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University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

Past Projects

Developing a Social-Cognitive, Multilevel, Empirically-Based Model of Public Engagement for the Shaping of Science and Innovation Policy

Public engagements involving residents, scientists, and policymakers are increasingly being used to shape policy in the US. Despite the attention paid to such engagements, there is a lack of knowledge and theory concerning which forms, features, and contexts of public engagements are meaningful to participants and produce insightful information that is useful to scientists and […]

Researcher: Alan Tomkins,

Developing Materials for Public Engagement and Understanding of the Clean Power Plan

Center staff worked with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) to develop content and materials that NDEQ staff could use during public engagement events held all across the state. Materials were designed to help the general public understand the Clean Power Plan so that they could give informed input on preferred carbon mitigation strategies […]

Researcher: Janell Walther,

Development of Model Grievance Guidelines for Persons with Mental Illness

Consumers of behavioral health services have rights identified in federal and state law. However, navigating those rights and enforcement systems can be a complicated and difficult process. A particularly important right is the right to file a grievance about a behavioral health provider, but many consumers may neglect to do so because they fear retaliation […]

Researcher: Tarik Abdel Monem,

Developmental Disabilities Service Coordination in Nebraska

The University of Nebraska Public Policy Center conducted a research project to explore the perceptions and experiences of a variety of stakeholders involved in Nebraska’s service coordination system for people with developmental disabilities. This project began at the request of the Service Coordination Workgroup, created through interim study resolution LR 42, 2003 and coordinated through […]

Researcher: Teri Perkins,

Do ‘Nudge’ Policies affect Free Will and Public Trust?

“Nudges,” or small changes in the way options are presented to people, exert powerful effects on behavior. Both the U.K. and U.S. governments have taken notice of research documenting these effects and nudge-related policies have been developed to influence citizens’ behaviors. However, no one knows how citizens perceive these policies. Under what conditions are such […]

Researcher: Alan Tomkins,

Early Childhood Mental Health Facilitation – Rooted in Relationships

The PPC provided facilitation to Saline County stakeholders in early childhood mental health to reach the goal of all children ages 0- 5 in Saline County experiencing positive social and emotional growth. The stakeholder group objective was to create a work plan for the county and to select a fiscal agency for a grant through […]

Researcher: N/A,

Ebola Preparedness and Response Activities

Center researchers worked with state and local officials to update Nebraska’s concept of operations plan for responding to Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Our team partnered with university, public health and medical personnel to ensure plans were coordinated for healthcare response, surveillance, monitoring, patient referral, and infection control activities. Center researchers also developed messages with public […]

Researcher: Tarik Abdel Monem, Stacey J. Hoffman, Kate Speck,

Energy and the Future

In a year long project entitled Energy & The Future, undergraduate students at the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center conducted research on alternative energy issues facing Nebraska, and developed a background document summarizing the public policy choices that face the state in regards to ethanol, biodiesel, wind, solar, and nuclear energy. Students with the […]

Researcher: N/A,

Ensuring Health and Financial Security for All: Can We Identify Reasonable Solutions to These American Challenges?

On Thursday, October 9, 2008, Senators Hagel and Kerrey spoke candidly about the United States’ struggle to reform health care and looking forward to what must be done to ensure health care for all. This free event was proudly sponsored by AARP, Prairie Fire and the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center.

Researcher: N/A,

Evaluation of Location-Based Services for Police

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used by police departments to visualize the location of crime events and addresses of persons of interest stored in a centralized database on a digital map and to model crime patterns for criminal activity prediction. Most police departments, however, have not yet integrated their GIS data with Automated Vehicle Location […]

Researcher: Tarik Abdel Monem, Ashok Samal, Alan Tomkins,

Evaluation of Nebraska Energy Office’s Weatherization Program

The Nebraska Energy Office’s Weatherization Program enables low-income families in Nebraska to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. For this project, the Public Policy Center worked with the Raikes School of Computer Science and Management and the Bureau of Sociological Research to examine the impacts of these improvements and investments […]

Researcher: Alan Tomkins, Mark DeKraai,

Evaluation of the Nebraska Dollar and Energy Savings Loan Program

The Nebraska Dollar and Energy Savings Loan Program was designed in 1990 to make low interest loans available to finance home, building and system energy improvements. Loans have been made to residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural customers, typically for heating, cooling, windows, siding or insulation. The Public Policy Center worked with the Raikes School of […]

Researcher: Alan Tomkins, Mark DeKraai,

Expanded Learning Opportunities Fund Mapping

In January 2008, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman hosted the Governor’s Summit for Expanded Learning Opportunities. “Expanded learning opportunities” programs are those that provide early childhood programs for children from birth to five, afterschool programs for school-age children (including Community Learning Center programs), and parental involvement programs. The Summit explored collaborative efforts of schools and community […]

Researcher: Teri Perkins,

Expanded Learning Opportunities: Funding

The Public Policy Center created a series of working papers that explored the funding of Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELOs). ELOs are programs for school-age children and youth (P-12) that take place during out-of-school hours. White papers explored the variety of private and public funding being used by ELOs across the nation, presented the use of […]

Researcher: N/A,

Facilitating Adoption of Results Based Accountability with the United Way of Lincoln/Lancaster County

Center researchers facilitated a process for the United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County to assess and implement a Results Based Accountability (RBA) design for their funding decisions and reporting. RBA was selected as a means to document community impact and create a bridge to emerging community agendas and metrics. Center staff articulated how RBA […]

Researcher: Mark DeKraai,

Facilitation of Lower Platte South Natural Resources District Workshops

University of Nebraska Public Policy Center partnered with the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute to design and deliver a two part, eight hour futures workshop for the Board of Directors of the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District. Faculty from UNL who presented at the workshops included: Nick Brozović (Water for Food Institute), […]

Researcher: N/A,

Fusion Ethnic Self-Help Project

Lincoln is among the largest resettlement sites per capita in the country. A collaboration of ethnic community organizations and other health and human services organizations gathered in 2006 with this vision: For refugee families in Lincoln, Lancaster County, NE to achieve self-sufficiency and social and civic integration into their new country and new communities. To […]

Researcher: N/A,

Gambler’s Assistance Program Evaluation Project

The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Nebraska’s Gamblers Assistance Program in order to inform policy-makers about possible changes and improvements to the program. The program had four specific goals: Conduct a formative evaluation of the Gamblers Assistance Program Establish an ongoing participatory process for evaluation relevant to quality improvement for policy […]

Researcher: Mark DeKraai, Kate Speck,

Gamblers Assistance Program Standards Facilitation

The Gamblers Assistance Program project initiated the facilitation of a work group identified through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) Gamblers Assistance Program stakeholders to identify behavioral health clinical supervision standards, best practices, and recommendations for clinical supervision scholarship processes. The group also created a problem gambling credentialing scholarship process to assist […]

Researcher: N/A,