The Physics of Federal Programs

Defining Federal Programs Isn’t Simple

There is more than one way to define what constitutes a federal “program,” and it is not unlike trying to define molecules, atoms, and sub-atomic particles.

Creating an Evidence-Based Government Creating an Evidence-Based Government

Policymakers are fixated on short-term budget austerity measures such as furloughs, pay freezes, and conference and travel spending. However, there is a small, but growing effort to take a longer, more strategic look at how to manage austerity by finding what works and targeting dollars there instead of to programs that cannot demonstrate effectiveness.

Four Evidence-Based Initiatives in the Federal Government

Within OMB, there is an active effort to catalyze agencies to develop and undertake a series of evidence and evaluation initiatives in ways that they can learn from each other and so they can quickly leverage promising practices.

Half Empty or Half Full?

A recent GAO report on the executive branch’s approach to new requirements in the Government Performance and Results Act recommends that “OMB improve the implementation of the act.” But a sub-theme in the report describes how agencies are actually building a long-term, solid foundation for a performance-driven government.

 

Five Steps to Building an Evidence-Based Culture in Government

OMB’s guidance to agencies on the development of their FY 2015 budgets promises that “OMB will issue a separate memo at a later date that encourages the increased use of evidence and evaluation, including rigorous testing of innovative strategies to build new knowledge of what works.” This encouragement comes on top of a foundation already under development in many agencies. 

 

State, Local, and International Evidence-Based Government Initiatives

While the federal government is undertaking a number of evidence-based program initiatives, the “moneyball government” movement is broader, encompassing initiatives at the state, local, and even international levels.

 

Examples of State-Level Efforts

How Non-Profits and Foundations Support Evidence-Based Government

Non-profits, foundations, and universities are enthused by government’s growing interest in the use of evidence and evaluation. They are chiming in with either support for government initiatives or undertaking their own.

Leadership: It's a Personal Commitment (Part 2)

One former senior level political appointee, Linda Springer, recently observed that a common set of successful characteristics private sector – being decisive, directive, and a risk taker – could actually undermine success in the public sector.  So what works best in the public sector?

Here’s my list of seven characteristics I see as the foundation for a personal commitment to being an effective public sector leader. These characteristics hold true for effective managers, as well:

Co-Delivery: Beyond Traditional Citizen Engagement

How can governments at all levels engage their citizens in ways that are more meaningful – and fun -- to both the citizens and their community? A series of pioneering initiatives hold new promise that this now can be done on a much wider scale.

Leadership: It's Both Lonely and a Team Sport

Leading Can Be Lonely.  Senior leaders can feel lonely when they have significant responsibilities and oftentimes little authority or control over a situation, and they have no one they can turn to.  I’ve seen several approaches to addressing this. 

Pages

Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government
600 14th Street, NW Second Floor
Washington, DC 20005
United States
202-551-9341

Mr. Kamensky is a Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government and an Associate Partner with IBM's Global Business Services.

During 24 years of public service, he had a significant role in helping pioneer the federal government's performance and results orientation. Mr. Kamensky is passionate about helping transform government to be more results-oriented, performance-based, customer-driven, and collaborative in nature.

Prior to joining the IBM Center, he served for eight years as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government. Before that, he worked at the Government Accountability Office where he played a key role in the development and passage of the Government Performance and Results Act.

Since joining the IBM Center, he has co-edited six books and writes and speaks extensively on performance management and government reform.  Current areas of emphasis include transparency, collaboration, and citizen engagement.  He also blogs about management challenges in government.

Mr. Kamensky is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, in Austin, Texas. He can be reached at: john.kamensky@us.ibm.com

Your cart

Your cart is empty.