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Certificate Program


Focus and Rationale

The main focus of the Certificate Program involves intensive training in analytical tools for the design of public policy in combination with the foundational understanding of an ethical framework based on Biblical values and beliefs. Given their short duration, the certificates are tailored to students with undergraduate degrees who are interested in exploring specific areas of public policy design and evaluation with the same rigorous academic approach characteristic of WISPAD's training. As such, the Certificate Program may also constitute a preparative step counting towards WISPAD’s Master’s Degree in Poverty Alleviation and Development.

Audience and Goals

The Certificate Program is mainly designed for young professionals and students with a completed undergraduate degree, who desire to serve in areas and occupations related to poverty alleviation and international development. No previous experience is required in areas of public policies to partake in the Certificate Program, although the advanced technical curricula of certain certificates may demand specific academic qualifications.

The Certificate Program aims to capacitate young professionals on specific skills and tools required for public policy as an introduction to an extensive training in social and public service. It also has as a goal the fast dissemination of global lessons from successful public policies in communities of less developed countries. Furthermore, the certificate aims to integrate foundational training in analytical public policy and organizational skills with a solid moral dimension that serves as the ethical context for comprehensive training to serve in the public arena.

Advantages and Benefits

The Certificate Program aims to expand the scope of professional career opportunities to its candidates by granting them access to a highly specialized level of instruction characteristic of top international academic institutions. As the training is fully completed in the home countries or regions of the participants, the certificates give access to specialized and rigorous instruction from an American academic institution without the prohibitive cost of tuition, travel and living expenses of similar programs in the United States or Europe.

Students are prepared in their respective countries or regions in skills and tools tailored to local developmental needs, which better equip them to address challenges of poverty and inequality specific to their provinces and regions. The certificate also has the benefit of preparing teams of like-minded students from locations with similar geopolitical needs, or public policy interests, to address common developmental challenges. Moreover, the training provides access to innovative resources, managerial skills, and analytical tools in areas of international development.

As a whole, the Certificate Program contributes to enhancing the career outlook of its participants by expanding their scope of professional placement into national and international governmental agencies, public organizations, and social enterprises. Most importantly, these benefits are added to a solid professional instruction in the analysis and evaluation of public policies combined with an ethical system based on Biblical morals and principles.

Course Focus and Methodological Approach

The main courses that the Certificate Program offers lay the foundations of specific analytical tools required for the analysis and design of successful public policies.  This includes advanced training in the strategic management of nonprofit organizations, program evaluation, human resource management, financial leadership and management with special emphasis on poverty alleviation and international development. The certificates also build key communicational skills required for the implementation of successful public policies such as negotiation, oratory, persuasion, and mobilization. They combine instruction in analytical tools and communicational skills with a foundational understanding of Biblical principles, values and beliefs associated with cogent decision-making processes, and with the formation of developmental preferences. As in the case of other WISPAD programs, the certificate trains teams with a maximum of 15 students who share common geographic or public policy interests, although different Certificate Teams may be trained at the same time in the same analytical, organizational, and communicational skills.

Certificate Duration and Beginning of Classes

The length of the Certificate Program ranges from one to four weeks. Focusing on diverse analytical tools, organizational and communicational skills, different certificates will be offered throughout the academic years. The first Certificates were offered in Beijing in the academic year 2011/2012 in the areas of Strategic Nonprofit Management, Program Evaluation, and Financial Management and Leadership for Nonprofit Organizations.