Project Background

From 2006 to 2010, PolicyNet served as an online community for those who study, research and teach public policy. Founded by the Woodrow Wilson School (WWS) of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the project brought together over 1,500 members in partnership with nine different leading public policy institutions.

The WWS, Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA), Crawford School of Economics and Government, Hertie School of Governance, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Graduate Institute (Geneva), School of Public Policy and Management (Tsinghua University) and School of Government (Peking University) all contributed to a community rich in user-generated content and discussion of public policy issues.

Though PolicyNet will no longer be maintained by CIGI as a separate website, the content, successes and lessons learned from the project will continue to inform CIGI's ongoing online activities and partnerships.

Key Accomplishments

Virtual Seminars: In 2008, six PolicyNet universities and CIGI created the Virtual Seminar Series to bring a global perspective to policy studies by connecting students from around the world with distinguished faculty. Each seminar session required webcasting and soliciting live reaction, helping CIGI to build capacity and expertise in online broadcasting and outreach. CIGI now webcasts many of its live events that take place at its headquarters in Waterloo, Canada.

Blogging: A strength of the PolicyNet community was the diverse array of student contributors to its blogging program. This content built synergies between students at different institutions and allowed participants a unique opportunity to present their research and analysis of relevant topics. Built, in part, on this success, CIGI's website now features a roster of blogs on topics related to CIGI's research agenda.

Partnerships: The PolicyNet project was based on strong relationships between CIGI and its institutional partners. One of those key partnerships continues with The Balsillie School of International Affairs, which is currently being constructed in Waterloo, Canada, adjacent to the CIGI building. CIGI is a founding partner in the physcial and institutional development of the school.