Policy Solutions Challenge USA involves two separate stages to determining a national champion in policy analysis among U.S. schools of public policy, public affairs and public administration:
Regional Challenges held at sites throughout the U.S. will include up to six teams at each site. Teams may consist of between three and five students and within that any mix of undergraduate, Master's and doctoral students. The Challenges will occur between mid-February and early March depending on schedules set by the regional hosts.
The 1st place teams from each regional Challenge will be invited to the national Challenge in Washington, DC. If a team declines to attend the national Challenge, an invitation will be extended to the 2nd place team in that region and then the 3rd place team. The policy topic for the national Challenge will remain the same as for the regional Challenges.
The local hosts of each Challenge will appoint panels of professional policy analysts to serve as judges.
At each level of the Challenge, the teams will begin by submitting written presentations of their analysis of the policy topic in advance to the judges. Onsite at each Challenge, the teams will make private presentations to the panel of judges. The judges will provide each team with immediate critiques of the quality of the analysis. The teams then will have between 24 and 48 hours to modify the analysis in response to those critiques before making final, public presentations to the judges. Teams are responsible for making travel and lodging arrangements to attend a regional Challenge or the national Challenge. The local host of each Challenge will provide lunch during the final presentations. Otherwise, food and beverages may be the responsibility of each team (see additional details for each regional Challenge as such become available).
The judges for the national Challenge will be provided with input from the judges of the regional Challenges along with the written presentations of the teams that qualify. Those teams will be expected to have improved their work based on that input from the regional Challenge. At the conclusion of the national Challenge, the judges will name a national champion and also a second and third place.
Policy Solutions Challenge USA may make available on this website copies of the presentations and the final reports delivered by all participating teams in the regional and national Challenges. Policy Solutions Challenge USA will actively seek to bring these presentations and reports to the attention of key policy makers.