Academia has provided research and insight to public officials for centuries, but its role is growing in value as technology disrupts governments everywhere. As federal, state and local leaders try to sort out the future, it's worth looking at higher education's ongoing contributions to the public sector; when it comes to research, no one does it better. Here are a few helpful resources for government technology leaders.
Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany
Also known as CTG, the goal of the Center for Technology in Government at the University of Albany is to "foster public sector innovation, enhance capability, generate public value, and support good governance." To that end, the CTG conducts research and projects, such as their recent "Open Budgets and Open Government: Beyond Disclosure in Pursuit of Transparency, Participation and Accountability" report (PDF download) which examines transparency in a digital world.
Pepperdine University School of Public Policy
Along with their research division, the Davenport Institute, Pepperdine's school of Public Policy is generating useful research and almost-daily updates on their blogs. The Davenport Institute's four blogs, all worth reading, can be found below:
- inCommon: This blog "explores the latest resources, studies, programs and discussions about Civic Engagement in California, throughout the nation and around the world."
- Golden Governance: Along with the National Conference on Citizenship, Golden Governance explores how a more collaborative government could yield better services for citizens.
- Big Society Watch: British Prime Minister David Cameron's Big Policy idea aims to empower local people in an effort to encourage "greater personal and family responsibility and community activism," according to the BBC News. This blog is keeping track of the successes and failures of the plan.
- Government 2.0 Watch: According to the Davenport Institute, this blog is a "one-stop resource for information relating to how governments around the world use social media, geolocation, mobile apps and other technological innovations to interact with their residents."
Professor Ines Mergel of Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs created this blog for her PPA730 Government 2.0 class in Spring 2011 and has been using it ever since. Contributions from students over the past two years have helped make this site a helpful resource for those interested in social media in government. The Maxwell School also supports 10 research centers and institutes that provide reports and valuable data to public leaders.
The Governance Lab @ NYU
The GovLab, a project housed at New York University and funded by the MacArthur Foundation and the Knight Foundation, is made up of a research division and a training division. GovLab’s blog and website are loaded with great information, like the April 2013 report "Toward Reimagining Governance: Mapping the pathway toward more effective and engaged governance" (PDF download).
The GovLab builds, studies and implements experimental, technology-enabled solutions that advance a collaborative, networked approach to reinvent existing institutions and processes of governance to improve people’s lives. Our work is predicated on the following hypotheses:
- Institutions that govern themselves more collaboratively solve problems faster and with greater success.
- Greater engagement leads to more legitimate democratic governance and also to better solutions for citizens.
Stanford Social Innovation Review
While this publication likely doesn't count as an academic resource, it is published by the Stanford Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society. The site covers a number of issues including nonprofits, philanthropy and business, but the government section is rich with articles, podcasts and webinars created specifically for the public sector.
Harvard Kennedy School of Government
As one of the most acclaimed public-policy schools in the world, Harvard's Kennedy School is home to hundreds of research sources in the form of papers, articles, podcasts and newsletters. The school recently launched the excellent website Data-Smart City Solutions. The site, which is run by Stephen Goldsmith, explores how governments are using data to improve services.
Texas A&M University Bush School of Government and Public Service
Within the broader scope of the School of Government is the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy, where students are educated in emerging technology, infrastructure and public policy. Check out their blog and research library for tons of great information.