Federal Manager's Daily Report

The National Academy of Public Administration has said that carrying out its recently launched Grand Challenges initiative will be a large challenge in itself but is necessary to help the government “adapt to a rapidly evolving international, economic, social, technological, and cultural environment.”

The goals—protecting and advancing democracy, strengthening social and economic development, ensuring environmental sustainability, and managing technological changes—“are large in scope,” will require a long-term commitment and “will be difficult to successfully address for a variety of reasons,” including that they will require significant changes in the way government functions, the group said in its latest annual report.

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The Academy is a congressionally chartered nonprofit of former officials and others with expertise in government that performs studies and provides other services to lower levels of government in addition to the federal level.

“While the Academy intends to play a coordinating and con­vening role, these Grand Challenges clearly do not belong only to the Academy for action. This set of Grand Challenges is expected to set a decade-long agenda for the entire field of Public Administration, and through that agenda, establish an integrative set of efforts across the academic, practitioner, and partner communities. Over time, this will allow the nation to collectively develop and advance new models of governance that meet the challenge and ultimately increase the public’s trust in government,” it said.

“As an immediate next step, the Academy will begin convening stakeholders across the public administration community to develop action plans for each Grand Challenge,” it said.

In addition, it noted that in the past year it issued regular studies on topics including: science and technology advice to Congress; gaps in public health related to the epidemic in sexually transmitted infections; medical data management in the Bureau of Prisons; and management of nuclear production facilities.

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