Six Governments to Receive Technical Support from Harvard

The Harvard Kennedy School's Government Performance Lab will help six different state and local governments with pressing issues facing their communities.

by / June 14, 2018
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Boston; Cuyahoga County, Ohio; Salt Lake County, Utah; New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Washington state have all been chosen as recipients of assistance from the Harvard Kennedy School's Government Performance Lab (GPL). The GPL will help address issues faced in each jurisdiction, which include homelessness, unemployment and child welfare.

The GPL chose these places after careful consideration of each proposal, and will now give full-time support to each government until the tasks have been completed. The work they do for the governments will also be pro bono.

“The challenges our new awardees are tackling — connecting people to jobs, protecting vulnerable children and combating homelessness — are ones that jurisdictions across the country face,” said Jeffrey Liebman, Malcolm Wiener professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School and GPL director in a statement.

In Boston, the GPL will assist the Department of Neighborhood Development by coming up with ways to use data to move homeless people into stable housing. “I'm excited at the prospect of having extra capacity this summer to help us solve this issue in a way that's more efficient and cost effective, while making real change in the lives of our residents,” said Mayor Marty Walsh in a statement.

Salt Lake County, Utah, will also be looking to the GPL to help tackle its homelessness issues. The GPL will create ways to measure progress towards goals and also help the county with getting and implementing new shelters for the homeless.

The GPL will help the North Carolina Department of Commerce use data on key issues surrounding unemployment while also helping monitor the tools given to individuals to ensure they are equipped with needed skills. “We welcome this collaboration with Harvard Kennedy School’s Government Performance Lab, which will allow us to do even more to prepare North Carolinians for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Governor Roy Cooper.

Cuyahoga County, Ohio, also is looking for the GPL to assist with employment issues by working with the Department of Health and Human Services to build stronger partnerships with providers of long-term employment. 

In New Hampshire the GPL will be assisting the Division for Children, Youth and Families to find more consistent ways of serving at-risk children and families. 

The GPL will also help the Washington state Department of Children, Youth, and Families improve their systems connecting families at risk of child abuse and neglect with quality services and also helping create solutions to improve the transition from teenager to adult for at-risk children. “We ... look forward to collaborating with the Government Performance Lab to help us build systems that will weave together high quality early learning options for the state’s most at-risk young children,” said Secretary Ross Hunter.