The Policy in Action Program is designed as an experiential learning program and rests on the philosophy that learning by doing is the best way to internalize material. While the program imparts rigorous training in policy research, analysis and advocacy, a large part of the learning comes through the work on live projects.
Projects are sourced from Members of Parliament and focus on pressing policy problems that their offices are engaging with. Typically, a team of five fellows is tasked to work on one project. Fellows are expected to undertake research and/ or develop powerful narratives to support the Members of Parliament in addressing these problems. The final output is either a policy brief and/ or advocacy material.
Projects usually get finalized a week before sessions begin. Details of projects from the previous editions of the program can be accessed here.
The Policy in Action Program is a month long engagement. A majority of the fellows are either full time working professionals or students enrolled in universities. Given the constraints on time, fellows are not expected to undertake any primary research or on-ground mobilization. Instead, they are expected to rely on existing literature, data sources and consultations with stakeholders/ experts for their analysis. In terms of advocacy, they are expected to draft opinion pieces and craft strategies to build support for the proposed policy solutions.
Project work at the Policy in Action Program is tightly managed and supervised to control for quality. During the course of the program, each team is required to make four submissions:
- Project plan (Week 1)
- Draft brief/ advocacy material (Week 3)
- Revised brief/ advocacy material (Week 4)
- Presentation (Week 4)
Each submission is assessed by YLAC and its panel of experts, and teams are provided detailed feedback and guidance.
All submissions are jointly submitted by the team of four-six fellows working on the project. On average, a fellow is expected to commit about 12-15 hours per week to their project, in addition to the time spent in attending classes.
The contribution of each fellow is closely monitored by YLAC as well as peer-evaluated by the members of the team.