FAQs – Policy in Action Program

1. Should I consider joining the Policy in Action Program?

The Policy in Action Program is ideal for those who wish to develop a better understanding of public policy and development. It is designed to give participants a sneak peek into the policy making process in India, as well as to give them an opportunity to affect real change by working on live projects, while at the same time building on their leadership and communication skills.

If you are civic-minded and you want to know how the system works and how it may be pushed, this is the right place for you. In addition to helping you pick up skills to analyze policy, the program will equip you with tools to build influential advocacy campaigns and powerful public narratives.

If you are someone who is considering a career in public policy or development, this program will help you get the right exposure. Both the sessions as well as the projects are designed to give you an insight into the different roles available in policy and development. The program will also plug you into a network of professionals in the space and help you tap new opportunities. Many of our students from the earlier cohorts have already transitioned into the sector.

2. Am I eligible to apply?

Undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as young professionals between 18 and 30 years of age are eligible to apply. There are no prerequisites in terms of fields of study or prior experience.

3. What are the Policy in Action projects like?

There are two broad categories of projects: ‘Policy research’ and ‘Advocacy’. Project topics are decided on the basis of requirements specified by the participating Members of Parliament (MPs). You may be asked to research and advise on a particular policy issue or develop an advocacy campaign. Details of projects from the previous editions of the program can be accessed here.

4. How often will I engage with MPs or their offices?

YLAC will invite MPs to address the Policy in Action cohort. In the past, MPs have spent time interacting with the class, giving insights into the their work, and the broader policy making process. We have also had policy professionals from MP offices (and otherwise) come and speak with the participants.

However, please note that project related engagement with participating MPs or their offices will be minimal. This design element is intentional. YLAC realizes that MPs are stretched for time and often do not have the bandwidth to supervise projects. The Policy in Action Program in fact allows MPs to outsource some of their policy work. Training, project supervision and quality control is completely handled by YLAC and its panel of experts. The program is specifically designed to not add to the workload of MP offices.

This arrangement is a win-win for both the participants and the MPs – it gives participants an experience of working on real and live policy issues, as well as supports the work of our MPs in Parliament.

5. Do I get to choose my project?

Project allocations are made on the basis of your preferences. While we try to match projects with your areas of interest, a specific allocation cannot be guaranteed.

6. How much time do I have to devote to the project during the interim weeks?

Projects usually require about 10-12 hours per participant per week. This is over and above the time spent in attending classes.

7. On what basis are applicants selected?

The Policy in Action Program aims to select talented young individuals who are committed to leading social change in the future. Applicants are selected on the basis of their responses to the questions in the application form as well as their resume. We look for logic, nuance and structure as well as motivation and past initiatives.

8. Do I get any certification for this program? Are there any specific requirements?

Yes, you’ll be issued a certificate at the end of the program. However, certification is subject to attendance and successful completion of the assigned project work to the satisfaction of the facilitators.

Please note that attendance is mandatory. Since the program involves working in teams, if members miss training or team meet-ups, it adversely affects the team’s output.

Please also keep in mind that as a participant in the program, you’ll be working on live projects for MPs and you’ll be required to complete your assigned project work to the satisfaction of the facilitators. Your final submission must be analytically rigorous and well presented; it must meet the highest standards of quality.