Master of Data Science for Public Policy   Master of International Affairs   Master of Public Policy  

Decision-making in government: Complexity, process and compromise

This workshop teaches decision-making in government. The learning will be gained through a hypothetical simulation involving either the scenario of a) unrest at the border between Russia and Finland or b) the US government no longer supporting Ukraine militarily.

The learning objective is to better understand decision-making processes and structures in government, such as hierarchies, processes and deadlines and recogniae the perspectives of different national and international actors involved, such as foreign policy or heath security aspects. At the same time, the course will highlight external constraints and pressures on the decision-making, such as the influence of public opinion.

Overall, this is a very “hands-on” exercise meant to prepare students for real life decision-making in complex and demanding environments. Furthermore, this is also a team-building exercise as the goal of the exercise is to find an adequate balance between all the different competing interests involved. Students will also have an opportunity to get an introduction to decision-making in government, feedback on the different decisions taken and insight into what happened in a similar situation in government.

In summary the learning outcome will be about:

  • Decision-making in government
  • Processes and hierarchies in government
  • Complexity and simplicity (breaking it down to “what is this truly about”) in decision-making
  • The need for different perspectives, compromise and balance