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Completed Research and Capstones

Final Report: Quality of USAID Education Sector Evaluations 2011 and 2015

In response to previous criticism of its program evaluation efforts, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has since 2011 updated its evaluation policies and increased its evaluation efforts. To examine the associations of evaluation quality with time, USAID education goals, evaluation type, and evaluation contractor in charge, this…



Completed Research and Capstones

Adverse Actions: The Rules and the Reality

This monograph contains six interrelated articles that describe the official rules for adverse actions and then use survey data to analyze how the adverse action system actually operates in practice. Topics covered include: (1) the new employee probationary period; (2) the new supervisor probationary period; (3) the standard of proof;…



Completed Research and Capstones

Due Process in Federal Civil Service Employment

This report explains the interaction between the U.S. Constitution and adverse personnel actions in a merit-based civil service. It discusses the current civil service laws for adverse actions and the history behind their formation. It also addresses why the Constitution requires that any system to remove a public employee for…



Completed Research and Capstones

Training & Development for the Senior Executive Service: A Necessary Investment

The Federal Government has approximately 7,000 career senior executives (members of the Senior Executive Service, or "SES") who provide day-to-day leadership and direction for major Federal programs and organizations. This report reviews current practices in training and development (T&D) for the career SES and finds that the “systematic development” envisioned…



Completed Research and Capstones

Federal workforce: Improved Supervision and Better Use of Probationary Periods are Needed to Address Substandard Employee Performance

Federal agencies' ability to address poor performance has been a long-standing issue. Employees and agency leaders share a perception that more needs to be done to address poor performance, as even a small number of poor performers can affect agencies' capacity to meet their missions. This report 91) describes and…



Completed Research and Capstones

Improving Federal Personnel Managment

The FY 2017 White House budget request highlighted the need to strengthen the federal workforce. GAO identified some best practices to do so.



Completed Research and Capstones

Managing the Government's Executive Talent

For the next administration, the management of the federal workforce will be a critical factor in the president’s success. To accelerate achievement of the president’s priorities and reduce the risk of operational failures campaign transition teams and the next White House must make the management of executive talent a priority.…



Completed Research and Capstones

Assessing the Past and Promise of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey for Public Management Research: A Research Synthesis

Since 2002, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has used the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) to monitor efforts by federal executive agencies to manage human capital. Public management researchers have used FEVS data to produce dozens of peer-reviewed publications on a range of topics of interest to policy makers,…



Completed Research and Capstones

Commentary: The Balancing Act: Addressing the Needs of Federal Managers and Researchers through the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey

The FEVS is increasingly used as a management tool to assist agencies in understanding the needs of their employee populations at all levels of the organization and in taking specific action to improve employee engagement and performance. If the overall purpose of conducting the survey were strictly to collect demographic,…



Completed Research and Capstones

Forging Practitioner-Scholar Partnerships

When the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and Public Administration Review (PAR) were founded during 1939-1940, practitioners and scholars stood together to forge relationships to advance public administration at the cutting edge of good government. This editorial introduces PAR's package of contributions about the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS),…



Completed Research and Capstones

Commentary: The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey: A Practitioner's View of Using the Data

The drive to improve the performance and accountability of federal agencies combined with the Obama Administration's commitment to data-driven personnel management, has elevated the importance of the Federal Employee View Point Survey (FEVS). The FEVS is now used as a diagnostic and management and accountability tool for agencies and their…



Completed Research and Capstones

Entry-level Federal Hiring: Building Research Collaborations between Agencies and Academics

This paper presents a brief landscape of entry level hiring in the federal government, and what is currently known about relevant data: what databases exist, what fields they include, what analysis has been done, and how the data have been shared). It also addresses potential opportunities for collaboration between agencies…



Completed Research and Capstones

The Merit System in Crisis

The merit principle is in crisis--and here's a video of Don Kettl's presentation at the Truman School of the University of Missouri. It's based on his recent article in GOVERNANCE.



Completed Research and Capstones

Analysis of the Federal Oil and Gas Regulatory Landscape

This report examines the state of oil and gas regulations in the United States and identifies opportunities for increased regulatory efficiency and harmonization among five federal agencies: the Department of Labor, OSHA; Department of Interior, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE); Department of Homeland Security, United States Coast Guard…



Completed Research and Capstones

Eliminating the Portfolio Hedging Loophole in the Proposed Volcker Rule

The Volcker Rule, which was included in the Dodd-Frank Act, is designed to reduce systemic risk in our financial system by clarifying the blurred line between traditional activities of commercial banks and those of investment banks. However, the Volcker Rule has loopholes that could be exploited. This paper proposes to…



Completed Research and Capstones

United States Interagency Council on Hunger

The United States spends more than $62.5 billion on domestic food and nutrition services yet these funds are spread out over some 85 programs and almost 15 percent of households in the U.S. are "food insecure." This paper analyzes a proposal to establish a federal Interagency Council on Hunger to…



Completed Research and Capstones

Restoring Public Trust in Governance

How often do we make decisions every day without questioning whether our actions are consistent with the mission, values, and beliefs of our organization? Concerns about accountability and ethical behavior are not a response to sensational transgressions, but reflect the need to protect the public good by demonstrating transparency and…



Completed Research and Capstones

Leadership Volunteers in the American Red Cross

The Red Cross National Capital Region (NCR) tasked George Mason University Master of Public Administration students with researching ways to identify and integrate leadership volunteers quickly and effectively into the chapter. The Red Cross is a unique organization in that it relies heavily on volunteers to support a mission that…



Completed Research and Capstones

Innovations in Aging

This report is produced by the seventh cohort of George Mason University’s Master of Public Administration, Northern Virginia Public Service Fellows Program. “The Impact of the Coming Age Wave on State and Local Jurisdictions” was selected as the topic for this Capstone project and is a follow up to a…



Completed Research and Capstones

Disaster Research Program: A Partnership Between Academe and FEMA

Executive Summary In keeping with its strategic initiatives, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as the nation's primary Emergency Management (EM) agency, should strive to realize the full potential of the nation's EM research capacity. This research, if applied to FEMA operations, can have a direct impact on the efficacy…



Completed Research and Capstones

Networks Under Stress: the Implementation of the Recovery Act

A team of george mason faculty assessed the implementation experience under the ARRA - the Obama stimulus program. The report discusses lessons learned about the use of intergovernmental and intersectoral networks to achieve urgent national policy goals. The study focuses on seven major Recovery Act programs



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