NASPAA Homepage
NASPAA For Students For Principal Reps and Faculty Accreditation NASPAA Initiatives


    Call for Proposals

    Schedule & Events


    Hotel Details

    Sponsor Opportunities

    Regional Schools

    Advertising & Exhibiting

    Annual Awards

   Past Conferences

    2018 Conference Details




Home > Meetings > Annual Conference >


2017 Call for Panel Proposals
Deadline: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET

THEME: Confidence in Public and Nonprofit Institutions:
How is it Built, How is it Lost, and How is it Regained?


The 2017 NASPAA Conference will be held in Washington, DC from October 11 - 13, 2017! NASPAA is interested in comparative analyses, collaborative panels across countries, and perspectives from around the world. Here is some background on the Conference theme and tracks. We hope to see you in DC at the podium on this timely theme!

How Well Do Our Curricula Prepare Graduates to Promote Trust in Institutions?

Our curricula have long dealt at least obliquely, often directly, with the trust in public and nonprofit institutions. Ethics, transparency, the transmission of public service values: all of these are part and parcel of every accredited graduate program. But are they enough? The decline in public confidence in institutions has roughly paralleled the rise in professional education for public service. Have we gotten something fundamentally wrong? In an era of division - by race, urbanicity, geography more broadly, class, etc. - do we need to address those divisions directly in order to heal them and build trust? In this track, we seek panels examining the possible impact of our curricula on trust. We also seek proposals that project different or more robust practices to prepare graduates to build trust among the constituencies that they will serve throughout their professional careers.

Achieving SDG16 through Public Affairs Education:
Transparency, Accountability and Ethics in Global Public and Nonprofit Governance

While trust and confidence in public institutions depends on the capacity of public servants to act accountably and ethically, they also depend vitally on the health of civil society, which is nurtured by institutions and practices often far removed from government. The need for transparency, honesty, and robust civil societies across the globe is recognized in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, and particularly in SDG 16. We seek panels with representatives of organizations concerned with sustainable development, and get their advice on what public affairs schools need to do with respect to curriculum, teaching, learning, research, and service to build the capacity for governance asked for in SDG 16?
(Please see Goal2016AdvocacyToolkit.pdf for further information on this goal, also noting that NASPAA's interest in sustainable development for this conference is at every level of governance, not just global discussion.) We also seek panels that address specific aspects of SDG 16 in the MPA/MPP curriculum: promoting inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice, building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions; plus increasing transparency, reducing corruption and promoting ethical action.

Building Public Trust through Responsible Policy Communications

Public trust in institutions depends in part on receiving accurate and credible information from and about government and nonprofit organizations. Government in particular must get better at identifying and publicizing the successes in services and programs. Academics should be better advocates of their research in cases where their work can inform and shape public policy for the better. Policy communication overall, from any institutional perspective, is critical. We seek panels examining how our public affairs programs can train graduates to have the skills to transparently evaluate the impact of government actions and programs and then communicate those assessments to the public. Open data, open government initiatives, and data standards may figure into this track as well. Do we teach our students how to defend attacks on government? Should they counterattack? With what? Is it enough to publish data and evidence? How do they make it matter? In an era of "alternative facts," should we be teaching defensive epistemology? In addition to panels examining pedagogical responses, we seek submissions explaining the rapidly changing environments (e.g., new media, new political movements, etc.) in which our graduates will work.

Recruiting the Next Generation to Public Service in a Changing World

Waning trust in public institutions could well have an impact on our member institutions' enrollment. What can we do to engage young people with our mission? Is the answer to diversify the range of institutions for which we prepare future leadership (e.g., nonprofits and NGOs in addition to government, social impact institutions of all stripes, socially responsible for-profit enterprises, etc.) and if so, does that require a different curricular mix from what we offer today? Can we leverage civic engagement initiatives to cull a broader range of applicants? To what extent do the "digital natives" who will soon become the entirety of our student populations require different subjects and pedagogies than their predecessors? Just as social, economic, racial, ethnic, and geographic divides have an impact on trust, do they have an impact on recruitment? Here we seek panels looking at the differences in growth in first professional education for public service across the globe, exploring new value propositions and national variations in experience.




© NASPAA - The Global Standard in Public Service Education
Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration
1029 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202.628.8965   Fax: 202.626.4978