May 30, 2018
ASPA Website | PA TIMES.org
In This Issue:
Civic Engagement in the Future
By John Kamensky, The IBM Center for the Business of Government
The precipitous drop in public trust in government over the past decade has been unsettling to many government officials—but engaging citizens directly may help reverse this trend.
From its earliest days, American democracy has been rooted in vigorous civic engagement. More recently, there have been fears that increasing distrust in institutions—including government—will lead to large scale disengagement in civic life. However, some observers are hopeful that the millennial generation will create a new momentum for civic involvement. But what will that involvement look like in the coming generation—both inside and outside governmental institutions? And importantly, what are the implications for the perceived legitimacy of government action in the society?
According to a new book, New Power, authors Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms observe that "'Participation' needs to be much more than a website that allows you to point out occasional portholes in the street; it need to be a constant and compelling experience that keeps people working together on the things that matter." In their view, "The goal of new power is not to hoard it but to channel it."
As part of its 20th anniversary activities this year, the IBM Center is looking 20 years ahead. It recently held the third in a series of "Envision Government in 2040" sessions, with this session focusing on the role of citizens in government. This small group found itself focused on defining the parameters of civic engagement and the different models emerging today that, if they scale over the coming 20 years, could significantly reimagine the roles of both citizens and government.
The session participants were hopeful, seeing a distributed participatory form of governance, much along the lines expressed in New Power. The dialogue explored four questions:
- What are the goals of civic engagement?
- What different models exist?
- What is a real-life example of a pioneer in engagement?
- What could hold back or expand engagement initiatives?
What Are the Goals of Civic Engagement?
"Civic engagement" broadly embraces similar terms such as public participation, citizen participation and citizen engagement. The group noted that the starting point is for the sponsoring entity for any engagement effort—whether it is bottom-up or top-down—to have a defined purpose or goal. This will lead to the use of different engagement models with defined roles and methods. There will be different users and designs for different purposes, such as agenda setting, policy development, service delivery or program evaluation. The bottom line: Approaches to engagement need to be purpose-driven; there cannot be a one-size-fits-all model.
What Different Models Exist?
The newer models for engagement can be arrayed along a continuum, or "participation scale" as labeled in New Power, from complying (traditional mandatory requirements for public hearings) all the way to shaping (actively shaping or protecting the norms of a new group).
The trick, note the authors of New Power, is "Having a structure in place to move people up the participation scale." Interestingly, New York City is pioneering many of these structures.
New York City: A Pioneer in Engagement
As the futurist William Gibson says: "The future is already here—it's just not very evenly distributed." Not surprisingly, many of the cutting-edge innovations in civic engagement can be found at the local level, scattered around the country. In fact, the session participants predict that in the long run, all significant engagement efforts will be "local"—not necessarily exclusively geographically local, but also including non-geographic, affinity-based groups.
To foster this, governments are creating structures to catalyze citizens' ability to "move up the participation scale," such as establishing civic engagement offices, sponsoring open data initiatives and hosting participatory budgeting initiatives. New York City is pioneering examples of how other cities might engage with their citizens in the future.
Next Steps: Tackling Stumbling Blocks to Engagement Initiatives
The session participants identified some stumbling blocks to greater citizen involvement with government. Addressing these will be important to envisioning a future with greater engagement. These include:
- Proactively managing risks created by hackers and haters. A lesson learned the hard way in recent years is that engagement leaders cannot assume trust and good behavior, upfront.
- Ensuring marginalized communities are engaged and not forgotten in the enthusiastic rush to engage people through specific initiatives.
- Ensuring a secure, online identity for participants.
- Providing feedback to participants regarding how their contributions had an impact. This is particularly important for developing the goodwill needed to have people engage again in the future.
- Ensuring access to resources, developing staff and participant capacity, and creating a sense of legitimacy.
Government at all levels needs to provide the overarching organizational structure and legal framework, and serve as a catalyst for engagement. It also needs to ensure lower barriers of entry and fair access. Doing this, according to the New Power authors, will change "the way everyday people see themselves in relation to institutions, authority and one another."
This article has been truncated from its original text. Click here to read the full version of this article on the IBM Center's website.
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Young Scholars: Down to the Wire to Apply for This Summer's Skills-Building Workshop
Calling all ASPA Ph.D. students, post-doctoral fellows and young researchers! The application period for the 7th International Young Scholars Workshop in Public Policy and Administration Research closes tomorrow, May 31. If you haven't yet finished and submitted your application, make sure you do so by midnight, tomorrow night!
Workshop Dates: Aug. 12-16, 2018
Workshop Location: Michoacan, Mexico
Centro de Cooperacion Regional para la Educacion de Adultos en America Latina y El Caribe (CREFAL) and Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas (CIDE)
This workshop provides young scholars working in public policy, public administration and related subfields with an academically rigorous platform for the presentation of research and scholarly exchange. Research in all areas of public administration and policy are eligible.
Accepted research papers and projects will demonstrate a clear theoretical and empirical focus, employing quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods.
Procedure and Timeline:
Summary submission deadline: May 31, 2018
Acceptance notification: June 13, 2018
Full paper submission: July 16, 2018
Please review the Call for Applications and complete the online application here.
Visit our website for more details and contact us with any further questions.
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Now in the E-Learning Archives
ASPA's webinars are ongoing throughout the year. Averaging 75 attendees per event and free to ASPA members, these e-learning opportunities provide you with valuable insights and information at your fingertips. Visit our website to stay informed about all upcoming webinars including KeepingCurrent, BookTalks and the Student and New Professionals Series.
ASPA is working on its summer and fall e-learning options. While you are waiting to learn about upcoming live opportunities, check out our archives to access education we have provided recently.
Driving Performance through Improved Employee Engagement
Just a few months ago, ASPA's Center for Accountability and Performance sponsored a webinar featuring Bob Lavigna from CPS HR Consulting entitled, "Driving Performance through Improved Employee Engagement". The webinar looked at what employee engagement is, why it matters and how to measure it.
"Employee engagement is a heightened connection, a personal connection, between an employee and an organization—its mission, outcomes, colleagues, supervisors," Lavigna stated. "Engaged employees are willing to do whatever it takes to help their organization achieve its mission."
Lavigna talked through the elements of engagement, how an engaged employee interacts with their organization and the impact highly engaged employees have on their organizations due to the confidence they have that their work matters. (He also noted that employee engagement is higher in the private sector than in the public sector.)
Full of stats, helpful information and great explanatory notes, this webinar is a great resource. Find more information about it online here and take a few minutes to browse through the 100+ other programs we have archived!
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Focus on Membership: Your Top Five ASPA Questions Answered!
ASPA's membership department fields questions all day via the phone, email, social media and other venues. Five of our most common questions may be ones you ask yourself regularly. Check out the below Q-and-A and email us if you need more information!
What about webinars?
ASPA's e-learning program is one of our most popular benefits. From signing up for a webinar (which you would do by logging into our website and then visiting our e-learning portal) to accessing the webinar archives later, participating in these online events is easy and free—and only takes an hour per program!
How do I get involved with my Chapter?
Most of our members join ASPA looking for a local connection to other public administrators and scholars in their geographic area. The first step for getting involved in your Chapter is to find out how to contact your Chapter leaders, which you can do by either contacting us for assistance or by looking at our list of Chapters to learn more about yours. From there, explore everything your Chapter has to offer, get engaged and make some friends. If all of that seems really hard, contact us for support! This is one of your best benefits; do not let it go to waste because you don't know what to do next!
Is there a list of benefits?
Of course there is! What kind of member society would we be if we didn't tell you all about what we can offer you all year long? This newsletter is chock full of member benefits, but you can find a list of our most popular ones on our website to help you get started, or try something new this summer! Have a favorite benefit we're not listing? Let us know and we'll add it!
I need a job board! Do you have one?
ASPA partners with NASPAA and APPAM to provide PublicServiceCareers.org, a job board specifically for the public service that lists jobs and connects those hiring and those looking to be hired. We republish some of the most recent listings in every week's This Week At ASPA and you can also go to PublicServiceCareers.org to see what has been posted. Sign up for new listings, check out specific categories of jobs and get searching!
How do I log in?
Missing your username or password? Our website can help! Visit www.aspanet.org/signin; the page will provide you with a place to enter your login details, as well as links to click if you have lost your username or password. This will get you through tight spots in the evenings or on weekends when ASPA staff are not as connected to our help desks. If you need assistance during business hours, email us or call 202-393-7878 and we will be happy to get you set up with access details.
Were these helpful? Let us know if this information is useful—or if you have five other questions not already on this list!
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Students and New Professionals: Public Service Loan Forgiveness!
The U.S. Department of Education last week released more information about a temporary program to help public servants at risk of missing out on federal student loan forgiveness because they enrolled in the wrong repayment plan.
Public servants must be enrolled in specific repayment plans, primarily those that cap monthly loan payments to a percentage of their income. However, some borrowers say the loan servicing company that collects their payments led them to believe they were in the appropriate plan when they were not. Many of those borrowers can now apply to have their ineligible payments counted toward loan forgiveness. But there a few hoops to jump through.
Find more information online here and here.
Note: ASPA does not have any information about this program; please contact the websites listed above for more details.
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PA TIMES Online Call for Authors
ASPA has opened its twice-annual Call for Authors for PA TIMES Online. If you have been interested in writing regularly for this online media, now is your chance to apply.
Featuring content from more than 100 authors throughout the year, PA TIMES Online provides fresh insights on current topics in public administration twice each week to more than 8,000 inboxes and more than 25,000 website users.
We are looking for monthly columnists to contribute to July-December 2018 editions and can speak to a range of subjects including:
- Public administration education
- Social equity
- Gender studies
- Performance management
- Evidence-based policymaking
- Demographic shifts
- Comparative public administration
- International issues
Interested in joining our columnist pool? Submit an application. First-time authors and students are welcome!
Applications must be submitted by June 10, 2018. Contact us with questions.
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Stay Smart and Away from Scams!
New phishing scams are popping up every day, catching even the smartest techies in their snares! Only just last week, the IRS warned that a new one has been reported, involving scammers posing as professional associations for the purposes of tricking users into disclosing usernames and passwords.
ASPA has heard from some of our Chapter and Section leaders with reports of being phished or scammed, providing financial information—and in some cases actual payments!—to scammers posing as ASPA or one of its affiliates.
Be aware: Scammers are crafty! If you receive a message that seems to be ASPA-related but you are unsure of its origins, contact us to find out if the message is legitimate before you reply, click or provide information. That said, make sure you send us a new message instead of replying to the one you received; phishers can and will pretend to be anyone just to get you to react!
Here are a few tips to tell if you are being targeted for a scam:
- You are being asked to click on or open an attachment from a suspicious message
- A link in an email contains a misleading domain name
- The message is badly written with poor grammar
- You are being asked to provide personal information (passwords, credit card numbers, answers to security questions)
- You didn't initiate the action
- The message appears to be from a government agency
- You are being asked to send money to cover expenses
The final bullet above (sending money) has happened to Chapter and Section leaders multiple times in the past few months. Please make sure all inquiries regarding payments due are legitimate before you act on them. If your Treasurer needs help in recognizing the signs, encourage them to sign up for an anti-phishing class and get educated right away.
The best way to fight scams and avoid being phished is to know the warning signs and take precautions. Make sure you and your colleagues take time to get educated on this important subject.
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Welcome New ASPA Members!
Click here to view the most recent new ASPA members!
"Willingness to Donate" Survey Needs Your Data
Rutgers University and James Madison University researchers have fielded a survey to explore individuals' "willingness to donate". Questions are related to association members' preferred donation amounts when supporting professional associations (including those such as ASPA). Please participate in this research; results of this survey will hopefully help inform dues level decisions for association leaders. Click here to complete the survey. Contact Cleopatra Charles with any questions.
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The Future of Public Service Symposium Begins Tomorrow
Suffolk University's symposium, "The Future of Public Service: Advancing the Civil Society through Partnership Government", begins tomorrow. Taking place in Boston, this dialogue will explore the next frontier of public service: partnership government. Featuring a keynote speech from Gov. Michael Dukakis, the symposium will focus on a broad vision of public service grounded in the principles of the civil society, the common good, service to others and social equity, exploring the need for public service organizations and other actors to recognize and embrace the interdependence that is necessary to succeed as partners in an era of fundamental challenges to the role of government itself. Onsite registrations are available. Click here for more information.
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Call for Proposals: World Conference on Remedies to Racial and Economic Inequality
Scheduled for Sept. 26-29 in Brazil, this conference will encompass disparities in public health, education, civic engagement, socioeconomic standing and representation. Subtopics include: longer term consequences of persistent poverty and inequality in access to quality health care among low income, racial and ethnic minority group members; comparative analysis of the effectiveness of alternative policy interventions designed to reduce racial and ethnic economic inequality; problems of political corruption and uneven development; causes and consequences of inequalities in access to health care and alternative health care delivery systems; racial identity and the evolution of policies in higher education, public employment and government contracting and procurement; and innovative policies designed to remedy racial and ethnic economic inequality: baby bonds, universal employment, guaranteed minimum income plans. Abstracts were due May 15; ASPA members may still register and submit abstracts before June 1 by using the override code ASPA. Click here to access the portal.
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2018 Transatlantic Dialogue
The 2018 Transatlantic Dialogue (TAD 14) will be held at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies next week, from June 6-8. The theme of this year's conference, jointly organized by EGPA and ASPA, is, "The Disciplines and the Study of Public Administration—Transatlantic Perspectives." TAD 14 will bring together a diverse group of scholars who draw on different theoretical and methodological perspectives to share their latest research and discuss challenges confronting governance and democratic society on both sides of the Atlantic. This conference aims to study in depth the contribution that the many disciplines that constitute public administration (PA) as an inter-disciplinary endeavor can contribute to the advancement of PA theory and practice, and explore the commonalities as well as differences between Europe and the United States in the ways in which the various disciplines are employed in the study of PA. Click here for more information.
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2018 Midwest Public Affairs Conference Next Week
The 2018 Midwest Public Affairs Conference (MPAC) begins next week, taking place June 7-8 at University of Illinois—Chicago. The conference theme is, "Adapting Public Service to an Age of Technological Change". MPAC promotes quality research and also provides a mechanism for socialization in the field. There will be content and programming related specifically to our theme (particularly in civic technology), as well as general public affairs topics. Click here for more information.
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2018 Sino-U.S. International Conference Two Weeks Away
The ninth Sino-U.S. International Conference on Public Administration will take place June 15-17 in Beijing. Hosted by Suffolk University, Institute of Public Service; Rutgers University—Newark, School of Public Affairs and Administration; ASPA; and the Chinese Public Administration Society, the theme for this year's conference will be: "Implementing Public Policy Toward Good Governance". This conference focuses on public policy creation and implementation toward good governance around the world. Click here for more information.
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CIMPAD Begins Next Month
Taking place June 21-29 at the University of Botswana, Africa, the 2018 Consortium for International Management, Policy and Development (CIMPAD) is accepting registrations. The conference will feature six conference tracks: policymaking governance and public administration; health and wellness in the global environment; tertiary education, research and technology; youth gender and cultural empowerment; immigration, productivity and skill development; and justice, social equity and civil society. Click here for more information.
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2018 IIAS Congress Next Month
The 2018 Congress of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) will take place June 25-29 in close collaboration with the Presidency of the Tunisian Government and ENA Tunis (National School of Administration). This year's Congress will focus on the theme of administrative resilience. Resilience refers to the capacity of public administration to provide appropriate responses to shocks, risks and disasters of any kinds. Click here for more information.
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2018 SECoPA Boorsma Award Call for Nominations Open
SECoPA is accepting nominations for the Boorsma Award, honoring a practitioner or academician for facilitating over a period of many years the international exchange of knowledge and administrative practices that foster better performance in the public sector. The Boorsma Award Committee will receive and assess all submitted nominations. All individuals or organizations wishing to submit names of individuals to be considered should provide either a letter describing the individuals' qualifications for the award or a copy of the resume of the individual being proposed (or both). The deadline to submit nominations is July 1, 2018. The award will be presented at the 2018 SECoPA conference, taking place Sept. 20-23 in Birmingham, AL. Please send nominations to Allan Rosenbaum of Florida International University. Click here for more information about the Boorsma Award.
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Professional Development through the Andrew Young School's Center for State and Local Finance
The Andrew Young School's Center for State and Local Finance invites you to register for a full year of executive education courses, beginning this summer. Class participants typically include chief financial officers, finance directors, budget and procurement staff, county administrators and others looking to hone their skills and advance their careers. The full course schedule is as follows:
- Government Financial Statement and Accounting: July 17-20, 2018 (Deadline July 2)
- Governmental Leadership: Politics, Communication and Influence: Aug. 15-17, 2018 (Deadline Aug. 1)
- Debt Management: Sept. 12-14, 2018 (Deadline Aug. 28)
- Treasury and Investment Management: Nov. 7-9, 2018 (Deadline Oct. 24)
- Forecasting (Special Session): Jan. 24-25, 2019 (Deadline Jan. 9, 2019)
- Operating and Capital Budgeting: March 13-15, 2019 (Deadline Feb. 27, 2019)
- Cost Analysis (Special Session): April 16-17, 2019 (Deadline April 2, 2019)
- Retirement, Risk Management and Procurement: May 15-17, 2019 (Deadline May 1, 2019)
Fees for the two-days courses are $350; three-day courses are $500; four-day courses are $700. Click here to learn more about the executive education program and to register.
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2018 NECOPA Call for Proposals
The 2018 NECOPA will take place Nov. 2-4 at the University of Baltimore. Its theme will be, "Blind Spots in Public Administration: Looking Inward to Improve Responses to Changing Landscapes". We all have intellectual blind spots: those issues or topics where our view is obstructed from seeing clearly. In these spaces, we are literally blind to what is happening and, as a result, unable to gather information to change our point of view. What intellectual blind spots exist for public administration and our broader system of governance? On what topics is our view obstructed? Where are voices hushed or silenced and whose voices are they? This conference aims to consider these questions in an attempt to uncover, explore and address these blinds spots. The deadline for priority proposal consideration is Aug. 1, 2018. Submit paper or poster proposals (250 word limit) or fully formed panel proposals (400 word limit) here. Click here for more information.
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Biden Challenge at University of Delaware Scheduled for September
This fall, the University of Delaware is hosting the Biden Challenge: How to Revitalize the Middle Class. Participants will engage in panels and idea exchanges at the university on the future of employment and education, the role of innovation, budget priorities and infrastructure investments. The Challenge will take place Sept. 27-28, 2018; proposals may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for more information.
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ABFM 2018 Research Conference This October
The Association for Budgeting and Financial Management's annual research conference will be held Oct. 4-6 in Denver. Click here for more information.
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The new virtual issue, "Lessons from and for Latin American Public Administration" is online. This issue includes a selection of articles most frequently downloaded by readers in South America. Topics include transparency, ethics, citizen participation and public service. The collection will be freely available through the end of July. We encourage you to cite, read and use the articles in your teaching. Find it online here.
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Public Integrity Update
For the latest news on Public Integrity's articles and topics getting international attention, join the Journal's Twitter page: https://twitter.com/PubIntegrity, or our other active sites at:
Public Integrity Now Listed in SCOPUS!
Public Integrity is now listed in SCOPUS, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature. Thanks to the efforts of associate managing editor Werner Webb and his doctoral student, Vaola Sambo, the journal's professionalism and impact on the literature related to our mission is now being recognized. This is an important next step as the journal increases its prominence and ranking across all measures of peer-reviewed scholarly journals.
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New on PA TIMES Online
Every Monday and Friday, ASPA publishes a curated collection of original content that covers public service, management and international affairs.
This quarter, we welcome submissions that focus on women in public administration. Send your contributions to us at any time; the deadline is rolling. Contact us for more information.
Check out our recent articles and columns:
Infrastructure: A Transformative Driver of en Masse Public Policy
By Daniel Bauer
Police-Community Relations and Services Are Changing in a Positive Way in Cities Throughout America
By Roger Kemp
Budgeting for a Local Government Workforce: Implications for Compensation
By Agustin Leon-Moreta
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Find your next career opportunity at publicservicecareers.org. This online job board is the perfect resource for making a career change or landing your first job in the public service. It lists dozens of positions in academia, government and the nonprofit sector. Below are just a few current listings.
Policy and Legislative Director – Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development – Richmond, VA
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Public Policy – DePaul University, Hartford, CT
Director of Employment and Benefit Services, County of Santa Clara – Social Services Agency – San Jose, CA
American Society for Public Administration
1730 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036
Please send inquiries to Managing Editor Karen E. T. Garrett.