Upcoming Fels Public Policy Challenge Stirs Proposals by 9 Student Teams at Wagner
Get ready, get set: NYU Wagner is looking to make it two-wins-in-a-row at the upcoming National Invitational Public Policy Challenge hosted annually by the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania and presented by Governing magazine. The Challenge invites students to develop creative policy proposals and civic engagement solutions to pressing social problems.
Last year, a team of Wagner students won the inaugural Fels Challenge with their pattern-busting proposal "Kinvolved," a project involving a new app to help New York City teachers keep track of student attendance and communicate with parents. Upon winning, the team received $15,000 to bring the project to life.
This year’s Fels Challenge is annother exciting opportunity for future leaders in public service to make a difference on issues that matter. Modeled after MBA business plan competitions, the Challenge asks student teams from policy schools around the country to develop a policy that can bring about significant change in their community.
In all, nine student teams at Wagner have drafted proposals. From these promising submissions, three semi-finalists will be selected, and one will go on to the nationals on March 17 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
To attend the event, please RSVP here.
The plans submitted by the Wagner students offer fresh thinking and solutions to challenges such as gun violence, food waste, childhood obesity, and gestational diabetes.
Wagner competed in the nationals against three other policy schools across the country in 2012. This year, nine schools have joined the competition. Good luck to all the participants!
New Report Explores Technology and the Nonprofit Sector
The Aspen Insitute today released a new report in Washington, D.C., by NYU Wagner Visiting Professor Beth Noveck and Daniel L. Goroff. The report, "Information for Impact: Liberating Nonprofit Sector Data," shows how new technology designed to improve data on the nonprofit sector can prompt greater innovation and effectiveness.
Noveck is former director of the White House Open Government Initiative. Goroff, while at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, helped establish the new Interagency Task Force on Smart Disclosure. He is a program director with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Professor David Elcott to Receive MLK Jr. Faculty Award
Professor David Elcott
NYU Wagner Professor David Elcott has been chosen to receive the Provost’s prestigious 2013 Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award, presented to outstanding faculty members - nominated by students - who exemplify the spirit of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., through their teaching excellence, leadership, commitment to social justice, and community-building work.
Professor Elcott is Wagner’s Taub Professor of Practice in Public Service. He is senior research fellow at the Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA) and Faculty Director of the Executive MPA program.
The NYU Provost, in partnership with the NYU Division of Student Affairs, will present the Faculty Award to Professor Elcott and five other faculty members Wednesday, February 6, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Pless Hall Lounge, 82 Washington Square East.
To view a Wagner video interview with Professor Elcott, click here.
Click here to view photos from the event.
Banking The World
Jonathan Morduch, professor of public policy and economics at NYU Wagner, has co-edited a new collection about the world’s vast “unbanked” population. The book, Banking the World: Empirical Foundations of Financial Inclusion, examines how to realize the goal of extending banking and other financial services to the estimated 2.5 billion people, just over half the adult population globally, who lack them. It. is published by The MIT Press and can be ordered here.
Morduch, a contributor to the volume, is the executive director and co-founder of the Financial Access Initiative, an inter-university research center housed at the Wagner school. The full gamut of essays explore such topics as the complexity of surveying people about their use of financial services; evidence of the impact of financial services on income; and the occasional negative effects of financial services on poor households, including disincentives to work and over-indebtedness. Along with Murdoch, the book's co-editors include Robert Cull and Asli Demirglic-Kunt.
About the Editors:
Robert Cull is a Lead Economist in the Finance and Delivery Private Sector Development Team of the World Bank’s Development Research Group. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt is Director of Development Policy in the World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency and Chief Economist of the Financial and Private Sector Development Network (FPD).
Asli Demirguc-Kunt is Senior Research Manager, Finance and Private Sector, in the World Bank's Development Economics Research Group. She is the coeditor of Financial Structures and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Comparison of Banks, Markets, and Development (MIT Press, 2001).
Jonathan J. Morduch is Professor of Public Policy and Economics at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He is the coauthor of The Economics of Microfinance (MIT Press) and Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day.
Prof. Brian Elbel Awarded Grant to Evaluate Large Sugary Drink Ban
Brian Elbel, assistant professor of medicine and health policy with NYU Wagner and the NYU School of Medicine, has been awarded a grant from the New York State Health Foundation to evaluate New York City’s new policy limiting the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB’s) to servings of 16 ounces or less at restaurants and other food-service establishments.
This is the first large-scale, population-level policy to target SSB consumption in the US, and it is unknown how consumers and suppliers will respond.
The project will examine the influence of the policy on calorie purchasing and consumption at fast food restaurants, where the majority of SSBs subject to the policy are sold. Additionally, it will examine the impact on total daily calories consumed by fast food consumers. Data collection will include point of purchase receipt collection and surveys from fast food restaurant consumers, along with follow-up 24 hour dietary recalls with these same consumers.
To control for secular trends data will be collected from two areas of New Jersey statistically matched to NYC as non-treated comparison communities. This grant supports collection of baseline data, before the policy is implemented.
Foreign Policy Magazine Names Prof. Beth Noveck on Its List of "Top Global Thinkers"
NYU Wagner Visiting Professor Beth Noveck is featured in the December issue of Foreign Policy magazine as one of the “Top 100 Global Thinkers 2012,” and joins five others at New York University also recognized on the magazine's list -- including: Danah Boyd of Steinhardt, Chen Guangcheng of the School of Law, and, from Stern, Jonathan Haidt, Paul Romer, and Nouriel Roubini.
Professor Noveck’s book, Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful, has been translated into Russian, Arabic and Chinese. According to the Foreign Policy profile: “Open government isn't built in a day, or one presidential term, for that matter. But if the initiatives she [Noveck] has set in motion – from the National Archives dashboard for citizen archivists to the Department of Health and Human Services website for comparing insurance options –are any indication, Noveck has arguably done more than anyone to lay the foundations for a Washington that feels less like a cloistered village and more like an online public square.”
Professor Noveck served in the White House as the first U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer and as founder and director of the White House Open Government Initiative (2009-11). She has served as an advisor to UK Prime Minister David Cameron on how technology can better employ technology in the public sector. She also served on the 2008 Obama-Biden transition team and was a volunteer advisor to the Obama for America campaign on issues of technology, innovation, and government reform. She focuses her scholarship, activism, and teaching on the future of democracy in the 21st century. Specifically, her work addresses how we can use technology to create more open and collaborative government. With a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, she is collaborating with colleagues to create a research network on the impact of technology on democratic institutions.
She will be a featured guest at a Foreign Policy gala on November 29 in Washington, D.C.
NYU Wagner Alumna Earns Prestigious Teaching Award
Wagner alum, Dylan Congor, received the 2012 Leslie Whittington Award for Excellence in Teaching presented by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). The award honors those who make outstanding contributions to public service education and demonstrate teaching excellence over a sustained period of time.
Congor earned her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from Wagner in 2004, and is currently the Director of the Masters in Public Policy Program and Associate Professor of Public Policy and Public Administration at the Trachtenberg School at George Washington University.
She was presented the award on October 18, 2012 at NASPAA’s annual conference in Austin, Texas. David H. Rosenbloom of American University was also a recipient. The Whittington Award is named in honor of the 2000 recipient, Leslie A. Whittington, who perished in Flight 77 at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
Congor joins Wagner Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy Ingrid Gould Ellen in this honor, as Professor Ellen received the prestigious award in 2009.
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.
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.