Wednesday, August 9, 2017
The Center is releasing a refreshed set of priorities to inform future research that can drive public sector improvement.

In 2018, the IBM Center for The Business of Government will mark our twentieth year of connecting research to practice in helping to improve government. Given this significant milestone, the Center reinforces our ultimate mission: to assist public sector executives and managers in addressing real-world problems with practical ideas and original thinking to improve government management and leadership. For almost two decades, the Center has supported leading researchers to identify trends, new ideas and best practices—crafting approaches that support government leaders in addressing mission delivery and management challenges with strategies and actions that promote efficiency and effectiveness.

Today, the Center is releasing a refreshed set of priorities for future research that address public sector priorities reflecting input from a broad cross section of current and former government leaders, industry and non-profit stakeholders, and academic experts.  With this Research Announcement, the Center is pleased to solicit proposals that result in reports with insightful findings and actionable recommendations for government leaders and public managers in the following areas of interest:


  • INSIGHT – Using data, evidence and analytics to create insights that influence decision making, actions and results
  • AGILITY – Adopting new ways for government to operate, using agile principles and putting user experiences and program results at the forefront
  • EFFECTIVENESS – Applying enterprise approaches to achieve better outcomes, operational efficiency and a leaner government
  • RISK – Mitigating risks, managing cybersecurity and building resiliency to meet the mission of government
  • PEOPLE – Cultivating people; reforming processes for hiring, development, and retention; and leveraging data and technologies to build the workforce of the future
  • ENGAGEMENT – Fostering a citizen-driven government through real-time interactive feedback, data visualization and other tools to engage, co-create and co-produce services and programs
  • DIGITAL – Optimizing new technology and infrastructure models, focusing on the user experience and incentivizing innovators to modernize how government does business



These seven themes draw on significant insights shared during a research roundtable in Spring 2017 that brought together government, academic, industry, and nonprofit leaders to identify key drivers for transforming government. Through research into these areas, the Center will continue to help communicate what leading experts know about effective practices and lessons learned to government leaders and stakeholders.

Governments in the U.S. and across the world, will continue to focus on controlling costs while improving the performance of their operations. A key challenge facing government executives will be to transform their organizations in an environment of constrained resources. Driving meaningful and sustained change in government requires innovative, effective and efficient decision making and implementation for positive, significant and lasting results.

We again look forward to receiving proposals that address these imperatives, and to continuing to work with the world’s leading public management researchers.