The federal government, as well as government at other levels, faces 12 “grand challenges” that broadly fall into four categories—protecting and advancing democracy; strengthening social and economic development; ensuring environmental sustainability; and managing technological changes—the National Academy of Public Administration has said.
“It is critical that governments at all levels take steps to transform and modernize, to ensure they can tackle these challenges in new, innovative and effective ways,” said the group, which has been collecting input over the last year on the topic in preparation for efforts ahead.
The specific challenges it identified are: protect electoral integrity and enhance voter participation; modernize and reinvigorate the public service; develop new approaches to public governance and engagement; advance national interests in a changing global context; foster social equity; connect individuals to meaningful work; build resilient communities; advance the nation’s long-term fiscal health; steward natural resources and address climate change; create modern water systems for safe and sustainable use; ensure data security and privacy rights of individuals; and make government AI ready.
“Addressed individually, these Grand Challenges will take years or even decades to solve,” it said. “So it is imperative that we move forward on these challenges simultaneously, to shape effective governance in the 21st century. With this campaign, the Academy wants to inspire action, enhance understanding of each Grand Challenge, connect stakeholders, and drive change. We plan to work with interested people and organizations at all levels of government, in academia, and in the private and nonprofit sectors so that, collectively, the nation can make meaningful progress.”