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University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

Projects

Collaborative County Approaches to Reducing the Prevalence of Individuals with Mental Disorders in Jail

The Public Policy Center is partnering with Region 1 Behavioral Health Authority in a collaborative approach to reducing the prevalence of individuals with mental health disorders in jail. This National Institute of Justice grant funded program focuses on Scottsbluff County in the Panhandle of Nebraska. The Public Policy Center is assisting with facilitation and evaluation […]

Researcher: Quinn Lewandowski, Mark DeKraai,

Community Assessment & Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation (CAPE) Phase II: Innovation Communities

The Public Policy Center teamed up with several Lincoln organizations to identify behavioral health data that provide insights into community trends. Through this project, existing administrative data was compiled to increase community knowledge about behavioral health and created a context for behavioral health system action. One of four “innovation community” projects across the United States, […]

Researcher: Stacey J. Hoffman,

Community Services Initiative (CSI)

This initiative integrated planning and implementation of the City/County’s Human Services Plan across the health and human services community as well as the public. Goals included key policy decisions emanating from the human services community, not a proscriptive process controlled solely by funders. Community Service Initiative facilitated participation and input by representatives from the service […]

Researcher: N/A,

Comprehensive School Safety Initiative

The University of Nebraska Public Policy Center collaborated with the Nebraska Department of Education to conduct a research study that examines how safety perceptions and organization of school safety and security are associated with level and type of law enforcement engagement in rural schools. While rural schools engage with law enforcement, they utilize a variety […]

Researcher: Mario Scalora, Denise Bulling,

Connecting Volunteers – Protecting Communities

This project increases community resilience in urban and rural areas by equipping volunteer responders with Psychological First Aid (PFA) skills. The Public Policy Center will work with the Eastern Nebraska/Western Iowa Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) to increase the capacity to deliver PFA training to volunteers by developing a cadre of trainers within the MRC, creating […]

Researcher: Denise Bulling, Kate Speck, Quinn Lewandowski,

Cost Benefit Analysis of the 2-1-1 Texas Information and Referral Network

The Public Policy Center was contracted to help to produce a statistical analysis of the net benefits and costs of the 2-1-1 Texas Information and Referral Network operations. Center researchers helped to develop a solid methodology to produce a rigorous analysis and report. Our primary contribution was in the area of assessing the relevant benefit/costs […]

Researcher: N/A,

Countering Violent Extremism

The Public Policy Center is partnering with Nebraska Emergency Management and Two Rivers Public Health Department in a project funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security focused on countering violent extremism (CVE). The project focuses on identification of barriers to reporting potential signs of radicalization and preferred community strategies for addressing these barriers, especially […]

Researcher: N/A,

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Program

The Public Policy Center partnered with the Nebraska Statewide Critical Incident Stress Management Program to update the program policies and procedures and augment the state’s infrastructure for supporting emergency response personnel after a critical incident. The partnership built on the strength of the CISM program by linking it with researchers whose work enhanced the program’s […]

Researcher: N/A,

Developing a MOOCocracy Prototype to Increase Public Understanding of Food Insecurity

As the need to provide public education about food insecurity grows, citizens are increasingly turning to the Internet for information about critical issues impacting their communities, the nation, and the world.  Social networks, distance education courses, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are connecting thousands of people from around the globe about social issues.  Through […]

Researcher: Lisa Pytlik Zillig,

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 a Driver License Vendor Request for Proposals for the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles

The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for administering Nebraska’s identification and licensing for driver permits, operator licenses, commercial driver license, and state identification, for over 500,000 persons each year. The contract for a major component of the system was expiring, so the DMV asked the Public Policy Center to assist them in […]

Researcher: Nancy Shank,

Development of a Suite of Demonstration Videos for Introductory Astronomy

In this NSF funded project (DUE-1245679), PPC researchers designed a study consisting of a series of tests to apply to videos developed by UNL’s Department of Physics and Astronomy that teach basic concepts in astronomy and physics. These videos are intended for use in introductory undergraduate courses. Approximately 150 students participated in this study, which […]

Researcher: N/A,

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,

Disaster Behavioral Health Project

The goal of the Disaster Behavioral Health Project is to develop human infrastructure in Nebraska to effectively mitigate or respond to the psycho-social consequences of terrorism and disaster. The University of Nebraska Public Policy Center is working with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to implement an All-Hazards Disaster Behavioral Health Response and Recovery […]

Researcher: Stacey J. Hoffman, Kate Speck,

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,

Drought Planning Using Community Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

This project utilizes climate data from the Platte River basin to develop and implement a decision-support model for drought planning using the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) process. THIRA is a Federal Emergency Management Agency-mandated risk assessment process to identify threats and develop capability targets to inform planning and preparedness. The Platte […]

Researcher: Tarik Abdel Monem, Lisa Pytlik Zillig,

Dynamics and trade-offs among social, economic, and ecological components of resilience in working agricultural landscapes Internal NU FEWS seed grant

A grand challenge for humanity is to supply increasing food and energy demands imposed by a growing human population while preserving food, energy, and water systems’ critical services.  This project supported development of a multi-disciplinary team to nurture projects assessing the interactions and adaptations of working agricultural landscapes on human decision-making and of human decision-making […]

Researcher: Nancy Shank,