Monday
Dec152014

JHU Center Hosts Roundtable on Internet Advocacy

 

Alan Rosenblatt, Dorothea Israel Wolfson, and Cameron Chisolm discussed how online platforms are revolutionizing higher education and career training
The Center for Advanced Governmental Studies hosted an Internet Advocacy Roundtable on Thursday.  Participants included Cameron Chisholm, President of International Peace & Security; Aine Fay, Operations Director of Concern Worldwide, and Dorothea Israel Wolfson, Program Director, JHU MA in Government.  Alan Rosenblatt, Senior Vice-President of Digital Strategy at Turner 4D was the moderator of the panel.  Cameron Chisolm discussed how International Peace & Security has increasingly used online training and online modules to provide training for their staff and stake-holders.  He discussed the pros and cons of using online modules and how participants from numerous organizations have benefited from them as well as some of the limits of the online platform as some of the nuances of some subject areas, such as teaching religious tolerance, are difficult to completely capture online to disparate audiences.  Dorothea Israel Wolfson discussed how the MA in Government Program has developed into an online leader in masters programs.  She shared some of the course offerings in the area of democracy and developmentthat have already reached an international audience of students, many of whom are able to continue their education solely because of online offerings.  Countries where students have taken her online classes range from China to Mongolia, to Turkey, Israel, Ecuador and Australia, to name just a few.   Aine Fay discussed how Concern Worldwide has developed low-bandwidth training programs for first responders so they may react quickly and effectively plug into the international relief infrastructure.  Some of the drawbacks of online training were discussed as well, such as how to better ensure retention rates of participants and to ensure that they are getting as much as they can from training modules.       

The Center offers fully online degree option in the MA in Government Program.  Other online programs include the MS in Governmental Analytics and the Certificate in Nonprofit Management and the Certificate in Intelligence Studies.  If you'd like to view the podcast, please go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_j6T0ZUyPs 

Wednesday
Dec102014

Chantale Wong Speaks at GAB Forum

This month's GAB Forum featured Chantale Wong, former Vice President of Administration and Finance at the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC).  Ms. Wong has also held senior positions at the Department of the Interior and Department of the Treasury, as well as the Asian Development Bank.

Ms. Wong's talk ("Do Analytics Work in Performance-Based Budgeting/Funding?") focused on evidence and evaluation at MCC.  MCC relies on data and analytics to inform its decision making regarding grants to developing nations.  Countries are evaluated using third-party data from organizations such as the World Bank and World Health Organization.  MCC creates a scorecard for each country that includes ratings on indicators such as corruption, civil liberties, access to credit and government effectiveness.  If a country receives a passing score for at least 10 of the 20 indicators, it may be considered for an MCC grant.

One of the biggest challenges with creating these scorecards is the subjectivity of some of the indicators.  Measuring corruption, for example, can be quite difficult.  This measure is created using surveys of citizens, so it is subject to the well-known limitations of survey data.  

In general, MCC works hard to gather as much data as possible to maximize the accuracy of the scorecards.  The data from some countries, however, is not as reliable as MCC would like.  Employment data, for example, is often incomplete.  The MCC must continually confront missing data problems when developing its analytic models.

Ms. Wong, however, emphasized that increasing the openness of data is only one component of creating more open governments.  She explained that governments must also increase the transparency of their decision making processes before they can consider themselves truly open to their citizens.

For a recording of the event, click here.

To view the slides from the event, click here.

Monday
Nov172014

Alum Tom Manatos Featured in Today's Washington Post

 

Tom Manatos, (right), at the Alumni Advisory Board receptionA great article featuring super networker Tom Manatos, an alum of the MA in Government Program (2011) and member of the Center's Alumni Advisory Board in today's Washington Post here.

 

 

 

Friday
Nov072014

Congratulations to Alumni Brian Feldman and Marc Korman for Winning Maryland State Elections



Brian Feldman, State Senator, Maryland General AssemblyMarc Korman, Delegate, District 16, Maryland General AssemblyNovember 4 was a good night for two of JHU's alumni running for Maryland state offices.  Congratulations to Brian J. Feldman (MA Government 2000) and to Marc Korman (MA Government 2007).  Brian was re-elected as Senator to the Maryland General Assembly (District 15).  Marc won his first bid to serve as Delegate to the Maryland General Assembly (District 16).  We look forward to following their many accomplishments!

Thursday
Nov062014

Peter Wehner Shares Analysis of Midterm Elections and Larger Issues with Liberalism and Conservatism

Pete WehnerLast night, Pete Wehner, a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, offered a fresh and timely analysis of the results of the midterm elections.  He said it was fair to call Tuesday night's election a "wave election" and that the Republican Party is the governing party in America today.  Along with the Senate shifting to the Republicans, Pete pointed out that the 14  gains in the House to Republicans will make the new Congress contain the largest number of Republicans since the 1940s.  That, along with thirty-one now Republican Governors in the States, all demonstrate a repudiation of the Democratic Party and the Obama era.  Pete observed that Obama may be the greatest wrecking ball to the Democratic Party since Ronald Reagan, as the party lost fourteen Senate Seats and nine governorships under his watch.  

How did this happen?  Pete offered several explanations rooted in the political environment itself -- that is, how Republicans were successful in nationalizing the elections despite Democrats' attempt to localize it as well as a few rare political gaffes and slips, this time, contained among Democratic candidates.  He also took a deeper look at problems within both liberalism and conservatism to offer insight into what happened Tuesday night  as well as to look beyond the election to the future of both parties.  For liberalism, the crisis seems to rest largely in the lack of belief Americans now have for an activist government agenda, given the mishandling of the Affordable Care Act, the recession, the rise of ISIS in the Middle East,  the rise of China and the growing saber rattling of  Russia.   Conservatives have areas that they will need to address as well, Pete argued, such as guarding against anti-government rhetoric and overcoming their resistance to diversity and focusing more on those left behind in the shadows of society.   Pete's thoughtful analysis was followed up by a lively question and answer session.