The thesis presented by student Maria Clara Mancilha sought to investigate the impact of the adoption of public policies aimed at family health in daycare and preschools
Launched in April 2019, Insper’s Professional Masters in Public Policy (MPP, for its acronym in Portuguese), was designed to meet governments’ demands in all spheres, as well as propose new measures and initiatives at different levels, strengthening in its students the ability to assess public policy from evidence and solve complex problems.
Maria Clara Mancilha was the first student to present a dissertation at the MPP and has earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the school. The oral defense took place in December 2020. The thesis had as its subject the effects of the family health strategy on Early Childhood Education. It sought to observe the impact of that policy on enrollment to daycare centers and preschools and also in the grades from Brazil’s National Literacy Assessment (ANA, for its acronym in Portuguese).
For Prof. Sandro Cabral, Coordinator of the Professional Masters in Public Policy, this first defense crowns the Insper community’s collective effort to turn an idea into reality. “Insper, by guaranteeing all the necessary resources for the development of highly qualified human capital, is making its contribution to improving the debate on public issues in Brazil based on good theory and solid evidence. Master Maria Clara’s thesis, advised by Professor Naercio, is emblematic in this sense.”
“The MPP trains students with the necessary theoretical and statistical tools so that they can work on public policy formulation and assessment. That was made clear by the thesis Maria Clara defended,” comments Naercio Menezes, Full Professor at Insper and the masters’ thesis advisor.
Maria Clara’s path in the Masters
Maria Clara, a bachelor’s in Economics, became interested in joining the first MPP class upon learning about our faculty and the frontier research conducted at our school. “The format and curriculum are unique and focused on deepening quantitative methods. With that, all the knowledge-sharing between attendees enriched, even more, the content that was presented to us and discussed”.
The theme of early-childhood-focused public policy was already one of the student’s major interests. She managed to deepen her research on that segment with the help of advisor Naercio Menezes. Prof. Naercio has contributed greatly to the theme through his research via Insper’s Ruth Cardoso Chair (chair in honor of the important Brazilian sociologist and researcher) of which he is the holder, and the Science Center for Childhood (NCPI). Maria Clara had been a research assistant at the Ruth Cardoso Chair also. Through that experience, she deepened studies on the effects of health interventions aimed at the Brazilian government’s Family Health Strategy.
Due to Insper’s health protocols, the oral defense took place online, as well as classes offered at the MPP over 2020. “It was a shame to lose face-to-face interaction with so many nice, qualified people willing to improve the country where we live, but I consider that Insper was able to adapt quickly and efficiently to the new reality. I don’t feel like I lost anything in terms of learning,” Maria Clara comments.
Discover the MPP
For Sandro Cabral, the prospect is that our Masters will increasingly produce relevant works that can help to understand better the potential of good practices in public policy. “We are more and more able to attract highly-qualified students, besides a cutting-edge faculty. Our joint efforts with civil society organizations to attract Black people and people belonging to socially marginalized groups will surely pay-off for our country.”