Thursday, September 2, 2021
The Center for The Business of Government continues to support research by recognized thought leaders on key public management issues facing government executives today.

We are pleased to announce our latest round of awards for new reports on key public sector challenges, which respond to priorities identified in the Center's research agenda. Our content is intended to stimulate and accelerate the production of practical research that benefits public sector leaders and managers.

We expect the following reports to be published starting in early 2022.  Short summaries of each report follow:

“Optimizing the Federal Government’s Use of Analytics” by Dr. Jennifer Bachner, Data Analytics and Policy Program, Johns Hopkins University

Data-driven decision making in government has received ever-increasing focus, and this trend will continue. Despite this emphasis, there isn’t much systematic evidence about the use of analytics in government. With this gap in mind, we have developed and implemented a two-wave survey of officials working in government analytics. The results provide actionable insights into the value agencies are obtaining from their use of analytics, the challenges they face as they try to expand their analytic capabilities and suggested next steps for how agencies can better leverage data and emerging analytics technologies.

“Developing Cross-Boundary and Cross-Level Direction, Alignment and Commitment through Strategy Mapping” by Dr. John Bryson, McKnight Presidential Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota

The report will examine the uses, successes, and challenges of strategy mapping as part of strategy management-at-scale efforts designed to develop and implement strategies at the scale of issues or problems that go beyond what an organization can handle by itself, but for which the organization is at least partially accountable. Such challenges include homelessness, the lack of affordable housing, racial gaps in educational achievement, the opioid crisis, chronic disease, and damage from adverse childhood experiences. Collaborative strategy mapping is an invaluable, yet underutilized leadership and management approach to fostering the direction, alignment, and commitment needed to formulate and manage the strategies. The report is intended to accelerate the adoption of strategy mapping by governments, nonprofits, and businesses interested in addressing major challenges that spill beyond what any organization can do.

“Linking Trust in Government to Competence and Agility” by G. Edward DeSeve, Coordinator of the Agile Government Center at the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA)

Many observers have linked public trust to government’s competence, including “responsiveness and reliability in delivering public services and anticipating new needs.” The development of “Agile Government Principles” by NAPA’s Agile Government Center attempts to give governments a framework to improve their competence and thus increase public trust. This report will define trust in government and how to measure it, describe the factors that influence perceptions of government competence, discuss cases where agile behavior improved government competence and public trust; and present specific actionable recommendations for improving public trust.

“Data and Innovation Teams as Catalysts for Better” by Jane Wiseman, Institute for Excellence in Government, Harvard University

Much has been written about government innovation, yet unexplored are relationships among government innovation, data, and digital offices – do they help and support each other, or do they compete for resources/attention to the detriment of the public good? A decade after the first innovation teams were funded, and a decade after the federal government appointed performance improvement officers, little literature explores the inter-connected relationships among data leaders and other innovators in government, and whether the relationships are supportive or competitive. The paper will inventory innovator roles, describe common responsibilities, and propose an analytical framework to maximize public benefit. It will explore the various ways that chief executives have organized the multiple innovation and data roles, and how those roles relate to digital service development and delivery.


The following two reports will stem from roundtable discussions to take place later this year.  These reports will summarize and provide recommendations generated from these events.

“Open Data for Racial Equity” by Joel Gurin, President and Founder of the Center for Open Data Enterprise (CODE)

This research will focus on applying data for racial equity.  The report will feature case studies that promote the use of open and shared data in healthcare, fair housing, and workforce opportunity.  Several federal, state, and local governments, business, academia, nonprofit organizations, and community leaders will provide feedback in several working sessions on the three topics. The final reports will include recommendations for data policy, data access, data use, and metrics of progress.

Many government programs, including several top priorities of the Administration, involve supply chains for the production and distribution of goods, services, data, funds and other public benefits.  The administration of these programs can transform by leveraging a “whole of government” scope and industry leading supply chain management and shared services business models to their delivery.  This report will frame the government’s supply chain challenges, develop a model to address such challenges based on experience from world class commercial entities, and conduct a gap analysis between the government and industry models to provide a roadmap for shared government action.

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