Student Research

These papers and projects are examples of the Policy Analysis Exercise, Second Year Policy Analysis, and independent research by Harvard Kennedy School students whose work was supported, in part, by the Ash Center.

Collaborative Governance and Community Trust
Leslie Grueber and Emily Mello, 2022
In the United States, public trust in government has been in decline for nearly six decades—and for many communities marginalized by those in power, trust in government has always been weaker. Only 24% of Americans say they can trust the government to do what is right, despite more than half of adult Americans agreeing that low trust in government makes it harder to solve our nation’s problems. The longstanding historical legacy of marginalization, exclusion, and harm inflicted upon communities of color and low-income populations by local governments perpetuates this distrust. In light of these realities, this report explores how local governments in the U.S. can repair community relationships and build trust. Read more
Politics, Social Media, & Peer Outreach: Mobilizing the Asian American Youth Electorate in the South
Sarah Lin, 2022
Given the significance of the AAPI youth electorate, as well as the dearth of in-depth data on the perspectives of young Asian Americans and their relationships vis-a-vis politics and social media, this project seeks to gather and interpret qualitative data from Asian American youth in key metropolitan areas in the South. Findings and recommendations developed from analyses of this data can then be used to inform APIAVote’s digital engagement and youth mobilization strategies in upcoming election cycles. This project’s findings are based on data collected from qualitative interviews with twentytwo young Asian Americans in Georgia and Texas, in addition to a review of relevant literature. The sample of young Asian American interviewees varied across geographic location, level of political involvement, gender, age, and ethnic background. Read more
Lauren Lombardo, 2021
This report is based on an extensive review of platform literature, primarily from the fields of industrial economics and engineering design, and dozens of practitioner interviews. It places a significant focus on understanding platform ecosystems, particularly on understanding the architectural designs, operational approaches, economic properties, and government structures that influence a platform ecosystem’s adoption and impact. It concludes by analyzing how these four categories have influenced the economic benefits and costs faced by Login.Gov. 
John Joanino, 2021
This report examines youth economic inclusion and career pathways in Los Angeles County for Bold Vision 2028, a multi-sector collective impact initiative that aims to fundamentally and positively improve the lives of a generation of children and youth of color in Los Angeles County. Bold Vision has mobilized leaders across Los Angeles to define specific policy and systems change priorities since summer 2019. Read more
Naoaki Inayoshi, 2021

The paper proposes policies that improve the structure and functioning of the industrial upgrading ecosystem in Vietnam. The policy package focuses on fostering the interaction among key stakeholders in sub-systems to build and facilitate the three channels for industrial upgrading. Read more

Explore the accompanying policy brief 

Karyn Bruggeman and Joshua Baltodano, 2020

The following report examines the efforts of one city, San Francisco, and their TechSF initiative run out of their Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) to help encourage the growth of apprenticeships in tech occupations in the Bay Area, and help employers go through the formal registration process with the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards. Read more

Kathleen Addison, Katie Stenclik, and Katherine Williams; 2020
This report explores the central role that social capital plays in helping communities thrive in the United States. Moreover, it provides guidance on how local governments and communities can co-lead initiatives to build and sustain social capital while dismantling systemic inequities and centering communities and their priorities. Read more

Scaling innovation in Sioux Falls through problem-oriented governance

Arjun Shah, Lisa Setrakian, and Nicolas Diaz; 2020


Sioux Falls has been part of a growing trend to address critical challenges through new methods, fresh perspectives, and novel ways of collaboration. Their Innovation Team, unusual in a typical municipal bureaucracy, helps the City create new, implementable and impactful ideas by collaborating on City projects and spreading a culture of innovation. But as a new group, the Innovation Team is concerned with how to fulfill its role in facilitating innovation and how to scale their positive effect on the City. Read more 


Unlocking the Financial Potential of Local Governmentowned Land and Buildings in Sub-Saharan Africa
Yasmin Inam, 2020
This report explores how local governments in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) can better manage government-owned land and buildings (GLBs) to mobilize resources and minimize cost. Read more 

Sofia Salas Ungar, 2020 

With the goal of empowering citizens to participate in politics, Congresswoman Juanita Goebertus and City Councilor Diego Laserna launched Es con Acciones (ECA) , a political innovation school. ECA established a capacity-building program for citizens who are willing to participate in politics at the local level in Bogota, in particular as Local Mayors in the 20 Districts of the city.

Despite political, normative and social progress in this front, gender inequality is a persistent challenge for Bogota and its districts. Local governments can play a key role in advancing women's rights and building a city where women can live and thrive with equal opportunities. With that in mind, this PAE included a gender equality component to ECA. The main goal of this work is to provide future Mayors participating in Es Con Acciones with tools, training and knowledge to understand the challenges and barriers that women and girls face in Bogota, and implement policies that tackle gender inequality. Read more


Building an Inclusive Democracy: Behavioral Insights from Latinx Youth in the Southern United States

Zayba Abdulla, Chris Geary, and Tyra Walker, 2020


Individuals between the ages of 18-39 vote at the lowest rates within every race and every state across the country according to United States Census data, and Latinx individuals––particularly Latinx men––vote at the lowest rates within each age bracket. States in the U.S. South, as defined by the Census Bureau, consistently have the lowest voter turnout rates for each racial, ethnic, and age designation of the American electorate. Taken together, young Latinx voters in the South vote at the lowest rates of all demographic groups designated by the U.S. Census Bureau.This report examines the psychological, behavioral, and social factors that influence voting decisions of Latinx youth in the South. Read more 


Caitlin Keliher, 2020

China’s emergence as a key player in the Arctic region has important geopolitical implications for the United States and other Arctic nations. While the Arctic is currently a low priority for the Chinese Community Party, it has long-term strategic importance. China’s interest in the Arctic is multifaceted and spans domestic politics, economics, and foreign policy. Read more 


Yohana Beyene and Karl Kumodzi, 2020
The Boston Ujima Project is an experiment in building a more democratically controlled local economy directly run by Boston’s most disenfranchised residents. One of the primary ways Ujima does this is through facilitating voting amongst members on a wide variety of decisions related to a flagship fund through which they finance small businesses that serve their members. This policy analysis exercise aimed to answer the question of how to increase voter participation amongst Ujima’s voting members. Read more 
Alexander Klueber and Jeremy Grabiner, 2020 

The passage of Amendment 4 in Florida marked a monumental event for more than 1.4 million Floridians who could regain their voting rights. However, our findings suggest that only 3.3% or ~49.000 of them will turn out to cast their ballot in 2020 if all associated legislation stays in place. We would expect it to rise to 146,000 or 13% in case SB 7066 is repealed.


This paper estimates the impact Amendment 4 and its associated legislation will have on Florida’s 2020 general election. It uses these estimates to quantify and explore the barriers that diminish turnout and puts forward recommendations to modulate them. Read more 


Rethinking the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation System of Provincial Administrations in Armenia
Anush Hambaryan, 2020
The Department of Territorial Administration at the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of Armenia wishes to improve the performance evaluation system of provincial governments in order to hold them accountable, and to incentivize better performance. They would also be open to understanding how evaluation could help them learn about programs and inform decision making. This PAE makes recommendations on both accounts. Read more 
Ben Grozier and Jason Keene, 2020
The authors of this SYPA explore two priority policy recommendations: i) the establishment of a business advisory council and ii) reforming existing SME support programs. They also investigate the possibility of adopting local content requirements but determine that these policies would be counterproductive to Vietnam’s development goals. Read more

Explore the accompanying policy brief 

Yunjung Yang and Rosemary Ulfe, 2020
In this paper, Yang and Ulfe lay down the specificities of the public bus transportation system in Metropolitan Lima, diagnose the problems and recommend a policy proposal with implementation strategy to most effectively tackle them. The problems they identified were limited information, difficult transit, and lack of regulations. After careful evaluation on technical correctness, administrative feasibility and political support, they propose to roll-out an ITS reform, a set of measures around these three pillars: Information, Transit, and Standardization. Read more
Karim Farishta and Jackson Miller, 2020

Since President Trump’s landmark victory in 2016, Democrats are building momentum to compete and win at the ballot box across the South. Democrats flipped a US Senate seat in Alabama in 2017; ran close calls across high-profile contests in Texas, Georgia, and Florida in 2018, and executed critical state-level wins across Kentucky, Louisiana, and Virginia in 2019. These campaigns all signal tectonic shifts in leveraging the power of communities of color. They are bringing these voting blocs from the margins of electoral engagement toward the margins of electoral victory. Nevertheless, these changes lay bare an untold story: the South is in play. Read more

Naeha Rashid, 2019 
This document aims to identify areas that are ripe for intervention to more effectively tackle the growing gender gap in financial inclusion in Pakistan through digital financial services. This report draws from business and agile design principles to create an analytical framework that can help us identify both broad ecosystem wide opportunities for action to create a more enabling environment for increasing female inclusion via digital means, and more specific and potentially tailored interventions that can help female users themselves become more comfortable with using digital financial services. Read more
Kaplan thesis cover
Jennifer Emiko Kaplan, 2019
This thesis explores the role that planners could play in supporting the engagement of youth in the physical and social reconstruction of cities that have experienced disasters. Specifically, this research is focused in the Miyagi Prefecture of the Tohoku Region which was devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11, 2011. Read more
Climate Resilience Report Cover
Laura O'Connell and Kyle Connors, 2019 
Florida is increasingly threatened by sea level rise, extreme heat, severe storms, and other climate stressors. Municipalities must invest in climate resilience, or the ability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from significant climate-related threats. Paying for these investments is a significant challenge for local governments.
This report identifies and evaluates the twelve creative funding and financing models that can help accelerate investment in infrastructure projects that incorporate resilient design features. This report also outlines best practices for allocating financial resources. Read more
Nairobi Healthcare SYPA
Kennedy Mukuna, 2019
Nairobi County, one of 47 counties in Kenya, has invested in healthcare at a substantially higher rate than its peers. However, the increased levels of investment are not reflected in the area's health outcomes. In this paper, the author investigates possible approaches to improving the health system and lays out options for social enterprise intervention. Read more
Bogota Colombia SYPA Cover
Angelo Paolo T. Kalaw, 2019
The City of Bogota is currently at the epicenter of the migration wave of Venezuelans to Colombia, hosting 22% of the total 1.17 million recorded migrant population. The city is dedicated to providing assistance and integrating Venzuelan migrants into the local community, but the influx of people poses challenges to addressing the needs of all. The author advises increasing collaboration with the private sector and civil society to scale up Bogota's effective actions and find innovative ways to help migrants find work and connect with the local community. Read more
The people's code
Jake Rashbass and Mairi Robertson, 2019
The US federal government is the world’s largest single purchaser of code, spending over $6 billion on software every year. This software is critical for the federal government: It forms the backbone of everything from rocket launches to disease control programs. The challenge for policymakers is how to provide this technological capacity while managing costs. This report analyzes the federal open-source initiative Code.Gov and provides recommendations improvement should the pilot program become permanent.  Read more
Eugene Oregon PAE Cover
Stefan Norgaard and Brady Roberts, 2019
Despite its reputation as a liberal college town, numerous political extremist, individuals, and entities call Eugene, Oregon home. This PAE focuses specifically on organized White Nationalist individuals and groups that use the city as a jumping off point for political maneuvering. In an abbreviated guide for practioners, the authors offer solutions to Eugene’s current problems with reported hate crimes and explore several strategies to reduce capacity of organized extremists within the City. Read more 
Sierra Leone PAE
Munmun Biswas, 2019
Sierra Leone is one of the poorest nations of the world. The government sees the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as a promising avenue for economic advancement and is investing in SME expansion. In this thesis, the author analyzes the current model of support provided to the Retail Textile and Tailors (RT&T) sector and makes a recommendation to further spur growth by leveraging local materials and global retailers. Read more

Bank for your Buck: Increasing Savings in Tanzania
Aneth Kasebele and Anne Ong Lopez, 2016

Formal saving is an important feature of financial services, given its impact on both the individual and country’s macroeconomic factors. In Tanzania, the proportion of adults saving cash in formal financial institutions has been decreasing since 2011 despite the increase in proportion of people claiming to save any money. The authors recommend implementing three financial products to incentivize formal savings. Read more

Gross National Happiness-Based Economic Growth: Recommendations for Private Sector Growth Consistent with Bhutanese Values
Allen Koji Ukai, 2016

Despite the foreign misperception that Gross National Happiness (GNH) is a cumulative measure of epicurean or temporal happiness, its use still represents a fundamental shift away from Gross Domestic Product’s emphasis on productivity and towards a more holistic ideation of development. The author provides five recommendations to facilitate GNH-aligned private sector growth. Read more

Closing the Digital Divide in America: Incentivizing Equitable Infrastructure Investment In Municipal RFPs
Loren Newman, 2016

This report seeks to help create citywide high speed Internet networks through the careful development of civic resources and strategic implementation of incentives when negotiating with internal and external parties throughout an RFP process. Many public-private telecommunications partnerships ignore digital inclusion due to increased focus on immediate costs and cash flow. Public officials using an RFP process to attract broadband development can close the digital divide by carefully providing incentives and sequencing the negotiations in favor of an outcome that serves an entire city. This report is dedicated to studying those key choice points through examples of similarly situated networks in order to provide guidelines for cities. Read more

Enhancing responsibility of local government borrowings in China
Zhenqian Huang, 2016

China’s local government debt has increased quickly in recent years, especially at lower level governments. Confidence on the central governments’ bailouts, GDP-focused official promotion mechanism, discretionary expenditure mandates by the central government, mismatch of the revenue and the expenditure of the local governments, and incomplete financial market have incentivized the local governments to expand spending regardless of their fiscal capacity. The author recommends short, medium, and long-term actions to address these issues. Read more

What Does Civil Society Want? Broadening & Deepening Civil Society Involvement in Tunisia’s Open Government Reforms
Nada Zohdy, 2015

This analysis was developed to advise the Tunisian government and external supporters on how to strategically engage a wide range of civil society organizations in open government (OG) reforms. It offers guidelines by examining the perceptions and priorities of diverse Tunisian civil society organizations (CSOs) on such reforms. By examining the civil society landscape in its diversity, it also offers recommendations for CSOs themselves to help broaden the horizon of associations involved in open government. Read more

Improving Food Access for Poor Households in Indonesia: Cash Transfers and the Raskin Program Reform
Mabel Josune Gabriel Fernández, 2015

Although Indonesia has more than enough resources to ensure food availability for all its population, many Indonesians still do not have enough to eat, ranking 73rd out of 109 countries in food affordability. Moreover, the current government program to guarantee food access for the poor (Raskin, Rice for the Poor) is costly and low effective. The author provides policy recommendations for replacing the Raskin program with cash transfers in some areas, and redesigning the Raskin program in areas where food is scarce. Read more

Breaking the Cycle: The Effects of Batterer Intervention Programs on Domestic Violence Recidivism in Massachusetts
MaryRose Mazzola, 2015

Domestic violence (DV) is a serious, widespread, common and expensive problem, and Massachusetts is no stranger to its effects. An estimated 851000 women and 474000 men in the state will experience rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetimes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While significant efforts have been made to combat this issue, notably new legislation entitled an Act Relative to Domestic Violence, a close evaluation of current interventions is necessary to ensure that the Commonwealth is doing all it can to prevent future violence. Read more

Migrants Health Insurance in China

Migrants Health Insurance in China
Kavitha Sivadasan and Chi Zhang, 2014

While rural to urban migration has fueled the economic success of China, migrant workers have fallen between the cracks when it comes to healthcare insurance. Using an analytical model and field interviews to assess the current problems plaguing China's health insurance sector, and studying positive deviances in coastal regions, the authors suggest a long-term as well as a short-term solution to migrant workers' insurance. Read more

Creating a Shared Home: Promising Approaches for Using Shared Housing to Prevent and End Homelessness in Massachusetts

Creating a Shared Home: Promising Approaches for Using Shared Housing to Prevent and End Homelessness in Massachusetts
Amanda L. Benton, 2014

The lowest-earning 20 percent of Americans pay an average of 87 percent of their incomes toward housing costs. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) commissioned this Policy Analysis Exercise (PAE) to assess the viability of using “shared housing” to help homeless and at-risk families maintain housing. Read more

The Mexican Reputation: A Strategy to Improve the Stereotype Mexico Shares with Its U.S. Diaspora

The Mexican Reputation: A Strategy to Improve the Stereotype Mexico Shares with Its U.S. Diaspora
Carlos Quintero Herrera Lasso and Dante Pérez Esquivel, 2014

This paper examines whether the Mexican diaspora influences Mexico’s reputation in the United States and, if such influence exists, whether its potential can be harnessed for the benefit of Mexico. Read more

National TB Guidelines Implementation: Challenges, Deviations, and Strategies

National TB Guidelines Implementation: Challenges, Deviations, and Strategies
Christian Suharlim, 2014

Tuberculosis is a major health problem in Indonesia where it is the second leading cause of death. This paper was designed to identify the implementation challenges of Indonesian National TB Guidelines. Read more


Enhancing Government Property Management With Data and Technology

Enhancing Government Property Management With Data and Technology 
Cristina Garmendia and Alexander Kapur, 2013

This study examines how the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro government can employ a data-driven and Open Government method to manage a real property portfolio. A broader objective is to suggest a structured approach for how governments might strategically leverage data and associated transparency to accomplish policy and governance goals. Read more

Improving Financial Stability for Community College Students

Improving Financial Stability for Community College Students 
Francis Assaf and Kash Patel, 2013

Today, community colleges are becoming an ever more important part of students’ lives and livelihoods. Across the U.S. and certainly in New England, community colleges have become vital for providing necessary and affordable post-secondary education, labor force retraining, and skills enhancement. However, although enrollment continues to rise, the ultimate promise of leaving with a granted degree is slipping away. Read more


Innovations in Workforce Training Programs in Ghana: Using Pay for Performance Contracts

Innovations in Workforce Training Programs in Ghana: Using Pay for Performance Contracts
Ning Fu and Shunde Tu, 2013

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) has the potential to bridge the skills gap and help improve the productivity and diversify the economy for Ghana. However, the current TVET system has faced many challenges, including insufficient funding and lack of measureable outcomes to align the incentives in the system. Read more


Seattle skyline

Maximizing the Social and Economic Impact of Seattle's New Multi-Sport Arena 
Iain Watt, 2013

The construction of the planned multi-sport arena in the SoDo district will be a defining moment for Seattle. Not only will it restore the NBA to the city, it has the opportunity to catalyze development in the district and – in conjunction with the Alaskan Way Viaduct tunnel and waterfront development – help set SoDo on a development course for the next several decades. This report focuses on key issues that the City of Seattle must assess and act upon to maximize the impact of this investment and the social benefit of adding new sports teams and a world-class arena. Read more

Measuring the Impact of NSP Rehabilitations in Minneapolis

Measuring the Impact of NSP Rehabilitations in Minneapolis
Victor Cedeño, 2013
As a response to the foreclosure crisis the city of Minneapolis developed its Foreclosure Recovery Plan. A key component of the Minneapolis strategy was its partnership with nonprofits to acquire and rehabilitate (rehab) properties for ownership and rental under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Nonprofits have acquired almost 189 properties and completed 102 of the rehabs with funding from the city. Read more


The Rule of Law and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The Rule of Law and the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Rosie Wagner, 2013

As the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, discussions are underway on a post-2015 development agenda. With experience showing that the ‘rule of law, justice and security – or their absence – have a major impact on the achievement of the MDGs,’ it is expected that the post-2015 agenda will include the rule of law. This paper explores four specific rule of law reform areas to assess the benefits of, and potential challenges to, their inclusion in such an agreement. Read more

Social Consensus Building for Environmentally Friendly Life in Local Communities, Yakushima Island, Kagoshima, Japan

Social Consensus Building for Environmentally Friendly Life in Local Communities, Yakushima Island, Kagoshima, Japan 
Kanoko Kamata, 2013

Since registration as a World Heritage site in 1993, the number of tourists to Japan's Yakushima Island in Kagoshima has been increasing and is now estimated to exceed 200,000 people per year. While a positive economic effect is expected, residents remain concerned about deterioration of the natural environment. As a result, the Ministry of Education spearheaded a three cycle dialogue experiment with the community to build social consensus. Read more

American Policy Development

American Policy Development
Mitigating the U.S. Response to the EU ETS Aviation Directive
Chase Foster, 2012

At the beginning of 2012, a new European law expanded the European Union’s emissions trading system (ETS) to include aviation GHG emissions. The law has prompted diplomatic difficulties because it counts emissions produced by flights to and from non-EEAS countries in its overall carbon cap. The United States government has responded negatively to this development and the Obama Administration has threatened to engage in retaliatory measures if the law proceeds. Read more

Consensus After Conflict: Electoral System Choice in Revolutionary Egypt

Consensus After Conflict: Electoral System Choice in Revolutionary Egypt 
Daniel L. Tavana, March 2012

On February 13, 2011, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced its intent to lead a pluralistic, consensus-driven democratic transition following the popular revolution that ousted President Mubarak. By summer, the SCAF called for elections and decided on a mixed-parallel electoral system, much to the dissatisfaction of Egyptian political parties. Read more

ISAF Governance and Development in Transition

ISAF Governance and Development in Transition
R. Andrew Fitzpatrick, Sarah J. Haig, Andrew G. Werner, 2012

International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) – the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO) military mission in Afghanistan – is shaping its strategy and operations around the 2014 withdrawal. This will mark the full transition of security and governance responsibility to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA). Read more

Recommendations for the Pakistan Private Investment Initiative

Recommendations for the Pakistan Private Investment Initiative 
Dustin Cathcart, Meredith Gloger, Aaron Roesch, 2012

The U.S. Department of State’s Coordinator for Economic and Development Assistance in Pakistan has proposed the creation of a Pakistan Private Investment Initiative (PII), to be implemented by USAID, as an alternative to a legislated Enterprise Fund. This study surveys a range of potential options for designing the PII and proposes a model that is best suited for long-term economic growth in Pakistan. Read more

Building Performance Measurement into the Wraparound Maine Initiative

Building Performance Measurement into the Wraparound Maine Initiative 
Jodi Beckstrom, 2011

This independent study is based on the author's work with Wraparound Maine (WM), a state-level High Fidelity Wraparound Initiative that began in 2007 and serves youth with complex needs who are involved in multiple service systems like Child Welfare, Behavioral Health, Juvenile Justice, and Special Education. Read more

Improving Nutrition for SNAP Recipients: A Roadmap for the Double Value Coupon Program

Improving Nutrition for SNAP Recipients: A Roadmap for the Double Value Coupon Program 
Mattea Kramer and Michael Zakaras, 2011

Wholesome Wave, through its flagship Double Value Coupon Program, doubles the value of food stamps when they are used to buy farmers’ market produce. This nutrition incentive benefits low-income consumers by making healthy fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable. Read more

Improving Nutrition for SNAP Recipients: A Roadmap for the Double Value Coupon Program

Including the Poor: Assessing the Effective use of PMT and Community Methods in Targeting of Social Programs in Indonesia Maria Cardenas Mendoza and Espen Beer Prydz, 2011

Although Indonesia’s poverty rates have declined in recent years, an acceleration in the pace of poverty reduction is needed to achieve the government’s goal of reducing the poverty rate from 14.2 percent to as low as 8.5 percent by the end of 2014. 

Increasing Women's Political Representation in the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea

Increasing Women's Political Representation in the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea 
Chenie Yoon, 2011

The Republic of Korea comes in 80th place in the “Women in Parliament” index by the Inter-Parliamentary Union with 14.7 percent representation of women in the National Assembly (January 2011). This number, below the global and regional averages, raises an important and simple question: how can we have more women in the National Assembly in Korea? Read more

Public Opinion Data and the Muslim World Public Opinion Data and the Muslim World

Public Opinion Data and the Muslim World 
Katherine Didow and Jinnyn Jacob, 2011

In January 2011, protests started in Tunisia, sparking a string of uprisings in the Muslim world with consequences yet unknown. At the same time as the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, the Lebanese government collapsed, bringing the Hezbollah-led March 8th coalition to power and the popular Governor of Punjab province in Pakistan was assassinated. These monumental shifts caught many policymakers, academics, journalists, and pollsters completely by surprise. As policymakers scramble to formulate policy to confront these new realities, in the context of two major wars and a brewing conflict in Libya, there is an urgent need for accurate and relevant public opinion data on the Muslim world. Read more

Reforming Title I Reforming Title I: Closing the Academic Achievement Gap for Disadvantaged Students

Reforming Title I: Closing the Academic Achievement Gap for Disadvantaged Students 
Michele Stillwell-Parvensky, 2011

Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) aims to tackle the persistent challenge of the academic achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their more advantaged peers by giving federal funding to school districts serving low-income students to improve educational opportunities for those students. However, despite 45 years of Title I investments and the sustained hard work of teachers, principals, and school leaders, Title I has not accomplished its aspiration of closing the achievement gap. Read more

 Thackston Lundy A Tale of Two Cities: Exploring Service and Education in New Orleans and Pittsburgh

A Tale of Two Cities: Exploring Service and Education in New Orleans and Pittsburgh 

Thackston Lundy, HKS MPP 2011, describes his Fellowship in Innovation working on teacher absenteeism and city-wide service in Pittsburgh and New Orleans. This fellowship was sponsored by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. Read more

City of Innovation: Leveraging the Talent, Ideas and Creativity of Boston's Municipal Workforce

City of Innovation: Leveraging the Talent, Ideas and Creativity of Boston's Municipal Workforce 
Matthew Joyce and Jayant Kairam, 2010

City governments are most often presumed to be large, bureaucratic, slow-moving machines that churn out services with little regard for ingenuity or efficiency. But in Boston, Mayor Thomas Menino is challenging these assumptions. This Policy Analysis Exercise is focused on encouraging innovation within the municipal workforce. It considers the current culture for innovation within the City of Boston and suggests methods to encourage city workers to share and develop ideas on how to improve services and proactively address the needs of a complex and demanding constituency. Read more

Conservation of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh Through Sustainable Shrimp Aquaculture

Conservation of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh Through Sustainable Shrimp Aquaculture 
Soham G. Sen, 2010

The Sundarbans, a treasured UNESCO World Heritage Site, have degraded steadily over time. This paper argues that the Forest Department needs to “think outside of the forest” and address the primary causes of degradation, nearly all of which fall outside the forest. Read more

Microenterprise Development in Peru Microenterprise Development in Peru

Microenterprise Development in Peru: Will a Women-Targeted, One-Size-Fits-All Training Effectively Serve Peru's Female Micro-Entrepreneurs 
Samuel Downing and Lauren Murphy, 2010

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) aims to unleash Peru’s potential by training 100,000 women micro-entrepreneurs, but the IDB risks sacrificing quality for quantity if it offers large lecture classes and exacerbating existing inequalities if it limits these classes to the cities. Read more


Policy Options for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in C40 Cities

Policy Options for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in C40 Cities
Alfred Wiederer and Ronald Philip, 2010

This Policy Analysis Exercise seeks to make policy recommendations to the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) on the deployment of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in C40 cities – a group of the world’s largest cities, which have committed to take action on climate change by reducing greenhouse
gases, including from the transport fleet. The C40 Electric Vehicle Network (C40 EVN) is a C40 initiative to facilitate the successful introduction of EVs through collective municipal actions. Read more

SJ 2020 San José 2020: A Resource Map

San José 2020: A Resource Map 
Harini Angara, 2010

This resource map has been created as part of SJ2020, the initiative to close the achievement gap in San José by 2020, led by Mayor Chuck Reed and the City of San José, Superintendent Charles Weis and the Santa Clara County Office of Education, and partner organizations across sectors in San José. The following document compiles information about the work of 52 of these partner organizations. Read more

Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant

Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant
Alejandra Vellejos Morales, 2010

Quoting Louis Brandeis' famous adage, "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants," Alejandra Vellejos Morales, HKS MPA 2011, describes her Ash Fellowship in Innovation working on data transparency at Washington, D.C.'s Data Feeds Program. Her fellowship was sponsored by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. 

Using Data to Tell a Story

Using Data to Tell a Story
Lindsay Berger, 2010

Lindsay Berger, MPP 2011, describes her Ash Fellowship in Innovation working for San Francisco Mayor Newsom's Educational Advisor on key issues related to post-secondary education. Her fellowship was sponsored by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. Read more

The Plight of Urban Migrant Children in China

The Plight of Urban Migrant Children in China
Holly Ming, 2009

The plight of migrant Chinese children living in burgeoning urban areas in many ways exemplifies the momentous challenges facing the world’s most populous nation. China has traditionally denied public schooling to migrant children, most of whose families were drawn to the cities by economic opportunity, and only recently (in 1998) did it begin to allow the children access to for-profit city schools, most of which are operated by migrants themselves. The effects and impacts of such a system are the focus of study by Holly Ming, Ph.D. 2009. 

The Case of the Batwa: Integrating Minorities into Policy & Development

The Case of the Batwa: Integrating Minorities into Policy & Development 
Ruth Kamukama, 2008

Because of current government strategies and wartime instability, the Batwa groups in East and Central Africa are largely becoming a forgotten population. Produced by Harvard Kennedy School MPA student Ruth Kamukama through an Ash summer research grant, this documentary shares their plight and demonstrates new plans for reintroducing them to mainstream society. Watch documentary

Living on Informality Living on Informality: The Struggles of La Paz Women Street Vendors

Living on Informality: The Struggles of La Paz Women Street Vendors 
Cecilia Barja Chamas and Karina Weinsteing, 2008

Produced by Harvard Kennedy School 2008 MPA Graduates Karina Weinsteing and Cecilia Barja Chamas as part of their 2008 Ash Summer Fellowship in Innovation, this documentary provides a window into the day to day struggles of women street vendors in La Paz, Bolivia. Watch documentary

Managing Labour Migration Managing Labour Migration

Managing Labour Migration: The Case of the Filipino and Indonesian Domestic Helper Market in Hong Kong 
Emilyzen Ignacio and Yesenia Mejia, 2008

This Policy Analysis Exercise examines how designated case study governments are managing the temporary migration and employment contracts of low-skilled workers; and how these labor migration infrastructures influence the protection of overseas workers from pre-departure to employment abroad. Read more

Special Economic Zones in South Asia: A Comparative Analysis of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and India

Special Economic Zones in South Asia: A Comparative Analysis of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and India 
Semil Shah, 2008

The success of special economic zones (SEZs) in China motivated other developing countries to incorporate SEZs into their growth plans. From Indonesia to the Middle East, nations at different stages of development have turned to SEZs to attract foreign capital, boost exports, create jobs, stimulate industry, improve upon existing infrastructure, and many other benefits. These benefits, however, carry costs, and perhaps no country will struggle with that tradeoff more than India. Read more


Principles for Ethical Equity

Principles for Ethical Equity Investing in Microfinance Institutions 
Ben Clark, Stephanie Lazicki, and Suba Sivakumaran, 2008

The purpose of this Policy Analysis Exercise is to identify and create consensus around core issues for inclusion in a Principles of Ethical Investing document for the Council of Microfinance Equity Funds (CMEF). The authors have generated a set of recommended concepts for inclusion in the CMEF document. Read more