Workshops at SIPA apply the practical skills and analytical knowledge learned to a real-world issue. Students are organized into small consulting teams and assigned a substantive, policy-oriented project with an external client. Clients include public agencies (from the local to national level), international NGOs and multi-national organizations, and major firms in the private sector. Student teams, working under the supervision of a faculty expert, answer a carefully defined problem posed by the client. Each team produces an actionable report at the close of the workshop that is designed to translate into real change on the ground.
Essentially, capstone workshops give students not only a chance to further refine their skills and knowledge, but to make a positive contribution to the world around them. And capstone projects provide valuable experience and contacts for post-graduate employment.
One example of a workshop took some SIPA students to Uganda. People and communities who understand their property rights are usually more empowered to defend them. In a SIPA Capstone Workshop, a student team traveled to Uganda to develop a system intended to track the progress of the Women’s Land, Housing and Property Rights Project. The project is attempting to empower and educate women about their rights with respect to land, housing and property ownership. You can read the team’s final report by clicking here.