Volume 12

Biden School Journal of Public Policy Volume 12

  • Consequences and dangers of gerrymandering: An ongoing threat to voter equality and fairness by Ellen Schenk

    Despite the many movements and organizations dedicated to fighting against gerrymandering, gerrymandering and its various forms remain a current issue in elections. While gerrymandering has been an issue consistently brought before the Supreme Court, there has been no established measure to identify a gerrymandered district. There is a broad scope of literature surrounding suggested measures, such as the efficiency gap, the mean-median gap, and the seats-to-votes curve. Gerrymandering presents a clear and present threat to the equality of elections due to the lack of competition and an unfair process of redistricting. Reforms such as guidelines for commissions and the 2020 census need to be undertaken to ensure a fair and just reapportionment process.

  • What is the ‘Energy Efficiency Gap’? Analyzing market failures to energy efficiency by Pravesh Raghoo

    Energy efficiency is key to establishing a sustainable and clean environment for present and future generations. Without initiatives to develop energy efficiency, there are doubts that the path towards greater sustainability can ever be achieved. The literature on energy efficiency has long demonstrated the presence and persistence of an ‘energy efficiency gap.’ This paper examines the nature and size of this gap, identifies vital explanatory factors, and explores approaches by which to bridge the gap between potential and actual improvements in energy efficiency for sustainable development.

  • Beyond Keifer Sutherland’s Designated Survivor, Recovering Washington, D.C.: An Examination of the District of Columbia’s Recovery Plan by Zachary Cox

    The popular imagination, as exhibited by the television show Designated Survivor, constructs disaster recovery as a process performed by omnipotent government agents who guide action in ways that are comprehensive, fair, and efficient. However, as the National Disaster Recovery Plan and the District of Columbia Recovery Plan demonstrate, there is little understanding of the processes required to recover from a disaster. This paper examines the Plan for the District of Columbia’s Economic Recovery from disaster and proposes recommendations that could more easily streamline the planning and recovery of disaster in Washington, DC.

  • Battery Energy Storage Systems for Transmission & Distribution Upgrade Deferral: Opportunities, Challenges and Feasibility in the US Electricity Sector by Sashwat Roy

    Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) are emerging technologies which are opening new opportunities that improve and reduce the costs of electricity. However, exactly where the storage is deployed (generation, transmission or customer) on the electricity system can have an immense impact on the value created by BESS technologies. In this study, we highlight the value created by BESS when installed downstream from a nearly overloaded node at the distribution level by deferring investment in capital-intensive feeder upgrades. The study also examines regulatory policy initiatives in “storage as a transmission asset” and provides recommendations based on the understanding of the regulatory treatment of energy storage to ensure increased deployment of these systems as transmission assets.

  • Effective disasters: 2013 European flood damage as a policy driver by Logan Gerber-Chavez

    Disasters are the most tangible representation of climate change in our time. For policymakers, the easiest way to engage their constituents on new public policy is to relate it to a specific need. Natural disasters are an easily visible reference to remind people of a very pressing need for new disaster policy. Are frequent references to disasters then a motivation for policy change? If yes, do policy changes coincide with the degree of disaster damage? To compare policy responses to disasters it requires holding the magnitude of a disaster as a constant so as to compare the difference in policy action in relation to the same disaster. This assessment compares policy responses by nine (9) European countries (including; Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia) affected by the 2013 flood of the Danube, Elbe, and Rhine rivers. Life years are implemented to compare the disaster impacts across multiple situations (Noy, 2015). The expectation was that the country most impacted would have the most incentive and therefore apply the most elaborate disaster policy in response.

Volume 11

New Visions for Public Affairs Volume 11


  • Rising to Meet the Central Challenge of Our Time by Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
  • 2018 Seoul Case Study Experience by Eileen Young
  • Hardening Soft Targets by Daniel Henne
    • Abstract

      Terrorism was once a scattered, intermittent concern for the global community. It is now an everyday security problem that primarily affects large urban centers that have not been secured. Proper risk assessment, intelligence collection, public awareness, organizational collaboration, and improvements in technology are key areas and points that need to be emphasized in terrorism prevention. When it comes to implementing effective counterterrorism practices, places such as New York City have made strides. The city’s ability to prevent attacks can be contributed to their extensive use of surveillance systems, as well as their robust informationsharing and collaborative abilities. This paper assesses the major findings in counterterrorism literature and in practice, providing examples of advances that New York City has utilized in order to keep people safe from terrorist attacks.

  • A Critical Review of Emergency and Disaster Management in the United Arab Emirates by Abdulhadi A. Al Ruwaithi
    • Abstract

      The United Arab Emirates – the UAE – a small, wealthy Gulf State country, is subject to many geographical, political, and social issues that contribute to either increased risk of disaster or ineffective disaster management. This paper discusses these issues, their causes, how they impact the country’s ability to face a disaster, and how they can be fixed from a public policy perspective. In the UAE, citizens represent only 11.6% of the total population, whereas most residents are immigrant workers who enjoy many fewer advantages in the country. Such a large demographic imbalance threatens the stability of the social system and continuity of business during and after a disaster. It also impedes community engagement in disaster planning and response. A large demographic imbalance, low public representation in public policy, and low community engagement in the planning process are highlighted as the primary community-based vulnerabilities. This paper illustrates several recommendations to alleviate the impact of these issues and urges policymakers and emergency managers to be aware of 1) the drawbacks of the exclusive planning process and 2) the social vulnerabilities that are promoted by the current public policy. More public policy research and community-based research projects aiming to p

  • Civic Hackathons as Deliberative Democracy: Reflections from Participation in the 2018 Delaware Open Data Challenge by Eli Turkel, Elizabeth Suchanic, and Randy Neil
    • Abstract

      The “hackathon” is one of the primary events that civic technology groups organize. A civic hackathon is an event designed to improve a public service either through innovative software programming, data analysis, or graphic and web design. Hackathons are criticized for lack of productivity and sustainability. Due to such criticism, civic technology organizations have introduced reforms to the format of hackathons – stretching their length, incorporating human centered design and the influence of client direction. Open Data, Delaware’s 2018 Open Data Challenge is an example of a hackathon that experimented with these different reforms. In this paper, the authors share their reflections on participation in the Open Data Challenge. The main question explored by the paper is, what is the value of the civic hackathon and what research questions should be asked about hackathons? The paper finds that the value of civic hacking events is that they provide an opportunity to engage citizens in a civic process. From this vantage point, civic hackathons should be studied as deliberative democratic events and evaluated on their design and their ability to increase participants’ civic engagement.

  • The Syrian Crisis: Failed Mediation and Implications for Conflict Resolution by Meagan Eisner
    • Abstract

      This paper uses well known civil war theories to analyze the most significant mediation attempts that have occurred in the Syrian Civil War and explain why they have been unsuccessful. After reviewing the failed attempts from the Arab League and the United Nations to negotiate an end to conflict in Syria, this paper concludes that the reasons attempt have failed are the large number of parties involved in the conflict, hostilities among the parties involved, and international disunity. Ultimately, scholars have found that the number of parties in a conflict, the level of hostility among the parties, and the ability for the international community to unite around a common approach for resolution correlates with the likelihood for successful mediation. These findings offer insight and guidance for future policymakers that are involved in conflict mediation in a multi-polar world. Since previous mediation attempts have failed, this paper seeks to offer a way to restructure the post-war state so that peace and stability is achieved, and war recurrence is unlikely. Power-sharing is the most effective means to restructure the post-war state in deeply divided societies such as Syria. The conflict in Syria has real implications for the future of conflict mediation. Based on the failures of previous mediation attempts, this paper offers insight into how the United Nations can capitalize on the tools at its disposal in order to enhance its effectiveness in conflict resolution

  • Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: Urbanization Versus Suburbanization by Brett Swan
    • Abstract

      Testing has begun on fully connected and automated vehicles (CAVs). Within a decade or two, fully automated vehicles will be on public roads. Just as the automobile played significant role in changing the way people lived, so too will CAVs. However, that role is still unclear. CAVs, also known as self-driving vehicles, can lead a new wave of suburbanization, urbanization, or a mixture of both. To best prepare for the intended and potentially unintended consequences of CAVs, the federal, state, and local governments must be proactive in steering CAVs towards sustainable growth.

Volume 10

New Visions for Public Affairs Volume 10


  • A Plan to Put Work – and Workers – First by Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
  • Highlight: A Culture of Collaboration at UD by Kalyn McDonough
    • Strengthening Partnerships in Health and Education: Delaware and the Nation
  • The Importance of Study Abroad: Transylvanian International Conference in Public Administration by Yuliya Brel & Benjamin Chun
    • Conference Feature
  • Child Abandonment and Adoption in South Korea: A Post-Korean War and Present-Day Analysis by Stacy N. Burwell
    • Abstract

      When a family member is faced with making the tough decision of relinquishing their child due to circumstances within the household, the options available to them should be alternatives that place the child’s health, safety, and wellbeing as the highest priorities. Options, such as adoption and the ability to anonymously drop off a child one is no longer able to care for at a “safe haven” location, should be available and encouraged to ensure the optimal welfare of the child, as opposed to abandonment in the streets or any other unsafe environment. This paper will discuss the issues of child abandonment and adoption that have persisted for several decades in South Korea. It will detail the historical evolution of child abandonment in South Korea, a country that once served as the world’s largest source of unwanted children, driven by poverty, governmental regulation, a culture of racial purity, homogeneity, family bloodlines, shame, and taboos against domestic adoption (South Korea Child Law Sees More Babies Abandoned, 2017, para. 4). This analysis will also review the state of child abandonment and adoption in the postKorean War era, in comparison to present-day South Korean society. Furthermore, the consequences of the current tightly restricted adoption policies – that have reduced both international and domestic adoptions while increasing ongoing child abandonment cases, will be discussed. This paper concludes with recommendations on potential policy reforms with respect to the protections provided to parents and families wishing to relinquish a child they are unable to raise.

  • Communities Behind Bars: A Review of Mass Incarceration and the Coercive Mobility Hypothesis by Andrew C. Gray
    • Abstract

      The community that one resides in has a substantial impact on their life. Communities that are disadvantaged – with high rates of poverty, joblessness, family disruption, and racial isolation –experience crime and criminal justice responses at higher levels. With the evolution of mass incarceration and its racially-biased practices, poor and largely minority communities continue to experience its effects and repercussions most heavily. That is, incarceration has disproportionately affected disadvantaged communities that house large portions of the U.S.’s racial-ethnic populations. The coercive mobility hypothesis contends that this concentration of incarceration has two negative effects on communities. First, incarceration forcefully removes community members who likely offered some social support; and, second, the communities to which they return must bear the burden of accommodating large portions of the population with few opportunities given their criminal label. This dual effect destabilizes the ability for communities to form strong social cohesion and, thus, informal social control, which is argued to be more important to communities than formal forms of control (i.e. police, incarceration). Contrary to providing safety and order, incarceration may disrupt communities; especially those already struggling from various social disadvantages. Previous research has shown that incarceration detrimentally affects the community and creates a cycle by adding to the conditions that foster criminal activity. This essay reviews the effects of mass incarceration on communities through the theoretical lens of the coercive mobility hypothesis and informal social control literature.

  • The Role of Public Libraries in Disasters by Eileen Young
    • Abstract

      This paper addresses the role of libraries in building a more disaster-resilient society through community support and in fostering access to critical information and resources in the wake of disaster. The role of libraries in disasters, as well as our understanding of it, has evolved over time, particularly with reference to the space they can fill in community response. A large component of that space is helping those community members impacted by disasters to fill out E-government forms, either by rendering assistance or providing the computers, electricity, and Wi-Fi necessary to connect to online resources. Other roles include avenue for escape and source of information. This paper surveys the existing literature on libraries’ disaster response, identifying both strengths and gaps which require further academic research, and provides a brief overview of extant data that libraries can use to help develop disaster plans. Existing academic literature on this subject is analyzed using the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) framework. The paper finds that there is still a gap in scholarship persists with regards to the current and future role of libraries in disaster preparedness and response. Consequently, the need for a coherent framework aimed specifically at American libraries to help them develop disaster plans has been identified as one of the salient findings of the paper.

  • Merging Developing and Developed Worlds: The Blockchain Revolution’s Impact on Collective Global Growth by Jeffrey R. Martindale
    • Abstract

      The purpose of this research is to investigate the productive ways in which blockchain technology can impact the world in both private and public sectors. This paper begins with a short description of how blockchains were initially conceptualized and how they work, which the author expresses in a more universally understandable manner for non-experts in the fields of coding and computer science. Then the larger implications of world changes in both developing and developed countries through myriad blockchain technology application possibilities in corporate industries and public agencies are explored in detail. Specifically, Internet accessibility is not as limited to wealthier people and countries as it was at the turn of the century, so, while only developed states seemingly experienced overwhelming benefits from the initial Internet revolution, sectors of all countries from an array of differing developmental levels currently maintain the ability to collectively benefit, grow, and thrive during the blockchain revolution. Finally, this paper concludes with a warning to corporations and governments alike and a petition that public and private entities learn from the mistakes of those who did not initially see the Internet for the world-altering disruptive force it proved to be. Blockchain technology has the potential to make an enormous portion of traditional corporate practices and services obsolete, as well as potentially challenge the worldwide legitimacy of governments’ central authority through its use of distributed ledgers and online expanse.

  • Using Film Industry Subsidies to Influence Cultural Perceptions of Women in the US and Seoul by Stephanie Mergler
    • Abstract

      Research has shown that media representations of gender can have a profound impact on the formation of gender stereotypes and the cultural perception of women and their role in society. This policy brief therefore outlines a framework for using film industry subsidies to influence cultural perceptions of women in the Republic of Korea, a country where a staggering gender pay gap and deeply ingrained cultural deterrents to women’s inclusiveness have posed a significant challenge to women’s empowerment initiatives in the City of Seoul. The policy intervention recommended by this brief is a subsidy that could be implemented by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and other cities with thriving film industries to incentivize the development of feature films that include the following elements: 1) positive portrayals of women in a lead role, 2) portrayals of men and women who are equally responsible for childcare and domestic work, and 3) place women in roles where they are empowered to write, direct, and/or produce feature films. By instituting this policy, Seoul could help break barriers for women in film and encourage media portrayals that show women and the city of Seoul in a positive and inspiring light.

  • Book Review: Don’t Shoot: One Man, a Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America by Kalyn McDonough

Volume 9

New Visions for Public Affairs Volume 9 


  • Children in Foster Care: Improving Outcomes through Intervention by Jessica Velez
    • Abstract

      This policy paper discusses the problems, potential solutions and recommendations for improving the quality of care and long-term child outcomes for children in the United States foster care system. Children in foster care experience adversity in the form of abuse and neglect prior to entering the system, and often experience instability in the form of placement changes while in the system. A combination of trauma from maltreatment and long-term instability make these children especially vulnerable to poor developmental outcomes. These outcomes include poor emotional and behavioral regulation which can lead to social delinquency, externalizing behaviors in middle to late childhood and poor academic performance, which can lead to unemployment and homelessness in adulthood. This paper discusses two possible solutions to counter the negative effects of maltreatment trauma and instability in foster care, including intensifying permanency efforts and implementing child-caregiver interventions. The second option provides a more comprehensive approach to solving the multifactorial issue at hand. This paper recommends a systematic approach to implementing three interventions for specified age groups of children within the foster care system. These interventions include the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC) intervention for children birth to three, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) for children ages three through seven, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) for children ages six through fifteen. Each intervention has been shown to improve both child outcomes and the child-caregiver relationship, however each provides a different approach that corresponds with developmental changes and challenges.

  • Seoul Cycle: Making Seoul a Bike-Friendly Destination by Savannah Edwards & Mesut Karakoc
    • Abstract

      During the fall 2016 semester, students from the University of Delaware’s School of Public Policy and Administration had the opportunity to learn from Seoul’s Metropolitan Government (SMG) and the University of Seoul as part of the 21st Seoul Case Study Program. During the program, we were given unique opportunities to learn about policy management practices in Seoul. At the end of the experience, we were asked to present analyses and recommendations for SMG to adopt. Drawing upon strategies used to make Newark, Delaware a bicycle-friendly community, this report discusses policy opportunities to enhance the city of Seoul’s cycling network.

  • Improving the Equity and Adequacy of Public Education Funding in Maryland by Kathryn Carns
    • Abstract

      Maryland’s current funding formula for public education was constructed with the express intent of ensuring equitable and adequate funding for each student in the state, regardless of county of residence, wealth, or other individual circumstances. However, the state’s funding for education falls short on both counts. The funding formula used in Maryland consists of a foundation amount per student, with additional weights for students receiving free and reduced-price meals, students with limited English proficiency, and students receiving special education services. The per-student amount is increased by a certain percentage for the 13 counties in which the provision of education is more expensive. This funding scheme was created based upon a series of adequacy studies carried out in the early 2000s, and was intended to ensure that each county received sufficient funding to enable all students to perform adequately on state-level performance measures. This policy brief uses empirical measures to evaluate the equity and adequacy of funding for public education in Maryland, identifies opportunities for improvement in both areas, and recommends policy adjustments intended to increase equity and improve performance. The equity of Maryland’s public education funding has shown limited improvement but still falls short on three relative measures of equity. Adequacy, as measured by passing rates on standardized tests, was achieved by only half of Maryland counties in 2012. The General Assembly must take immediate action to re-evaluate the definition and cost of the provision of an adequate education, and revise the state’s funding formula to ensure equitable and adequate funding.

  • Delaware Goes to College: Providing Equitable Access to Quality College Counseling and Increasing College Attendance Rates for High School Students in the State of Delaware by Tim Danos
    • Abstract

      This article examines the challenges faced by public high school counselors in their efforts to help students prepare for, gain access to, and succeed in a collegiate environment and other postsecondary options. National advocacy groups and contemporary research note that students are better prepared for postsecondary success when their schools have a counselor-to-student ratio of one-to-250 or less, as well as equitable access to quality college counseling services. Yet fiscal and professional challenges often prevent public high schools in states like Delaware from meeting that optimal counselor ratio and from providing robust college counseling services, especially to historically underrepresented students such as firstgeneration college students, low-income students, and students of color. This paper reviews several policy options for increasing college attendance and providing equitable postsecondary success in Delaware, and provides recommendations on best practices that can be implemented in the state of Delaware.

  • Complete Streets Policies: Impacts on Urban Freight Transit by Gemma Tierney
    • Abstract

      Complete Streets-oriented planning and policies are touted as offering a way to make streets safer and more accessible to all modes of transport, as well as to sidewalk life in general (children playing, restaurant seating, outdoor markets). Complete Streets policies have become increasingly popular in metropolitan areas across the U.S. and Canada. Smart Growth America reports that the number of Complete Streets policies in the U.S. climbed from 216 in 2010 to 712 in 2014 (Smart Growth America, 2014). The Complete Streets philosophy advocates for designing streets and sidewalks to accommodate all users. Significantly, many strategies tend to overlook the accommodations needed for urban freight transportation. While there are far fewer industrial and freight rail demands on our urban thoroughfares than there were a century ago, the rise of e-commerce in the twenty-first century has brought more delivery trucks into urban streets of all sizes. Despite the fact that the Complete Streets mission is to make streets more accessible to all users, many Complete Streets policies do not address urban freight vehicles in a significant way. Nevertheless, as cities develop and share best practices over time, they are learning how to better accommodate urban freight transportation, rather than treating it as incompatible with streets that are safe for cyclists and pedestrians. This paper reviews examples of Complete Streets concepts that have posed challenges for urban freight transportation, and policies to broaden the concept of Complete Streets and better accommodate urban freight.

  • The Failure of the Language Policy in Belarus by Yuliya Brel
    • Abstract

      The Republic of Belarus, which used to be part of the Soviet Union, became an independent state in August of 1991. It was expected that Belarus would follow the same path on the way of its independent nation building as the other former Soviet republics, i.e. it would promote its national identity and the use of the national language in the public and private spheres of life. The tentative attempt of the nationalist-inclined part of the Belarusian intelligentsia to introduce a new language policy that stipulated for a gradual switch to Belarusian as the sole state language first seemed quite successful. The referendum of 1995, however, reintroduced the Russian language as the second state language, which in practice meant squeezing Belarusian out of the public sphere, and going back to Belarus being a predominantly Russian-speaking country. Based on the available scholarship, official and historical documents, and other secondary data, the essay argues that the new language policy failed because Belarusians had not formed into a nation by the beginning of the 20th century. With the Russian language being the medium of urban dwellers’ communication and a means of upward social mobility since the times of the tsarist empire, the value of being fluent in Belarusian still remains questionable for the majority of the Belarusian population.

  • Urban Greenspace and Economic Health in Cities: A Comparative Case Study of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Rachel Mabel
    • Abstract

      This paper examines the potential links between urban greenspace and economic health. The scope of urban greenspace includes parks, canopy coverage, and number of trees. This paper evaluates economic health through statistical indicators such as unemployment, median household income, population levels, and gross domestic product (GDP), and provides relevant historical and political context to establish the basis for more comprehensive analysis. Confounding variables are minimized by limiting the comparison to two cities in Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

  • Community Involvement Needed: Food Deserts, Food and Nutritional Security by Christy Mannering
    • Abstract

      This paper discusses food security, nutritional security, and the growing number of food deserts that exist in cities throughout United States. The paper first reviews current policies that aim to improve nutritional security and decrease the number of food deserts. These policies include the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The paper then presents new alternatives for eradicating food deserts and improving food security in ways that engage more members of the community in a sustainable manner. These alternatives include 1) Small business tax incentives to encourage urban gardens, 2) Cooperative Extension agents and master gardener volunteers to provide agriculture training to currently unemployed community members, and 3) Enhancing current programs to provide better education families on how to prepare fruits and vegetables to create healthy, delicious, and cost effective meals. These policies also require community customization, which will call for a basic framework to be developed to make the programs replicable yet flexible.

Volume 8

New Visions for Public Affairs Volume 8 


  • Broadband Internet in Delaware: Bridging the Digital Divide / Author: Jason Olson
    • Abstract

      This paper addresses the importance of broadband internet in socio-economic terms and introduces the concept of the digital divide, the gap in broadband access and adoption rates between region, class, and race. After examining the causes for this gap and its perpetuation, the paper compares three policy solutions used in different regions in the United States before making a policy recommendation for the state of Delaware.

  • An Urban Gay History: San Francisco as a Foundation / Author: Valerie Lane
    • Abstract

      The lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) population in the United States has undergone a violent and oppressive history. The LGBTQ population has demonstrated resilience and strength in the face of police brutality, the HIV-AIDS epidemic, and legislative discrimination. Over the course of the twentieth century, the LGBTQ population formed cultural enclaves in many cities. The density and diversity of urban centers provided conditions under which gay urbanites could foster a sense of community, solidarity, and relative security, in comparison to the opportunities offered by suburban and rural areas. The gay community enclaves that formed in many of the twentieth century’s big cities allowed their residents to establish themselves socially, economically, and politically in resistance to the oppressive societal structures that they encountered outside of these enclaves. This overview of some of the gay urban enclaves that formed during the second half of the twentieth century offers San Francisco as a basis for analysis. Did major events such as the election of Harvey Milk in San Francisco’s Castro district help to build an empowering history for the LGBTQ population? Today, the fight for LGBTQ civil rights must still overcome a number of significant challenges, such as in the areas of healthcare, adoption, support services for LGBTQ youth, and protection from various sources of discrimination. By exploring the growth of urban LGBTQ communities over the last 70 years, this paper hopes to offer insight on how LGBTQ communities and their allies can continue to move forward.

  • Urban Unrest: Crime Control in American Cities and the Sociological Implications of Police Strategy / Author: David Karas
    • Abstract

      Dating back to the initial days of urbanization in the United States, the impact of crime and delinquency on cities has differed vastly from the impact on suburban and rural spaces. While a number of factors are believed by criminologists to precipitate such urban violence, primary justifications for policing’s altered approach to cities include curbing poverty, lowering unemployment and working towards neighborhood revitalization. A wide array of crime control strategies have targeted the unique sources of anti-social behaviors that plague city neighborhoods, including targeted patrols and other forms of policing that focus on particular offenses or offender groups. While criminological research has revealed that some of these programs have been successful in reducing levels of urban delinquency, the strategies have undoubtedly resulted in a range of far-reaching sociological implications. Through a review of prior literature, this paper will explore a range of crime control strategies which have been employed in American cities over time, as well as to assess the various impacts they have had on urbanites – including those who have been disproportionately impacted by some strategies. This paper will also offer a discussion related to the role policymakers have in this regard – and the importance of considering the sociological implications in crafting future urban crime policy.

  • The Role of Geographic Location on College Campus Sexual Victimization Rates in the U.S.: A New Methodological Approach / Authors: Steven Keener and Gilbert Michaud
    • Abstract

      Though colleges and universities throughout the United States have been progressively focusing on sexual victimization and emphasizing training sessions for faculty, staff, and students, the underlying determinants of sexual victimization on university campuses remains uncertain. One understudied potential variable is the geographic location of a college campus. This paper presents a data collection and analysis framework that explores the relationship between whether a college campus is located in an urban versus rural location and the campus’s rate of sexual victimization. The paper begins with a literature review on variables affecting rates of college sexual victimization. We then operationalize the independent variable of urban versus rural campus location, and offer a methodological approach to determining how this variable relates to sexual victimization rates. This, in turn, has a range of policy implications, including how institutions of higher education should proceed to implement sexual victimization trainings and other related programs.

  • Trends in Federal Competitive Funding and Implications for Organizational Development / Author: Claudia Caruso
    • Abstract

      Federal funding plays a significant role at the state and local level in three primary ways. First, federal funds represent a large percentage of state and local government revenues. Second, federal funding impacts the development of local and regional economies in positive and negative ways. Third, federal funding can be used politically to reward or to encourage behavior. Still, reporting requirements limit the research on competitive-only federal funding. This paper uses the Consolidated Federal Funds Report to analyze changes in federal funding over time, the types of programs that have experienced increases or decreases in funding over time, and the implications of these trends at the local level. As overall federal funding has increased, competitive funding has increased at a faster rate from 1983 to 2010. As community resources diminish and the direct federal role decreases, local communities increasingly depend on competitive funds for resources. This raises a number of implications for organizations, education, and research described in this section. First, organizations must develop and maintain the capacities necessary to successfully apply for, manage, and report on grants. Second, education for students of public policy and administration must focus on the unique challenges of a field increasingly dependent upon grants. Finally, future research will need to integrate the concept of competitive funding, to better understand its distribution and impact on local communities.

Volume 7

New Visions for Public Affairs Volume 7 


  • Special Profile – NVPA at the National Journal Conference for Schools of Public Policy & Affairs / Authors: Jessica Mitchell and Gemma Tierney
  • Special Profile – Enemies to Allies: The First Twenty Years of Public Allies Delaware / Author: S. Elizabeth Lockman
    • Abstract

      Under the slogan, “Everyone leads,” the Public Allies program enables individuals from diverse backgrounds to serve the community. Through apprenticeship, training, and a
      Team Service Project, Public Allies are immersed in community development work and
      understand the potential challenges and rewards of a life in public service. The partnership
      between Public Allies Delaware and the University of Delaware serves as an example to national
      Public Allies programs. In this retrospective, S. Elizabeth Lockman interviewed personnel of
      Public Allies Delaware and outlined the history of its development in Delaware.

  • Highway to Inequity: The Disparate Impact of the Interstate Highway System on Poor and Minority Communities in American Cities/ Author: David Karas
    • Abstract

      The Interstate Highway System constitutes one of the most substantial federal investments
      in the nation’s infrastructure and has provided innumerable benefits in transportation
      infrastructure. The positive impacts of the road building campaign sparked by President
      Dwight Eisenhower in the mid-1950s, however, are not without their negative counterparts.
      Construction of the expressway network had a profound impact on American cities, often
      cutting through developed neighborhoods and forever changing the social and physical
      characteristics of urban landscapes. In discussions of the oft-devastating effects of the Interstate
      Highway System on urban communities, it is impossible to ignore the impact that the system has
      had on poor and minority communities. A growing body of research has addressed the racial
      effects of the landmark federal initiative, with many academics alleging that the system’s
      construction constituted, at least in some cities, a civil rights violation that served to formalize
      Jim Crow-era discriminatory patterns and some of the original racial boundaries imposed in
      some urban spaces. In the present context, the still-evolving expressway teardown movement
      points to the reevaluation of the highway system on the part of policy scholars and public
      officials, many of whom have addressed the disparate outcomes of the network and have sought
      to remedy the harm it imposed on urban America.

  • Harnessing Entrepreneurial Potential in Soweto as a Catalyst for Inclusive Growth / Author: Alexandra Davis
    • Abstract

      Over the course of the past several decades, momentum has grown across developing nations in favor of the advancement of policies rooted in the linkage between entrepreneurial activity and economic growth. In line with this momentum, South Africa – a nation experiencing depressed entrepreneurial activity, sluggish growth rates, and unemployment rates just under thirty percent – has adopted the development of the small, medium, and micro enterprise (SMME) sector as a national priority. This analysis sought to assess the accessibility of public supports in place to facilitate the startup and development of SMMEs in historically underrepresented communities of the country, particularly in urban settlements colloquially referred to as “townships,” where tens of millions of South Africans live. This study was conducted as a case study of the communities of South Africa’s largest and oldest township, Soweto. This research supports that there is a severe lack of access to SMME supports in Soweto, as well as various institutional barriers, many due to legacies of the apartheid structure, and an inability of top-down governmental policy to filter to Sowetan communities.

  • Guidelines for Developing an Open Geospatial Response to Emergencies / Author: Benjamin Wallace
    • Abstract

      Disaster response typically requires high levels of coordination, necessitating effective communication and information management. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are useful tools that are constantly being developed and used in many fields, including emergency and disaster management. They are useful in all four stages of the disaster management cycle (mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery) and they have the potential to become even more important to disaster response. This paper considers how GIS is used in emergency management, then suggests guidelines for developing a GIS-based, networked disaster response platform that includes public participation. This could allow visualization and management of the response to events (resources, personnel, hazards, incidents, evacuation routes, shelters). Additionally, it could facilitate communication between officials, members of the public, and other responders. The conclusion of this paper discusses factors relevant to development of this system, including information infrastructure, social media, and crowdsourcing, and considers basic guidelines for developing an Open Geospatial Response to Emergency (OGRE).

  • Impact of the Drug Regulatory Authority in Pakistan: An Evaluation / Author: Hira Rashid
    • Abstract

      Drug regulation has been identified as a crucial impediment to the progress of Pakistan’s health sector, particularly in the wake of the ‘Fake Drug Crisis’ of 2012. In 2010, control of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRA), shifted from the federal government to provincial governments. However, after two years, the Drug Act of 2012 reestablished direct federal jurisdiction over the DRA. Since its formation, the media and the international community have criticized the DRA. However, to date there have been no official or academic performance evaluations of the DRA. This paper aims to add to the limited body of literature analyzing DRA’s effectiveness in the following areas: regulating the pharmaceutical industry, encouraging its development and, managing the supply of therapeutic products in the country. This research supports that there are significant policy shortfalls in the DRA’s operational functions, organizational and financial structure, that limits the impact of the organization and its constituent units in regulating the pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan. Finally, crucial policy recommendations are highlighted that focus on maximizing the efficacy of the DRA while taking into account the contextual political, social, and economic factors in which it operates.

  • Fundraising Challenges for Land Trust Organizations / Authors: Meredith Barnes, Shannon K. Orr, Tara Schuler, Tao Tang, Sarah Tekle, Christopher Van Newhouse
    • Abstract

      The ongoing challenges associated with the economic downturn in the United States are significant for nonprofit organizations facing declines in government grants and foundation support, as well as challenges in attracting and retaining individual donors. Fundraising may mean the difference between fulfilling a mission and closing operations. The purpose of this study is to identify best practices for fundraising and donor recruitment/retention based on a national web survey of land trust organizations in the United States. This research has implications for other small nonprofit organizations without professional fundraising staff that are looking to expand or improve their fundraising practices since the global economic downturn. This research not only contributes to the academic literature on nonprofit management in difficult economic times and fundraising/donor best practices, but will also be of use to land trust practitioners looking to improve their current practices.