Policy Analysis Exercise Showcase

Policy Analysis Exercise Showcase

For MPP students, the Policy Analysis Exercise (PAE) is the

culmination of the Harvard Kennedy School experience. In fact, many of our MPP

graduates consider it to be one of the highlights of their HKS education.

During the PAE, second-year MPP students essentially serve

as a consultant to a public or nonprofit sector organization and develop

solutions to a policy or management issue. Students and their clients work

together to define specific issues, design research strategies, gather data,

formulate and evaluate options, and, finally, make actionable recommendations. The

final analysis—usually around 40 pages or 10,000 words—gives students the

opportunity to integrate the technical skills and specialized knowledge gained

from the MPP curriculum while also helping the client organization tackle a real-world

concern. It is not unusual for client organizations to implement the PAE

recommendations made by students.

PAE Showcase

Each spring, a select group of MPP students present their

PAE projects and share their findings and recommendations with the HKS


Photos from the 2022 PAE Showcase. Photo

credit: Lydia Rosenberg

During the 2022

PAE Showcase on April 26, students presented projects focused on a range of

topics—female representation in the start-up ecosystem, anticipating climate

disasters in Yemen, a community-based approach to early childhood education in Brazil,

analyzing threats to security and democracy in South Africa, improving 311

awareness in the city of South Bend, and much more. Clients included the World

Health Organization, U.S. Department of State, Human Rights Watch, San

Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and more.


more about the 2022 PAE presenters and projects.