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Policy in Practice Seminars


The Policy in Practice Seminars (PiPs) is an integral feature of the MPA programme. These are weekly seminars involving distinguished professionals or researchers who share their experience in public policy. PiPs provide an opportunity to link up classroom learning to real world scenarios and to bring their theoretical learning to life, often corroborating or challenging things they have learned. These seminars are informal and students have an opportunity to interact with the speakers in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.



Dr Joyce Banda is the former President of Malawi, and the second woman to lead an African nation. She joined the Institute of Public Affairs for one week as a Visiting Professor-in-Practice for  Above the Parapet project. As part of her visit, Dr Banda made her time available exclusively to MPA students in a Policy in Practice seminar. She shared her experiences from her residency and discussed her vision to eradicate poverty.


Making Policy on Terrorism

Professor Conor Gearty, Director of the Institute of Public Affairs and Professor of Human Rights Law at LSE, discussed his experiences of working with policy-makers to create public policy in the fight against terrorism.


Harnessing Entrepreneurialism to Address Problems of Poverty

Tom Adams, Director of Impact for Acumen, talked about how Acumen works to encourage entrepreneurialism in the developing world in the fight against poverty.


Value for Money in Central Government

Michael Kell, Chief Economist at the National Audit Office. He discussed how public audit contributes to more informed public policy across a wide range of issues including cyber security, government procurement, social care provision, and local economic development and growth. 

Michael Kell was joined by David Timmins, Senior Analyst at the NAO and Zaina Steityeh, a recent MPA graduate. 

Logo of The Elders organisation

Rogue states and non-state actors: responding to today’s messy world

Andrew Whitley, Policy and Advocacy Director for the Elders. 


Media, Communication and Behaviour Change: The problems of evidence, the challenges of shaping policy 

James Deane, the Director of Policy and Learning at BBC Media Action,  assessed the role of evidence and policy analysis in responding to health challenges. He particularly focussed on the role of health communication in responding to challenges where there is no cure and very limited treatments and where prevention provides the most effective response.  


Negotiating the EBRD’s Environment and Social Policy 2014

Michaela Bergman is  Chief Counsellor for Social Issues at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. She discussed how approving a new governance policy of an international financial institution involves negotiating with a wide variety of stakeholders, both internal and external, which can often prove to be challenging.


The Future of International NGOs

Duncan Green is Senior Strategic Adviser at Oxfam GB and author of From Poverty to Power: How Active Citizens and Effective States can Change the World. He also authors the From Poverty to Power blog.


Belgian diplomacy at work: political and economic implications

The Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Guy Trouveroy, Belgian Ambassador to the UK shared insight on economic diplomacy and bilateral diplomatic work and the implications for policy-making


Her Excellency Roza Otunbaeva, first female and former President of Kyrgyzstan spoke about her experience of being a president and implementing policy in practice. 


Advance Market Commitment 

Owen Barder is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and the Director for Europe. He established and leads the European program for CGD. 

He discussed a novel policy, called an Advance Market Commitment, designed to unleash the innovation and skills of private enterprise to tackle the world’s biggest killer diseases.


The Great Convergence: Asia, The West and the Logic of One World

Kishore Mahbubani is the Dean and Professor in the Practice of Public Policy at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. 


The Arab World after the 'Arab Awakening' Revolutions

Prince Turki Al Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud was Director General of the General Intelligence Directorate (GID), Saudi Arabia's main foreign intelligence service, from 1977 until 2001. In 2002 he was appointed as the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, a position he served until 2005, when he was appointed as Ambassador to the United States. He retired in February 2007.


Alice M. Rivlin is the Director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, the Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair in Health Policy Studies and a Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution.