Innovations in Government

Playbook: Government as Platform

 Richard Pope, November 2019

Looking around the world, we can see a different approach to digital government. One of cross-government platforms that are beginning to break down organizational silos, save money and change the types of services that can be delivered to the public. This playbook is written for practitioners, from public sector product managers to chief digital officers, looking for approaches to implementing platforms in government. 

Students with Mayor Craig

A New Approach In City Hall

August 28, 2019

The red brick and weathered stone of city hall stretch three stories above Manchester, New Hampshire’s central business district, topped by an elaborate, Gothic Revival spire. Sunlight streams through the arched windows of the building into a winding stairwell lined with portraits of city leaders, from 1846 to the present—neat rows climb from black and white to color; all stern gazes, mustaches, and crisp shirt collars. The march of masculinity is broken by the very last portrait—a smiling blonde woman.... Read more about A New Approach In City Hall

Harvard Program on American Indian Economic Development Logo

Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development Joins the Ash Center

July 23, 2019
Cambridge, MA —Today, the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development (HPAIED or the Harvard Project) announced that it is joining the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, a research center at Harvard Kennedy School focused in part on researching and disseminating innovative public policy solutions.
Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative Announces Third Class of Mayors to Go Back to School

July 15, 2019

New York, NY The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative today announced the third class of forty-one mayors from around the world who will participate in the yearlong education and professional development program designed exclusively for mayors and city leaders. The forty-one mayors joined Harvard faculty and renowned management experts in New York City this week for a 3-day, immersive classroom experience to kick-off the program.... Read more about Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative Announces Third Class of Mayors to Go Back to School

Kyle and Jana at HKS

Ensuring All Detroiters Benefit from the Motor City’s Revival

June 24, 2019

Six years after emerging from the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history, construction cranes once again dot Detroit’s skyline and large-scale investment is flowing into scores of high-end commercial and residential developments throughout the city. Ford is in the midst of remaking Detroit’s once grand but long since decrepit Michigan Central Station into a hub for tech-savvy workers and engineers working on autonomous vehicle projects.... Read more about Ensuring All Detroiters Benefit from the Motor City’s Revival

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis Is Using Zoning to Tackle Housing Affordability and Inequality

June 10, 2019
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is the unlikely protagonist in one of the boldest policy gambits aimed at tackling the housing affordability crisis currently gripping many of America’s cities. Since being sworn into office in January 2018, the 37-year-old mayor of Minnesota’s largest city has helped shepherd through a radical rezoning of the city's 83 neighborhoods, which is intended to ease the creation of and access to affordable housing across the city.... Read more about Minneapolis Is Using Zoning to Tackle Housing Affordability and Inequality

Public Value: Deepening, Enriching, and Broadening the Theory and Practice

Public Value Book CoverLindgreen, Adam, Nicole Koenig-Lewis, Martin Kitchener, John D. Brewer, Mark H. Moore, and Timo Meynhardt, Routledge, 2019

Over the last 10 years, the concept of value has emerged in both business and public life as part of an important process of measuring, benchmarking, and assuring the resources we invest and the outcomes we generate from our activities. In the context of public life, value is an important measure on the contribution to business and social good of activities for which strict financial measures are either inappropriate or fundamentally unsound.

Innovations in American Government Awards

Top Public-Sector Innovation Award Seeks Programs Creating Economic Opportunity for All

April 30, 2019

Cambridge, MA — The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School today announced its call for nominations for the 2019 Innovations in American Government Award. This year the Innovations in American Government Awards Program is specifically seeking nominees focused on creating economic opportunity for all.

In order to be eligible to apply, programs must be designed to achieve at least...

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Tobias Bear

Working Wonders for Foster Youth

April 17, 2019

In the United States, nearly 23,000 young people age out of the foster care system every year without having been reunited with their families or placed in permanent homes. Approximately 20 percent of those who leave foster care without a permanent home after turning 18 join the growing ranks of the homeless in cities and towns large and small across the country, according to the National Foster Youth Initiative. Only half will find gainful employment by the time they turn 24.... Read more about Working Wonders for Foster Youth

Cecily Tyler

Behind the Lens: Cecily Tyler Is Building a New Generation of Citizen Storytellers

April 17, 2019

With camera equipment often in tow, Cecily Tyler MC/MPA 2016 has been a familiar face at the Ash Center since graduating from the Kennedy School three years ago. Tyler, a documentary filmmaker, has worked with scores of students at the Center since starting to teach videographic essay-making skills as part of Ash Center resident faculty affiliate Jorrit de Jong’s Innovation Field Lab course.... Read more about Behind the Lens: Cecily Tyler Is Building a New Generation of Citizen Storytellers

Musisi discussing public works

From Kampala to Cambridge: Jennifer Musisi knows what it takes to lead high-stakes change in city government

April 12, 2019

Like most city leaders, Jennifer Musisi, the former municipal head of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, came into office with plans to shake up how local government did business. She wasn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers in order to improve how Uganda’s largest metro area, long plagued by corruption and poor administration, provided services to its one and a half million residents. What she didn’t expect was that her pursuit of greater government efficiency and transparency would result in threats on her life.... Read more about From Kampala to Cambridge: Jennifer Musisi knows what it takes to lead high-stakes change in city government

Change at the Speed of Trust: Advancing Educational Opportunity Through Cross-Sector Collaboration in Louisville

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, January 2019
 
This Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative teaching case covers City of Louisville's effort to increase students’ college and career readiness. On the morning of June 4, 2018, members of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s Louisville Promise Cabinet assembled around a U-shaped table in a downtown office building.... Read more about Change at the Speed of Trust: Advancing Educational Opportunity Through Cross-Sector Collaboration in Louisville
City Streets

From Street to Spreadsheet

January 17, 2019

In two recently released papers, a pair of scholars affiliated with Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation take a close look at how urban leaders are grappling with the quick pace of technological and regulatory change in America’s cities today. In Reforming Mobility Management: Rethinking the Regulatory Framework, Stephen Goldsmith, the Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government at Harvard Kennedy School, lays out a new model for how...

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