The 1-year full-time Master in Public Administration (MPA) programme at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy prepares students for senior management roles in the public sector. A key feature of the MPA is the Governance Study Trip to a neighbouring country. Part of a wider year-long Governance Study Project (GSP), the trip takes place at the end of the first semester, with a final conference at the end of the special term.

The GSP for the MPA cohort of 2016/2017 focused on Jakarta, a fast-growing metropolis with complex urban challenges. Many of these revolve around water: poor water supply and sanitation, land subsidence, seasonal flooding that brings the city to a standstill and the possibility of a catastrophic coastal flood that could submerge large parts of the city.

The GSP for the MPA cohort of 2017/2018 focuses on Chiang Mai, one of the fastest growing secondary cities in Thailand and Southeast Asia. As Chiang Mai undergoes rapid urbanisation, it faces significant challenges relating to sustainable growth, liveability and environmental degradation.

These urban challenges are reimagined as new possibilities within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the full range of social, developmental, societal and infrastructural explorations, the students will examine the difference that good policies can make at the city level.

In the GSP, students will put to use the knowledge and skills learned throughout the MPA programme. Hence, the GSP is primarily conceived of as an applied test of concepts. Students will develop detailed policy proposals based on rigorous primary and secondary research and analysis and present their recommendations directly to stakeholders. It will also allow students to gain an appreciation of complex public policy problems through research and interaction with policy-makers and other stakeholders.