Authored by Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs
Faculty from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI and the University of Miami won the fourth annual George V. Voinovich Public Innovation Challenge with an online dashboard to compare the ways states are responding to COVID-19.
The challenge is sponsored by Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs in conjunction with the Network of Schools and Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) during their 2020 virtual annual conference. This year’s challenge focused on innovation in the face of COVID-19.
The winning innovative project, “COVID-19 Executive Orders Project,” was created and presented by Peter Stanley Federman, O’Neill IUPUI, and former O’Neill IUPUI faculty member Cali Curley, now at the University of Miami. The tool examines and analyzes pandemic-related executive orders adopted at state levels and presents them in a dashboard for comparison.
“We think that we can learn from how executives have responded to this crisis and potentially identify the variables that might predict the type, style, and comprehensiveness of further responses to other crises,” Federman said.
The idea was adopted in March at the start of the pandemic when Federman and Curley realized they could combine their research interests and create something relevant to navigating life, government, and policy during the pandemic.
“I was shocked by how much these orders did and the policy areas they touched,” Curley said. “Every aspect of government seemed to be impacted by COVID-19 policy responses, but we were only hearing about the select few that impacted our individual freedoms.”
Federman and Curley plan to use their $10,000 first-place prize to hire students to help continue coding the executive orders. They also plan to start a second dashboard that follows the reopening of states.
The challenge was developed by Laurel McFarland, executive director of the NASPAA, and Voinovich School Dean Mark Weinberg to honor Senator George V. Voinovich and his near half-century of public service. He encouraged others to design and deliver practical solutions to challenging public problems, expand higher education public-private partnerships and educate, mentor, and develop dedicated public servants.