Master of Arts in Economic Policy Management (EPM)

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Undergraduate or Graduate Level: 
Graduate Level
Duration of Program: 
2 Years
About this Program: 

One of the major problems facing Sub-Saharan Africa is the lack of indigenous capacity to master the crises that continually beset it. There is a general agreement that the need in Sub-Saharan Africa for policy analysts and economic managers exceeds the training capacity of existing masters programs in economics. This lack of human and resource capacities has caused us a problem. Not only are economists swamped by the managerial demands of their assignments in their places of work, but executing agencies for projects often lack the necessary institutional capacity for investment programming, project analysis and monitoring and expenditure management.

Sub-Saharan Africa is faced with development challenges within the context of globalization and structural reforms.

Within this context, there is also a shift from development based on Project Support to development based on Budget Support and Poverty Reduction. As a consequence, more than ever before, there is increasing need for economic policy makers and implementers who have a good grasp of policy analysis and policy management skills. In particular, there is need for policy analysts that are able to participate effectively in the design of central government and sectoral budget as well as the design of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers that have now become the cornerstone of donor assistance to most countries of the regions. The realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in part, calls for the increased and sustained creation of local capacity in economic policy management. It is widely accepted that there is still lack of human resource capacity, not only to analyze the development and globalization challenges faced by the countries in the region, but also to design and manage the implementation of the relevant policies with which to overcome these challenges.

Globalization is driven by the strategic responses of organizations as they exploit market opportunities and adapt to changes in their technological and institutional environment, and attempt to steer these changes to their advantage. With increased decentralization, democratization, privatization, as well as a relatively fast growing private sector eager to seize the opportunities offered by the Multilateral and Bilateral Trading Systems – such as that offered to Sub-Sahara Africa by Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) - there is growing demand by the policy makers (such as Parliamentarians, District Level policy makers and administrators) and business people for short courses that will enable them to understand and meet the development challenges emanating from the subnational, national and international levels. New bodies like NEPAD and AU have sprung up and evolved with new mandates which require EPM products. These global changes also require complementary products to EPM, for instance, short-term training.

The capacity challenges facing Sub-Saharan Africa are quite many. Institutions are still weak and fragile and in some cases ineffective. The quality of public policy, the policy-making and management processes, performance measurement and management still require capacity related improvements. Public service delivery is still ineffective; law enforcement and the administration of justice are yet to reach levels that provide sufficient confidence to support significant levels of private sector investment, especially foreign direct investment. Also of concern are standards of social security and services; the quality of socio-economic infrastructure and standards, work ethics, and performance in the private sector, all of which are still on the low side. So far, reforms to promote responsibility, accountability and transparency in all sectors of the economy and society have remained inadequate. All this requires continuing and sustained interventions in capacity building. It also requires that intervention strategies must continually change to track the changing nature of capacity needs.

The most basic factor affecting the capacity of post conflict economies to generate jobs for their growing population is the slowness of economic growth.

Opportunities for technical and vocational training for most high education graduates as well as for middle level economic policy managers in government and private organizations is severely limited by lack of training facilities. The EPM Program therefore goes a long way in developing a long-term strategy to create training opportunities for graduates at higher levels of the education system. Skills and entrepreneurial gaps evident in these countries’ public and private sectors are plugged.

Programme Objectives

The EPM curriculum aims to educate participants who will devote themselves, in their professional life, to vigorous participation in the activities related to the economic policy management of their own countries and regions. These include policy making positions in governments and other institutions of public interest. In all these cases, we expect participants in the program to assume leading roles in the development of their countries and regions. In accordance with the above principles, the curriculum is designed in such a way as to provide advanced academic skills.

The overall goal of the program is to build a highly competent and capable human resource capacity base in the region to improve the efficiency of the public and private sectors in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa through the enhancement of capacity for economic policy analysis and management. The program aims at training individuals to be well-rounded economic policy advisors, who will contribute to the management capacity of government ministries, central banks, parastatals and non-governmental organizations. Specifically, the program seeks to (a) Provide high level training, focusing on both the theoretical and practical aspects of economic policy management; and (b) Train policy advisors in macroeconomic management for developing countries.

Duration and Structure of the Program

The duration of the program is 12 months with three semesters indicated as follows:

Semester I September – December Semester II January – April Recess Semester May – August

Structure of the Program

To work more effectively within and across organizations, course participants need strategic management tools: techniques for analyzing organizations and situations; methods for strategy formulation, implementation and managing strategic change; techniques for human resource management and development; and leadership skills.

The overall objective of the program curriculum therefore is to impart economic policy and management and language skills to the program participants to enable them to more effectively analyze and deal with the problems of developing economies. The method of teaching includes lectures, seminars, paper presentation, case study discussions, team projects and field visits. The curriculum consists of seven components:

Economics Core

The objective of the Economics Core is to review economic principles and the fundamentals of microeconomics and macroeconomics for economic policy advisors. In addition, the economics core offers practitioners the opportunity to apply these tools in a policy analysis situation.

Management Core

Policy advisors must work within and across organizations and therefore they need strategic management tools.

The purpose of this core is to provide tools and techniques for analyzing organizations and situations; use methods for strategy formulation, implementation and managing strategic change; as well as techniques for human resource management and leadership skills.

Policy Core

The Policy Core includes: Effective Policy Communication, Policy Analysis, Design and Formulation, Programme and Project Management.

Policy Research Paper

Participants are required to do a Research Project on a topic of their own choice under a Faculty Member’s supervision, and are encouraged to take an elective related to their Research Project.

Field Visits

The field visits component of the program will give participants the opportunity to have practical view of the economic policy and management tools.

Admission Requirements

The general admission requirements of Makerere University apply. Admission to the MA (Economic Policy Management) Program is based on academic performance and professional experience. The following specific admission criteria apply for entry into the MAEPM program:

(a) A first degree in Economics of at least lower second class honors, or its equivalent from a recognized University.

(b) A first degree in Economics, quantitative Economics and a related field of at least lower second class honors, or its equivalent from a recognized University.

Candidates with a lower second class honors degrees in Commerce or Statistics, from a recognized University will also be, considered.

Preference will be given to candidates in the early stages of their career in a policy relevant position in a government, parastatal or non-governmental organization.

They should demonstrate a commitment to a career in economic policy management.

Application Procedure

All applicants must submit the completed application forms, letters of recommendation and the required certified transcripts and certificates not later than 30th April of the year in which admission is sought. The application procedure is as follows:

Application forms are obtainable from the office of the Director, Research and Graduate Training. Applications can also be downloadable from the University and the United Nations Development Programme websites.