Careers in Public Policy, an Online National Monsoon Workshop Program, a Three-Day Immersive Online Introductory Career Counselling & Awareness Certificate Training Workshop was conducted on on 22nd, 23rd and 24th August, 2023 by IMPRI, Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi in collaboration with PPI, Public Policy India.
On the first day our second speaker, Mr Yash Agrawal, Founder, Public Policy India (PPI) & Proficy, New Delhi continued the discussion by talking about how we can understand the world of Public Policy in India and what career opportunities are present to us.
Mr Yash Agarwal provided valuable insights into the world of public policy in India, outlining its structure and shedding light on various career opportunities within this dynamic field. The discussion was divided into two main segments: understanding the structure of public policy and exploring career prospects.
Understanding the Structure of Public Policy in India
Five Pillars of Policy Making: The session commenced by simplifying the policy-making process into five essential pillars, encapsulated in the acronym “IDIMA,” which stands for Ideation, Design, Implementation, Monitoring, and Evaluation. Each of these pillars plays a crucial role in the development and execution of policies.
Ideation: This pillar marks the inception of a policy idea. It begins when policymakers recognize a need or problem and formulate ideas for addressing it. For instance, if the road in front of one’s house is in disrepair, policymakers identify the need to address the issue.
Design: After ideation, policymakers design the policy framework. In the road repair example, policymakers might decide whether the government or the private sector should handle the project and the terms of the contract.
Implementation: Once a policy is designed, it needs to be implemented effectively. In the road repair case, this would involve the actual construction or repair work.
Monitoring: Policymakers need to keep a close eye on the policy’s progress to ensure it meets its objectives. In the road repair scenario, monitoring would involve checking if the contractor complies with the agreed-upon terms.
Evaluation: After the policy has been in place for a while, it’s essential to evaluate its impact. This evaluation helps policymakers determine whether the policy is achieving its intended goals and whether adjustments are needed.
Policy Advocacy: The discussion also touched upon policy advocacy, which is essential in the policy-making process. Policy advocacy, often referred to as lobbying, involves influencing policymakers and decision-makers to support specific policies. While it can influence various pillars of the policy-making process, it primarily aligns with the ideation and design phases.
Career Opportunities in Public Policy in India
The second part of the session focused on career opportunities within the realm of public policy in India. The field of public policy in India has been rapidly evolving, offering a diverse range of career paths.
Spaces: Participants were introduced to various spaces within which they could pursue careers in public policy. These include:
Research Space: Working in academia, universities, and research institutions.
- Public Sector Space: Opportunities within government bodies, ministries, and departments.
- Legislative Space: Positions within parliamentary and state assembly offices.
- Private Sector Space: Public policy roles in private companies, especially large corporations.
- Policy Consulting Space: Consulting firms that work with governments and organizations.
- Social Impact Space: Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social enterprises focused on policy implementation.
- Supra-National Entities Space: Organizations like the United Nations, World Bank, and others with a presence in India.
Verticals: The discussion highlighted the importance of choosing a sectoral focus or vertical within public policy. These verticals encompass a wide range of areas such as gender, healthcare, education, environment, climate change, and more. Specializing in a vertical allows individuals to become experts in a particular field.
Functions: Mr Yash Agarwal emphasized the importance of understanding the specific functions and roles within public policy. Roles can vary widely, including research, policy design, implementation, evaluation, advocacy, and legal aspects, among others.
Career Planning: Attendees were encouraged to gain experience in various spaces, functions, and verticals early in their careers before specializing in a specific area. This approach allows for both breadth and depth of experience.
Mr Yash Agarwal provided a comprehensive overview of the structure of public policy in India and the diverse career opportunities it offers. Understanding the five pillars of policy making, identifying the right space, vertical, and function, and gaining experience in different aspects of public policy are crucial steps for anyone aspiring to pursue a career in this field. Mr Agarwal concluded by highlighting the importance of self-assessment to identify and fill gaps in one’s skills and knowledge to excel in the world of public policy in India.
Acknowledgement: Trisha Shivdasan is a research intern at IMPRI.