Category Archives: Publications

Recommendations to Build Cross-Agency Collaboration for the Next Administration

Fountain March 2016 cover

Today’s political and policy challenges – like veteran homelessness, sustainable communities, federal permitting and review, cybersecurity – demand greater cross-boundary capacity, that is, the ability of government to use cross-agency collaboration, partnerships and a range of enterprise approaches to solve problems. And new technologies make information sharing and streamlining possible. Yet governments remain too fragmented with agencies working “silos” without sufficient communication and knowledge sharing.

NCDG Director Professor Fountain’s new white paper, Building an Enterprise Government: Creating an Ecosystem for Cross-Agency Collaboration in the Next Administration, makes recommendations for building enterprise approaches in government. It was published on Monday, March 14, 2016 jointly by the Partnership for Public Service and IBM Center for the Business of Government.

Fountain’s report recommends that transition teams and the next administration should determine the presidential priorities and goals that are likely to require multiple agencies to work together. The White House should include executive talent in the form of a chief operating officer to focus on those cross-agency priorities when other matters threaten to divert attention. Over the past 25 years an emerging ecosystem of institutional actors has grown up to support cross-agency and enterprise teams. This institutional network is vital to enterprise and cross-agency approaches. It’s potential as a source of knowledge, strong practice and communication should be leveraged by government executives.

A group of current and former government officials gathered in Washington, D.C. in September, convened by the Partnership for Public Service and the IBM Center for the Business of Government to examine how to develop such approaches and to make recommendations for the next presidential administration. Professor Fountain captured the central themes of this roundtable discussion and built on her own research during more than two decades to recommend concrete steps the transition teams and next administration should take to develop the ability to work across agency boundaries.

The report is part of a series of five white papers to develop a Management Roadmap for the next administration and is included in the Partnership’s Center for Presidential Transition Ready to Government initiative.

Resources:

http://www.businessofgovernment.org/blog/business-government/next-white-house-should-create-enterprise-government

http://www.govexec.com/management/2016/03/success-next-presidential-administration-may-hinge-agencies-ability-work-together/126647/?oref=GovExecTCO

World Economic Forum Summit on the Global Agenda 2014 Visions Awards

 

 

Jane Fountain WEF press conference

Jane Fountain, NCDG Director, speaking at the press conference for Global Agenda Council Award.

 

The World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government was honored with a Visions Award at 2014 Summit on the Global Agenda held in Dubai on November 9-11, 2014. The awards were announced during the opening plenary, Shaping the Transformations of the World.

 

United Arab Emirates Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum with Visions awardees and World Economic Forum leaders. From left: Espen Barth Eide, Managing Director, WEF; Achankeng Leke, Director, McKinsey & Company, South Africa; Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, WEF; Prof. Subramanian Rangan, INSEAD; Jamie McAuliffe, President & CEO, Education for Employment; His Highness Sheik Mohammad; Kathleen Matthews, Exec. VP, Marriott International; Dist. Prof. Jane Fountain; and David Kappos, Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore

United Arab Emirates Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum with Visions awardees and World Economic Forum leaders. From left: Espen Barth Eide, Managing Director, WEF; Achankeng Leke, Director, McKinsey & Company, South Africa; Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, WEF; Prof. Subramanian Rangan, INSEAD; Jamie McAuliffe, President & CEO, Education for Employment; His Highness Sheik Mohammad; Kathleen Matthews, Exec. VP, Marriott International; Dist. Prof. Jane Fountain; and David Kappos, Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore

 

Jane Fountain received the Visions Award on behalf of the Council on the Future of Government and spoke on the work of the Council at the press conference on the Global Agenda Council Award. She was chair of the Future of Government Council in 2010-11, vice chair in 2011-12, and has been a council member since its inception in 2008. She wrote the Smart Toolbox chapter on Political Representation, highlighting the importance of decision makers to use ICT to increase representation, decrease citizen apathy, and to interpret civic engagement in light of the subgroups and individuals actually represented online.

The Future of Government SmFuture of Government Smart Toolboxart Toolbox offers a practical, state of the art guide for government leaders and those interested in government innovation. The Smart Toolbox was developed under the leadership of Joe Nye, former Dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, who chaired the Council, and Diana Farrell, President and CEO of the JPMC Institute, who served as vice chair, during 2013 and 2014. The toolbox focuses on eight key areas for government improvement: anti-corruption, political representation, service delivery, modernization of bureaucracy, increasing trust, leadership, innovation and security. Thirty two case studies drawn from every region of the globe illustrate and make concrete best practices.

Photos: Flickr

Jane Fountain speaking at the press conference on the Global Agenda Council Awards. Dubai, 2014.

Jane Fountain speaking at the press conference on the Global Agenda Council Awards. Dubai, 2014.

Fountain Authors Section of New World Economic Forum Guide for Government Technology Use

wef

 

June 17, 2014

Future of Government Smart Toolbox, a new guide to help governments use technology to build better trust and deliver more efficient public services, includes a section on political representation authored by Jane Fountain, Distinguished Professor in political science and public policy. The guide was launched June 10 by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government, in cooperation and with the support of the government of the United Arab Emirates.

Political representation is one of the core issues for technology and governance globally. Fountain has been a member of the Future of Government Global Agenda Council since its inception seven years ago. She is past chair of the council and led the writing of its first major report, “The Future of Government: Lessons Learned from around the World,” which led to the initial sessions at Davos for government and non-governmental organizations leaders on this topic.

“Future of Government Smart Toolbox,” provides an analysis of how technology can and is impacting the demands placed on government to deliver more with less, as well as affecting government’s ability to meet expectations. The toolbox focuses on eight key areas for improving government performance: anti-corruption, political representation, bureaucracy, delivery of services, trust, leadership, security and innovation.

As part of the toolbox, the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government has developed three forward-looking scenarios to examine how the world of governance could evolve by 2050. The scenarios, developed with the Forum’s Strategic Foresight team, are:

  • City State: A world in which authority is decentralized to the city level and pragmatism trumps idealism in addressing collective issues.
  • e1984: A world in which the promise of Big Data is realized; economic, geopolitical and cyber threats are omnipresent, and collective solidarity is a core societal value.
  • Gated Community: A world in which world political power rests with individuals and private sector organizations; individual responsibility and choice prevail in society, with the private sector being the main provider of collective services.

“The UAE government has embraced innovation and set high benchmarks in government efficiency and trust,” said Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, minister of cabinet affairs and chairman of the organizing committee for the Government Summit, Federal Government of the United Arab Emirates. “We are happy that the UAE Government Summit partnership with the forum has led to a tangible and positive outcome as the Smart Toolbox, which takes trust in government as a unifying theme. It also highlights the role of UAE Government Summit as an international platform to enhance the future of the government administration around the world.”

“Leadership of informed societies requires leaders to take a progressive approach to building trust through better, more efficient and responsive governance,” added Espen Barth Eide, managing director and member of the managing board, World Economic Forum. “The World Economic Forum has partnered with the Government Summit, United Arab Emirates as part of our longstanding and strong partnership in order to showcase good governance practices from around the world attesting to the vision and the making of truly smart, technologically enabled governments.”

“ICT has a great role to play in helping governments create trust and provide leadership,” noted Joseph S. Nye Jr., chair of the Council on the Future of Government and University Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard Kennedy School of Government. “But to use it effectively, leaders need to be aware of how technology is changing society and how these changes in turn will place new demands on governance.”

The Smart Toolbox also includes governance best practices from a number of countries, as well as case studies written by council members, including Abdulla Al Basti, director-general, the executive office-government of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Jimmy Wales, founder and chair emeritus, board of trustees, Wikimedia Foundation.

chapter4

Excerpt from Professor Jane Fountain’s contribution to the “Future of Government Smart Toolbox”

New report: Building Cross-Agency Collaboration

Last week, Jane Fountain presented the results of a broad study of cross-agency collaboration at the annual plenary meeting of the Administrative Conference of the United States, an independent federal agency. The final report, The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010: Examining Constraints To, and Providing Tools For, Cross-Agency Collaboration brings together guidance and recommendations for public managers, examines the early implementation of some of the provisions of the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act of 2010, and highlights four case studies of successful, important cross-agency collaboration. I’m immensely grateful to current and former government officials and other experts who gave generously of their time and knowledge to teach me more of the inner workings of cross-agency collaboration.

The case studies in the report are meant to illustrate concretely the complexity of cross-agency collaboration and, in most cases, the long period of development required for public managers and others to build shared goals, language, methods and processes. The case studies demonstrate innovative and impressive cross-agency projects.

The National Export Initiative, one of the administration’s first set of cross-agency priority, or CAP, goals is meant to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014. The effort brings together about 20 different departments and agencies responsible for trade policy, negotiations, funding and other resources, and export promotion. The initiative builds on the Trade Policy Coordinating Committee, established by Congress in 1992, and strengthens its strategic focus and coherence.

Reducing veteran homelessness focuses on the “virtual agency” created by policy entrepreneurs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD, and the Veterans Administration, the VA, working with a constellation of state and local government agencies, NGOs and other partners. The HUD-VA Supportive Housing rental voucher program, an interagency program that actually began in 1991, is one of the core cross-agency vehicles to move veterans with a variety of physical and mental health needs out of chronic homelessness. Nineteen federal agencies comprise the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). But local level collaboration is critical for implementation. The case describes the linkages from Washington to local level, community decision makers.

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is a collaboration among three federal agencies designed to reconceptualize policies and practices by coordinating those who work on affordable housing with those who focus on affordable transportation to produce solutions for communities that will help people live in proximity to jobs with the ability to choose affordable transportation. The U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency have worked together to build this cross-agency capacity. Here’s a brief video from the mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut on the importance of the collaboration.

An expert at DOT said of this initiative:

One of the biggest [cross-agency projects] in the Obama Administration has been the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. This is clearly worth doing. We do a profound amount of transportation, housing, economic development, environmental planning and investment that is completely disconnected. We fail to capitalize on synergies and we spend way more money than we should and we don’t get the outcomes. That’s an area where the challenges [of cross-agency collaboration] are worth it.

Expedited Permitting and Review of Federal Infrastructure Projects is a case study that offers guidance to public managers and others on the cross-agency use of dashboards, rapid response teams, and interventions at the regional and local levels to push collaboration throughout agencies. Quoting from a presidential memorandum of August 2011, the project is meant to more fully leverage strategies such as “integrating planning and environmental reviews; coordinating multi-agency or multi-governmental reviews and approvals to run concurrently; setting clear schedules for completing steps in the environmental review and permitting process; and utilizing information technologies to inform the public about the progress of environmental reviews as well as the progress of Federal permitting and review processes.”

The background and recommendations in the report build on and expand previous research, including a more concise report titled Implementing Cross-Agency Collaboration: A Guide for Federal Managers, published by the IBM Center for the Business of Government.

The ACUS annual plenary discussion concerning the study were surprising, in a positive way, because agency general counsel and attorneys discussed how important it is to them to understand the components of cross-agency collaboration. Most public management researchers know little about the perspectives and role of agency general counsel and attorneys with respect to interagency collaboration. We need to know more. Some attorneys described how agency attorneys are thrown into complex negotiations across agencies, and multiple parties, having had no training or experience in these matters. The video of the plenary session discussion is useful for its recording of this discussion. ACUS also makes publicly available on its website the meetings, minutes and various reviews of the study and recommendations as these were carried out by the ACUS Committee on Administration and Management.

Jane Fountain at the 2013 Urban Forum: Connecting Technologies to Citizenship

 

JF_Photo high res

Jane Fountain wrote an invited white paper, “Connecting Technologies to Citizenship,” and participated in the panel “Tuning in: How can technology help unite the government with it’s people?” at the 2013 Urban Forum: Technology and the Resilience of Metropolitan Regions held in Chicago on December 5, 2013. Twitter: #UIC_UrbanForum

A pre-publication copy of the white paper  “Connecting Technologies to Citizenship” .

Videos of the panels are available here: http://www.uicurbanforum.org/videos/2013/index.php

Photos of the Urban Forum panelists and talks here: http://flic.kr/p/inTeZy

New book: Internet Success by Charles Schweik and Robert English

Professor and NCDG Associate Director Charles Schweik and former NCDG research fellow Robert English have published Internet Success: A Study of Open-Source Software Commons (MIT Press, 2012). Nobel prize winner, Elinor Ostrom, wrote: “Charles Schweik and Robert English have written a book that illustrates, for scholars and Ph.D. students around the world, the challenge of undertaking careful research on the intellectual commons and then summarizing it in a responsible manner. The final chapter will be of substantial importance to anyone thinking of studying how individuals develop creative settings for jointly producing a common good. I strongly recommend this outstanding book.”

Visit MIT Press website.

World Economic Forum Future of Government report

Digital governance is one of the five key themes for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos this year. In Abu Dhabi, at the WEF Global Agenda Council Summit, interest in digital governance from several Global Agenda Councils was intense. This year, Jane Fountain is the Vice Chair of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government. She chaired the Council last year and, with Council members, launched the report, “The Future of Government: Lessons Learned from around the World” at the WEF Europe and Central Asia Summit held in Vienna in June 2011abu_dhabi2.

The Internet and Islam – The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy

Philip Howard, Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Washington has just published The Internet and Islam – The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. The book investigates the impact of digital technologies on civic life in countries with significant Muslim communities.  According to Howard,  “The book uses innovative comparative methods to look at how technologies like the mobile phone and internet have changed the very meaning of citizenship…[O]n the whole the prognosis is good:  in the last 15 years, technology diffusion trends have contributed to clear political outcomes, and digital media have become a key ingredient in the modern recipe for democratization.”  Read more from the publisher.

“Digital Origins” investigates the impact of digital technologies on civic life in countries with significant Muslim communities.  The book uses some innovative comparative methods to look at how technologies like the mobile phone and internet have changed the very meaning of citizenship.  There are chapters on state capacity, political parties, journalism and civil society.  There is also, as you might expect, a chapter on how new technologies make some dictators better dictators.  But on the whole the prognosis is good:  in the last 15 years, technology diffusion trends have contributed to clear political outcomes, and digital media have become a key ingredient in the modern recipe for democratization.

Creating a 21st Century Public Agency

Jane Fountain, Raquel Galindo, and Jeffrey Rothschild have published a new case study on the European Union’s Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market (OHIM). The case study is part of NCDG’s research on the management innovations implemented at the OHIM. Click here for more information on this project and to download the case study.

CASE ABSTRACT: Wubbo de Boer and his department directors, his top management team, prepared for critical meetings of the Administrative Board and the Budget Committee in the winter of 2010. The European Union’s trademark and design registration agency in Alicante, Spain, grandly named the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Mark and Design) (OHIM), had exceeded all expectations for the establishment of the Community trade mark (CTM) and the Registered Community design (RCD). The new agency also could be proud of impressive achievements in productivity and transparency since it began registering trademarks in 1996. Through productivity gains, the agency had reduced the fees companies paid to register trademarks and designs by about 50 percent between 1996 and 2009. Through innovative use of e-business tools and web-based information, for more than a decade OHIM managers and staff had worked to transform and simplify the processes used to examine and register trademarks and designs, completely automating many steps in these processes. They had provided powerful information tools for their “users,” OHIM’s term for the individuals and firms that interact with the agency, and for internal OHIM examiners to increase efficiency and reliability of decision making. They had surveyed users and worked closely with them to develop performance measures and service standards that would in turn challenge OHIM to continuously improve its service in terms of timeliness, quality and accessibility. They had even challenged deeply held attitudes and norms of the permanent civil service by building flexibilities including telework into workforce practices in Alicante and by efforts to rigorously examine working methods to improve productivity.

Yet many of their principal stakeholders seemed uninterested in—in some cases, opposed to—these developments. Each Member State in the European Union (EU) had its own national trademark and design registries and relied on fees to support its own national agency. Some Member States perceived the CTM and RCD to be sources of competition to national trademarks and designs. Some of the newer EU Member States had trademark and design registration offices whose revenues went directly to the state budget; thus those agencies exercised little budgetary authority or autonomy. Fee reductions for the CTM faced fierce opposition because lower fees were viewed as making the CTM even more competitive. Moreover, a steep economic downturn in Europe beginning in late 2008 exacerbated tensions as states sought revenue. The European Commission (EC) was responsible for the delicate task of balancing national and Community interests as it sought to deepen harmonization.