Archive for Workshop in Development Practice

be inspired by studying (practicing) economic and political development

In the Economic and Political Development (EPD) Concentration, second-year students recently returned from their January field travel for the Workshop in Development Practice.  Through the workshop – which is the capstone course for EPD students – 21 teams of students are working with a diverse range of development organizations in 17 countries.

Lamia Bazir and Aura Martinez spent two weeks in Niger with Transparency International’s national chapter.  For their project, which is supporting Transparency’s efforts to involve more women in their anti-corruption activities, they met with women leaders from politics, the judiciary and civil society, as well as engaging with women’s groups, local authorities and religious leaders in rural areas.  Other members of their team will travel in March to Zimbabwe to conduct similar fieldwork with the Transparency chapter there.

EPD 2014

Also in January, Yigit Canay, Rachana Kumar and Alissa Sevrioukova traveled  to Cambodia to work with their client, Open Development Cambodia, which is the only open data platform available in the Mekong Subregion.    To help ODC develop a “donor and development assistance” section of their website, the three students meet with the ODC team as well as donors and local NGOs.   Other members of the SIPA team will travel back to Cambodia in March to present their proposals to ODC.

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Meanwhile, Mashael AlShalan, Aliya Shalabekova and Liang Zhao traveled to Kazakhstan to meet with their clients at the National Agency for Technological Development and the Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning, as well as other government and private sector stakeholders.   These meetings laid the groundwork for the team’s analysis and recommendations on the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in Kazakhstan.

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All of the EPD workshop teams will present the main results of their work during a two-day workshop at SIPA on May 1 and 2.  The schedule of presentations will be posted on SIPA’s online events calendar by early April.  The presentations will be open to the public, and prospective students are especially welcome to attend.


Economic and Political Development (EPD) concentration 101

The Economic and Political Development (EPD) concentration attracts diverse students from around the world who are committed to fighting inequality between and within countries, eradicating poverty and its causes, and promoting inclusive growth and human development by expanding people’s civil and political as well as economic and social rights and freedoms. To take on these global challenges, EPD curriculum equips students with a variety of skills in policy analysis, program planning, monitoring and evaluation, and advocacy. Through an interdisciplinary package of courses, workshop projects, and practical internships, students acquire both a broader understanding of the processes of economic, political and social change in the developing world as well as a more focused competence in specific fields such as microfinance, small business and social enterprise development, corporate social responsibility, gender and development, education policy, public health, sustainable development, post-conflict reconstruction and governance.

One of the most exciting opportunities within the EPD concentration is the Workshop in Development Practice, through which students gain practical experience by engaging in on-going cutting-edge development projects, often involving country fieldwork. Working in teams with a faculty supervisor, students assist a variety of clients on a wide array of assignments in international development. Students take a multidisciplinary approach to their work and learn extensively from each other as well as from the hands-on tasks of the workshop itself. A list of past workshop projects can be viewed at the following link:

The EPD concentration is dedicated to enhancing students’ overall experience at SIPA. We sponsor a number of events throughout each academic year. This includes social events, such as the annual EPD retreat, happy hours, cultural trips around the city or off-campus parties; brown bag talks and evening lectures with practitioners and academics; and career events such as internship and alumni panels. We regularly collaborate with other concentrations, student groups and regional institutes to address the wide array of interests among our EPD students.

EPD graduates are uniquely prepared for careers in international development. They seek leadership positions in the nonprofit, public and private sectors and pursue opportunities in development consulting, microfinance, small business and social enterprise development, corporate social responsibility, gender and development, education policy, public health, sustainable development, post-conflict reconstruction, governance and/or capacity development. EPD works very closely with SIPA’s Office of Career Services to provide a comprehensive support to our students. A sample of employers who hired EPD graduates is available here


"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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