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University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

Past Projects

Nebraska Statewide Recycling Evaluation

This project evaluated opportunities, barriers, and gaps for recycling and solid waste disposal across all Nebraska counties and municipalities.  Tools for the program evaluation included a multi-modal survey approach as well as several stakeholder focus groups.  As part of the project, the research team collected stakeholder input on strategies to enhance recycling in Nebraska in […]

Researcher: Denise Bulling, Stacey J. Hoffman, Janell Walther,

Nebraska Strong: Flood Recovery Project

Sometimes Nebraskans have to recover from storms and floods. The heroic phase of disaster response (sandbagging and people pulling together) is often followed by a period of disillusionment (disappointment with aid and coping with clean up). Reconstruction takes time – and can be stressful. The PPC worked to provide crisis counseling assistance, create public service […]

Researcher: Stacey J. Hoffman,

Partnering to Reach Integrated Competitive Employment (PRICE)

This project studied the programs and supports serving persons with disabilities who work, or want to work, in competitive employment settings.  The result was a series of reports covering areas relating to persons with disabilities’ perceptions and experiences with work, the structuring of personal assistant services, the impact on changes in Medicaid eligibility guidelines and […]

Researcher: N/A,

Peer Bridger Pilot

Peer Support Services are an important component in the behavioral health system of care and have been shown to improve outcomes for persons with behavioral health challenges. While peer support has been studied extensively in community programs, relatively little is known about effective implementation in inpatient settings. This project established an innovative pilot for peer […]

Researcher: Denise Bulling,

Peer Support Certification Evaluation

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services contracted with the Public Policy Center to assess Nebraska’s current peer support certification process and to assist in coordinating a trauma-informed care initiative. The project included a review of literature on certification and trauma related to peer support services, a survey and focus groups conducted with peer […]

Researcher: Tarik Abdel-Monem, Denise Bulling, Stacey J. Hoffman,

Platte River Habitat Partnership Survey

Nebraska’s native prairies are a valued resource and under constant anthropogenic demand and degradation. By engaging land owners in voluntary programs, the Platte River Habitat Partnership aims to restore and enhance this important natural resource. In this project, the Public Policy Center conducted a survey to assess land owners’ perceptions of the Platte River Habitat […]

Researcher: Alan Tomkins, Lisa Pytlik Zillig,

Privatization Process Evaluation

The Public Policy Center evaluated the privatization of behavioral health services that took place during 2013 – 2014 in Nebraska’s Region V System service area. The Community Mental Health Center, operated by the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners (Board), was one of the key providers of behavioral health services within the network of Region V […]

Researcher: Teri Perkins, Stacey J. Hoffman,

Public Engagement Pilot Project on Pandemic Influenza Evaluation

This project engaged the public in discussions regarding which subgroups in the population require the earliest vaccine protection against influenza in the event of a pandemic. The project tested a new model of public engagement and gathered useful information for decision makers by including a societal perspective on the prioritization of pandemic flu vaccine.

Researcher: Tarik Abdel-Monem, Denise Bulling, Stacey J. Hoffman,

Reducing Courts’ Failure-to-Appear Rate: A Procedural Justice Approach

This was an evaluation of a pilot project aimed at reducing failure to appear in court for a defendant’s misdemeanor hearing. The rate at which criminal defendants fail to appear in court is as high as 25-30%, depending on the jurisdiction and type of offense. Failure to appear increases workloads and expenditures for the courts […]

Researcher: Mitchel N. Herian, Lisa Pytlik Zillig, Alan Tomkins,

reEnergize Lincoln Program Evaluation

The reEnergize program was a joint effort between Omaha and Lincoln to finance residential energy evaluations and energy upgrades for more than 1,300 local properties. Funded by a $10 million federal grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this program reached 485 residences in Lincoln before expiring in May of 2013. The Public Policy […]

Researcher: Tarik Abdel-Monem, Stacey J. Hoffman, Lisa Pytlik Zillig, Alan Tomkins, Janell Walther,

Republican River Basin Water Sustainability Task Force Facilitation

The PPC  facilitated meetings of the 26 member Republican River Basin Sustainability Task Force, preparing the first drafts of the required reports on behalf of the task force, and otherwise generally assist the task force as needed. The purposes of the task force as established by LB 1057 (2010), were to define water sustainability, develop […]

Researcher: Tarik Abdel-Monem,

Rural Heart Rescue Evaluation

The Public Health Solutions District Health Department is conducting a “Rural Heart Rescue” project that aims to increase survival of cardiac events within a five-county rural area in Nebraska. The project equips bystanders to intervene during cardiac events through the placement of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) units in public places and increases bystander awareness of […]

Researcher: N/A,

Science and Sovereignty: Linking Environmental Sustainability to Smart and Secure Borders

This project was an investigation of how science had been considered and employed in developing options to divert water from North Dakota to Manitoba. Two questions were explored: (1) What role, if any, does science play in governmental deliberations and intergovernmental processes that may produce ecological consequences of uncertain scale, magnitude and scope in another […]

Researcher: N/A,

Sharing Electronic Health Records: The Views of Nebraskans

The overarching goal of this project was to engage Nebraskans about privacy and security issues surrounding electronic health information. The project simultaneously achieved three specific outcomes: 1) engage a sample of Nebraska residents about important legal and policy issues surrounding electronic sharing of health information through a survey and deliberative discussion; 2) increase knowledge and […]

Researcher: Mitchel N. Herian,

Sound Partners

This project engaged the statewide radio audience and three targeted communities in a project that raised public awareness of the issues Nebraskans must confront to create effective mental health care reform. Rural elderly, youth and minorities are particularly vulnerable to the deficiencies in Nebraska’s systems for delivering and accessing mental health care.

Researcher: N/A,