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Workshop Report: Exploring the integration of data-intensive analytical skills in public affairs education



Advancing Policy Informatics in Public Affairs Education

The workshop emphasized the importance of positioning policy informatics within the public affairs curriculum in schools of various sizes, as well as the need to train all students to be savvy consumers of data and analysis and trusted stewards of government information.

Policy Informatics Competencies for Public Affairs Graduates
  1. At least basic understanding of data as it intersects with technology, policy, management, and context
  2. Critical appreciation for data, analytic tools, and models
  3. Analytical agility or the ability to choose and apply different tools and data sources to different types of public needs

To do so, public affairs programs will be challenged to answer some important questions: How do we get students to understand how complex systems operate so that they can think critically, analytically, and ask good questions? What technical skills are important for different career goals, and what is the right balance between preparing expert technicians and data-aware policy makers and managers? How do we train our students to be discriminating consumers of data? What and how do we teach students about the elements and tradeoffs in data quality? How do we think about mid-career versus new career core competencies? How do you incorporate policy informatics elements into programs of any size? How do you integrate its essential elements into the core public administration curriculum?