The MPA is a new graduate level program at ISU. In 2011, the Memorandum of Understanding was signed between ISU, East-West Management Institute’s Public Policy, Advocacy and Civil Society Development in Georgia Program (EWMI-G-PAC) and Columbia University. In frames of this agreement, leading academic fellows from Columbia and a number of other US universities have been visiting Georgia to foster the development of the program curriculum, elaborate course syllabi and draw recommendations for the management team. The program academic team, shaped during the first project year, has been working on the core academic module of the curriculum, interacting with Columbia University counterparts in order to permanently monitor, update and improve the academic content of the program. ISU’s MPA program is aimed to create a rigorous platform for education, research and policy deliberation, which will serve as an academic hub for improving public policy making and strengthening civil society in Georgia. Moving towards this fundamental purpose, the MPA program will strive to achieve the following goals:
- To educate a new generation of public leaders through transferring public administration skills to graduate students and provide them with structured experiences in public administration and public policy formulation;
- To establisha Public Policy Research & Training Center, as a sustainable institutional mechanism to conduct and distribute applied public policy research studies, inform and advise Georgia’s policymakers, civic leaders and international partners as well as provide and coordinate pre and in-service trainings for future and acting public servants, decision-makers and civil society representatives;
- To facilitate networking between a wide range of public policy stakeholders, such as public administration students and graduates, policy-makers, state agencies, non-governmental organizations, educational and research institutions;
- To launch an open policy forum for informed policy discussions and facilitate public policy related cross-sectoral professional communication;
- To develop a strong program identity and a widely recognized academic status.