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University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

Past Projects

Statewide Depression Summit: Growing Success

NET and the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center convened a statewide series of discussions focusing on creating pathways to the successful treatment of depression in communities across Nebraska. The objective of the summit was for Nebraskans to dialogue with each other, and with experts, about what communities can do to plan for and create […]

Researcher: N/A,

Studies of Representation of Children and Youth in Nebraska

Pursuant to LB 961 (2008), a study of Nebraska’s guardian ad litem practices was undertaken by the National Association of Counsel for Children (Denver, CO), and a study of Nebraska’s juvenile indigent defense system in delinquency cases was undertaken by the National Juvenile Defender Center (Washington, DC). Both reports were completed in December 2009, and […]

Researcher: N/A,

Study of the Opportunities for Public Health, Behavioral Health, and Primary Care Integration in Nebraska

Integrating public health, primary care and behavioral health care provides opportunities that can benefit all people in Nebraska. PPC staff members conducted a literature review of promising national practices and performing an environmental scan of innovative integration projects across Nebraska. Staff facilitated workgroup meetings that engaged partners to discuss opportunities and ideas. The workgroup developed […]

Researcher: Tarik Abdel-Monem,

Taking Charge 2011

The Public Policy Center worked with the City of Lincoln to convene a public input process about the City’s budget. Members of the public were invited to take an online survey about the budget and city services, and discuss their views with other residents of Lincoln both online and in-person. Public input is particularly important […]

Researcher: Tarik Abdel-Monem, Mitchel N. Herian, Alan Tomkins,

Taking Charge 2012

For the fifth consecutive year the Center worked with the City to gather public input about the City of Lincoln’s budget and services. This included an online survey to gain insight from community members about past Taking Charge processes, an online and random-sample City Satisfaction Survey, as well as a budgeting survey for the current […]

Researcher: Tarik Abdel-Monem, Alan Tomkins,

Taking Charge 2013

For the sixth consecutive year, the Public Policy Center collaborated with the City of Lincoln to gather public input on the City budget. In previous years, thousands of Lincoln residents have participated in online surveys and face-to-face conversations which have had a direct impact on the decision to cut or continue specific City programs. Residents […]

Researcher: Alan Tomkins,

Taking Charge 2014

Once again the Public Policy Center collaborated with the City of Lincoln to gather public input on issues important to Lincoln residents. In previous years, thousands of Lincoln residents participated in online surveys and face-to-face conversations which have had a direct impact on the decision to cut or continue specific City programs. This time, residents […]

Researcher: Alan Tomkins,

Taking Charge 2015

For several years, the Public Policy Center has collaborated with the City of Lincoln to gather public input on issues important to Lincoln residents. In past years, thousands of Lincoln residents have participated in online surveys and face-to-face conversations that have had a direct impact on decisions made about specific City programs. In 2015, we […]

Researcher: N/A,

Taking Charge 2016

Once again, the Public Policy Center partnered with the City of Lincoln Mayor’s office to gather public opinions on particular issues of importance to Lincoln residents. The 2016 Taking Charge resident survey and Community Conversation addressed issues relating to a budget shortfall, as well as allow residents to given input into future City priorities. Residents […]

Researcher: Tarik Abdel-Monem,

Testing a Model of Institutional Confidence Across Branches of Government

Evidence showing the American public losing confidence in its government has been identified as one of the fundamental problems in society today. Social science has an opportunity to make important contributions to this problem by deepening understanding of public trust and confidence in government. The primary goal of our research was to test a model […]

Researcher: Brian Bornstein, Mitchel N. Herian, Lisa Pytlik Zillig,

To Approach Good Choices or To Avoid Bad Choices?: How Approach and Avoidance “Nudge” Policies Affect Public Trust and Policy Support

“Nudges”–small changes in choice architecture–exert powerful effects on behavior. Governments have taken notice and nudge-related laws and policies have been developed to influence citizens. However, little is known about how people perceive these policies. How do various nudges affect trust in the institutions passing the policies? Who embraces such policies and who rejects them? This […]

Researcher: Alan Tomkins,

Trust and Confidence Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellow

Although various theories of trust and confidence have been proposed, no comprehensive framework yet exists. Trust and confidence research has been undermined by failures to develop models that incorporate the various trust- and confidence-related factors, a lack of clarity regarding what is even meant by trust- and confidence-related terms, and so on. This postdoctoral fellow […]

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

United Way Fund Allocation Facilitation and Evaluation

During 2003, the United Way of Lincoln/Lancaster County and the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center surveyed agencies and volunteers about the fund distribution process. The goals of the examination were to: 1. Identify the perception of agencies and volunteers about the overall fund distribution process; and, 2. Compare a new process piloted in the […]

Researcher: N/A,

Water and Community Development Project

This project was to assisted rural communities in complying with changes in permissible levels of arsenic in public drinking water supplies and to explore joint community opportunities in doing so. The Public Policy Center helped to coordinate efforts between stakeholders, allowing experts in many areas to discuss related issues and advise rural communities.

Researcher: N/A,

Water Funding Task Force Facilitation

The Public Policy Center was asked to provide assistance and discussion relative to facilitating the initial meeting of the Legislatively-created Water Funding Task Force. This included assistance on topics such as: election of officers, selection of a consultant, suggested meeting schedules, potential educational assistance, and potential roles for Task Force members.

Researcher: N/A,

Water Policy Discussion

Center staff were tasked with engaging a group of Nebraskans in a discussion about water management policies such as the Interstate Republic River Compact, the Platte River Habitat Recovery Plan, and a variety of other water quality and quantity issues affecting the environmental and economic well-being of the state. Four senators from the Unicameral’s Natural […]

Researcher: N/A,

Western Nebraska Health Information Exchange

PPC researchers were asked to facilitate the secure electronic sharing of health information between providers in the Nebraska Panhandle in order to make patient information more easily accessible and to ensure high-quality care for rural residents. One of the early successes of the project was the opening of the Regional West Medical Center (RWMC) portal […]

Researcher: Nancy Shank,

Wide River Technology Extension Center Workforce Development

Through a collaborative partnership with the Wide River Technology Extension Center (TEC), the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center coordinated efforts among Nebraska’s post-secondary institutions to promote integration of health IT into the initial and ongoing training of health professionals and support staff. The Workforce Development project was a component of the Wide River TEC’s […]

Researcher: N/A,

Women, Children and Family Treatment (WCFT) Program

The Public Policy Center served as a third party evaluator of the Heartland Family Service’s Residential Program for Women and Children, with an emphasis on pregnant and postpartum women (PPW). Our researchers assessed how well the program met the needs of their clientele and how the program effected levels of crime and violence.

Researcher: Mark DeKraai, Kate Speck,