Partnership for Public Service research: A year in review
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Partnership for Public Service research: A year in review

February 18, 2022
Henry Katz

This past year, the Partnership for Public Service worked hard to achieve its mission of building a better government and a stronger democracy. Central to this work were several research reports and issue briefs that provided our government with the critical insights it needs to work more effectively. A few of our most important studies are highlighted below.

Addressing leadership vacancies

Strong leadership makes for better federal agencies, and in turn, for a better federal government. To learn more about filling critical Senate-confirmed positions with good leaders, explore our comprehensive look back at the 2020-21 transition. The report uses data from our political appointee tracker to make the case that it is time to reform the Senate confirmation process.

Rebuilding public trust in government

Our “Government for the People” report establishes best practices and a roadmap the Biden administration can take to deliver services that meet the needs of the people they serve and rebuild public trust in government. Key recommendations include the implementation of inclusive “listening” and research strategies to create a better customer experience.

Improving the way agencies work

In this 2021 report, the Partnership analyzed the federal government’s response to the pandemic. We shed light on some of the brighter spots in this response, such as the expansion of telemedicine, making medical care more accessible for veterans, building a system that helped manufacture and deliver millions of COVID-19 vaccines, managing loan applications for small businesses and more.

Human resources has long been an area needing improvement in the federal government. In conjunction with Deloitte Consulting, the Partnership released a report examining how an improved HR system can contribute to greater government success. Additionally, the report examines why now is the time to address this issue as the government adapts to long-standing workplace challenges brought about by the pandemic.

This report highlights a variety of organizational and managerial challenges facing the State Department—including issues surrounding talent management, recruitment and retention and technological infrastructure. Overall, the Partnership recommends strengthening the capacity of the civil and foreign services by improving the State Department’s talent management life cycle.

Building a better workforce

The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® rankings are the most comprehensive assessment of how federal workers view their jobs and workspaces. Our 15th anniversary report reflects on both the opportunities and requirements for the next era of federal employee engagement and outlines strategies for engaging young people and career leaders.

Public-private talent exchanges—programs that enable federal agencies to deploy civil servants to the private sector, to host private sector employees on detail, or both—can help bolster the federal workforce and facilitate a cross-sector sharing of ideas and perspectives.

However, a lack of investment in time and resources has prevented the federal government from building these programs to maximum effect. This report outlines the benefits and challenges of public-private talent exchange programs and offers strategies to deepen their impact.

Our work continues

In 2021, the Partnership highlighted several hot-button issues that our government tackled to protect our health, safety and well-being—from the COVID-19 pandemic and Senate confirmations to America’s role in the global order. As part of this research, we identified areas for improvement and celebrated the hard work of federal employees in a year filled with unimaginable challenges.

In 2022, the Partnership will continue this necessary work, and continue to stay true to our mission of building a better government and a stronger democracy.

Click here to explore the Partnership for Public Service’s wide-ranging research and to learn more about our recommendations for improving government.

Henry Katz is an intern on the Partnership’s Communications team.

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