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How the Institute is Different

The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy has a “Praxis” orientation that enhances its ability to analyze and translate policy for multiple constituencies and stakeholders. The Institute's work links people to policy by interpreting  the impact of public policy to diverse audiences, which increases the level of engagement and the number of participants and voices in the policy making process.

The Institute's focus is on developing real-world solutions to practical issues, as opposed to abstract, theoretical issues and policy post-mortems. The Institute differs from traditional higher education "think tanks" in our approach and the work we do:

  • Our work is driven solely by the needs of the decision-makers themselves, not by the internal academic or political agenda of the University.
  • Our work is applied and practical, not abstract and theoretical. Rather than examining what happened, we focus on what can happen.  We are a pragmatic “think and do” tank.
  • We turn lessons learned into more informed policy perspectives for decision makers.
  • We focus on long-term partnerships rather than short-term consulting engagements
  • We bring a holistic approach to our work, which is integrated across our policy-based centers