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Using Innovation and Technology to Improve City Services

July 3, 2015 Comments off

Using Innovation and Technology to Improve City Services
Source: IBM Center for the Business of Government

In this report, Professor Greenberg examines a dozen cities across the United States that have award-winning reputations for using innovation and technology to improve the services they provide to their residents. She explores a variety of success factors associated with effective service delivery at the local level, including:

  • The policies, platforms, and applications that cities use for different purposes, such as public engagement, streamlining the issuance of permits, and emergency response
  • How cities can successfully partner with third parties, such as nonprofits, foundations, universities, and private businesses to improve service delivery using technology
  • The types of business cases that can be presented to mayors and city councils to support various changes proposed by innovators in city government

Professor Greenberg identifies a series of trends that drive cities to undertake innovations, such as the increased use of mobile devices by residents. Based on cities’ responses to these trends, she offers a set of findings and specific actions that city officials can act upon to create innovation agendas for their communities. Her report also presents case studies for each of the dozen cities in her review. These cases provide a real-world context, which will allow interested leaders in other cities to see how their own communities might approach similar innovation initiatives.

Improving Government Decision Making through Enterprise Risk Management

May 14, 2015 Comments off

Improving Government Decision Making through Enterprise Risk Management
Source: IBM Center for the Business of Government

While historically, the federal government has tended to focus risk management in the financial arena, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has recently launched a major reassessment of the government’s approach—encouraging the use of Enterprise Risk Management.

But OMB policies don’t readily translate into action. In this report, Webster and Stanton describe the evolution of federal risk management approaches and several agencies’ experiences in adopting Enterprise Risk Management. The authors asked cur­rent and former federal executives to describe the challenges of adopting an enterprise approach to risk management in their agencies and across the government. The report presents six challenges that they identified and concludes with six steps that organizational leaders can take to make Enterprise Risk Management actionable as a tool for successful implementation of agency programs.

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.

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