Providing context and inspiring hope: using the case method to teach public policy in developing countries Academic Article uri icon


  • This article asks: What makes for good cases when teaching public policy in a developing country? How important is geographic proximity relative to other factors in determining relevance? Building on literature about the unique public policy needs in developing countries and the case method as a pedagogical tool, and using a survey from a program that serves midcareer professionals in Nairobi, Kenya, the authors find the following to be key criteria for case selection: being set in a comparable developing country context; representing a similar array of public problems as the local context; demonstrating alternative public policy approaches to achieve progress; and inspiring optimism and hope by virtue of overcoming barriers. The authors share information on two cases that students identified as best meeting these criteria, one set in Asia (Singapore) and the other in Latin America (Colombia).

publication date

  • May 2017