MA Public Policy Studies

Program level: 

Credits (ECTS): 



Program starts every year, first semester.



Duration in semesters: 

4 semesters


Public policy is a relatively recent science which focuses on what government decides, why, and to what end they decide.  The study helps to examine and understand the power relationships among the various policy actors during policymaking processes: problem identification and agenda setting, policy formulation, policy legitimation (approval), policy implementation, evaluation, and innovation. All of these activities require informed policy conceptualization, skills, and change of attitudes at all levels to successfully implement public policies within set time and desired quality standards. The FDRE Capacity Building Strategies assessment (2001) noted that knowledge and skills in public policy studies is limited in many of the public institutions in Ethiopia. As a result, many experts and public managers included, fail to associate many of their sectoral activities with national policies cascaded from the latter, which has greater impacts on the process and outcomes of the latter. Moreover, the almost absence of public policy study program, as a discipline of its own, in many of our higher learning institutions, and lack of research think-tanks on the subject, has also contributed to the low knowledge base, skills and experience in the area under consideration.

On the other hand, in light of the series of public policies and strategies that have been put in place since mid-1990s, knowledge and skills to formulate, implement and evaluate public policies, is critically important of the set desire of reaching a middle-income country in 2025. Moreover, citizens have to know and understand that policies designed at federal and state levels have to be advocated and implemented successfully by stakeholders at all levels. Policy actors from all walks of life (public servants in particular) need to be oriented with the basics of policy science, its objectives and what needs to be done for effective implementation in order to cement public trust towards government development initiatives.

It was with this dire need and emphasis that the Ethiopian Civil Service University played a pioneering role to launch the study program at a Master’s level in 2011/12 academic year.  Currently, both the name of the study and program offerings has shown growth in terms of program expansion and delivery modes. The main objective of this master’s program is, therefore, to enhance and forge public servants’ policy knowledge, skills, partnership and ownership attitudes in order that effective policy implementation outputs and impacts can be realized. This ensures effective implementation and also garners positive public trust. This study program is expected to serve all of the aforementioned purposes.

Prerequisites & Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and related study areas such as political science, public policy, sociology, management, public administration, law, economics, and development studies
  2. Must have had a minimum of two years experience in the Public Service after graduation
  3. Should not be older than 45 years of age
  4. Must successfully pass the entrance exam set for this purpose by the University (ECSU )


Exit Level Outcomes

Upon successfully completion of the two-year master program, the graduate will be able to:

  • Define the concept and rationale of public policy in the development of a nation;
  • Distinguish policy mandates in a federal system taking Ethiopia in focus;
  • Apply scientific theories and principles in designing development policies at various governance levels;
  • Analyze the role of policy actors in a participatory framework to contribute to effective policy implementation and outcomes;
  • Display the value of networked governance and implementation coalitions among potential policy actors in the country;
  • Assess factors that influence relevance and competitiveness of domestic policies in the era of globalization to provide policy advice to policymakers;
  • Conduct comparative policy research between national and cross-national policies that contributes to lesson-drawing and emerging problem-oriented public policies;
  • Evaluate policy outcomes that can feed into policy decisions and innovations;
  • Organize policy seminars and advocacy platforms to help stakeholders share policy implementation governance, support  and learning experiences from each other; and
  • Adhere to policy transparency and accountability to instill public trust in government undertakings.

Individual Clients

students having backgrounds in political science, public policy, public administration, sociology, management, economics, planning science, federalism, development studies, and law

Other stakeholders

Interest groups, civil societies, research /consultancy/ institutions need the graduates to lead or provide advice on the science policy analysis and evaluation.


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