Friday, June 7, 2024
The Center for The Business of Government continues to support research by recognized thought leaders on key public management issues facing government executives today.

We are pleased to announce our latest round of awards for new reports on key public sector challenges, which respond to priorities identified in the Center's research agenda. Our content is intended to stimulate and accelerate the production of practical research that benefits public sector leaders and managers.

We expect the following reports to be published starting in late 2024.  Short summaries of each report follow:

Towards Sustainable Data Centers: Evaluating Policies for Energy Efficiency and Environmental Responsibility by Jiaru Bai, Stony Brook University

Energy consumption and the environmental impact of data centers are at an ever-increasing pace. This report will design and recommend policies that government agencies can implement to incentivize energy efficiency in data centers. The research employs novel and rigorous economic modeling frameworks, encompassing the actions of all involved stakeholders: the government, data center companies, and consumers. These models are calibrated and enriched by data collected about data centers' energy usage profile and carbon emission, consumers' preferences and behavior, and environmental costs. This research provides valuable insights for fostering a sustainable data center ecosystem.

The Purpose of Agile Government: Increased Competence, Increased Trust by G. Edward DeSeve, Coordinator, Agile Government Center, National Academy of Public Administration

This report will include comprehensive research to explore the concept of trust in government through agility.  The data gathered from a series of papers and engagements with leading organizations will inform the comprehensive report, which will highlight the importance of service improvement and trust in government. The end result will be a thorough and insightful analysis that sheds light on the role of trust in effective implementation of agile principles and overall governance, and provides actionable recommendations for government agencies seeking to enhance their credibility and performance.

Responsible Artificial Intelligence for Evaluation: Protecting Constituent Data and Informing Equitable Public Sector Decision-Making by Daniel Fonner, Southern Methodist University

With the proliferation of user-friendly generative-artificial intelligence (AI) tools, many government agencies are exploring how they can improve one of their primary functions: the equitable distribution of funding. Restrictions on using generative-AI for initial funding application assessments limit the use of this technology in the public sector. Concerns around AI model transparency further contribute to this limitation. However, by applying a post hoc evaluative approach within the domain of responsible AI, government agencies can evaluate human-driven decisions using transparent AI models. This research explores this topic through the application of Large Language Models around a government-funded grant program.

The Global Quest for a Quantum Leap: Cooperation and Competition in Quantum Technology by Dr. Paula Ganga, Stanford University

Quantum computing represents the next frontier for technological innovation. The US government has invested substantial resources to develop a robust network of public and private actors at the global forefront of this technology. Other countries have made similar investments and cooperation has flourished. This project examines the international comparative state of quantum technology from the perspective of the US government agenda. This report will provide actionable steps for the US government to take in order to foster cooperation around quantum, while leveraging America’s leading role in developing cutting-edge technologies.

Linking Human Centered Design Principles and Enterprise Risk Management by Karen Hardy, Ed.D., George Mason University

Human-centered design (HCD) has gained traction in the public sector, such as though language in significant laws including the Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) which has elevated the importance of HCD in government. Policy language also links program design with risk management (ERM) practice. Furthermore, the growing interest in design thinking expertise within the government workforce indicates a high expectation for HCD. This report will present analysis and recommendations to (1) further explore how the combined approach of HCD and ERM could be useful tool for CROs and those who practice ERM in agencies (2) help create a resilient government by strengthening ERM practices.

Assessing the Future Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the US Federal Workforce by William Resh, PhD, University of Southern California

This research will explore how to develop a generative artificial intelligence (AI) engine that provides adapted responses to queries on the relative vulnerability and impacts of AI on the government workforce. A natural language processing program will be used to explore the US Office of Personnel Management's Occupational Series Handbook to identify knowledge, skills, and assets of various occupations. This information will be analyzed with the support of gen AI fed to assess five- and ten-year impacts of AI on these occupations. The research will enhance this analysis with interviews of HR professionals and AI experts as feedback to update and validate findings and recommendations.

Three Reforms to Accelerate Defense Innovation by Dr. John Whitley, Institute for Defense Analyses

The National Defense Strategy calls fioor accelerating defense modernization to maintain overmatch against near peer nation-state rivals. But DoD development and fielding of technology remains a decades long process often out of step with the current pace of technological development and adversary modernization. Reforms to the acquisition process have been implemented and the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) Commission will propose budget process reforms. But process reforms can enablers though not accelerate the fielding of new technology by themselves. This report will examine how DoD can expand in three major areas to succeed: digital transformation, modular open system architecture, and as-a-service acquisition of capability.