USC Price Practicum to UN

by Frank Zerunyan

I recently took a group of students to make a presentation at UN headquarters in New York City.  We were hosted by Dr. John-Mary Kauzya, Chief of the Public Administration Capacity Branch (PACB) in the Division of Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).

USC Price students at UN headquarters in New York City
USC Price students at UN headquarters in New York City

The five students making up USC Price practicum team were Marvin Cong, Heidi Greenhalgh, Kate Liu, Nicholas Perry and Yao Zhang.  Greenhalgh and Perry, on behalf of the group, joined me to make the presentation — a comparative analysis of several major urban centers, in the iconic secretariat building.

The goal of the study was to identify recommended public administration and governance practices and to highlight local-level best practices and examples that inform the post-2015 policies in other urban areas.  The team paid specific attention to three case studies in the fields of waste management, clean energy and economic development and the presentation focused on local level implementation and sustainability policies that aide the achievement of two of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals: eliminating extreme poverty and environmental sustainability.  These goals help inform the UN development agenda and our findings offer guidance to DPADM and PACB for capacity building among member states for the post-2015 agenda.

After the presentation and Q&A we enjoyed a celebratory lunch for a job well done by our talented USC Price students.  We look forward to taking Dr. Kauzya up on his invitation to bring another student team to the UN next fall and continue the collaboration between DPADM and USC Price.