Tackling gun violence in Birmingham, Alabama

Guest blog by Crystal Smitherman

Being a new and young politician, I knew I had a lot of learning to do in the political sector. I had a lot of energy and great initiatives, but I still need to learn how to revamp my message and craft good policy making habits. In the midst of a crime crisis, as our murder rates continued to rise significantly every week, I knew something had to change. I knew our policy approach towards dealing with crime needed to be reformed and improved. I came across the Implementing Public Policy course on the Harvard Kennedy School website. I knew my mindset Right then, would never be the same the moment I enrolled in the course.

I always knew I had the potential and capability to make a difference in my district and city by achieving attainable development goals and initiatives. Yet, I was still hitting a brick wall when it came to getting over the hump of pushing forward on certain initiatives. This is why I am forever grateful that I joined the 2020 IPP cohort.

Continue reading Tackling gun violence in Birmingham, Alabama

Why are there so many mass shootings in the USA?

written by Matt Andrews, Mark Moore, Lant Pritchett and Salimah Samji

This is a crowdsourcing effort to understand why … and to help foster a common response.

Many governments lack the capabilities to play the roles needed for their countries to work well and prosper. These capabilities are often missing because policy-makers cannot agree on the ‘solutions’ they need, and thus fail to invest in the capabilities they must develop to make needed solutions work.

This manifests in policy passivity, where policymakers fail to identify or resource the policy vehicles needed to address social needs. This then leads to problems that persist over time.

Mass shootings are just such problem, persisting—and even growing—in the United States, where government seems to lack the answers—or even capabilities—to respond. Continue reading Why are there so many mass shootings in the USA?