Academic Catalog

Public Policy (PPO)

PPO 601  Research Methods for Public Policy  3 Credits  
Grade Mode: Standard Letter, Audit/Non Audit  
This course introduces the logic of quantitative and qualitive research methods, basic statistical techniques, research problems, research design, data collection, data analysis, and results interpretation. Emphasis is put on the application of research methods in a real-world policy environment and on various techniques for collecting, managing and presenting evidence to enable students to critically evaluate the effectiveness of policy decisions. Individual training is blended with collaborative, group-based “in-class labs” to enhance the practical relevance of the course.
PPO 602  Ethics, Law and Public Policy  3 Credits  
Grade Mode: Standard Letter, Audit/Non Audit  
This course introduces the ethical foundations of public policy and law, and the forms of ethical reasoning that underpin policy choices. A distinctive focus will be placed on the role of culture and religion. Experiential case studies will show the different ethical positions taken on existing and emerging policy issues, and how these positions influence outcomes. The relationship between ethics and law, particularly rights, and public policy will also be explored.
PPO 611  Policy Analysis and Design  3 Credits  
Grade Mode: Standard Letter, Audit/Non Audit  
This course provides the foundation for understanding the policy process and its stages, including problem definition, the selection of options and choices, implementation, and evaluation. Analytical tools are demonstrated to provide students with evidence-based, leading-edge and innovative approaches. The design focus encourages students to consider policy from the user’s perspective, as well as in terms of delivery challenges and opportunities.
PPO 616  Research Methods  3 Credits  
Grade Mode: Standard Letter, Audit/Non Audit  
This course provides introduction to methodology and major research methods in social policy and evaluation. The goal of this course is to acquaint students with basic approaches, concepts, issues, and tools of research. This course has two parts: The first part consists of readings on the scientific research process. It takes a broad view dealing with issues pertinent to all stages of research in public policy that include developing a research question, literature review, norms and conventions in academic writing, ethics of research, and the overall design of a research project. The second part gives a general overview of qualitative and quantitative methods. The qualitative methods examined include the use of case studies and interviews; quantitative methods start with descriptive statistics, and continue with inferential methods such as t-tests, ANOVA, correlation, and multiple regression and their applications using a statistical software.
PPO 621  Economics for Public Policy  3 Credits  
Grade Mode: Standard Letter, Audit/Non Audit  
This course equips students to understand the key concepts in microeconomic as well as macroeconomic theory and their application to public policy. Microeconomic topics may include rational choice theory, market structures and market failure, green economy, welfare economics, and behavioural economics. Macroeconomic topics may include development economics and social choice, monetary and international trade policy.
PPO 650  Public Management: Innovations and Challenges  3 Credits  
Grade Mode: Standard Letter, Audit/Non Audit  
This course examines the principles, processes, and structures of public sector management both in general terms, and in a comparative context, exploring different public administration traditions and systems. It also examines current debates and examples of public sector innovation, and the complex challenges of public management in the 21st century.
PPO 651  Global Political Economy  3 Credits  
Grade Mode: Standard Letter, Audit/Non Audit  
This course provides an understanding of the genesis, current issues, and future scenarios of the global political economy (GPE). In a globalized and interdependent world, politics and economics permanently interact and intersect with one another, creating power dynamics that affect public policy across sectors and levels. Major theoretical frameworks of GPE and their application for public policy design and analysis will be complemented with selected case studies. The roles of institutions, knowledge and learning, justice and sustainability issues, and ethical policy choices will be core themes of the course.
PPO 652  Comparative Public Policy  3 Credits  
Grade Mode: Standard Letter, Audit/Non Audit  
This course compares public policy along several dimensions – cross-sectoral comparisons (e.g., social policy compared to economic policy), cross-country and regional comparisons (e.g., the same policy field as it is addressed in Europe or North American or the MENA region), and cross-system comparisons (e.g., developed versus developing states, federal versus unitary). Students will analyze and understand the way in which context shapes policy dynamics and outcomes in a complex and globalized policy environment.
PPO 653  Analytical Methods for Policy Evaluation  3 Credits  
Grade Mode: Standard Letter, Audit/Non Audit  
This course provides an introduction to evidence-based techniques of assessing and evaluating public policy across sectors. Topics may include needs assessment, cost-benefit analysis, cost effectiveness, impact evaluation, logic models, user surveys, program profiling, policy cycle evaluation, participative and community-based evaluation, critical theory informed approaches, data visualization and reporting, and experiments.
PPO 671  Post-war Reconstruction and Development  3 Credits  
Grade Mode: Standard Letter, Audit/Non Audit  
The aftermath of conflict brings with it a unique set of socio-economic and political policy challenges, at both national and international levels. This course is designed to explore the dilemmas associated with phases of transition from war to peace and stability, starting from early humanitarian interventions and progressing through peace-making, state-building, reconstruction and good governance. Competing theoretical and applied perspectives will be presented through examining a number of reconstruction case studies from different social and cultural contexts.
PPO 672  Digital Governance  3 Credits  
Grade Mode: Standard Letter, Audit/Non Audit  
This course introduces the key concepts and approaches to digital governance. The course starts by engaging three policy themes: digital divide, ethics of digital governance, and the links between privacy and digital governance in the public sphere. Each policy theme will be discussed in relation to nine topics: social media and data mining, digital branding, algorithmic governance, artificial intelligence, blockchain, internet of things, e-currencies, information warfare, and quantum computing.
PPO 690  Capstone Project  6 Credits  
Grade Mode: Pass/Non Pass  
In consultation with a faculty advisor and a client organization, students (working in small teams) will be required to develop a capstone project within one of the two designated specializations. Students will work in small teams, with a designated client, to produce an analytical paper on a real policy problem/issue in one of the two specializations in the program (Social Policy, or Energy and the Environmental Policy). The chosen case will be relevant for Qatar, the Middle East, and the world. The capstone project concludes with presentations and a policy brief.
PPO 695  Master's Thesis Hours  0-6 Credits  
Grade Mode: Pass/Non Pass  
This course will focus on the development of social policy as it affects families and children from different cultural and economic backgrounds and as it is given form in the public child welfare system, including related laws, systems, and institutions. The interrelationship of values, social norms, culture, and social and family policy will be discussed. There will be examination of the development of infrastructure to support the needs of children and families over the history of the child welfare system across cultures.
PPO 702  Advanced Seminar in Sustainability and Climate Policy  3 Credits  
Grade Mode: Standard Letter, Audit/Non Audit  
This course provides an integrated understanding of major issues, challenges and opportunities in Sustainability and Climate Policy, with special attention to the complex and sometimes conflicting interactions with other policy fields (e.g., commercial, legal, and technological). The course is nested within the frames of sustainable development, the SDGs, resilience, and energy transitions. National, regional, and global perspectives on these issues will be explored, as will the systemic connections to climate change.
PPO 703  Advanced Seminar in Social Policy  3 Credits  
Grade Mode: Standard Letter, Audit/Non Audit  
This course provides a foundation for understanding social policy in the broadest sense, in terms of the modern welfare state and its future, in a comparative and multi-level governance context. Established theoretical frameworks, such as social choice theory and the capabilities approach are discussed. Topics may include family policy, employment and labour protection, migration, youth, aging and pensions, human development, education and health.
PPO 722  Specialization Lab in Public Policy  3 Credits  
Grade Mode: Standard Letter  
The Lab intersects key public policy concepts with sector-specific topics reflective of Qatar, the Gulf State region, and its comparative interest. By focusing on experiential learning through guest speakers, community-based engagement, challenge assignments, and micro-projects students apply ideas from Year One to a diverse array of current policy challenges in Qatar and the region. Class time will be devoted to case studies, skills development, and preparation for the MPP Capstone Project.