Agile Government: The Role of Public Affairs Education
The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) established the Agile Government Center (AGC) in November 2019. The Center serves as the hub of a network that brings together governments, nonprofits, foundations, academic institutions, and private sector partners to develop and disseminate agile government principles. The network also aims to develop and support strategies to provide public goods and services that fully meet customer needs and build public trust. The IBM Center for The Business of Government (the IBM Center) is a partner of NAPA’s Agile Government Center.
The AGC and its community of interested leaders, the Agile Government Network (action network), are building upon the Academy’s initial efforts as presented in two reports: Building an Agile Federal Government: A Call to Action and the Road to Agile Government. The network is committed to advancing the value and practice of agility in public governance through research, global engagement, and academic program content.
Schools of public affairs have an important role in public management, creating education and training programming aimed directly at ensuring the public sector has a rich and well-prepared pool of talent who can tackle lingering and emerging issues. This report discusses the need for a new vision among schools of public affairs to ensure their relevancy in growing a successful public management sector, drawing content from the tenets of agile government.
The curriculum and pedagogy of schools of public affairs are central in this quest. This report is intended to initiate a dialog on how to integrate agile governance principles into curricula—with the hope that collaboration among entities devoted to the discipline of public management and schools of public affairs will result in the presence, availability and steady flow of public servants who embrace the principles of agile government, and who also demonstrate the associated skills and capacities to act on these principles in their day-to-day work.