Starting in January students in the University of Oregon’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) began working on their capstone projects. The MPA capstone projects pair student groups with clients across the region to solve real-world policy and management problems. Over two terms (January – June 2020) these students will draw upon a wide range of skills they’ve acquired during their MPA to scoping the project, execute a rigorously designed research study, pull in the most current research, and synthesize their findings to their clients. Throughout the process, the students work hand-in-hand with IPRE professionals and PPPM faculty.
This year, three of the Capstone Projects originated from the Oregon Policy Lab’s relationship with the Lane County Government (and in partnership with some other local governments), focusing on vulnerable populations, resilience, and sustainability. This mix of subject areas allows students to engage in work that they are excited about and gives them many opportunities to flex the skills gained in this program in different ways. Students will answer new and exciting questions for the county like 1) How could an Intergovernmental Compact Model address hazard mitigation? 2) How can a peer-to-peer support network impact people experiencing homelessness? And 3) How can smoke hazards be addressed during a wildfire event, especially for vulnerable populations?
Lane Regional Resilience Collaborative
The student consultant team will provide Lane County and the newly organized Lane Regional Resilience Collaborative Steering Committee the best options for a countywide collaborative effort to address pre-disaster mitigation. This research will involve review of case studies and finding best practices in collaborative formation, function, and long-term sustainability. This team hit the ground running, meeting with the steering committee only ten-days into the project. The meeting allowed them to discuss the roles and needs of the Steering Committee in moving this project forward and gave the student consultants more insight on the needs of an inter-governmental compact model in Lane County. More information on Lane Regional Resilience Collaborative can be found at http://lanecounty.org/lrrc
Peer-to-peer support network development for people experiencing
Currently the City of Eugene is building capacity within a group of people experiencing homelessness to provide peer to peer support. The consultant team will review and analyze programs that enable effective peer support, assess best practices, and participate in the ongoing, local peer-to-peer capacity building activities to better understand the needs and challenges that the participants are facing. The group hopes to help provide greater insight how to increase community capacity through peer-to-peer support programs.
Cleaner Air Spaces in Lane County
The Oregon Policy Lab has previously provided guidance to Lane County on potential policy interventions to aid vulnerable populations during wildfire events. In this project, students will expand on this research by reviewing global case studies of clean air shelter policies and programs to understand the best practices in these efforts. Students will conduct interviews and catalogue features of existing clean air shelters to understand the local capabilities. This will lead to recommendations to stakeholders to successfully communicate and establish policies for effective use of cleaner air spaces during a smoke event.
Stay tuned for additional updates about the projects to come!