My Perfect Country: Making a difference

15 July 2019

For three series, My Perfect Country has sought to build the perfect country. Inspired by positive thinking, it takes policies from around the world that actually work and have solved global problems. We ask why they work, and whether they could work anywhere. Out of this comes a forensic analysis of what good global policy should look like.

In this one-off special, the My Perfect Country team travel to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where they join a group of bright, curious, switched-on students who use the past three series of My Perfect Country in their learning of global policy. Elizabeth Schmidt, professor of practice at the School of Public Policy, uses the My Perfect Country series to inspire and educate her students. The course explores strategies for designing and measuring successful policies, as well as strategies for convincing others that proven policies are worth pursuing.

Across three days, Fi Glover meets all 19 students and hears the direct impact that the My Perfect Country series has had. Fi picks three stand-out issues from the past three series that have particular resonance in the USA today: Japan’s eradication of gun control policies; Norway’s prisoner rehabilitation scheme; and Uganda’s incredible access to justice programme under Barefoot Law. Fi asks the students to question why these policies work, and whether they could also be successful in the USA. She also brings in delegates of each policy to answer the students' questions: crime writer of over 20 years Jake Adelstein, and Barefoot Law’s founding director Gerald Abila.

Producer: Anishka Sharma

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