BIG Ideas, Economic Resilience, Alliance for Innovation

I will be attending  the BIG Ideas Conference hosted by the Alliance for Innovation in Fort Lauderdale. I co-authored one of the discussion papers for the conference with Kendra Smith. The paper takes a critical look at what it takes to build cities and communities that are economically resilient.

Economic Resilience: No Big Ideas Needed!

Resilience is one of the most bastardized terms when it comes to planning and management jargon. We all want resilience, yet it means drastically different things to many people. To some, resilience is the ability to respond to shocks and abrasions in the environment, while others think of resilience as the ability to continuously innovate and stay ahead of the curve so as not to become obsolete. Economic vulnerability and economic resilience play a strong role in cities’ resilience. Economic vulnerability is an entities proneness to exogenous shocks coming from economic features such as economic openness, export concentration, and dependence on strategic imports. Economic resilience is the ability of an organization, whether it is a business or a city or even a country, to withstand the impacts of financial and economic shocks and to bounce back quickly, or to avoid shocks through proactive planning and interventions. In this paper, we will explore the many facets of economic resilience, drivers of economic resilience, investing in resilience, and the risks of resilience planning. Additionally, we will offer domestic and international examples of cities that have experience with resilience planning, either through risk reduction or after-the-fact resilience planning. Finally, we will conclude with a discussion on the realities of economic resilience.

Please email me if you would like a copy of the paper.

I also serve on the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Innovation and am looking forward to engaging discussions during our board meetings.

USAID – Frontiers in Development

fid_banner I will be speaking at USAID's Frontiers in Development Conference. My presentation will take place  in a new session sponsored by the U.S. Global Development Lab, the Innovation Marketplace. The event engages a broad audience with a focus on “the idea that science, technology, innovation and partnership can accelerate development impact and end extreme poverty by 2030.”

Realizing the Promise of Open Data and Technologies for Global Development

How can we harness data towards the goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030? Today, we have all heard about open data. Open data movements, which share data about localities (cities, towns, villages, etc.) and public institutions (agencies), are spurring up all across the globe. Agencies are making data available to the public about all facets of a governance, public services, and management of public goods. In addition, agencies are liberating data that were traditionally locked up within administrative systems. The overriding goal here is to increase transparency, thereby increasing trust in government while also enabling more collaborative and participatory governance. Open data programs have given a rise in civic hackathons, competitions, and challenges that engage innovators to solve complex problems and promote the use of data analytics for global development. In this presentation, we will use a wide assortment of cases to illustrate a key point, i.e., while we have made great strides in leveraging technology and data for global development, we have undermined its potential due to an under-appreciation of governance and policy nuances. Do not despair! We will outline a series of actionable steps that can be undertaken to rectify this deficiency. Specifically, we will focus on how to create data-driven development labs to tackle some of our most vexing global challenge such as the eradication of extreme poverty.

My colleague, David Swindell, will also be presenting at the event. His presentation will highlight our collaborative work on designing financial models to underwrite investments in smart infrastructures. See here for our report.

See here for the draft program agenda.

See here for the ASU press release on the event.

When Citizens Bypass Government

Gov_logoI contributed an article to the VOICES section of Governing. The article highlights how citizens are bypassing local governments to solve problems within their communities.

Local governments are facing new realities. Citizens' trust in government has declined, and financial constraints do not allow local governments to deliver all of the services their communities would like. In response, citizens are changing as well. Increasingly, local residents and organizations are seizing opportunities to engage with their communities in their own ways by creating platforms that bypass government. Read More

Big Data Analytics and the US Social Security Administration, Information Polity

15701255Rashmi Krishnamurthy and I have a paper accepted for publication in Information Polity. The paper, Big Data Analytics: The Case of the Social Security Administrationis one of the many case studies conducted during my research for my report on Big Data, published by the IBM Center for the Business of Government.

Public agencies are investing significant resources in big data analytics to mine valuable information, predict future outcomes, and make data-driven decisions. In order to foster a strong understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with the adoption of big data analytics in the public sphere, we analyze various efforts undertaken by the United States Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA, which is commonly referred to as the “face of the government,” collects, manages, and curates large volumes of data to provide Social Security services to US citizens and beneficiaries living abroad. The agency has made great strides in the burgeoning big data space to improve administration and delivery of services. This has included: (1) improving its arcane legacy system, (2) developing employee and end-user capability, (3) implementing data management strategies and organizational architecture, (4) managing security and privacy issues, and (5) advocating for increased investment in big data analytics. Despite these efforts, the SSA is still in the early stages of developing capability in the domain of big data analytics. By outlining challenges and opportunities facing the SSA, we discuss policy implications and explore issues to consider when public agencies begin to develop the capacity to analyze big data. 

The paper is scheduled to appear later this year, in Vol. 19, Issue 3.

Herbert A. Simon Best Paper Award

desrist-logo-300x79Kena Fedorschak, Srivatsav Kandala, Rashmi Krishnamurthy, and I won the Herbert A. Simon Best Paper Award at the Ninth International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology.

The paper, Data Analytics and Human Trafficking, highlights our efforts toward building IT solutions to combat human trafficking at the ASU Decision Theater

To read more about paper, please click here.

Press release: ASU College of Public Programs

Big Data and Local Government

afiI will be leading a webinar for the Alliance for Innovation on Big Data and Local Government on April 29, 2014. I will be joined by Chris Kelly (Director of Information Technology for Olathe, KS) and Matthew Esquibel (IT Division Manager for Austin, TX).

You can read my report on Big Data here.

Human Trafficking Solutions at DESRIST 2014 Conference

desrist-logo-300x79Kena Fedorschak, Srivatsav Kandala, Rashmi Krishnamurthy, and I have a paper accepted at the Ninth International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology. The paper, Data Analytics and Human Trafficking, highlights our efforts toward building IT solutions to combat human trafficking at the ASU Decision Theater.

Human trafficking is recognized internationally as an extreme form of violence against women, children, and men. Despite the fact that human trafficking is universally understood to be a burgeoning social problem, a paucity of data and insight into this issue exists. Data analytics has immense potential to elucidate trends in complex social data and inform future policy. We undertook a design science-inspired research approach to build datasets on human trafficking. Three prototypes are presented that describe the methodologies of human traffickers, display correlations between calls reporting suspected trafficking activity and various demographic data, and explicate the effectiveness of US anti-trafficking funding projects.