis in the context of development governance. 

What is governance and development governance? One understanding of governance is that it encompasses the institutions and “rules of the game” that shape the economic and political life of societies. Formal law and formal legal arrangements, that is the "law on the books," is only one part of these "rules of the game.”  Public servants, development and private sector workers necessarily operate in environments where "rules"--those on the books and those that actually are followed--govern what is possible to do. This class sets out to de-mystify the way legal processes and legal authorities work (and don’t work) to advance development, and to help public policy students and others engage effectively on the strength of this knowledge. 

Using development and governance-centered case scenarios, we track the major bodies of law and their practical application.  On the basic understanding that law is very context sensitive, we nonetheless draw on the overarching themes to be grasped from international law, national public law (including constitutional law), national private law (including property and contracts), customary informal law (including property), as well as the rules that corporations have built, in the “lex mercatoria” tradition, around their trans-national investments. Using case scenarios, we apply a legal analytical framework to development-related governance challenges in investment, trade, environment, land, community and human rights, health, corruption, corporate social responsibility, consumer literacy, children’s legal personality, and other sectors. In each case we explore how multiple legal domains can both enable and hinder better governance and development outcomes.


PUPBPOL 702.01   

Applied Development Economics | Fernando Fernholz

This seminar uses macroeconomic and microeconomic principles to analyze development challenges and issues. The seminar will use a core textbook to provide an integrated overview of many of the topics covered in the seminar, but the content and structure of the seminar will not follow the textbook and fellows will be required to read more widely and deeply on the topics covered. Moreover, many of the topics can be analyzed from both a microeconomic and macroeconomic angle, as well as from an institutional perspective, and the emphasis is on how to use a range of techniques to analyze different problems rather than identifying a problem that lends itself to the application of a particular technique.  Topics to be covered include promoting economic growth, the market economy and structural reform, market failure and role of government, labor markets and unemployment, inequality and poverty, raising agricultural productivity, aid and development, financial markets and institutions, globalization and capital flows, and crises, defaults and bailouts.


 PUBPOL 712.01     

Public Policy Presentation Practicum  | Dean Storelli

This course is designed for presenters at many different levels. It covers organizing content, sharpening graphics and better presentation of the presenter (and not just the slides). The class meets once a week for four weeks beginning later in the semester. This class is credit/no credit and does not count towards the degree.


PUBPOL 790.07   

Professional International Public Speaking Practicum |  Dean Storelli

English is spoken by many people around the word. The goal of this class, therefore, is not accent reduction but intelligibility, i.e., learning the skills that will help your audience better understand your words, organization and most important ideas. Topics include sound stress, word stress, thought groups and emphasis. The class meets once a week for four weeks beginning in January. This class is credit/no credit and does not count towards the degree.


PUBPOL 726.01 

Innovation and Policy Entrepreneurship  |   Rosemary Fernholz

Innovative approaches are increasingly seen as key to solving difficult, complex or new challenges in this century, whether the challenges are local survival in the face of persistent droughts or boosting productivity to meet global competition. It is policy entrepreneurship that is needed to craft the policy innovations or the frameworks that encourage innovation and private sector entrepreneurship. This course will focus on the analytical tools and skills needed by policy makers and analysts to build and sustain an enabling policy environment for innovations and entrepreneurship to occur at global, country and local levels.


 PUBPOL 727.01   

Service Delivery Systems | Joel Rosch

What happens to policy after laws are made, budgets are approved, and either public or nonprofit agencies try to implement public policy? Some people refer to this as the last mile of public policy. What kinds of models best explain the behavior of organizations that deliver services directly to the public? What strategies can agencies use to improve government services? What does improve actually mean? When should governments look to strategies such privatization; contracting out services to non-profits and other NGOs; and adopting models from the private sector? When should public sector agencies use performance bonds; direct payments; vouchers and other kinds of market mechanisms to improve public services? When do we need new measurement systems? What is the value of using experiments with randomized controls? When are these kinds of approaches most likely to succeed, and when are they most likely to fail? This course will provide students with a way to address these questions which are essential to understand the issues involved in managing and delivering services to the public at the “street level”. It will also give students an overview of a wide variety of services including: crime policy, education, health, and other depending on student interest, that governments, and increasingly non-profit and for profit organizations, try to deliver to the public.Students will also come away with both a basic understanding of the issues involved in the implementation of public policy, and an overview of the key issues involved in a number of different policy areas. Topics include the changing role of non-profit organizations; corruption; government contracting; the ways agencies define and measure success, the ways that ideas about equality and efficiency play out in different policy areas, the growing interest in evidence-based practices, the nature of public goods, and the growing use of cost-benefit analysis.


 PUBPOL 730.01   

Project Management for International Development | Frank Webb

A significant proportion of international development assistance is offered in the form of complex projects that are characterized in part by their uniqueness and by the need for predetermined results to be delivered over a finite period within severe constraints. The management of such projects is challenging and quite different from the management of repetitive day-to-day operations. In addition, the environment for international development projects presents further challenges for the project manager. To succeed in delivering on expectations, projects must begin with an understanding of the context followed by thorough planning with real participation, careful design using a robust framework, and realistic estimations of time and costs. In this seminar we will first take a high-level view of the project life cycle, understanding the value of well-structured project management processes in planning the project, scheduling project activities, creating the right project team and achieving successful implementation within the constraints of scope, time, cost and quality. Taking a closer look, we will explore in some detail three of the most important phases of the project life cycle—project identification, project design and implementation planning—before considering the role of the project manager in building and leading the project team, managing risk and monitoring and controlling implementation towards a successful conclusion. Guest faculty with substantial experience of project management in international NGOs will illustrate the tools and management practices that meet the day-to-day challenges of project start-up, implementation and close-out of individual projects and will discuss how project management is operationalized at progressive levels of a complex international non-profit organization—the project manager; the portfolio manager overseeing 10 project managers; and the COO with responsibility for global, or enterprise portfolio management including as many as 400 projects.


PUBPOL 741.01     

Empirical Analysis for Economic Development  | Sandeep Bhattacharya

The objective of this course is to provide future decision makers with the necessary tools of statistical analysis to enable them to eventually conduct effective empirical analysis of policy issues in economic development. The course focuses on providing tools for using data to gain insight into real development problems for professionals whose primary activity is not advanced data analysis. The course has three equally important elements. First, the course provides a non-technical introduction to basic concepts in empirical analysis, culminating in regression modeling with single and multiple variables; the focus is on understanding the concepts without the aid of software. Second, it uses Excel to illustrate, practice, and apply the techniques learned. Third, it enables the participants to read and assess the quality of empirical analyses and results that are used in reports and articles with the aim of providing a foundation for conducting their own empirical analysis of development problems.  Class meetings will take place through lectures delivered by the instructor and TA-led review sessions. Lecture days (Monday/Wednesday) will be spent covering the basic material of the foundations of statistical analysis for development practitioners, and review days (usually Fridays) will be spent learning how to use the tools studied in class for applied work with the help of Excel.


 PUBPOL 743.01 

Design and Analysis of Public Private Partnerships | Fernando Fernholz

This course focuses on the difficult choices governments need to make to improve service provision in a wide range of sectors from public utilities and transportation to health and education services.  These choices include the range of contractual and organizational modalities for providing services: from government owned and operated (GOO) corporations or projects to regulated private corporations and some new forms of outsourcing through national and international NGOs.  An important modality in current times is the Public Private Partnership (PPP).  How to design and analyze these partnerships is the core of this course. This course covers the range of contractual arrangements open to governments to construct, maintain and operate infrastructure services and facilities such as hospitals and schools, as well as service provision in varied contexts in the world. Key concerns we address are the identification, analysis, allocation and management of risks and incentives under different contractual arrangements, including the guidelines and criteria that are appropriate to analyze and implement PPPs. We consider different environments and challenges such as legislative, budgetary and regulatory frameworks and institutional arrangements in different countries as well as globally. We analyze the structure and role of the capital markets and financial sectors along with conditions and impacts of government guarantees. We discuss some evolving partnership arrangements to include civil society and networks, their implications and impacts. The course will use relevant experiences in the world with real-life problem sets and case studies, A major component of the course will be the application of broad-based cost-benefit analysis techniques to analyze the financial viability, risk, economic attractiveness and social and distributive impacts of PPPs.  In addition, decision making rules and techniques will be used to clarify the tradeoffs. This will be done in the context of sector case studies.


PUBPOL 760.01  

Development and Violence | Natalia Mirovitskaya

This course aims to explore the “development-security-violence” nexus.  In the modern-day world, where boundaries are blurred, authorities are fragmented and often powerless against non-state actors. Therefore, when new security threats emerge and metastasize unpredictably, the very existence of such nexus demands a well-informed and carefully-crafted response from policymakers and development practitioners. Thus, to deal with what can be described as a global conflict syndrome – the sum of factors that work in parallel to undermine the stability, prosperity and security of many nation-states and their citizens – will require (a) rigorous analysis of multiple linkages between development patterns and conflict as well as (b) innovative ideas of how to effectively incorporate conflict prevention into the development interventions/ The course is designed to introduce its participants to materials, analytical frameworks and tools necessary to explore the relationship between development strategies, policies and programs and various stages of violent conflict, with particular emphasis on promoting conflict prevention.  Course participants will analyze how formulation and implementation of such strategies, policies and programs can help prevent various types of intrastate violence or, conversely, exacerbate conflict conditions and undermine prospects for peace. Through the use of a policy sciences’ and a conflict sensitivity framework, course participants will acquire a better understanding of the roots and triggers of different conflicts and their enabling policy environments, and how such understanding can improve design and implementation of nation-states’ development policies and donor interventions. Use of case studies and simulation exercises will reinforce the course learning objectives.


 PUBPOL 764.01

Governance and Development |  Phyllis Pomerantz

Exactly how governance, economic growth, and poverty reduction are interrelated is a subject of much controversy.  The first part of this course will explore questions such as “What is governance?”  “What does good governance mean?”  “How is it measured?”  “What is the relationship among governance, growth, and poverty reduction?”  “Does good governance necessarily mean democratic governance?”  From there, the course will move on to selected topics central to the good governance agenda, including public sector reform, corruption, and decentralization.  The course will end with a look at global influences on developing country governance, including the contested role of aid and the dilemmas posed by fragile states.  Students will be asked to choose a developing country for which they will develop governance diagnostics and analyses, and a governance action plan by the end of the semester.  Two papers, the country governance action plan, and short oral presentations will be part of the class requirements.


 PUBPOL 771.01 

Comparative Tax Policy | Graham Glenday/Gangadhar Shukla

Comparative Tax Policy investigates in detail the design and policy options in the major taxes on consumption and income, comparing these taxes across countries. The impacts of these tax designs on revenues, economic efficiency, administrative and compliance costs and income distributions are considered. The course reviews the principles of taxation, including those used in allocating taxes to the multiple levels of government in the context of decentralization and across states in common markets or federal systems. In the area of consumption taxes, the course focuses in detail on Value-Added Taxes and general goods and service taxes, but turnover and selective sales taxes are also considered. For income taxes, detailed design features covered include the definition of income, capital gains, employment benefits, business expenses, accounting conventions, inflation indexation, tax integration, international tax harmonization, transfer pricing, thin capitalization and tax incentives. Taxation of special sectors such as insurance and pensions are considered along with alternative approaches to direct taxes such as cash flow or consumption taxes. For all taxes, issues of the treatment of small businesses and the informal sectors are featured


PUBPOL 772.01 

Comparative Tax Administration |  Graham Glenday/Gangadhar Shukla

The course reviews modern approaches to tax administration for both border and domestic taxes, and compares the approaches taken across industrial, emerging and developing economies.  The course reviews all the major functions of tax administration.  The issues arising from trends in tax administration towards a greater degree of self-assessment in taxes and functional and client-oriented organizations are themes throughout the course.  These have implications for tax assessment, audit and investigation, collections and debt management, objection and appeals mechanisms, and taxpayer education and service in the separate consideration of each of these functions.  The design of risk-weighted random audits is highlighted.  Issues and international agreements affecting valuation in sales taxes, customs and transfer pricing under the income tax provide an important focus.  Computerization and e-governance techniques are growing in importance in all areas of tax administration.  The legal, technical and management issues are covered.  The overall legal and organizational considerations are also core issues, including the use of revenue authorities, and the legal frameworks used to enable different approaches to tax administration and organization.  Finally, the types and experiences of tax reforms are reviewed as well as the issues involved in successfully planning and change management in reforms of tax systems.


PUBPOL 778.01

Fiscal Decentralization and Local Government Finance | Roy Kelly

Decentralization strategies are being implemented worldwide to improve service delivery, economic governance and citizen participation. Most government services affecting everyday life are increasingly provided by local governments-including education and health, agricultural extension, roads, water, sanitation and refuse removal, fire protection, land use planning and environmental protection.  In this course, we will focus on analyzing policy and administrative options to fiscally empower local governments to improve service delivery, economic governance and citizen participation. This course covers the theory and provides practical applications of fiscal decentralization, intergovernmental transfers, local resource mobilization and local borrowing. Special attention is paid to the practical aspects of designing and implementing effective fiscal decentralization reforms to improve efficiency and accountability within the public sector.


 PUBPOL 790.01  

Monitoring and Evaluation for Developing Practitioners | Anne Pizer/Rebecca Goldsmith

This course is designed to teach the fundamentals of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for social programs.  All organizations implementing development programs put in place systems to track program accomplishments.  These M&E systems are driven by different objectives, such as accountability to donors for money spent, or learning about successes and challenges in implementation.  This course is aimed at practitioners, who wish to develop and/or understand methods for measuring the results of social programs.  This course will teach students how to set up M&E systems that foster data-driven decision making.  In addition to books and articles, we will use cases from donors, non-profits and others to cover technical aspects of M&E, including developing a comprehensive program logic, choosing ‘good’ indicators and targets, and designing an appropriate evaluation.  The course will be interactive and collaborative. Prerequisites:  Introductory statistics course, ability to interpret a regression table, and facility with excel


PUBPOL 790.02

Development Finance and Resource Allocation: A PFM Perspective  |  Roy Kelly/Richard Hemming

This course focuses on development finance against a background of limited resources and competing demands on available resources. The seminar adopts a Public Financial Management (PFM) perspective focusing on how governments can secure additional resources and use them to promote efficient and accountable development. The course begins by analyzing the main sources of ‘fiscal space’ that can be used to pay for additional spending—borrowing, domestic revenue, foreign aid and resource revenue and expenditure rationalization. It then focuses on challenges to ensure that the available fiscal space is used for development spending, with a particular focus on resource allocation through the budget process.The seminar also considers financing options for decentralization, private sector involvement, and innovative financing instruments. The course concludes by considering the institutional requirements for effective management of public resources and their implications for PFM reform, and explore how to mobilize the needed development finance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.


PUBPOL 790.05   

Master’s Project Mini | Lethem, R. Fernholz, Mirovitskaya

This one-credit mandatory seminar is intended to facilitate efficient preparation of the master’s project.  It focuses on preliminary preparation up to prospectus defense.  The seminar reviews lessons from past experience, selection of topic, and development of a research plan as well as the key elements of the policy analysis methodology.  Grading is based on participation and the quality of the final prospectus.


PUBPOL 790.06           

Social Policy and Development | Rosemary Fernholz

This course focuses on social development and the role of social policy as an important channel that policy makers at different levels use to address complex and interrelated issues affecting human well-being.  We analyze status, trends, problems and opportunities in social development in the world and in selected countries. The course is designed as a basic graduate level course for students interested in international development, particularly policy making for social development. The course has 4 parts described here: Part 1 starts with a quick survey of different dimensions of well-being of people. We explore the data base and changes affecting people causing vulnerability and distinct needs. Part 2 focuses on developments in education and health in different regions and selected countries, and policy approaches that have resulted in long term success. Part 3 focuses on social protection policies and their forms, scope and achievements. Of particular concern will be design and implementation of effective safety net, social insurance, labor market and supporting social assistance and services. Part 4 considers social policy making, and reviews cross cutting issues that include the role of stakeholders, and issues of targeting, culture, migration, conflict, and innovation. We will use an interactive learning approach in the course with a mix of lectures, real-life examples and case studies, exercises and simulations. Two professors will take active roles in the course: Prof. Indermit Gill (Social Protection) and Prof. Fernando Fernholz (design and appraisal of social sector projects).  Resource persons will be invited for conversations on current trends in education and health. 


PUBPOL 790.11     

Rotary Capstone Workshop|  Francis Lethem/Catherine Admay     

This one-credit seminar is the second of two parts designed to prepare Rotary Peace Fellows towards their future leadership roles in the field of Peace and Conflict Prevention and Resolution.  This seminar will constitute the “wrapping up” by fellows as they prepare to embark on important professional endeavors.  The seminar comprises two elements: (i) an exploration by the fellows of their future leadership potential in the field of P&CR through simulation exercises and preparation of an individual leadership paper; and (ii) preparation and delivery of the fellows’ public presentation at the Rotary Conference in early April.


PUBPOL 790.04       

Global Value Chain Analysis | Gary Gereffi    

This course will review the main literature, methods, conceptual tools and types of policy recommendations associated with Global Value Chain (GVC) analysis. Globalization has transformed how nations, firms, communities and workers compete in the international economy over the past half century. This course will trade the emergence of the GVC framework, which is arguably the most influential approach used to analyze globalization and its consequences for both developing and developed economies.  We will focus on the conceptual foundations of GVC analysis, the twin pillars of “governance” and “upgrading”, and we will review detailed GVC case studies related to Asia, Latin America and Africa, including original studies that have been carried out at the Duke Global Value Chains Center (Duke GVCC), one of the most renowned university-based GVC research centers in the world.  Since the early 2000s and especially after the 2008-09 financial crisis, virtually all of the main international development organizations, including the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International Labor Organization, OECD, the U.S. Agency for International Development, UNIDO, UNCTAD, and the World Economic Forum, have used the GVC approach to guide their development agendas. We will evaluate the GVC research they have carried out, and analyze the most fruitful guidelines for development that emerge from this literature.



MIDP Mini-Seminar Descriptions


PUBPOL 789.03

Leadership and Development | Phyllis Pomerantz

Reviews of many development programs cite committed and competent leadership as a key factor in project, program, and country success. Central questions revolve around the relative importance of leadership in successful development initiatives and the leadership characteristics that leave behind a sustainable legacy, i.e., a lasting foundation for others to build upon. Looking at these questions, this mini-course will (a) review several key concepts of leadership from political science and management perspectives; (b) attempt to develop a framework for evaluating effective leadership in the development context; and (c) utilize the framework to examine the profiles and actions of several recent development leaders. The course is primarily a group discussion, with a class presentation and a final paper focusing on a profile and analysis of an actual leader.


PUBPOL 789.02       

Land Matters: Human Security and Sustainability  | Maureen Lempke

Land is one of the most important assets for people and groups throughout the world.  It is a cornerstone of economic activity, is a source of livelihoods and security for the rural and urban poor, serves as the foundation for a wide range of cultural and social identities, provides the physical basis for human settlements, is the basis of terrestrial biodiversity and plays a role in climate regulation. However, population growth, urban expansion, over -exploitation of natural resources, skewed land ownership and corruption are resulting in an increasing entrenchment of poverty and vulnerability, environmental degradation, insecurity, conflict.Despite being central to a variety of sectoral issues that support survival, livelihoods peaceful development, economic growth, and sustainable resource use, land issues have often not received the attention they deserve in many development strategies across the globe. To remedy this “silo-ization,” this course will highlight the role of land tenure (the political, economic, social, and legal institutional structures that determine how individuals and groups secure access to land and all resources contained on it) and property rights  (the bundle of rights relating to the use, control, and transfer of land) on a variety of issues related to some of the most pressing global issues including: urbanization; climate change; food security; women, children and other groups rendered vulnerable; natural resource management, conflict and fragility and;  governance. Students will receive a series of frameworks and tools to better analyze and assess the land tenure and property rights landscape in a given context or scale and will learn about reforms, approaches and policies that are being implemented in the land sector around the world.


PUBPOL 789.03          

Introduction to Effective Negotiation |Shai Tamari

This mini-seminar will provide students with a selection of tools necessary to meet their interests when in conflict with another individual, organization or government, to redefine the meanings of “winning” and “power,” and to cope with stress, discomfort, and emotions when in conflict. Students will learn new negotiation skills, build upon existing ones, and challenge assumptions regarding conflict.  The mini-seminar includes both theory and experiential learning through role-plays. It is meant for students who plan to work for NGOs, government agencies, international organizations, or in any field that requires skills in conflict management.