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Applied Research and Solutions


"THE ALLIANCE FOR INNOVATION IS A UNIQUE PLATFORM FOR US TO DESIGN, IMPLEMENT, AND EVALUATE INNOVATIONS IN APPROACHES, SYSTEMS, AND SOLUTIONS FOR LOCAL GOVERNANCE. BUILDING CAPACITY FOR LOCAL GOVERNANCE IS CRITICAL TO ADVANCING THE CAUSE OF DEMOCRACIES, EMPOWERING CITIZENS, AND DESIGNING THE NEXT-GENERATION CITIES AND COUNTIES." - Kevin Desouza, Associate Dean, College of Public Programs, Arizona State University

In 2006, the Innovation Group, the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and Arizona State University (ASU) partnered to transform local government by accelerating the development and dissemination of innovations.  Capitalizing on the strengths of each of its component parts, the Alliance for Innovation launched with a vision to become the world’s premier force for innovation in local governance.

The Alliance was charged with identifying how “state of the art” approaches could influence the “state of the practice” and ultimately become more widely adopted beyond Alliance members.  The overarching purpose was to develop a new kind of research to accelerate and support the wider adoption of promising new practices that most local governments are not yet using. 

Closing the Research Gap

Arizona State University, the Alliance research partner, is bridging the academic community with practitioners.  The Center for Urban Innovation at ASU conducts basic and applied research on innovation in local government and identifies innovative practices and ideas. Some of the research projects completed included Navigating the Fiscal Crisis, Citizen Engagement, and Collaborative Services. For more information on the Center for Urban Innovation visit: http://urbaninnovation.asu.edu/

Marvin Andrews Fellows 

The Marvin Andrews Fellows work in the Center for Urban Innovation as management interns and are simultaneously enrolled in the MPA degree program.  In the first year of employment, the management interns monitor and report on innovative practices in local governments across the country and contribute to the research activities of the Alliance for Innovation.  In the second year, they are assigned to local governments in the region to conduct projects that improve policy and management in their host government.  Their activities draw on and contribute to the research and service program of the Center and the Alliance.  Upon completion of two years of employment and the MPA degree, the Marvin Andrews Fellows seek positions in local government.  They are highly prepared with strong education, extensive knowledge of local government innovation, and experience in converting research into action.  The Marvin Andrews fellows will contribute critically needed talent at a time of widespread generational turnover in local government leadership.