For "MillionTrees" Leadership, NYU Wagner Student Wins NYC's Frederick Hayes Prize

For "MillionTrees" Leadership, NYU Wagner Student Wins NYC's Frederick Hayes Prize

Morgan Monaco

Citing her ongoing work to bring about the planting of one million trees, the City of New York has awarded NYU Wagner student Morgan Monaco its prestigious Frederick O’Reilly Hayes Prize, which honors aspiring and emerging leaders in the municipal government.

In addition to working currently toward her MPA at Wagner, Ms. Monaco serves as the Director of MillionTreesNYC in the Department of Parks and Recreation, where she leads all elements of the initiative to plant and care for one million new trees citywide.

It is for this job – managing internal staff and coordinating with dozens of outside organizations – that she drew the recognition of the Hayes Prize committee of nine distinguished public service professionals.

 “I am deeply honored to be the recipient of this prestigious award and look forward to preserving Hayes’ legacy through my work in public service,” Ms. Monaco said. “I am particularly proud to receive this award on behalf of open space preservation and environmental sustainability. In my work at Wagner, I always look for ways to apply management best practices of people to managing the urban forest. It is my ultimate goal that New Yorkers foster a better connection to their local trees. I am inspired by Hayes’ ability to deliver innovative public programs and look forward to continuing to address open space challenges through my work at Wagner and beyond."

Ms. Monaco has been in City service for five years after several summers with the Parks Department, and holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Vassar College.

In addition to recognizing Ms. Monaco, the prize committee honored two researchers in the Chief Medical Examiner’s Department of Forensic Biology as recipients of the 2012 award. The team developed a statistical tool to describe the results of complex DNA analysis undertaken at crime scenes.

Individual winners of the Hayes Prize receive up to $7,500, while team efforts are eligible for up to $15,000. The winners are chosen from an array of candidates sent by City agencies. This is the seventh year of the prize, whose winnings may be used by the recipients to further develop their public service careers.

The prize was created to memorialize Frederick O’R. Hayes, who was New York City’s star budget director for  four years in the administration of Mayor John Lindsay. In that role, Hayes attracted talented and experienced idealists from around the country who wanted to solve the problems of urban poverty.

Before Mayor Lindsay tapped him in 1966, Mr. Hayes started out his career in public finance positions for New York State government, and went on to work for 10 years in Washington as an economist at the Bureau of the Budget, now the Office of Management and  Budget. Hayes in 1964 oined President Lyndon B. Jonson’s task force on the War on Poverty, where he was a senior member of the group that developed the Community Action Program.  He later joined the newly created Office of Economic Opportunity under Sergeant Striver.

 “He had complete integrity. He understood the delicate connection between professional standards and the political system. He attracted and inspired talent. He was a polymath with a wry sense of humor. His imagination was limitless and his analytical powers incisive,” the prize committee stated of Mr. Hayes, who died in 2002.

The award is organized by New York City and Mayor Michael Bloomberg; the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and Commissioner Edna Wells Handy; and the Citywide Organizational and Executive Development Programs

 

Irshad Manji Testifies at House Subcommittee Hearing on Fort Hood Terrorist Attack

Irshad Manji Testifies at House Subcommittee Hearing on Fort Hood Terrorist Attack

Irshad Manji, director of the Moral Courage Project at NYU Wagner, testified today before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management . The hearing examined military base security and lessons learned from the 2009 terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Texas.

In addition to Manji, who teaches at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, witnesses included Douglas Winter, deputy chairman and editor-in-chief, William Webster Commission; Michael Leiter, former director, National Counterterrorism Center; and Kshemendra Paul, program manager, Information Sharing Environment, Office of Director of National Intelligence.

Professor Dennis Smith Appointed to NASPAA's Accreditation Commission

Professor Dennis Smith Appointed to NASPAA's Accreditation Commission

Dennis C. Smith

Dennis C. Smith, associate professor of public policy at NYU Wagner, has been appointed to serve as a member of the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA) of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

NASPAA is a professional education association dedicated to the advancement of education, training, and research in public affairs/policy/administration. The association is a specialized accrediting agency for master’s degree. COPRA has independent decision-making and policy autonomy for purposes of accreditation review of master’s programs.

Professor Smith is among five new COPRA members appointed by incoming NASPAA president Jack Knott.  The other new members include: Lisa Bingham, Indiana University;
Jo Ann Ewalt, College of Charleston;  Jocelyn Johnston, American University, and  
Andrew Whitford, University of Georgia.

NYU Wagner Participates in White House Forum on Urban Innovation

NYU Wagner Participates in White House Forum on Urban Innovation

NYU Wagner is among 16 distinguished public service and educational organizations attending today’s White House Forum on Urban Innovation with an array of Federal agencies, aimed at surfacing new partnerships and models to solve problems of concentrated poverty and economic immobility in our fast-growing cities.

The public / nonprofit conference is part of a new series of conversations the White House is hosting “to spotlight stories of social innovation on the ground,” according to the briefing packet, which adds: “We seek to learn from pioneers who are driving change in challenging times and to explore new ways federal policy making can support their endeavors.”

Among the participating organizations are the National Urban League, the National League of Cities, 100,000 Homes, Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy, NCB Capital Impact, and the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure Systems. Federal agency representation includes HUD, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation, Treasury, the Small Business Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

In conjunction with the Forum, the White House launched a new tool, Innovation of the Day, to collect and share innovative practices in affordable housing, community development and urban planning. It is accessible here.

'Code For Change' Tech Competition Launched to Design New Apps for the Public Good

'Code For Change' Tech Competition Launched to Design New Apps for the Public Good

In partnership with the largest organizations supporting technological development in the nonprofit sector, the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University will launch a new competition in September, challenging tech developers to design new applications to address some of the most pressing public issues facing New Yorkers.

The school and its partners—One Economy, Code for America, NPower and Blue Ridge Foundation—have begun evaluating major challenges from government agencies and nonprofits seeking to enter the “Code For Change” competition. Team formation begins on September 28, and prizes include $10,000 in cash to support application development, VC and mentor lunches and potential support from local foundations.

Code for Change will be a twist on the traditional 24- or 36-hour hackathon, because participating developers will spend two weeks working on their concepts, culminating in the judging at NYU Wagner on Friday, October 12.

Code for Change will look for tech applications that will lead to improvements with a broad public purpose, be they in education, emergency readiness, voting, social services, or other areas of public interest and public service.

Code for Change is made possible by generous support from Motorola Mobility Foundation and Liquidnet.

Anyone interested in entering the contest can create challenges, join teams, and view rules and other details at www.applicationsforgood.org, a platform for designers created by the global nonprofit One Economy.

 

Prof. Paul Light Makes the Case for a Strong Central Government in New Book

Prof. Paul Light Makes the Case for a Strong Central Government in New Book

Paul Light, the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at NYU Wagner, has written an essay for a newly published book. In the piece he contends that, for all the low levels of trust the federal government inspires in contemporary public-opinion surveys, it has played a helpful role in American life, ranging from transportation and housing to the environment and the arts.

In the book To Promote the General Welfare: The Case for Big Government, edited by Professor Steven Conn of Ohio State (published by Oxford University Press), Light's chapter is titled “From Endeavor to Achievement and Back Again: Government’s Greatest Hits in Peril.” The essay recounts 50 pieces of legislation that reveal what he calls “a good-faith effort to identify the problems that the federal government tried hardest to solve over the past half century.”

“These efforts are extraordinarily wide-ranging—from advancing human rights to helping veterans readjust to civilian life; from protecting the consumers to protecting the environment,” writes Light. “All but a handful of the 50 endeavors involve closely related sets of laws organized around a consistent strategy for addressing a focused problem, such as crime, water quality, or arms control and disarmament.”

 

Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service Now Accepting Applications

Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service Now Accepting Applications

The Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service sponsored by NYU Wagner's Research Center for Leadership in Action is now accepting applications for the 2013 Class.

Each year a diverse group of approximately 30 early career professionals working full-time in public service in the New York City area is selected to participate.

The program runs from November 2012 through May 2013, and Fellows come together for professional development and speaker sessions twice a month on evenings and weekends. The fellowship includes a robust curriculum to help Fellows reflect on how they can take up leadership in their roles, and they receive ongoing mentorship from Career and Alumni Guides. At the program’s conclusion, Fellows join an active alumni network of more than 200 people making a difference in New York City and beyond. The program is heavily subsidized by NYU Wagner and RCLA, and the program fee for each participant is $500.

Applications, including a recommendation from a direct supervisor, are due by noon EST on August 29, 2012.

 

Karen Grepin's New Paper Explores the Impact of HIV-Focused Donor Aid

Karen Grepin's New Paper Explores the Impact of HIV-Focused Donor Aid

A research investigation by NYU Wagner Assistant Professor of Global Health Policy Karen Grépin on the impact of international HIV-focused donor funding on health service delivery will appear in a special issue of the journal Health Affairs. The July thematic issue is devoted to analysis of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a nine-year-old program of bilateral U.S. assistance to support countries in their battle against HIV/AIDS (and one that has been described as the largest program of  U.S. aid since the Marshall Plan). The Health Affairs volume and its dissemination are funded, in part, by the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator; Merck & Co, Inc.; BD; and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Professor Grépin’s paper is titled “HIV Donor Funding Has Both Boosted And Curbed The Delivery Of Different Non-HIV Health Services In Sub-Saharan Africa."  She will join contributors, thought leaders, and policy makers at a morning briefing in Washington, D.C., on July 10 to mark the issue’s release.

Leadership Institute Equips Top Hispanic Physicians to Reform Health Policy

Leadership Institute Equips Top Hispanic Physicians to Reform Health Policy

From treating sick children to directing urgent care clinics, physicians see firsthand how health policies affect patients’ lives. Ten leading Hispanic physicians have a unique opportunity to apply this medical expertise to shaping health policy at the local, state and national levels. From July 15-20, 2012, they will participate in a leadership institute hosted by the National Hispanic Medical Association and NYU Wagner's Research Center for Leadership in Action to build the knowledge and skills to take leadership roles in advancing policy reform.

The institute is part of a year-long National Hispanic Medical Association Leadership Fellowship, through which Hispanic physicians receive support to enhance their leadership capability, increase their understanding of current key national and state health policy issues, and draft and present innovative policy proposals to improve health care – particularly in Hispanic communities. In addition, Fellows have the opportunity to develop a national network of public service and health policy experts and to participate in the development of future NHMA initiatives. The fellowship is directed by NHMA President and CEO Elena Rios.

The institute at RCLA includes symposia with senior health officials and a reception co-hosted by the National Hispanic Medical Association, the New York Academy of Medicine, and NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Sessions draw on the expertise of NYU Wagner’s health faculty, including Professor Brian Elbel, the faculty liaison for the Institute, and Professors John Billings and Allen Zerkin. Topics include timely leadership, health and policy issues including:

  • Key health indicators and emerging health issues for the Hispanic community in the US
  • Current regional and federal initiatives to eliminate health disparities
  • Emerging approaches to leadership
  • Healthcare reform and implications for Hispanic populations in four areas: access, quality, prevention and workforce
  • Changes in financing and access included in healthcare reform, with an emphasis on Medicare and Medicaid
  • Important features of the federal, state and local policymaking processes and how they manifest in health policy decisions
  • Establishing and sustaining intra- and inter-organizational cooperation
  • Communications skills and principles for effective negotiation
  • Stakeholder analysis and advocacy efforts

The fellowship kicked off with an orientation during NHMA’s National Conference. Fellows will participate in the RCLA institute in the summer and an institute in Washington, DC in the fall in which they will meet with leaders from the White House, US Department of Health and Human Services, Congress, think tanks and national organizations with interests in health policy. Fellows will present their policy recommendations at the NHMA National Conference in 2013.

The National Hispanic Medical Association Leadership Fellowship Program Class of 2012 includes:

Christian Arbalaez, MD, MPH
Assistant Residency Director, Department of Emergency Medicine and Associate Director, Office for Multicultural Faculty Careers, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Capt. Magda Barini-Garcia, MD, MPH
Senior Medical Advisor, Learning and Diffusion Group, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Luis M. DiBernardo, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Gateway Medical Center & Urgent Care

Fausto Meza, MD, MPA
Chief Medical Officer/Medical Director and Chief Information Officer, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance

Rolf Montalvo, MD
Assistant Professor and Residency Program Director, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston

Maria Fernanda Nota, MD
Children and Youth Project

Joseph Perez, CDR, MD, FAAP
Director, USCG Health, Safety, Work-Life Field Office – New London

Eyda Samuels, MD, FAAP
Physician; Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, Albert Einstein Medical Center

Victoria Elena Sorlie-Aguilar, MD
Family Physician, Department of Family Medicine, Magnolia Family Health Clinic

Laura A. Williams, MD, MPH
President/CEO, L. Williams, MD A Medical Corp

NYU Wagner's 2012 Convocation Ceremony Rocks the Beacon Theatre!

NYU Wagner's 2012 Convocation Ceremony Rocks the Beacon Theatre!

Melody C. Barnes (center).

The world-class Beacon Theatre, the breakthrough stage for rock ‘n’ roll, cast its bright lights May 17 on the top-ranked NYU Wagner as 357 graduating students – the Class of 2012 – were heralded for earning their Master in Public Administration (MPA) or Master in
Urban Planning (MUP).

As the ceremony began, the capacity crowd of soon-to-be graduates and their families and friends received words of welcome in 27 different languages from Class of '12 emissaries Emma Taya Darch, Hanying Peng and Luis Guillermo Schloeter Garcia – symbolizing Wagner’s strong national and global reach as well as its home in one of the most exciting and diverse cities of the world.

Wagner’s Dean, Ellen Schall, urged the graduating class to deeply think and explore their feelings as they transition from graduate work to an exciting new chapter in their lives as dedicated public-service professionals.  While this interim phase may include trepidations, it offers a moment when innovation is perhaps most possible, she said.

“I have three very important words,” Diane Yu, chief of staff for NYU, told the audience enthusiastically when she next spoke to the graduates: “You made it!”

And the magestic music hall erupted in cheers.

Maggie Raife (MPA ’12) introduced the eagerly anticipated keynote speaker, Melody C. Barnes, the former Assistant to the President of the United States and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Barnes invoked the inspirational example of Nanny Helen Boroughs, the founder of a school for African American women and girls in Washington, D.C. in the early 1900's. The school motto, she noted emphatically, was “We Specialize In The Wholly Impossible.”

“The question for you is not whether, but how, can I be of service – how can I lead,” Barnes said, noting that her mentors included the late Senator Ted Kennedy, with whom she worked, as well as a close friend who dedicated herself to schools in her community
of High Point, N.C., and was a "fiercely determined" catalyst for civic engagement and progress.

 “If you have a head, and a heart, for public service, it is deeply, deeply rewarding,” said Barnes, who will soon be joining Wagner as a Senior Fellow.

In addition to the presentation of the Masters as well as PhD recipients, the Convocation featured several honors for outstanding student achievement:

* The Martin Dworkis Memorial Award (for academic achievement, participation in Wagner activities and public service) was given to: Sarah Lieber Church, Susan L. Hayes, and Carlyn Maksymuk.

* The Robert F. Wagner Award for Public Service (for leadership capacity and exceptional contribution to public service)  was award to Christopher Faris and Olukemi Ilesanmi.

*  The Hammad Fund International Leadership Award (for contribution to the global Wagner experience, academic success, and exceptional capacity for international leadership) was given to Rebecca Bavinger. 

* The Sterling D. Spero Prize (for exceptional written work) was awarded to Barbara Kiviat and Jacob Leos-Urbel.

* The Robert Berne Award for Leadership (for significant contribution to the Wagner community) was given to Zakiya Devine, Aaron Meyerson and Zawadi Rucks-Ahidiana.

* The Jo Ivey Boufford Award (for innovative solutions to public service challenges) was awarded to Sabelo Narasimhan.

* The Howard Newman Award (for exemplary work by a Capstone team) was given to Nora Anderson, Nadia Cureton, Ashley Jenson and Asher Pacht.

All of the graduates stood in ovation for Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Public Policy Rogan Kersh, who was chosen as “Professor of the Year” at Wagner.

At the same time, Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Administration Shankar Prasad was named “Distinguished Adjunct  of the Year.”

Will Carlin, adjunct assistant professor of project management and communication, won special recognition as “Coach of the Year.”

Dean Schall, closing the ceremony, told the graduates, “You are now official Wagner alumni – signed on to the task of ‘achieving the wholly impossible.’ ”

Congratulations to all!

Prof. Daniel L. Smith is Named NYU Faculty Fellow-in-Residence of the Year

Prof. Daniel L. Smith is Named NYU Faculty Fellow-in-Residence of the Year

Daniel L. Smith

Daniel L. Smith, assistant professor of public budgeting and financial management at NYU Wagner, has been named the 2012 recipient of the University’s Faculty Fellow-in-Residence Of the Year Award.

“It’s a real honor to win this award, especially in my first year as an FFiR,” he said.

We couldn't agree more.

The position of Faculty Fellow-In-Residence is part of a continuing University effort to create intimate "learning communities" for students within the residence halls, and integrate their academic experiences with their residential lives. A key aspect of this effort is the creation of a meaningful and active faculty presence in the residence halls.

Faculty Fellows work closely with one another and with residence hall staff to set an intellectual tone, and to design and implement a wide range of programmatic and other opportunities for students to interact with faculty members and with one another. By bringing cultural and intellectual experiences more directly into student life in a lively and often informal fashion, the program offers students the benefits of “small college” life within the larger contexts of both the University and the City of New York.

Professor Smith was nominated by two Res Life staff in his building (Greenwich Hotel): the Residence Hall director and one of the Resident Assistants. They noted in their nominating comments that Smith has taken the time to foster individual relationships with all of the RA’s and many of the residents.

The award selection was made by student members of the NYU (“Torch”) Chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH).

Evidence-Based Management is the Road Less Traveled, Says Prof. Anthony Kovner

Evidence-Based Management is the Road Less Traveled, Says Prof. Anthony Kovner

[Anthony Kovner]

When organizations or businesses stumble, the search for an explanation often leads back to the quality of the evidence-gathering process. It is that process, known as Evidence-based Management (EBM), that fascinates Anthony R. Kovner, who has spent more than a decade trying to get managers to employ it when they seek ways to improve their organization’s performance and results.

Professor Kovner teaches EBM to students at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where he is a professor of public and health management and the director of the Executive MPA Program for Nurse Leaders. He is also the author of several books on healthcare management. Shortly before the publication of a chapter he recently wrote, entitled “Adventures in the Evidence-based Management Trade,” for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Evidence-Based Management (Oxford University Press), he sat down with NYU Research Digest (Spring 2012)  to discuss Evidence-based Management.

What’s the theory behind EBM?

Evidence-based Management comes out of medicine—the idea that if you make a medical intervention, it should have a predictable and positive outcome. We said, “Why can’t we apply this in management?” Well, the truth is, it’s not a simple matter. We know a lot less about management than medicine, for which there’s a huge medical research establishment, the randomized clinical trial, and an established process for scientific review.

What professional sector does EBM most lend itself to?

To every sector. So for example, when two large health organizations decide to merge, we say, “Wouldn’t it make sense to look at the best available evidence before making a decision to merge?” Instead, a very common managerial response is: “We want to merge—let’s find the evidence that justifies it.” So these managers need to do more than just type “hospital merger” in Google? Keep in mind that all managers make decisions based on evidence. The point is, what is the quality of the evidence? It can be pretty shabby.

What’s wrong with the process as it works now?

When, for instance, two large institutions decide to merge, to what extent do they ask in advance, “What do we know about successful and unsuccessful mergers?” Generally speaking, what they do is ask the consultants, and the consultants say, “This would work in Akron.” But of course that doesn’t mean that it would work in Brooklyn. Are the merging institutions’ two geographies compatible? What about their respective cultures? It’s not that you get to a solution—these kinds of problems are too messy, too wicked, and the causation is not as clear as in randomized clinical trials. But it informs your thinking so you can see and avoid the worst consequences of what might happen.

How should the evidence gathering begin?

Three basic steps: search and locate the best available evidence, learn from best practices, and try doing your own management research. If you are studying why nurses turn over so much in your hospital, it’s important for you to understand the differences between the 12-hour day shift and the 12-hour night shift. The most important step, though, is to ask the right question, and translate your management challenge into an answerable one.

If EBM is so effective, why don’t more organizations engage in it?

That’s the $64,000 question, and it’s not an easy question to deal with. What it really is about is power and hierarchy and organizations. Let’s say an employee comes up with a better way of doing something and tells the boss about it. You’d expect the boss to say it’s a great idea, let’s do it. But in practice the boss says, “You’re insulting the way I’m managing this place,” or “If you thought of it, then how good can it be, if I didn’t think of it,” or “Go ahead and present your ideas to the higher-ups, and if they like it I’ll take credit for it, and, if they don’t we’ll blame you. “

That sounds almost insurmountable.

The trick of it is to make the politics work for you. To get it implemented, you have to get the managers to see that it’s in their political interest to practice evidence-based management. And I believe it is.”

Furman Center's 10th Annual "Housing & Neighborhoods" Report Explores NYC Trends

Furman Center's 10th Annual "Housing & Neighborhoods" Report Explores NYC Trends

The Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, a project of the New York University School of Law and NYU Wagner, has just released the 10th annual edition of its widely read State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods report.

Professor Ingrid Ellen is quoted in this Crain’s article about the report, while Professor Vicki Been discussed it with “Morning Edition with Brian Lehrer” on WNYC-AM/FM.

Professors Been and Ellen are the directors of the Furman Center, which, in February, garnered a nationally prestigious MacArthur Award For Creative and Effective Institutions.

The 10th annual edition of the State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods, features 2011 data on housing, demographics, and quality of life indicators for each borough and for the city’s 59 community districts. It also finds that while the city remains highly segregated by race, more of its neighborhoods are racially integrated today than 20 years ago. In addition, this year’s report analyzes mortgage finance trends in New York City, and finds that the volume of lending is increasing, the number of foreclosure notices issued has dropped from previous years, and the number of properties entering REO has decreased.

 

 

 

 

Prof. Karen Grepin to Track How Kenyan Women Save for Pregnancy Care

Prof. Karen Grepin to Track How Kenyan Women Save for Pregnancy Care

[Karen Grepin.]

Every year, hundreds of thousands of women die during childbirth as a result of preventable conditions, including the fact that many couldn’t afford proper care. Starting later this fall, an 18-month research initiative in Kenya will deliver, via mobile phones, a set of interventions designed in part to help pregnant women set aside enough savings to cover the cost of skilled care and delivery assistance.

The research will be conducted by James Habyarimana and Billy Jack, both of Georgetown University, Tavneet Suri of MIT, and Karen Grépin, an assistant professor of global health policy at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, in collaboration with Changamka, Ltd., a Kenya micro-savings company.  Financial support for the project comes from the Microsavings and Payments Innovation Initiative at Yale University, Innovations for Poverty Action, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Professor Grépin, whose research work focuses on the economics and politics of health service delivery in developing countries, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa, spoke with NYU Research Digest as she prepared to launch the project, and, as it happens, as she anticipated her own delivery too, in May. (A shorter version of this interview appeared in the Spring 2012 Digest.)

What’s driving the project? Pregnant women in many developing countries, including Kenya, say that financial barriers keep them from seeking proper maternal health services, including skilled assistance at delivery. What are the barriers to increased savings needed to cover the costs associated with delivery? That is the primary question we will attempt to answer.

Why is it important to know how and why pregnant women in Kenya save money? It’s important that we become better able to understand all the barriers that pregnant women face to health care – informational, financial, and others. If we do, we might be able to develop savings vehicles that would help promote the capacity of women to accrue enough money to cover the cost of their baby’s delivery, both in Kenya and other settings as well.  Since we will also be able to learn what care these women seek for their deliveries, we hope that this study will also contribute to our understanding of health-seeking behavior.

Your project involves mobile phones. What is their significance here? One of the big innovations in this project is that we plan to deliver all of the interventions that we are testing (financial incentives and informational incentives) via mobile phones.  Mobile phones have become widely available in many developing countries.  But people don’t use them just for communication; they are also used as credit cards and bank accounts, especially in Kenya.  If we find that our interventions are successful, the interventions can be scaled up rapidly and inexpensively due to the availability of this technological platform.

What unique challenges do you anticipate? Our primary research site will be in densely populated urban slums in Kenya.  Since we need to track and monitor women for approximately a year, this can be challenging in these communities.  Fortunately, we do have their cell phone numbers, which does make continued tracking a great deal easier!

How does this research relate to other work that has been done in this vein? This work is part of a growing area of research on the potential of m-health technologies to improve health service delivery in developing countries.  It also adds to the growing literature in the international health economics literature on savings and incentives for seeking care.  It is one of the few m-health programs under way that will be evaluated in a rigorous randomized control trial setting.

Why do you consider the project of great importance, and to whom? The work is critically important. Although great efforts have been exerted over the past few decades to improve access to maternal health services in most developing countries, millions of women still do not seek proper care at delivery, and as a result hundreds of thousands die every year during childbirth from conditions that could be prevented if they were access the proper care.   Given that financial barriers are seen as key to this challenge, we hope that this work will help develop our understanding in this area.

 

A Capstone Grows - and is Presented - in Brooklyn

A Capstone Grows - and is Presented - in Brooklyn

A team of Wagner students that worked over the past year with the Borough President's Office of Brooklyn, N.Y., to reimagine the future of the Bedford-Union Armory delivered the final presentation of its Capstone project on April 25.

Borough President Marty Markowitz promptly proclaimed April 25, 2012 as the official "NYU Wagner School of Public Service Bedford-Union Armory Capstone Presentation Celebration Day" in Brooklyn, New York.

Quite a mouthful - and quite an honor!

The presentation went very well, and the Capstone team is soon to share the high-profile Capstone project with the American Planning Association (APA).

The 2012 Capstone Expo of NYU Wagner will be held Tuesday, May 8 at the NYU Kimmel Center for Univerity Life. Don’t miss it!

Wagner Honored with NYU 2012 President's Service Awards

Wagner Honored with NYU 2012 President's Service Awards

IPSA reps (l. to r.) Morgan Dixon, Becky Bavinger, Anna Gangadharan, Kate Staff, Vedrana Misic, and Leah Vinton.

 

NYU Wagner’s International Public Service Association, the Wagner Policy Alliance, and Zawadi Rucks Ahidiana are the recipients of the 2012 President’s Service Award.

The award spotlights the distinguished achievements of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and organizations for their promotion of learning, leadership, and quality of student life at New York University.

The 2012 Awards Ceremony was held on Tuesday, April 24 in the Eisner & Lubin Auditorium, on the 4th floor of the Kimmel Center for University Life, according recognition to:

The International Public Service Association: For its continued success in working well with faculty and administrators to design international development programming that best meets the needs of their constituency.

The Wagner Policy Alliance: For its exemplary leadership, professionalism, and outstanding success on their NYU-wide event, "Campaign Watch 2012."

Zawadi Rucks Ahidiana, adjunct lecturer in public administration: For her academic excellence, professionalism, and outstanding contributions to the NYU Wagner community.

Sincere and heartfelt congratulations to all the winners, who make Wagner proud!



 

 

Will U.S. "Pay for Performance" Make a Difference for Hospitals? [Article/Audio]

Will U.S. "Pay for Performance" Make a Difference for Hospitals? [Article/Audio]

The April edition of the New England Journal for Medicine features an essay co-written by Jan Blustein, professor of health policy and medicine at NYU Wagner, on the prospects for success of hospital “pay for performance.” The new payment mechanism will be implemented across U.S. acute care hospitals this October under the Medicare Hospital Value-Based (VBP) program.

Paying U.S. acute care hospitals for improved performance is based on the notion that money changes behavior.  “Accumulating evidence, however, raises serious doubts about whether the program will improve value in health care,” Professor Blustein writes with Andrew Ryan, a public health scholar at the Weill Cornell Medical College in the essay “Making the Best of Hospital Pay for Performance.”  The piece, newly-published online and available in print April 26, explores how we can learn from the program as it unfolds, and how it can be improved, and includes an audio interview with Dr. Blustein.

Dr. Blustein’s research on this topic appears separately in the April edition of the journal Health Affairs. In this scholarly article, coauthored with Ryan and other experts in public policy and medicine, she examines the impact of the incentive’s piloted use by Massachusetts to address racial and ethnic disparities in hospital care. The research raises questions about whether "pay for performance" for hospitals is an effective method for stemming disparities.

In addition to her role as professor of health policy and medicine at Wagner, Blustein co-directs New York University’s NIH-funded TL1 PhD program in Clinical and Translational Research, and is the founding director of the IRB Initiative, a resource for issues involving federal regulation of human-subjects research. She holds an MD degree from the Yale School of Medicine and a Ph.D. from Wagner.

Student Team Wins the Fels Institute of Government's National Public Policy Challenge

Student Team Wins the Fels Institute of Government's National Public Policy Challenge

NYU Wagner students Miriam Altman, Barrie Charney-Golden and Alexandra Meis have won the National Public Policy Challenge sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government.

Demonstrating a pattern-breaking way to tackle a major public management challenge, the trio beat out teams from Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University, Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and Fels.

The National Invitation Competition was held April 22 in Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center. A panel of judges reviewed each student team proposal and rendered its verdict, awarding the $15,000 top prize for the Kinvolved project.

Kinvolved aims to improve education by utilizing pocket-size technology to help classroom teachers to input and retrieve student attendance and other records easily and communicate instantly with parents.  Judges included: John Gibbons (partner, Deloitte Consulting); Wanda Gibson (former director of the Information Technology Department, Fair fax County, Va.); Parris Glendening (former Maryland governor), and Bill Leighty (former chief of staff to former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner ).

Kinvolved is on a winning streak. Kinvolved competed against more than 40 teams in London, Paris, Berlin, Dallas, San Francisco, and New York to win the Global BeMyApp Mobile App Competition on Feb. 29th, 2012.

 

Prof. Hilary Ballon Wins The American Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award

Prof. Hilary Ballon Wins The American Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award

The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced today the recipients of its 2012 architecture awards - including Hilary Ballon, professor of urban studies and architecture at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York Unversity.

The Academy's architecture awards program began in 1955 with the inauguration of the annual Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture, which is awarded to a preeminent architect from any country who has made a significant contribution to architecture as an art. In 1991, the Academy began giving Arts and Letters Awards (formerly called Academy Awards) to honor American architects whose work is characterized by a strong personal direction. An additional award category was created in 2003 to honor an American from any field who has contributed to ideas in architecture through any medium of expression.

Professor Ballon is a University Professor at NYU and Deputy Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi.

This year's award recipients include:

Kathryn Gustafson
The Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture of $5000 recognizes an architect of any nationality who has made a significant contribution to architecture as an art.

Hilary Ballon
An Arts and Letters Awards of $7500 recognizes an American who explores ideas in architecture through any medium of expression.

Marlon Blackwell
An Arts and Letters Awards in Architecture of $7500 recognizes an American architect whose work is characterized by a strong personal direction.

Elizabeth Gray & Alan Organschi
An Arts and Letters Awards in Architecture of $7500 recognizes American architects whose work is characterized by a strong personal direction.

Michael Maltzan
An Arts and Letters Awards in Architecture of $7500 recognizes an American architect whose work is characterized by a strong personal direction.

The winners were chosen from a group of 40 individuals and practices nominated by the members of the Academy. The members of this year's selection committee were: Henry N. Cobb, Michael Graves, Hugh Hardy, Steven Holl, Ada Louise Huxtable, Richard Meier (chairman), James Polshek, Billie Tsien, and Tod Williams. All five awards will be presented in New York City in May at the Academy's annual Ceremonial. Work by the winners will be featured in the upcoming exhibition on view in the Academy's galleries on Audubon Terrace.

For more information, please visit the Academy's website.

 

 

NYU Wagner Soars in US News & World Report Rankings

NYU Wagner Soars in US News & World Report Rankings

The just-released U.S. News & World Report rankings of 266 public affairs master's programs across the country show NYU Wagner tied for 6th overall this year.

The results are thrilling confirmation of Wagner's upward trajectory. In the previous survey four years ago, Wagner finished in the top 10 for the first time, having risen from 26th in 2001.  Additionally, Wagner is top-ranked in six of the specialty categories: #2 in City Management and Urban Policy; #8 in Health Policy and Management; #5 in Nonprofit Management; #8 in Public Finance and Budgeting; #9 in Public Management Administration; and #8 in Social Policy.

Wagner is grateful to the deans, directors and department chairs of master's programs around the country whose votes acknowledge our path of distinction and success.

 

 

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