Reflecting on the end of the Michaelmas term

The Cambridge MPP blog has been quite for a while, slightly overwhelmed with all of the teaching, speakers, simulations and a little Christmas that landed on us all in the past months. Now we’re racing through the Lent term and already half way through our year. But it is important to look back and reflect on the end of the last term.

The end of the Michaelmas term was a significant point in the year – this was when we ran this year’s week long policy simulation, in partnership with the UNDP and specifically the team in Jordan. The challenge was and remains a very significant one – how to make sustainable the international finance that is contributed to Jordan to assist in supporting the many Syrian refugees that currently reside in Jordan. Using the Dead Sea Resilience Agenda as their starting point, our students were placed into teams of five and given a week to recommend actions to the UNDP Sub-Regional Response Facility in Amman, Jordan and their client the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of the Government of Jordan (MPIC).

It was an amazingly intense week, with daily briefings from experts from the World Bank, the OECD, Doctors Without Borders and many others. Each team developed a briefing book and a presentation which they provided to the lead of the UNDP facility in Jordan Mr. Jason Pronyk, who commented on the strength and creativity of the students in the face of such a large challenge. A special thanks should go to our faculty lead, Dr Naiza Mintz-Habib, who developed the simulation and brought all of the speakers and briefings together. Without her extensive efforts the simulation would not have been possible.

Putting in practice the skills and knowledge gained during the MPP takes time. However, this simulation provides students with a means to test all that they have been doing in class immediately. This is the spirit of the Cambridge MPP – academically rigorous and practice-oriented – and we hope we can continue to achieve that balance and support or students past and present in bringing their skills to bear on policy challenges large and small.

Finbarr Livesey

Deputy Director, MPP

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