Urbanization in Asia is taking place at an accelerating rate. The level of urbanization in the Philippines is estimated to be at 65% by 2030, up from the current estimate of 49% by the National Economic and Development Authority. Metro Manila, in particular, has been named as one of the world’s 25 largest cities or megacities, with a population exceeding 10 million. With population bursting at the seams, it is a challenge for national and local governments to meet the demands for services and at the same time provide a decent environment and better quality of urban life. The requirements of city-dwellers become more complex as urbanization progresses, with  economic performance of cities  as a priority metric of development, even amidst continuing calls for  a triple bottom line: social, economic, environmental (ecological).

This course will introduce students to urbanization and sustainable development, the history, theories, principles and practices that define cities and sustain development. It will also familiarize students with policy and management tools to address urban challenges, and expose and encourage students to think of innovative solutions to address these challenges


The course provides foundational concepts of local governance and the implementation of decentralization and local autonomy in the Philippines. It looks at the organization, powers, and the functions of local government units (LGUs) in the light of the Local Government Code (LGC), and in the context of Philippine Politics and Governance.  The tools and techniques of modern management are discussed in the context of their appropriate application in managing the challenges and innovations at the local level. Emerging concepts on the practice of governance such as performance management, new perspectives in public management, globalization issues, etc. are examined in the light of a decentralized set-up of the local government. Moreover, new paradigms and conceptual application of principles in strengthening the practice of decentralization are also discussed.

This course will explore and examine several socio-cultural, economic and political theories and frameworks of development and how these theories contribute to understanding the complex reality of poverty. The discussions will cover classical theories as well as modernization, dependency, Marxism, neo-liberalism and structuralism. The second part of the course is designed to help the students to explore and analyze out-of-the-box approaches and practices or innovations that seek to address social change and development.

This Module aims to introduce the MPM students to the depth of self-development and thinking called for in a master’s program by orienting them to the mission, values, and leadership model of the Ateneo School of Government. This interactive and reflective course focuses on personal, group, organizational/institutional and governance issues requiring leadership response including reform and social accountability focused approaches. Critical /strategic thinking and ethical action and values including interpersonal communication skills are emphasized.

The course introduces the students to the basic elements of public policy development and the integral role of politics and public governance in the process. It allows the students to go through the different phases of public policy development and to understand relevant theoretical models and practical tools of policy analysis and decision-making. The critical examination of the policy environment and the assessment of various stakeholders at each step of the process are emphasized in the course so that those who design, implement and give advice on public policy may know how to navigate policy reform through its risks and opportunities. The course also provides opportunities for students to analyze their individual and collective roles as agents of policy reforms in their respective agencies or areas of work.

The course provides an overview of the application of key economic principles and tools on national and local development. It starts by looking at the broad Philippine economy and assesses how the macroeconomy affects different economic actors. Then it proceeds to review how markets work at the micro level, their underlying assumptions and their role in economic growth and development. It also examines situations where markets fail, which warrant government intervention and specify the role of government in economic and social development. We will devote some time in examining the economic issues that underlie some of the political and social problems in the Philippines and a framework will be provided for student groups to choose their own issues that will be subject to economic analysis.