About Us

We are a consortium of public policy educators united in our belief that new approaches are needed to solve public problems.

Statement of the Working Group on Public Problem Solving

While we believe that the ability to understand and use traditional social scientific tools is an important foundation for public policy education, it is not enough. Students need to develop expertise in the craft or practice of solving public problems, focusing on the ability to formulate tractable problems, understand the interests of key stakeholders, organize coalitions for change, communicate objectives, and implement policies in a world full of competing actors and binding constraints.

Origin of the Working Group on Public Problem Solving

On February 7-8, 2019, a group of 17 public policy educators from around the country met at Stanford University to present innovative approaches to the teaching of public policy and explore opportunities for collaboration. The workshop participants widely felt that traditional public policy education suffers from a number of shortcomings and found several commonalities among their own approaches. Determined to turn their talk into action, they formed a shared statement expressing a new direction for public policy teaching and established this website as a platform to invite and support others in joining this movement, which they named the "Working Group on Public Problem Solving".

Affiliated Programs

Programs that espouse the principles of public problem solving.
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Building State Capability (BSC)

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Building State Capability (BSC)

The BSC Program at the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University researches strategies and tactics to build the capability of public organizations to implement policies and programs.
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Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy (MIP)

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Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy (MIP)

The MIP is a two-year professional graduate degree program at Stanford University, emphasizing the advanced analytical tools and methods critical to decision making and leadership in international affairs.
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The Governance Lab (GovLab)

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The Governance Lab (GovLab)

The GovLab strengthens the ability of institutions – including but not limited to governments – and people to work more openly, collaboratively, effectively and legitimately to make better decisions and solve public problems.
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Leadership Academy for Development (LAD)

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Leadership Academy for Development (LAD)

LAD trains mid-career government officials and business leaders from developing countries to help the private sector be a constructive force for economic growth and development.
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New America National Network

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New America National Network

New America's National Network is designed to speed the spread of innovation, data, and ideas nationwide to help the United States solve its public problems.
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Pardee RAND Graduate School

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Pardee RAND Graduate School

The Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, California, is the nation’s largest public policy Ph.D. program. It’s also the only program based at an independent public policy research organization—the RAND Corporation.
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The Volcker Alliance

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The Volcker Alliance

Launched in 2013 by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul A. Volcker, The Volcker Alliance advances effective management of government to achieve results that matter to citizens.