Our Research

Our wide-ranging research on topics related to government effectiveness and impact helps us develop forward-thinking solutions that change the way government works. We have generated hundreds of research reports on government reform issues, and we continue to delve into the most important challenges confronting how our government operates. Our data-driven thought leadership offers sound analysis and actionable recommendations on the current challenges facing the federal workforce and government structures.

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Bright Spots: Federal Success Stories from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Amid an ongoing global pandemic, federal agencies have continued to deliver critical services to the American public. For a deeper look at how our government has forged innovative solutions to address the COVID-19 health crisis, read our “bright spots” resources.

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Behind the Scenes: How Government Mission-Support Services Can Use a Customer Lens to Meet Big Challenges

This paper will demonstrate how mission-support offices have created—and can create—more customer-focused services that better enable government to solve big challenges. Using research techniques such as human-centered design to understand customer perceptions, placing the customer at the center of key operational processes and decisions, and using real-time customer feedback to drive continual improvement can all make mission-support services—and the federal employees and agencies they empower—more successful.

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Resilient: Keeping Your Wits—Workforce, Innovation, Technology, Security—About You

More so than any crisis in a generation, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the extent to which the resilience of the United States relies on the resilience of its government. The Partnership for Public Service, working with the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council and MeriTalk, and with support from corporate partners, commissioned a survey of 300 federal leaders that identified vital lessons learned over the course of the pandemic. This report encapsulates our findings and provides detailed recommendations for future operations, service delivery and policymaking.

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State of Renewal: The Department of State Today, Tomorrow and Beyond

Charged with leading America’s foreign policy, the Department of State advances the country’s diplomatic, national security and economic interests by fostering relationships with foreign leaders, providing assistance and advocating the values of American democracy around the globe, and delivering a broad range of services to U.S. citizens traveling and living abroad. The Partnership for Public Service examined the department’s internal challenges and identified strategies for overcoming them and opportunities to accelerate efforts already underway.

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A Nudge in the Right Direction: How Understanding Human Behavior Can Lead to More Effective Government

The Partnership for Public Service and Grant Thornton hosted five workshops with federal employees between March and September 2020 to examine how behavioral insights could improve processes and programs and deliver better agency performance. This report explains how behavioral insights can make government more effective; provides tips for choosing a behavioral insights project and getting leaders to buy in; describes how to test whether a behavioral insights project was successful; and offers guidance on how to build on the results of a test.

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Bit by Bit: How governments used technology to move the mission forward during COVID-19

Technology has enabled government to evolve and remotely perform previously in-person functions, expand how they offer existing services to the public and establish new ways to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Read stories from federal, state and local governments and the lessons they learned in this report by the Partnership for Public Service and Microsoft, entitled, “Bit by Bit: How governments used technology to move the mission forward during COVID-19.”

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Rapid Reinforcements: Strategies for Federal Surge Hiring

Federal agencies encounter many challenges that require rapid growth of their workforce such as national emergencies, large-scale attrition, new mission requirements or the need for emergent skills. With support from the Democracy Fund, the Partnership for Public Service conducted in-depth research to identify the most effective and widely applicable strategies for surge hiring.

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Government for the People: Serving the Public in a New World

In collaboration with Accenture Federal Services, we publish an annual “Government for the People” report—a comprehensive collection of data and insights on how customers experience some of the government’s key services. Our second annual report provides in-depth data and insights on 11 key federal services, assesses the progress government has made since last year, and offers three service-delivery principles for advancing customer experience improvements in the pandemic and beyond.

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A Time for Talent: Improving Federal Recruiting and Hiring

To deliver for the American people now and in the future, and competently respond to inevitable crises, the government must be able to recruit and hire a world-class workforce. Yet the federal recruiting and hiring process is in drastic need of repair. In “A Time for Talent: Improving Federal Recruiting and Hiring,” the Partnership for Public Service outlines practical steps agencies can take to attract mission-critical talent and strengthen the federal government, working within an existing system that is saddled with many cumbersome and complex rules and procedures.

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Into the Storm: Using Artificial Intelligence to Improve California’s Disaster Resilience

The Partnership for Public Service worked with Microsoft to examine ways AI could help the federal, state and local governments improve their resilience. Read the findings in this white paper.

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Mastering Risk: Ways to Advance Enterprise Risk Management Across Government

In “Mastering Risk: Ways to Advance Enterprise Risk Management Across Government,” the Partnership and Deloitte explore how federal leaders can use enterprise risk management to improve decision-making and program outcomes.

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Cracking the Code: Harnessing the Exponential Power of Technology

In “Cracking the Code: Harnessing the exponential power of technology,” the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton assess the use of three emerging technologies — artificial intelligence, immersive technologies and edge computing — to identify issues governments should consider to maximize the benefits of these technologies and provide advice for accelerating their adoption.

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