At the heart of each participant’s program experience is their own real-world project. Participants identify a project or challenge from their current environment to work on during the program.

The course curriculum focuses on six areas:

  • Strategy: Defining and approaching a public problem in a shared and coordinated way from the perspectives of multiple stakeholders
  • Management Innovation: Finding and deploying resources to address underlying technical problems
  • Political Innovation: Building new relationships to facilitate and sustain collaborative solutions
  • Leading without Authority: Directing and motivating collective action across independent constituencies
  • Negotiation: Communication strategies to align stakeholder interests
  • Partnerships: Establishing productive working relationships across sectors
  • The course will employ the case study method pioneered at Harvard. Case teaching begins with an account of a specific real-world situation, and works through a rigorous examination of that experience. Through analysis of the experience and interactive discussion about the critical choices made by key players along the way, participants learn approaches they can use to understand and act effectively in the concrete situations they face in their work.

The program will be based on the work of Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation (formerly the Innovations in Government Program). For over two decades, through its research, publications, curriculum support, global network, and awards program, the Ash Institute has explored critical issues in democratic practice and effective governance. By engaging a broad global community of practitioners, by generating research and curriculum materials, and by highlighting exemplary government programs, the Institute serves as a crucible within which knowledge about innovations in governance can be developed, and as a catalyst for successfully addressing some of the world's most pressing concerns through the actions of its most resourceful leaders.