PGPPM’17 cohort at Syracuse University
During their recent immersion experience at Maxwell School, IIMB’s Public Policy and Management students get insights into policy formulation and implementation in the US through a variety of lectures and field visits
22 September 2017, Bengaluru: Students of the one-year Post Graduate Programme in Public Policy Management (PGPPM) at IIM Bangalore participated in a two-week International Immersion Programme at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, USA, from August 07 to August 18.
International Immersion at IIMB provides students with insights into the economic, social and cultural spheres of the countries they are visiting. They attend lectures with specific focus on business and industry and make field visits to familiarise themselves with local challenges and opportunities. They also visit historical sites and take part in cultural events.
Maxwell is home to the professional programs in public administration and executive education programs. The introduction on American Culture, American Federalism, and Public Programs on Healthcare systems were presented by Daniel Nelson, International Program Manager at Maxwell School.
A wide range of topics were covered during the program. The American Political System and its Federal Structure, including the political institutions, were discussed in the seminar. The complexities and how deeply they are fragmented, both horizontally as well as vertically, were also deliberated upon.
The seminars on Analysis of Poverty and Social Welfare Policies and Healthcare System of USA were interesting. The Social Security Program, under which an employee has to pay a contribution of 7.65% of his income for a period of 10 years to become eligible for the benefits, has been under tremendous distress due to reasons like increase in life expectancy, increase in the cost of healthcare and the decrease in numbers of the working population, as a result less number of people are contributing to a large number of retired persons. Similarly, the schemes like Medicare and Medicaid have huge budgetary allocations in comparison with their efficacy. The budget allocation during 2016 for Medicare was $632 billion and for Medicaid was $553 billion. Almost 18% of the GDP was being spent by US on healthcare. There are other countries which are spending much less than the US on healthcare, but achieving better results, the case in example being the UK.
The trends in public sector reforms and impact of leadership and role of NGOs were also discussed. There are more than 2 million NGOs in the US. The registration of NGOs is done at the office of the Attorney General’s Charity Bureau at state level.
The seminar on International Trade and Labour Market, by Prof. Devashish Mitra, was educative. He also highlighted the intricacies of the labour market.
A site visit to Onondaga County was organized to give an overview of the role of local government. Onondaga County is in the state of New York, which has 62 counties. The state of New York places heavy responsibilities on local governments and more than 50% of the state budget consists of aid to local governments. Education and health are granted top priority.
The seminar on citizens’ participation in the work of government was very informative. In the US, there is a provision for participatory budgeting, under which 10% budget is kept for spending as per the public opinion/decisions.
The education policy and recent reforms efforts were discussed by Prof. Amy Schwartz. Innovation management, controlling the chaos and how to separate winners and losers was discussed in length by Prof. Sean O’Keefe. The program on reflections and evaluation was covered by Prof. David Van Slyke, Dean, Maxwell School.
The second part of the immersion program was in Washington DC, where the emphasis was on site visits. A tour of the Library of Congress, US Capitol, Air & Space Museum and IBM Centre for Cognitive Government was organized. In addition, a seminar on technology as a driver for change in federal government, by Scott Bernard, US Federal Chief Enterprise Architect, was also organized.
The immersion program helped us get insights into various aspects of policy formulation and their implementation in the context of the US. Daniel Nelson, International Program Manager, and his team had designed the curriculum in the most effective way and had made all administrative arrangements to ensure a comfortable stay for us IIMB students.
Photo Gallery : Post Graduate Programme in Public Policy Management (PGPPM)
Site visit to understand the role of local government. An overview of the Onondaga County Government. Ed Kochian, Special Advisor, Executive Department, Office of the Onondaga Country.
Site visit to understand the role of local government. An overview of the Onondaga County Government. Ed Kochian, Special Advisor, Executive Department, Office of the Onondaga County.
Program conclusion at Greenberg House, Washington DC.
Independence Day at the Indian Embassy, Washington DC, USA.
About the author:
BY SHIV KUMAR, IDSE
Mr Shiv Kumar is Director, Military Engineer Services. He is currently pursuing his Post Graduate Programme in Public Policy & Management (PGPPM) at IIM Bangalore.