Capstone Courses and Projects

Citizens Budget Commission

Performance Measurement and Management in New York City
Effective performance management requires that appropriate goals be set by an organization and that the organization’s performance relative to those goals be assessed by objective measures. In New York City government, it is not always clear whether agencies are either setting the right goals or using the right measures. Ina representative government, these objectives and the data that describe how well government has met them should be available to the public. The City of New York has chosen its annual Mayor’s Management Report (MMR) as the vehicle to inform the public about the performance of City agencies. The MMR includes numeric and narrative descriptions of a variety of factors reflecting agency performance. The Capstone team worked with the Citizens Budget Commission to provide a framework for evaluating the City’s performance management procedures, comparing the City's practices with those of acknowledged leaders in this area.

New York City Campaign Finance Board

Enforcement Program
This Capstone project is structured around New York City Campaign Finance Board’s (NYCCFB) official proposal for an evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness oft he program’s enforcement mechanisms .NYCCFB requested an analysis of the violations incurred by candidates who had participated in the program since it inception in 1988, as well as the relationships between public funds payments, penalties and candidate behavior. Additionally, the proposal called for an analysis of the actual and optimal level of NYCCFB’s resources expended on enforcement. The Capstone team investigated trends in violations and penalties, factors or conditions predictive of program violations, and whether the penalty system has a deterrence effect on program participants. The project includes an analysis of the monetary costs of enforcement and penalty collection (for assessed penalties of less than five thousand dollars). These estimated costs are weighed against the penalties imposed, the amount of public funds paid out, and the costs expended by candidates for compliance.

New York City Department of Homeless Services / Adult Services

Emergency Diversion Program
In partnership with public and private agencies, NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) provides temporary emergency shelter for eligible people in a safe, supportive environment. DHS has been working on reducing the growth of these shelter system and facilitating more appropriate housing options for people entering the system. To this end, the Capstone team has assessed the needs of people entering the shelter system and developed a front-end diversion program strategy aimed at helping single adults find suitable housing and additional social services as an alternative to entering the shelter system.