Successful achievement of an Administration's policy goals depends on high performing government programs and people. In pursuit of the goal of helping a new Administration create high performing programs and people, the Academy surveyed is Fellows to get their ideas on what initiatives would be most valuable to a new Administration. The four major initiatives that were identified form the basis for the Academy's four T16 Panels, which aim to issue concrete recommendations in their respective areas to the Presidential candidates and incoming Administration.
Chair - Don Kettl
The next president will enter office with visions to execute and promises to keep. To meet these aspirations, he or she will have no alternative but to move beyond the approaches of the past, rooted in individual programs and agencies. The administration will have to develop new, effective strategies for policy and administrative collaboration across boundaries - between federal agencies, across levels of government, between government and the private and nonprofit sectors, and across global boundaries.
This Panel will identify best practices in advancing collaboration and will propose new approaches where existing ones have fallen short: both within the federal government, and between the federal government and its many partners. In many parts of the government, there is in place a strong system for intergovernmental collaboration, but we are not using it well. Despite numerous attempts, the country lacks a good framework to produce and measure interagency coordination. We can - and must- do better. This task builds on the strengths of the Academy's Fellows, composed of leaders from all levels of government, business, the nonprofit sector, and academia. Strong collaboration will help the new administration leverage government's partners to produce success.
Chair - Robert Shea
The movement to improve performance in government programs has yielded mixed results. While the formal process of strategic planning and performance reporting have lifted the discussion of program outcomes to a higher plane, there is often inadequate evidence that the methods being undertaken are in fact the most efficacious ones.
Techniques including Randomized Control Trials (RCT) have spotlighted the strengths- and weaknesses- in various program approaches. This Panel will analyze the existing process of planning and measurement required by statute and regulation with the two fold objective of providing insights in how the processes can be streamlined and how evidence based methods can be used to improve outcomes. It will also examine the necessary time, political support and resources necessary to undertake evidence based analysis.
Chair - John Kamensky
Perspective in planning is crucial to its success. The scope and time frame used to establish baselines affect the entire practice of developing actionable efforts to respond to crises and undertake concerted actions to implement programs. While the Panel described above will be tasked with determining if the federal government is “doing things right” when it comes to program implementation, this Panel will examine whether we are “doing the right things”.
Critics suggest that we are neglecting to undertake disciplined analysis of the potential effects of multiple scenarios, failing to create networked solutions to complex problems and ignoring the evidence of feedback loops to further guide changes in approaches. This points up the need to actively bring Strategic Foresight into the planning process of all agencies.
This Panel will examine efforts in Strategic Foresight that have been effective within the federal government and in other sectors to determine what principles and policies might be adopted by a new Administration.
Chair - John Salamone
The ability to attract talented people and retain them in key positions was most often cited in the Survey as a critical element in the success of a new Administration. The importance of preparing incoming high level individuals was similarly cited. It is not enough to attract individuals; they must be oriented into their role in the federal government which often differs significantly from their previous jobs outside. This preparation should be continuous and available to individuals throughout an Administration.
This panel will analyze the current process to recruit, train, retain and reward individuals and identify changes that could be made by a new Administration. Recent efforts in the Defense Department and elsewhere to modify civil service rules should be part of the Panel’s deliberations.