The heart of NYU Wagner's programs is our faculty. An amalgam of full-time, clinical/research/visiting, and adjunct professors, they are outstanding teachers, expert researchers and committed practitioners.
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.
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.
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.”
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.