At FSI, policy impact is our driving force. That starts with world-class research on the most important global challenges of our time. But we don't stop there.
We know that for research to make a difference, we need to bring it to those who have the ability to make change. That's why we organize events to share research with policy actors in Washington, DC, Silicon Valley, and around the world; provide policy advice through briefings, testimony, and track two diplomacy; form long-term research-policy engagements with governments; and engage with news, print, and social media in order to inform the public debate.
We also know that impact requires policy actors to appreciate rigorous research and to act for change. That's why we prepare today and tomorrow's policy leaders through our Master's in International Policy; Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law and Center for International Security and Cooperation Honors Programs; Draper Hills Summer Fellows; Leadership Academy for Development; and more. Additionally, we support our students to make an impact on challenging policy problems through the Practicum Program, Global Policy Internships, and Student-Led Initiatives.
Finally, FSI scholars have become policymakers themselves, allowing them to make a direct impact on international policy. Recent examples include FSI Director and Senior Fellow Michael McFaul, Senior Fellow Jeremy Weinstein, and Senior Research Scholar Joe Felter. Upon return to FSI, these scholar-policymakers, along with the many other former policymakers in residence at FSI, bring real-world knowledge of policymaking to the institute, strenghtening FSI's capacity for policy impact.
In China, three out of every four children grow up in rural areas, where education is lacking and poverty is persistent. The Rural Education Action Program, or REAP, aims to improve the condition of this large but overlooked population by conducting rigorous evaluations of on-the-ground interventions designed to improve rural health and education.
In order to bring about lasting policy change, REAP has built long-term partnerships with local, regional, and national policymakers across China, with whom they share findings on which interventions have proven effective. These policymakers can take steps to ensure successful strategies are implemented and scaled. REAP’s policy efforts have brought proven solutions to millions of rural children and their communities.
In the area of nutrition, REAP’s research showed that a simple intervention led to reduced iron deficiency among students, resulting in improved grades. In response, China’s central government launched a $20 billion national program that is delivering free, nutritious school lunches to more than 20 million poor students every day. More recently, REAP has partnered with China’s National Family Planning Commission to provide rural parents the support they need to help their children learn and grow. Over the next 10 years, this partnership has the potential to improve the lives of 50 million children.