MA in Government and MS in Government Analytics Highlighted in National Rankings

Congratulations to the Johns Hopkins University MA in Government and MS in Government Analytics for being honored as offering among the best online master's programs in political science.  Programs were assessed on a variety of factors, including salary potential and tuition, to determine which offered the best return on investment.  According to a summary of these national rankings:

Second-ranked Johns Hopkins University has a similarly impressive median salary for graduates at $110,700. Students at Johns Hopkins University can earn an MA in Government or an MS in Government Analytics with tuition starting at $23,382. 

Read more about this award here.


Join Us for a Midterm Election Return Party November 6!



GAB Forum: Using Analytics to Combat the Opioid Crisis

This month’s Government Analytics Breakfast forum featured a distinguished panel of experts to discuss how the public sector is using analytics to combat the opioid crisis.  The panel included:

  • Dr. Mona Siddiqui, MD, MPH – Chief Data Officer, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Ms. Allison Oelschlaeger, Chief Data Officer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Dr. Jim Kyung-Soo Liew, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University

One of the most important themes to emerge during the discussion was that the government is “data-rich and information-poor.”  In other words, the government collects a vast amount of data, but there are legal, technical and cultural hurdles to deriving useful conclusions from that data.  In terms of legal challenges, there are laws and regulations in place that protect individuals’ personal identifiable information.   This makes releasing individual-level data on, say, Medicare beneficiary prescriptions and health outcomes unfeasible.

The technical challenges are likewise difficult to address.  Datasets are often stored in difficult-to-use formats, including as PDFs.  Further, it is extremely time-consuming to link datasets from different agencies and organizations.

The cultural challenges are frequently rooted in concerns about sharing valuable data – in short, protecting one’s data “turf.”  As a result, data across the government and private sector are siloed.  Data officers at critical agencies and many in academia are working hard to build relationships to overcome these turf battles and promote data sharing.

A chief conclusion from the panel discussion is that there is a wealth of data that has been collected but a lack of infrastructure in place to share, analyze and interpret that data.  HHS, CMS and other agencies are, however, working very hard to put that infrastructure in place.   The panelists were extremely optimistic about the potential for using the data they’ve amassed to develop evidence-based recommendations that will remedy the opioid crisis.

A full recording of the event can be viewed here.     


You're Invited: 25th Anniversary Reception of the MA in Government Program


Rethinking the Future of Housing Worldwide: Favelas as a Sustainable Model?

On September 26, 2018, the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies co-sponsored the Energy and Environmental Programs Speaker, Theresa Williamson, Founder and Executive Director of Catalytic Communities based in Rio de Janeiro.  For the last 18 years, Catalytic Communities ("CatComm") has been engaged in pathbreaking NGO work with favela organizers and "jarring the logic that unregulated 'slums' are a horrid problem with no solution other than wiping them out or paving over them."  Dr. Williamson noted how favelas can pose solutions to the challenges of urbanization worldwide noting that already 1 in 3 lives in an informal settlement and by 2050 nearly 1/3 of ALL of humanity will live in an informal settlements.  She maintains though that CatComm is finding that favelas provide some models, "not only in the obvious sense of providing affordable housing, but actually in the development models they create through their innately flexible and community-led development approaches." 


The model that CatComm advances is a practical, asset-based community-controlled development framework.  Dr. Williamson earned her undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College and her Ph.D. in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania.  CatComm is the NGO she created as part of her field research and now 18 years later it continues to innovate as it creates new tools such as the proposed concept of a Sustainable Favela Indicator which would apply sustainable design principles to upgrading favelas.  The July 2018 issue of LAND LINES has a cover story about CatComm's innovative use of community land trusts in Rio's favelas. 


Dr. Williamson's work is the epitome of bringing theory and practice together!  She  recorded two lectures that will be used in both Environmental Science and Policy Program classes, but also our Nonprofit Management Program.  Her talk on the 26th was recorded, and you may view it here