UBC’s Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA) is a professional degree that equips future public policy leaders with the critical knowledge, skills and experience they need to make an impact in the modern world. One of the defining elements of our curriculum is a yearlong Global Policy Project (GP2) that matches students with a real-world client to develop innovative solutions for a complex policy challenge. We are always looking for new partners in industry, government and the non-profit sector who have a policy challenge for our MPPGA candidates.

Our current partners include:

United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC)

Established in 1946, the United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC) aims to educate and engage Canadians in the work of the UN and the critical international issues that affect us all. The UNAC has been running their International Development & Diplomacy Internship Programme (IDDIP) for 19 years. These internships provide successful nominees with invaluable, demanding, deeply meaningful work experience, as well as a proven bridge to employment. UNA-Canada has sent hundreds of Junior Professional Consultants (JPCs) to UN agencies worldwide with over 98% of those JPCs finding related work within six months of completing the programme.

UNAC has partnered with UBC’s MPPGA program to select a small number of our professional students through a competitive process to receive the United Nations Association of Canada MPPGA Young Professional Award. Second year students will be chosen based on their academic achievements, their readiness to work abroad, and their expertise related to roles in the IDDIP. Nominated students will receive a $2500 award from UBC and will be nominated to work with the UNAC to secure a UN internship overseas as Junior Professional Consultants (JPCs), where they will apply their policy knowledge and skills towards positive social, environmental and economic change.

BASIX Social Enterprise Group

The Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA) has participated in policy projects with the BASIX Social Enterprise Group, led by CEO Vijay Mahajan.

BASIX Inc., based in India, is a livelihood promotion social enterprise established in 1996, working with over 3.5 million customers across 25 states of India, over 90% of whom are poor rural households and about 10% urban slum dwellers. Financial inclusion is one of the critical ways that BASIX promotes sustainable livelihoods in India. BASIX is attempting to increase the percentage of microfinance customers, with an ambitious vision for creating Universal Financial Inclusion in India.

The BASIX Group hosted a group of MPPGA students as they undertook their Global Policy Project in Fall 2016. The vast networks and field experience of BASIX provided the foundation for students’ research. BASIX Group senior staff identified The Role of Microfinance of Financial Inclusion in India as a key policy challenge facing their institution and provided the context to help students understand and define the problem, with oversight from MPPGA faculty. The students visited the regions where the BASIX Group works to gather data, analyze the problem, and design and test possible solutions, incorporating feedback from BASIX Group senior staff. The Role of Microfinance of Financial Inclusion in India project analyzed financial services policy in India through an expert and stakeholder-informed investigation.

Canada’s Privy Council Office Policy Innovation Hub

MPPGA Director and Professor Moura Quayle led MPPGA students in a policy design challenge at the Central Innovation Hub, part of Canada’s Privy Council Office in Ottawa. The hub is an innovation catalyst addressing policy challenges in Canada. The goal of PolicyStudio@UBC in Ottawa was to tackle the following challenge: How might we use strategic design to encourage individual actions that reduce our energy consumption? The studio was strategic policy design in action: teams of students and their mentors used explorative techniques, data and visual analysis to determine root causes, define the problem, and co-design and test solutions. Activities included policy canvas design, team building and storytelling, workshops, and prototyping, with immediate feedback provided by faculty and policy practitioners. Students also gained new perspectives on human-centered design cases and networked with policy practitioners from Global Affairs Canada, Aga Khan Foundation, and Ernst & Young.

Inter-American Development Bank: IDB

1) Consulting, Communications and Outreach: MPPGA students provided input to policy making process to the IDB during their first year of the program. They have submitted posts for the IDB blog and assisting with policy communication and dissemination.

2) Database Support – MPPGA students have worked on error checking, coding, and implementing changes for the IDB’s Database of Political Institutions: Changes and Variable Definitions during the course of their studies in 2015-2016. Students have also been applying their new policy skills and knowledge on developing a new database of political parties. As the database is hosted by the MPPGA program, all future updates will go through our office.

Carlos Scartascini, Principal Economist, Research Department with the Inter-American Development Bank provided a talk at the Institute of Asian Research at UBC on Do Rewards Work to Maintain and Increase Tax Compliance? Evidence from the Randomization of Public Goods

The World Bank

The MPPGA program invited Yasuhiko Matsuda, Sr. Public Sector Specialist, Social Protection & Labor Global Practice with the World Bank to provide an annual Political Economy analysis lecture series for our students. The workshop involved World Bank cases where the students conduct hands-on learning around policy making. Students reviewed the studies and 1) identified the most pertinent policy question; 2) formulated a research question answering which would shed light on the policy decision; and 3) proposed a research methodology that is best suited to answer the proposed research question.

Contact us

If you wish to partner on the Global Policy Project or have a career opportunity for one of our graduates, please contact the MPPGA Partnership Team at mppga.partnerships (at) for more information.