Public Policy Program

About The Program

The Public Policy Program offers a host of academic, executive, and research programs, first of it’s kind, in the field of public policy to meet the diverse needs of students, scholars, and policy makers in Nepal. Located in Kathmandu, this program is initiated by the Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), managed by its Center for Human Development and Innovation (CHDI) and under the academic oversight of Kathmandu University (KU).

The mission of this program is to become a Center of excellence that prepares responsible citizens and leaders of Nepal who will contribute positively to Nepal’s development. It does so by i) providing a range of interdisciplinary programs that balances theory and practice of policy making; ii) offering a professionally-managed academically-rigorous curriculum; iii) being well networked with the bureaucracy, the non-governmental organizations, and the private sector; and iv) a globally connected but locally grounded program that is socially responsible and financially sustainable. This program aspires to attract highly qualified students and faculty and eventually become a cutting-edge policy institution in Nepal and the South Asia region.

To emphasize quality and innovation, the Public Policy Program will incorporate the following methods within its academic offerings:

From the very inception of the Public Policy Program, there has been careful attempt at engaging with other world-class institutions that offer similar courses in the field of public policy. These types of collaborations have two key benefits: it allows learning and emulating the successes of these world-class institutions and the opportunity for exchange offers students and faculty a broader and international view of the public policy paradigms.

With all the technological gains of the recent past, several eminent Nepali and foreign professors located globally have become readily approachable and accessible. As such, the program aims to create an opportunity whereby the students based in Kathmandu, through a virtual setup, can partake in lectures from professors based in top universities across the globe.

Why Public Policy?

Public Policy is an interdisciplinary program connecting the theoretical and analytical tools of economics, political science, philosophy, psychology, and law with their real-world policy applications. The Public Policy Program is committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive, and respectful community.

Students are often inquisitive about the differences between Public Policy and other related subjects, such as political science, economics, or certain fields of philosophy. Public policy analysis requires students to understand tools and principles taught in political science as well as economics and to integrate that learning in order to pursue goals whose values are based in moral and political philosophy. In contrast, political science deals chiefly with the processes of political decision making, while economics focuses principally on efficient resource allocation. Philosophy seeks to provide a rational relationship between fundamental values and actions.

Of course, public policy analysis requires an even broader understanding than that provided by the disciplines of economics, philosophy, and political science. For example, effective analysis depends heavily on the ability to identify, collect and test appropriate data in order to understand the effects of policies and programs. That ability is derived from the study of mathematics, statistics, and econometrics. Effective policy analysis is very difficult indeed if the analyst is ignorant of the humanities, of the experiences and perspectives of cultures distant in space or time, or of the scientific method. And policy analysis is fruitless if the analyst is unable to communicate the results clearly and effectively to decision makers and lay audiences. Communication skills are an essential element of effective policy analysis.

Educational Objectives:

  • Understanding the advantages of and barriers to effective human social and political cooperation (theory of collective action, game theory, organizational behavior, social psychology, politics);
  • Acquiring a framework for formulating and evaluating appropriate normative objectives, defined in terms of human well-being, including justice or fairness (ethics, moral and political philosophy, economic analysis of law);
  • Mastering analytical tools useful for evaluating public policies and programs in terms of their absolute and comparative efficacy in achieving given social objectives (microeconomics, welfare economics, public finance, econometric analysis, benefit-cost-risk analysis);
  • Bringing these principles and tools into practical application for decision making in the real world, from the perspectives of political leaders as well as citizens (applications of evidence-based practices in applied fields such as health or environmental policy; practical, internships).

Certificate Programs



Date: 2ndSeptember, 2018- 7thSeptember, 2018

Venue: Dhulikhel Lodge Resort

Rationale: Lack of federal experiences in the history has given rise to several governance issues in our country causing several confusions in service delivery at the province level with no clarity of the roles and responsibilities. As such, this proposed six day seminar on " Nepal’s Policy Regime and Priorities in the Context of Federalism" envisions addressing all these pertinent and critical issues through a course package with workshop style delivery of content that will enable targeted government officials, young professionals and faculty, gain advanced understanding of Nepal’s policy regime through the exchange of knowledge and insights that stem from their expertise. It blends together the interests of government officials in different provinces, academically strong students and highly motivated faculty members with relevant national and international experience in their respective sectors. The course will promote a divergent set of views and allow for the contestation of ideas in order to draw out the opportunities and challenges of federalism and the changing policymaking regime in Nepal. Most importantly, this seminar is also designed as the first set of activities, the initial steps, of the larger initiative towards the establishment of the Master of Public Policy Program. The learning from this seminar, in terms of designing the coursework, the engagement with potential lecturers, and the response from the participants, among other things, will all contribute to a better understanding of the overall scope, possibilities, and limitations of that larger initiative.
Participants: The target beneficiaries for this program are mostly government officials from different provinces (two from each province precisely), those that are professionally engaged in private, public, not-for-profit, or non-governmental organizations and students, who are interested in special courses that are likely to help them in their academic and professional capacity. This is an opportunity to design professional courses to cater to their needs and broaden their perspective.
Fees: Each participant would be charged a total amount of NRs. 25,000 for the seminar. The fees include the lodging and food expenses for seven days at Dhulikhel Lodge Resort.
Each participant would be awarded with a participation certificate on the last day of the seminar.
For more information, list of sessions, their individual and aggregate cost and their schedule kindly refer to the PDF attached.

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Degree Programs

Master of Public Policy

The Program: The Master in Public Policy (MPP) is designed for young professionals seeking to broaden their holistic view, and fine-tune their skills to prepare for a career in public service, non-profit and private sector, or other relevant careers of their choice. It aims to provide these aspiring individuals with an opportunity to step outside of narrowly defined traditional lines of discipline and understand and analyze complex issues through multidisciplinary lens. The MPP program that Public Policy Program proposes is a two-year full-time degree consisting of foundational and core courses, a summer internship, a capstone project, interdisciplinary elective courses, and a professional development program.

Target Students: The MPP program is best suited for candidates holding a bachelor’s degree with a strong academic performance and ideally having 1-3 years of work experience or substantial internship. Students of diverse academic background are eligible to apply for the program. However, the expectation is that for first few batches, the students will originate from disciplines like political science, social science, economics, journalism, law, business, and others. Potential candidates will have to go through an admission exam and an interview in order to enroll.

Objective of MPP: The MPP aims to produce graduates with a high-degree of understanding of the theoretical and practical underpinnings of public policy with special emphasis on Nepal’s policymaking process and context. Our graduates will be equipped with the tools and models to understand the complexities of the policy process, and evaluate, formulate, and recommend policy alternatives to address issues of public concern. At the completion of the MPP degree, the students will gain the following:

  • A strong understanding of the concepts within public policy, grounded on the reality of the policy process and institutions in Nepali context
  • A solid grasp of the fundamentals of qualitative and quantitative research and analytical methods to conduct in-depth policy analyses, and
  • The ability to appreciate the complexities of policy problems, design and evaluate appropriate options, and synthesize and communicate to the relevant stakeholders

Academic Structure: The MPP will consist of coursework that includes a series of lectures, seminars, and workshop with appropriate blend of theoretical concepts and practical real life case studies. The program will also comprise of a summer long internship for hands-on experience, a capstone project to synthesize the knowledge and experience they gained over the two years, and a mandatory course on professional development to guide students for a strong career pathway. These components amount to 60 credits.

Executive Master of Public Policy

The Program: Based on the academic principles and framework of the MPP program, the Executive Master of Public Policy Program (eMPP) is offered to working professionals who are looking to further their academic grounding while continuing to work. Given that most students will be working full time while enrolled in the program, classes will have to be scheduled for the morning shift. The morning shift is preferred largely because of the various social and professional commitments that can arise and hinder the ability of students to attend on a regular basis. Additionally, with significant professional experience of the students, the MPP coursework will be modified to place special emphasis on the practical aspect of the degree. All exams and evaluations will be as per the guidelines of KU. The eMPP graduates will at the end of the course receive an academic certificate from KU. Logistically, the eMPP program will share all of the administrative and human resources with the MPP program.


Memorandum of Understanding with Kathmandu University to offer the Master of Public Policy Program under the academic oversight of Kathmandu University.

Affiliation Agreement with George Washington University for student exchange and research collaboration with the School of Human Development and Education at the George Washington University.