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Master of Public Administration

Capstone Topics

MPA students work in groups to investigate recent real issues affecting public or nonprofit organizations.

Recent Capstone teams investigated the following topics and questions:

  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the Feed the Future (FTF) Initiative and other global food security programs.
  • Exploring the managerial, operational and cultural implications of Congressional oversight and limited home rule for the Washington, D.C. city government.
  • Investigating environmental policy issues relating to the Colorado River.
  • How do local governments manage personnel during unexpected crises?
  • Analysis of homeless services networks in the Washington, D.C. metro area.
  • Competition for resources and mission overlap in nonprofit collaborative networks and projects.
  • How do federal programs and NGOs measure organizational outcomes in volunteer programs?
  • What are the costs and benefits of portfolio management in the education system and what can it offer to D.C. Public Schools?
  • Investigation of organizational factors that enable corruption in U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
  • What is the effect of recent tax reforms on the fundraising capabilities of nonprofit organizations?
  • How can telework contribute to effective public sector management?
  • Comparative analysis of open data influence on effectiveness in public managers and the public at different levels of government.
  • Examination of competition for grants among nonprofit organizations.
  • How has USAID Forward affected the organizational structure of USAID and its relationships with partners?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses as well as the areas for potential improvement in the interagency collaboration process (using foreign assistance stakeholders as a "case study"/narrative)?
  • Affordable Care Act and Community Health Centers: What is the nationwide impact?
  • The role of leadership in conflict resolution management across diverse public organizations at state and/or local levels.
  • Transportation Security Administration: Public perceptions of effectiveness.
  • Preparing for the human capital crisis: An assessment of succession planning efforts in the federal government.