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Risk Management for Grants Administration: A Case Study of the Department of Education

February 19, 2015 Comments off

Risk Management for Grants Administration: A Case Study of the Department of Education (PDF)
Source: IBM Center for the Business of Government

In this report, Kwak and Keleher examine the experience of the U .S . Department of Education in implementing risk management initiatives, which it initiated in 2001 . During this period, the department created its Risk Management Service, and expanded that office in 2007 . At the same time, the department also con- tinued to refine and revise its risk management tools, and now uses two new tools: the State Score Cards and the Entity Risk Review . This report explains how these two tools are being used and provides examples of how risk management tools have been used to track the progress of two high risk grantees: Detroit Public Schools and Puerto Rico .

Based on their examination of the Department of Education’s experience, Young and Keleher present a series of lessons learned and recommendations for other agencies . A major lesson is that the use of an automated, data-driven risk assessment tool enabled the department to apply uniform and consistent risk assessment procedures and make better use of audit data . The authors also learned that effective risk management is an iterative process that requires thoughtful use of existing data sources and consistent efforts to incorporate new ones .

Defining a Framework for Decision Making in Cyberspace

February 18, 2015 Comments off

Defining a Framework for Decision Making in Cyberspace (PDF)
Source: IBM Center for the Business of Government

This report is intended to provide cyberspace decision makers with a more comprehensive, clearer description of cyberspace, which they can use to manage and make decisions about cyberspace programs to improve government’s effectiveness in this critically important area. The report offers an assessment and recommendations focused on the unique characteristics of cyberspace, which were initially designed without much focus on security or risk management. Improving the definition of cyberspace will improve current understanding of how to address cyber issues strategically, as well as how, when, and what tools decision makers should use to respond to cyber events.

What Do We Know About Inter-Organizational Networks?

December 10, 2014 Comments off

What Do We Know About Inter-Organizational Networks?
Source: IBM Center for the Business of Government

As Millennials join the workforce, they are bringing their propensity for social networking into the workplace. As a result, network-centered approaches to doing work will likely become more prevalent.

Government and non-profits have already been pioneering the use of collaborative networks over the past two decades to solve complex societal challenges such as clean waterways, reducing child abuse, serving the mentally ill in the community, and reducing smoking. Much of this pioneering work has been done without a roadmap of what works and when using networks is more effective than relying on traditional hierarchies or the marketplace to achieve public goals. The descriptive and theoretical literature to guide practitioners is growing rapidly, but without guideposts as to what to read and what to pay attention to.

But now there is someplace for both experienced network leaders and neophytes to go to learn more.

A special report by the IBM Center for The Business of Government digests the key academic literature written over the past decade: Interorganizational Networks: A Review of the Literature to Inform Practice, by Janice Popp, Brinton Milward, Gail MacKean, Ann Casebeer, and Ronald Lindstrom. According to the authors, this report has been under development for several years, largely as a labor of love to synthesize literature from various professional disciplines into a “one stop” resource guide.

Creating Innovation Offices That Work

October 23, 2014 Comments off

Creating Innovation Offices That Work
Source: IBM Center for the Business of Government

Innovation offices are being established by many governments—including cities (Austin, Philadelphia, Chicago), states (Maryland, Colorado, and Pennsylvania), and federal agencies (NARA, HHS, State Department). But not all offices are organized in the same way, and not all have the same mission or metrics. A new report, “A Guide for Making Innovation Offices Work,”by Rachel Burstein and Alyssa Black detail how these various innovation groups fall into structural categories and how their success metrics map to their missions.

Participatory Budgeting: Ten Actions to Engage Citizens via Social Media

October 3, 2014 Comments off

Participatory Budgeting: Ten Actions to Engage Citizens via Social Media
Source: IBM Center for the Business of Government

Participatory budgeting is an innovation in direct citizen participation in government decision-making that began 25 years ago in a town in Brazil.

It has since spread to 1,000 other cities worldwide and is gaining interest in U.S. cities as well.

Dr. Gordon’s report offers an overview of the state of participatory budgeting, and the potential value of integrating the use of social media into the participatory process design. Her report details three case studies of U.S. communities that have undertaken participatory budgeting initiatives. While these cases are relatively small in scope, they provide insights into what potential users need to consider if they wanted to develop their own initiatives.

Based on her research and observations, Dr. Gordon recommends ten actions community leaders can take to create the right participatory budgeting infrastructure to increase citizen participation and assess its impact. A key element in her recommendations is to proactively incorporate social media strategies.

A Manager’s Guide to Assessing the Impact of Government Social Media Interactions

June 18, 2014 Comments off

A Manager’s Guide to Assessing the Impact of Government Social Media Interactions
Source: IBM Center for the Business of Government

This new report addresses the key question of how government should measure the impact of its social media use. This question is gaining increased attention within government as agencies rely more heavily on social media to interact with the public, including disseminating information to citizens.

Many believe government has been successful in using social media over the last decade. Social media has also greatly assisted the current administration in fulfilling its Open Government Initiative to increase transparency, participation, and collaboration. Government managers now face the challenge of more effectively measuring public participation and the impact of social media outreach efforts. A key additional step involves the development of a social media strategy for an agency.

Social Media Metrics for Government: A New Manager’s Handbook

June 11, 2014 Comments off

Social Media Metrics for Government: A New Manager’s Handbook
Source: IBM Center for the Business of Government

One of the most important questions to ask during a job interview or when preparing for an annual review is: “What constitutes success” or “what does success look like.” For private sector organizations, there are often very easily quantifiable metrics: number and size of sales, or year-to-year growth. Even in the nonprofit sector, there can be widely-understood metrics: rate of growth for membership lists, the volume of participants at events, or the number of calls made or postcards sent during an awareness campaign.

Unfortunately, in the public sector, there aren’t always hard-and-fast metrics. Unlike many private-sector companies, it’s not as simple for public-sector organizations simply to report that they sold more widgets than in the previous year, or that they kept the sales constant while bringing down the cost of operations. Agency missions change and evolve, and while some agencies have predictable, stable workloads that are roughly the same one year to the next, others–say, disaster relief organizations–may literally have their activities dictated to them by the caprices of the weather.

For people who plan or execute social media activities, this question–“what does success look like”–has a special piquancy. On the one hand, there are already many tools to measure many aspects of social media engagement, and many more coming online all the time. But the risk, as ever, is that agencies can look at the wrong metric and begin to tailor their social media practices in the wrong ways, distracting themselves from, rather than advancing, their goals.

A new report, “A Manager’s Guide to Assessing the Impact of Government Social Media Interactions” aims to help managers understand the tools that agencies are using to determine if their social media efforts are advancing their strategic goals. The report is grounded in Obama administration’s Open Government initiative and provides insights on how social media interactions can help increase collaboration, participation, and transparency by harnessing the use of new technologies. The insights are derived from qualitative in-depth interviews with social media managers in the U.S. federal government, review of existing social media strategies and policies, and academic literature study.

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