Two new worksheets to hone your communications skills

by Public Works on February 27, 2014 in Feature

worksheetsPublic Works has always been a hands-on operation, preferring to meet and work with individuals and organizations in person when possible. We have the frequent flyer miles and funny (in retrospect) stories to prove it. But we also work hard to provide other resources to help advocates hone their skills and spread the word. These include webinars, checklists, research summaries and worksheets.

This month we’ve taken two of the small-group exercises we frequently use as part of longer in-person trainings and converted them into worksheets you can download and work on independently. There’s a worksheet that will help you practice three essential elements of making the case for public solutions – values, systems and civic thinking. We’re also offering a new tool to help you identify the positive ripple effects of public policies and programs, which you then can use to build public awareness and support.

In The Works – February 2014

by Public Works on February 27, 2014 in February 2014 eNewsletter

Our esteemed board of directors met this month and we’re thrilled to welcome a new member, Dr. Matt A. Barreto. Matt is the co-founder of the polling and research firm Latino Decisions, and Associate Professor of Political Science, and adjunct … Continue reading

Has a “manufactured catastrophe” fueled education privatization?

by Elaine Mejia on February 27, 2014 in February 2014 eNewsletter

This piece by Dean Patton published in Yes! Magazine challenges the conventional wisdom about public school “failure.” Beginning with the now infamous “A Nation at Risk” study in 1983, Patton argues, advocates for privatizing public education have distorted the data … Continue reading

Private profits disrupt public probation

by Elaine Mejia on February 27, 2014 in February 2014 eNewsletter

Salon weighed in recently with this thoughtful piece and accompanying video, building on new research from Human Rights Watch, on how the drive for profits can distort probation systems and ultimately discriminate against poor offenders in the criminal justice system. … Continue reading

“Challenge platforms” spark public innovation

by Elaine Mejia on February 27, 2014 in February 2014 eNewsletter

We’ve written on many occasions about the ways research conducted in the public sector has sparked important innovations. But this month we’re thinking about how government can act as a catalyst for private innovators to help solve public problems. This … Continue reading

Good public uses of big data analytics

by Elaine Mejia on February 27, 2014 in February 2014 eNewsletter

So much of the attention to the role of “big data” analytics in government has centered on the National Security Agency and its controversial efforts to collect and use personal information. That’s why we appreciate this piece from Brookings’ FixGov … Continue reading

Our Government Matters offers new tools

by Public Works on February 27, 2014 in February 2014 eNewsletter

In our opinion, the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” understates the value of images. Research shows that offering people images of the work of public agencies significantly improves understanding and support for government. That’s why we … Continue reading