Government and Local Government

This masters program is seeking to cover the gap in the Palestinian public service and non- governmental market by providing both sectors, and also their partners from the private sector, with experts who own knowledge, practical skills and experiences. The program addresses capacity building, research skills, analytic and planning skills of public servants and nongovernmental organizations’ leaders. The program specifically addresses the topic of good governance and national development planning, local development and sustainability.

  1. Providing students with theoretical frameworks of public administration and public policy making and implementation through multi- focused tracks; legal, political and administrative.
  2. Responding to challenges of public service work through providing multi-disciplinary research dimensions in government and local government, and public policy.
  3. Enriching government and local government based research with focus on strategic planning and budgeting.
  4. Preparing and equipping students with public policy related skills (making, implementing evaluating and analyzing) that can contribute to Palestinian public policy reform.
  5. Equipping students with necessary skills for public financial analysis and economic policy affairs.

Graduates of the program are expected to contribute to providing public and non-governmental sectors with well and highly qualified experts who can lead and take part in national and local sustainable development planning and implementation. 

 

Intended Outcomes

  1. Graduates qualified with distinguished research skills that can contribute to solving public problems.
  2. Graduates that can lead policy making, implementation, evaluation and analysis; and capable to connect theory with practice.
  3. Graduates who are capable to conduct scientific policy analysis to help policy makers.
  4. Graduates who are capable to conduct national and local strategic plans that respond to real challenges.
  5. Graduates who are well equipped with leadership skills that leads comprehensive public sector reform process 
  6. Graduates who understand and believes in good governance and public service ethics and able to use it in public jobs. 
  1. Public agencies and institutions employees, managers and leaders
  2. NGOs leadership and management
  3. Financial analysts
  4. Policy making supporters and consultants
  5. Local governors, leaders and developers
  6. International NGOs consultants
  7. Leaders of public positions elections’ campaigns
  8. National and local development based by Researchers
  9. Academic professors

First Acedemic Year: First Semester (6) credit

Course Number

C oursehours

Notes

Govs 633

Public Policy Principles: (Designing, Implementation, and Evaluation)

3 credit hours

Govs630    

 

Scientific Research Methods in Social Sciences

 

3 credit hours

---

Prerequisite Course[1]

*****

 First year: second semester: (9) credit hours without prerequisite courses: (6) credit hours without prerequisite courses

Course Number

Course

Notes

Govs 635

 

Local Governance and Local Manucipalities

3 credite hours

Govs 7341

 

Statestical Analysis in Social Sciences

3 credite hours

---

 

[2]Elective Course from the Program or Prerequisite Course                              

3 credite hours *****

Govs630

 

Scientific Research Methods in Social Sciences

Repeated courses fro new students

First Year: Summer Course (3) credit hours

Course Number

Course

Notes

---

Elective course from the program

3 credit hours

Credit hours expected to be finished during the first year: 18 hours without prerequisite course, 15 hours with registering prerequisite course but without repeated courses.

Second Year: First Semester: (9) credit hours

Course Number

Course

Notes

Govs630

Scientific Research Methods in Social Sciences

Repeated course for new students

Govs 633

Public Policy Principles: (Designing, Implementation, and Evaluation)

Repeated course for new students

Govs 736

 

Fiscal Management and Financial Analysis in Public Agencies

3 credit hours

Govs 737

 

Strategic management and Planning for Local Manicipalities

3 credit hours

---

Elective course from the Program

3 credit hours

 

Seminar 1 or thesis

 

3 credit hours

Second Year: Second Semester (9) credit hours

Course Number

Course

Notes

Govs630

Scientific Research Methods in Social Sciences

Repeated course for new studsent

Govs 634

 

Comparative Public Law

3 credit hours

---

Elective Course from the Program

3 credit hours

---

Seminar 2 or

 Thesis

 

3 credit hours

6 credit hours

[3]Second Year: Summer Semester (3) credit hours

Course number

Course

Notes

---

Elective Course from the Program

3 credit hours

Total credit hours expected to be finished during the second year: 18 hours or (21hours for students who did not register a prerequisite cours during the second semester of the first year )

 

Total core courses distributed on all semesters except repeated courses: 21 credit hours

Total elective courses: 9 credit hours

Total credit hours for seminar 1, seminar 2 or thesis: 6 credit hours

Note: Students can distribute courses on three semesters (firs, second and summer) instead of two. in all cases, it is preferable if students finish the core courses during the first year


[1] Students can register one prerequisite course if applicable.

[2] Students can register two requisite courses if applicable

  For students who registered prerequisite course in the second semester of the first year[3]

_____________________________________

Courses Description:

Introduction to the science of state: Introduction to Politics, Introduction to Administration, Introduction to Law

This course is an introduction to the fields of public law, political science, and public administration. It will cover the basic concepts in the field of law, its origins, its subdivisions and branches, and its relation to other sciences. It will also discuss the basics of political science, and the emergence of this science as an area specialist, its development, and its relationship to other sciences. The emergence of public administration, and the most important concepts and basic rules associated with it.

Scientific Research Approaches in Social Sciences

This course explains the role of scientific research in the evolution of human knowledge and the different schools in Epistemology. Research Methodology and scientific tools used in the field of social sciences. Linkage between theoretical frameworks and knowledge in scientific research with hands-on training on the formulation of the problem and research questions, and hypotheses and its determinants and its variables and models, the choice of the scientific method appropriate to the nature of the search of his choice. Skills documented scientific research and ethics, and the difficulties faced by researchers and the restrictions and limitations that govern scientific research in general.

Public Policy Principles (policy design, implementation, and evaluation)

The course will introduce the concept of public policy cycle and the difference between it and political science, and law. It will explain the theories of public policy thoroughly, and the types of public policies, levels, stages of the most important actors in public policy-making, and in the application, and evaluation of public policies.ة.

Comparative Public Law

This course deals with the historical development of constitutional law, administrative law and contemporary constitutional movement, with an emphasis on the comparison between the different legal systems, and the constitutional and administrative principles that manage the work of the administration. The course will explain the principles that govern the written constitutions such as separation of powers, fundamental rights, and control over the legality and constitutional separation of powers and the rule of law, the administrative division of the State of (centralized and decentralized), and forms of government (presidential, parliamentary and "semi-presidential" system and Assembly), with the explanation of the Palestinian political system in the light of the former experiences with different models that resemble the relationship of the ruler and the ruled.

Local Governance and Local Municipalities

The aim of this course is to promote local governance, and the different models in the range of services that can be provided by governments and local bodies, and the financial and administrative independence of the local bodies, and the power granted to them in comparison with other systems. It also aims at reviewing the experiences of different countries and how does the distribution of powers functions between the central government and other levels of government decentralization (regional and local), and the diagnosis of the best practices in the field of decentralization and devolution of powers. The definition of the types of centralization and decentralization and their patterns (the distribution of powers “de-concentration”, “delegation”, and “devolution”, and the administrative, financial and political consequences for each style of these patterns). In addition to that reality of centralization and decentralization in the Palestinian context and diagnosis and possible defects will be examined in pursuit of upgrading it.

State Theory

The course will show the various theories that discuss the state, especially modern and contemporary ones and most importantly both classical and liberal theories, theories of state sociology, theory of pluralism and elite, classical Marxism, neo-Marxist, anarchist and feminist theories.

Sustainable Development Policy Implementation

This course helps make links between the concept of sustainable development and implementation of public policies, through addressing first the concept of sustainable development that is based on economic development, environmental development, and social development. It also introduces the most important outcomes of global summits on the identification of the goals of sustainable development, or what needs to be done globally, regionally and locally. It also deals with the most important challenges facing the process of turning goals into realistic policies, such as the challenge of population, environment, energy, health, education and others. In addition to that the course then addresses the role of public policy in the implementation of the goals of sustainable development on the international and domestic levels. The student is given an opportunity during this course to do an analysis of the magnified image of sustainable development from a global perspective, and local perspective and how each person can contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.

Ethics in Public Service

A review of the most important topics and issues related to the ethics of public service. View of the theoretical frame work which forms the basis for the best behaviors and practices. Review of the most important principles that govern the ethics of administrative work, such as integrity, transparency and acceptance of others. Showing the core values ​​that every public employee should abide by, and a set of basic principles that govern his vocational performance. The implications of the commitment to these principles and their importance, to improve job performance and organizational excellence and the implications of a breach of these principles that could cause corruption or others. Coverage of the most important responsibilities and duties of the public employee and linking it to the legal points of reference (Palestinian Civil Service Law). Methods and tools to strengthen the commitment to support the ethics of public office, such as codes of conduct, codes of conduct between the institution and the public citizen and their role in promoting the values ​​of integrity and transparency in public office at the individual, collective and institutional levels. Illustrate the role played by related parties (employee / Director / PE / citizen) to promote work and commitment to the values ​​of public office.

Political Communication

The course deals with the study of the political media (tools, methods and forms) and its role in the democratic process and political development. As well as looking at the evolution of political messages offered for public consumption and functions of the media message in the political and social context, and their impact on the policies and the internal security issues and international relations, including the language of political campaigns, political debate and policy statement. The course will also focus on theories and methodologies most commonly used in the science of political communication.

New Trends in Public Administration

Review of the evolution of public administration as a field of knowledge, starting with the classical theories in the late nineteenth century to the latest trends and theories applied in industrialized countries and developing countries. Getting to know the impact of these trends on the management of organizations and industry policy. The technological developments and the spread of democracy and globalization has had a significant impact on the role of the modern state, and on how to manage public affairs, and to satisfy the desires of the citizens. The course aims to expose students to the latest theories and best practices from different countries of the world in the field of public administration, in order to draw conclusions and lessons that can be developed and adapted in line with the Palestinian context. The course deals with, among other things, the subject-oriented governance and partnerships with the public and private sectors, and the use of technology in government administration, and administrative reform and governance management and restructuring of the administrative organization of government (reinventing government). The course connects between the theoretical frameworks and application of it through the review and study of case studies from different countries in dealing with contemporary issues facing public administration.

Program Evaluation in Public and Nonprofit Organizations 

Defining the concept of monitoring and evaluation, and ways to follow-up the output and the initial results and impact. Exposure to different types of program evaluation, including needs analysis, formative assessment and final assessment. The course distinguishes between different types of assessment including impact assessment, survey and preliminary results, in addition to the multiple types of assessment. The course offers a range of activities and experiences in the process that contribute to the development of the theory of change, the general framework of the follow-up through the development of performance indicators, and the development of the general framework for evaluation, curriculum development and evaluation, which includes experimental studies and quasi-experimental quantitative and qualitative studies.

Economics for Public Decision Makers

This course introduces students to the concepts and basic principles of the macro and micro economic, with a focus on the use of economic concepts and tools to understand and analyze economic changes, economic growth, unemployment, and inflation.

This course provides an overview of economic instruments owned by the state to influence the economy. The course also offers the students the traditional economic theory, and encourages them to think critically about the right performance of the market against the need for government intervention necessary to achieve the desired results. Students will also learn how to apply economic thinking for a number of policy areas, including taxes, spending on social programs, and the economic impact of environmental policies / energy, and policies of the minimum wage, monetary policy, and economic stimulus.

Financial Management & Analysis in the Public Sector

Provide students with the theoretical and practical knowledge in finance and accounting in government units, and its properties and components and how it differs from the private units, and the mechanisms and tools for preparing the budget in governmental units and control over the application, the skill of cost analysis and their use in decision-making, and the adoption of the scientific method integrated in the preparation of budgets, and linked to strategic planning and national development plans. Also learn the skill of the financial analysis for financial statements in accordance with the international standards and practices. Study in detail the different types of revenue and public expenditure, and how they can repair and raise the efficiency of public revenue.

Strategic Planning and Management for Local Government

Conceptual framework for strategic planning and it’s models, it’s sub-concepts such as strategic objectives, Vision, Mission, threats and opportunities of Foreign Affairs and the strengths and the internal weaknesses. The challenges of strategic planning in the local government sector and the ability of institutions to make and implement and evaluate strategic plans of their own, and linking planning to public budgets, and control over the implementation of the general plans. Analyzing case studies of the process of strategic planning for the local Palestinian organizations to learn more about the challenges facing the realistic process of building strategic plans, implementation and evaluation.

Decision Making in Government and Administration

This course teaches the decision-making process from the scientific and practical standpoint. It focuses on the various theories that attempt to analyze the decision-making process within the science of management and the tools needed to improve the process. Other than that, there will be a display and a study prepared about a range of cases that cover the decision-making process within different contexts and how they respond with decision makers.

Leadership theories and  Skills

This course will offer the students a unique opportunity to learn about the concept of leadership, the most important theories of leadership, and the practical side of the concept including leadership skills such as the skill of listening, analysis, communication, team-building, networking and influencing others. The course allows the student the opportunity to study the cases of global, regional and national leaders who have succeeded, and to identify the type of leadership and personal aspects of each student.

E-government

Review of topics covering aspects of e-government, such as the levels of e-government, and the types of e-government, its function, strategies and solutions. The knowledge of the best practices through case studies and global and regional experiences, and receipts for services and information to citizens and considerations of information security and legal aspects and process re-engineering (Reengineering), including the authorization power and confirmation of the identity of the recipients of the service, infrastructure and payment systems and e-procurement. Moreover, focus on how to build and work e-government system.

Statistics in Social Sciences

This course will provide the experimental methods and tools developed in the field of statistics, econometrics, and geographical information systems and policy analysis, including descriptive and analytical statistics, and standard economic econometrics. As well as giving students the skill of dealing with quantitative and statistical studies and the skill of reading and analyzing critically, in addition to the ability to design and implement a quantitative research.

Legal Development of Local Government in Palestine

This course explains the most important stages of the legal development of the local bodies under successive eras in Palestine since the days of the British Mandate, and the relationship of these bodies with the central authorities in the State through the review and analysis of the legal provisions governing such bodies, to determine the extent of the evolution of these bodies through that period. The emergence of the Palestinian Authority, the central authority, and the constitutional principles that govern the relationship with the local bodies in light of the adoption of decentralization and administrative system pursued by these principles with regard to various legislations applicable (local government or local administration). In addition to that, the course explains the differences between the two models considering comparative experience and the impact of both models on the nature of the relationship between local authorities and the central government on the one hand and on the extent of the involvement of local bodies in the administrative decision-making on the other. The course also deals with legislation and judicial decisions relevant to local bodies, elections for membership of their boards or those related to the way they work.

Local Government and Community Participation

The course will review the basic concepts of decentralization and its relationship with the local administration, In order to demonstrate the importance of community participation as one of the pillars of good governance and the requirements of a democratic application of judgment. It will also attend to the relationship between community participation and community development, and how the community participation will improve the performance of local bodies and enable them to play their roles better. The students will also learn how to have a role for local bodies in the activation of community participation, and to find mechanisms and methods in which they can activate the community participation in local administration. In addition to the responsibilities and duties of the different partners in the local administration in promoting and raising the level of community participation. Palestinian reality and challenges of community participation. And a review of the Palestinian, Arab and global experiences of the process.

Land Management and Rural and Urban sustainable Planning  

This course addresses the design criteria and general trends of the components of land use on the local and national levels, such as standards of design of the industrial facilities and their relationship to the land and the environment, design criteria of residential and public facilities and public safety conditions, administration and planning of public transportation and related infrastructure and standards of sustainability. Analysis of case studies of the Palestinian reality, such as building industrial cities and suburban residential and others. This course is aimed at employees of governmental departments and local public and private licensed facilities employees.

Special Topic (1) – 3 credit hours

This is a course that allows for flexibility to manage the program and to add a new course or keep pace with the developments of modern scientific trends, or to take advantage of the presence of visiting specialist teachers in subjects to serve the vision, mission and objectives of the program. It also allows the program to respond to the needs of students who may need to take a specific course after the program starts, or to meet emergency needs in government work. It also allows the program of government and local government to be handled in depth and specialization, through taking extra courses in modern related topics.

Special Topic (2) – 1 credit hours

This is a course that allows for flexibility to manage the program and to add a new course or keep pace with the developments of modern scientific trends, or to take advantage of the presence of visiting specialist teachers in subjects to serve the vision, mission and objectives of the program. It also allows the program to respond to the needs of students who may need to take a specific course after the program starts, or to meet emergency needs in government work. It also allows the program of government and local government to be handled in depth and specialization, through taking extra courses in modern related topics.

Seminar (1): Advanced study in public policy. Reading and discussing at least three peer-reviewed articled on the topic of the seminar. Students should prepare an advanced research under the supervision of the instructor. Research paper should follow methods of scientific research, concerning the method, the individualization of research problem, hypothesis, and citation. Student should present his/her research in class.

Seminar (2): Advanced study in local government. Reading and discussing at least three peer-reviewed articled on the topic of the seminar. Students should prepare an advanced research under the supervision of the instructor. Research paper should follow methods of scientific research, concerning the method, the individualization of research problem, hypothesis, and citation. Student should present his/her research in class.

Practical Internship

Students in track B who do not have practical experience shall undertake a practical internship for a total of 300 hours in a public institution, agreed upon by the program administration.

Comprehensive Exam

Students in track B shall undertake a comprehensive exam.

Thesis

Students in track A shall write a thesis based on the regulations of Birzeit University and the program.