The 4th IDPPA Conference: personally and academically

SPP Online keeps on telling about our students abroad experience. This time we asked GGL student Amina Yusupova and MGPP student Nikola Serafimov to describe their impressions about the IDPPA Annual Conference. This year the overall theme was marked as ‘Beyond Economics: The Stockholm Statement and Setting Global Policy Priorities’.

So Nikolas and Amina – about two late October days that they spend in Rio de Janeiro at the IDPPA conference and students workshop. 

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Nikolas Serafimov

The first thing that you notice about Rio once you’ve landed is its bumpy colored landscape. The mixture of nuances is partly contributed to the variety of trees that surround the city and its buildings that obviously don’t follow any type of sequence. Diversity is present in so many ways that you can not only find it among buildings, the locals and the landscape, but also in the cities ornithology. Thanks to the city’s’ bird friendly climate it is not that difficult in a time span of 20 minutes to see a red-crested cardinal, not too far from a cockatoo and a pigeon flying next to it. I have to admit, I was a bit surprised to see pigeons and the story I got from some of the locals was that in the days when the local government wanted to make the city look like Paris, they imported lots of them because they thought it was the “modern thing to do”. That type of attitude also transcends to the style of buildings in the city center that have baroque look to them, followed by more modern structures that cast light on the cities architectural culture for innovative design.


Most of the conference took place at the FGV, which according to many (including the Foreign Policy magazine) is one of the best think tanks in the world. The FGV produces a large amount of academic research in variety of areas including global public policy which was of our particular interest and was the main focus of the IDPPA. Time for presentation of various research papers was allocated among academics and professionals that came from what felt like every dot in the world. Various pressing policy issues were discussed related to inclusive development, macroeconomic stability, environmental sustainability and technology. Among this variety of presentations that took place, the Stockholm statement was put to academic scrutiny, the challenges of AI and robotics in governance were observed, the concept of “Urban Metabolism” was analyzed just to name a few, which contributed to fruitful and memorable discussions. Also there was one part of the conference devoted to student presentations where Widya Priyahita, Francisco Brambila and I took part as representatives of RANEPA, presenting together with students from places like Brazil, South Africa and China.


Finally, the IDPPA and Rio were great experience both personally and academically. It was an honor to have a glimpse of how part of the global intellectual crème rationalizes the complexity of issues that surround our daily lives. At the end I highly recommend the IDPPA experience to any student that is eager to learn more about the bits and pieces that form public policy globally and I am most definitely looking forward to the next conference.

Amina Yusupova

Being a student of Global Governance and Leadership program, I am looking forward to making the world a better place, where there is no room for poverty, wars, and inequality. And to my mind, the knowledge and experience which I gained will evidently bring me closer to the realization of this goal and will also guide me in the future life.


Professors and students from different countries and with various backgrounds shared their view of public policy. The discussion was lively and engaging. Most of all, I enjoyed presentations on open data and technologies. These topics brought lots of feedback from the audience. Personally, I have asked the question about Blockchain innovation. I am significantly interested in this technology because it can become a solution to problems of transparency, mistrust of citizens to the state and corruption. The concepts of political pessimism and technological optimism brought in the conference by the Head of the SPP Center for Sociological Research Victor Vakhshtayn in some way changed my mind inspiring to new ideas about the application of digital innovations in the public policy. Students also had an opportunity to talk with professors in the informal ambiance during coffee breaks and dinners. It was glorious to be in such diverse group of experts.

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The participation in the conference helped me to look on the things that happening now in the world from the perspectives of different cultures and countries. I definitely broaden my mind and understood how closely we are interconnected.


The IDPPA Story

In 2012 the International Development and Public Policy Alliance (IDPPA) was inaugurated — to connect scholars and practitioners in major emerging economies to collaborate in the areas of research, teaching, and policy action. The member-institutions are all graduate schools offering high-quality master’s degrees taught in English that provide rigorous training in global development and public policy analysis for the next generation of policy-makers.

In July 2013 the first Annual IDPPA Conference was held in Beijing — with co-sponsorship by a wide range of global organizations in diverse sectors: UN Habitat, OECD, Urban China Initiative, McKinsey & Company, Columbia University, and Brandeis University. The theme was marked as ‘Life in the New Global Cities’. Participants from more than a dozen countries presented papers on five themes: Productivity, Infrastructure Development, Equity and Social Inclusion, Sustainability, and Quality of Life.

In November 2014, IDPPA presented a panel at the 2nd conference held in Istanbul entitled ‘Public Policymaking in a Globalized World’, hosted by the Sabanci University's Istanbul Policy Center and the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung. Contributions from all IDPPA member-institutions were focused on teaching global public policy. Conference papers were published in May 2015 in a volume co-edited by IDPPA President Robin Lewis (RANEPA) and Professor Korel Goymen (Sabanci University's Istanbul Policy Center).

The 3rd IDPPA Annual Conference was held in November 22-24, 2015 in Delhi, hosted by O.P. Jindal Global University’s School of Government and Public Policy. The theme was ”Beyond the Washington Consensus: Public Policy and the Future of Development Assistance”.

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