Political Representation & Program Intervention Around the World

Under the direction of WAPPP's former Executive Director Victoria Budson, WAPPP has engaged with institutions in Australia, France, Japan, and Ecuador among many other nations to inspire the replication of programs similar to "From Harvard Square to the Oval Office" (Oval Office). Sciences Po in France is the most recent institution to establish an Oval Office-modeled program, launching a curriculum in 2019.

The Female Political Representation & Intervention Impact Map (2021) below displays the percentage of parliamentary seats that are held by women in lower-house chambers around the world. The interactive tool was created and designed by WAPPP Fellow Giovana Rodrigues Manfrin using the latest data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). Together with these percentages, which show global female political representation, we are able to also visualize how programs based on evidence-based insights – such as Oval Office and its inspired programs – are increasing the number of female-held seats around the world.

Political Representation & Intervention Map


Program Framework

Oval Office is grounded on the principle that no candidate should be dettered from attending the program based on structural obstacles. From application process to the final schedule of lessons, the program aims to be inclusive and barrier-free.


how to run for office​ 


application based


all nations, governments, and political affiliations


September - April

Core Pillars

The core pillars of Oval Office align with the vision and mission of the Women and Public Policy Program; creating strategies, based on evidence, that closes gender gaps and removes gender-based bias and discrimination.


how to run for office​ 

Role-Model Effect

practitioners in the field


support of political ambition


running and winning as authentic self

Program Content

Our list of current topics expands as the world of gender equity and political leadership intertwine with the intersectional challenges each person might face in their political journey. New topics are added each year – such as “preparing your personal finances to run” – as needs arise. Below are some examples of recently-offered topics. 

  • campaign media
  • political appointments
  • resilience
  • get out the vote and field campaigning
  • public speaking 
  • navigating political parties
  • building your message
  • fundraising
  • next steps: 10 things you need to get going
  • polling
  • debate
  • preparing your personal finances to run


Discover interventions to close the gender gap in politics

The Women and Public Policy Program’s Gender Action Portal (GAP) is a collection of research evaluating the impact of specific policies, strategies, and organizational practices to advance gender equity. GAP focuses on experimental approaches to evaluate policies—both in the field and in the laboratory—and draws from multiple disciplines, including economics, psychology, and organizational behavior.

Political Representation

Women make up more than half the world’s population, yet are severely, and almost universally, underrepresented in elected office as a result of financial, social, and legal barriers. Discover interventions to close the gender gap in politics and leverage women’s skills for the public good.

Political Participation

By revealing the social, cultural, and structural barriers to women’s political suffrage, we can design policies and practices to increase women’s vote and voice in the public sphere. Different policies and revised cultural expectations can help us close the gender gap to establish women’s full participation in their governments.