MPA 1st Year: Public Policy Syllabus

Masters in Public Administration

Subject: Public Policy

Course Objective

The objective of the course is to provide the students with the generic, conceptual, methodological and analytical knowledge and skills appropriate for analyzing issue-areas of public policy in the changed context of national and international environment. The course will emphasis on familiarizing the students with a number of approaches, methods and analytical techniques public policy making addressing the complex, interdependent and multidisciplinary nature of contemporary policy problems. After completing its study, the students are expected to be capable enough to analyze, plan, and manage different aspects of public policy making process.

Course Title: Public Policy                                                     Course No: PA 530
Nature of the Course: Core
                                                     Duration of Course: 100 Lecture hrs. 
Duration of the lass: 60 minutes                                             Full Marks: 100
Year: 1st                                                                                     Pass Marks: 40


Course Contents

1. An Introduction to Public Policy (20 Lecture Hours)

1.1 Meaning and concept of public policy
1.2 Public Policy typology
1.3 Subject matters of public policy
1.4 Methods of the study of policy-making process
1.5 Nature and scope of public policy 
1.6 Purposes of the study of the public policy

  1. Theories of Policy Making(10 Lecture Hours)

2.1 Political System Theory
2.2 Group Theory
2.3 Elite Theory
2.4 Intuitional Theory

  1. Agenda setting and policy Life cycles(10 Lecture Hours)

3.1 Social construction of problems 
3.2 Role of power in defining or defying problems
3.3 Role of ideas, individuals and think tanks in identifying policy issues
3.4 Rationale of Agenda Setting
3.5 Role of state and non-state actors in policy making
3.6 Factors influencing policy making process
3.7 Policy Life Cycle

  1. Models of decision making(10 Lecture Hours)

4.1 Key theories associated with decision making, including rational choice theory, incrementalism, Mixed-Scanning, Public Opinion Theory
The Implementation of Public Policy (10 Lecture Hours)

5.1 Approaches to policy implementation: Top down, Bottom up, Synthesis of both top down and bottom up and Policy Action Model
5.2 Requirements of effective implementation

  1. Monitoring and Evaluation of Public Policy(10 Lecture Hours)

6.1 Monitoring and evaluation concepts
6.2 Criteria for evaluation
6.3 Techniques of evaluation
6.4 Problems in evaluation
6.5 Policy impacts: Change or continuity of policy
Policy Transfer and International Lesson Drawing (5 Lecture Hours)

7.1 Concept of policy transfer and lesson drawing
7.2 Forms of Policy Transfer
7.3 Agents of Policy Transfer
7.4 Barriers to Policy Transfer
A Case Study on any Policy Issue in Nepal (5 Lecture Hours)

8.1 Policy issue concept
8.2 Institutional structure
8.3 Various challenges related with the policy in relation with the current policy
8.4 The way forward


  1. George C. Edward II and Ira Sarakansky, The Policy Predicament: Making and Implementing Public Policy (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Co., 1978) latest available edition.
  2. C. J. Bennet , How States Utilise Foreign Evidence, Journal of Public Policy 11(1), pp.39-54) 1991.
  3. Charles L. Cochran and Eloise F. Malone, Public Policy Perspectives and Choices (Viva Books Private Limited, New Delhi, 2007).
  4. James Anderson, Public Policy Making, (New Work: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979)
  5. Norman Frohlic and J.A. Oppenheimer, Modern Political Economy, New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India, 1978 (Latest available edition).
  6. Pradeep Sahani, Public Policy: Conceptual Dimension (Allahabad: Kitab Mahal, 1987).
  7. R.K. Sapru, Public Policy: Formulation, Implementation and Evaluation, New Delhi: Sterling Publisher Pvt. Ltd., Second Revised Edition 2004.
  8. Richard Rose, Lesson Drawing in Public Policy: A Guide to Learning Across Time and Space (New Jeresy, Catham House 1993)
  9. Wayne Parsons Public Policy: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis (Edward Elgar, Aldershot, UK; Brookfield, US 1995).
  10. I.M.d. Little, Ethics, Economics and politics: Principles of Public policy, Oxford University
  11. Press, 2002
  12. Devika Paul, Public Policy: Formulation and Implementation in India, Devika Publications, Delhi, 1994.
  13. Michael Howlett and M. Ramesh, Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles and Policy Subsystems (Oxford University Press, 2003)
  14. Michael Hill and Peter Hupe, Implementing Public Policy: Governance in Theory and Practice, (New Delhi: Sage Publication Ltd, 2006).
  15. P.R. Rijal, Fundamentals of Public Policy Analysis, (Kathmandu: Mrs. Indira Rijal, 1995).