Systematic Approaches to Policy Design

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Brief Introduction

This free online course from Harvard Kennedy School introduces approaches to analytical decision-making for policy design.

Course Summary

Learn how to design effective policies using systematic approaches in this course offered by Harvard University. Explore various policy design frameworks and tools to create solutions for complex policy issues.

Key Learning Points

  • Understand the importance of a systematic approach in policy design
  • Learn how to identify and analyze policy problems
  • Explore various policy design frameworks and tools
  • Develop effective policy solutions for complex issues

Related Topics for further study

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop a systematic approach to policy design
  • Identify and analyze complex policy problems
  • Create effective policy solutions using various frameworks and tools

Prerequisites or good to have knowledge before taking this course

  • Basic understanding of public policy
  • Familiarity with policy analysis

Course Difficulty Level


Course Format

  • Online
  • Self-paced

Similar Courses

  • Strategic Management of Public Organizations
  • Public Leadership Credential
  • Data Science: Machine Learning

Related Education Paths

Notable People in This Field

  • Cass Sunstein
  • Dani Rodrik

Related Books


Course description

This course will help senior officials make greater use of data and evidence in their everyday decision-making. This unit presents a few over-arching frameworks that are helpful in approaching complicated decisions. You will learn how to orgnaize your thinking, how to break a problem down into parts, and how to figure out where evidence can be most useful in making a decision.


  • What you'll learn
  • The goal of this course is to provide a brief overview of three commonly-used approaches for analytical decision-making. Harvard Kennedy School also offers an in-depth online course on this topic as part of the Public Leadership Credential (PLC). Learn more about PLC at 


  • What are three commonly used systematic approaches to decision-making? 
  • What are the pros and cons of these different approaches? 
  • How do evidence and data inform each of these systematic approaches?

Summary of User Reviews

This course on systematic approaches to policy design has received positive reviews from users. Many have praised the practicality and relevance of the course content, which is presented in an engaging and easy-to-understand manner.

Key Aspect Users Liked About This Course

The course content is practical and relevant, presented in an engaging and easy-to-understand manner.

Pros from User Reviews

  • The course provides practical tools and techniques for policy design.
  • The instructors are knowledgeable and engaging.
  • The course content is relevant and up-to-date.
  • The course is well-structured and easy to follow.
  • The course provides useful case studies and real-world examples.

Cons from User Reviews

  • The course may be too basic for those with prior experience in policy design.
  • The course does not offer much interaction or feedback from instructors.
  • The course may be too focused on the American context and not applicable to other countries.
  • The course may be too theoretical and not provide enough practical application.
  • The course may be too time-consuming for those with busy schedules.


16th Jun, 2020
15th Jun, 2030
Teddy Svoronos
Harvard University, Harvard Kennedy School
Harvard University


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