Top 10 Videos from the Third Annual Blueprint 2020 National Student Paper Competition

The semi-finalists (top 10), finalists (top 5) and Grand Prize Winners are selected through a formal adjudication process by a series of judges panels comprised of academics and public servants.

Each year, the semi-finalists (top ten) participate in a public voting contest to decide the Public Choice Award Winner. In addition to writing their papers, they are asked to prepare short videos and the public is invited to vote for their favourite over a one-month period in March/April. The student with the most votes wins the Public Choice Award.

Is there a G.O.C. App for that?

Alison MacDonald and Jessica MacMillan


Executive Summary: Government development of web-based and mobile applications, as a means of sharing information with the general public, has grown dramatically over recent years, to the extent that the topic of mobile applications has become an increasingly important topic in government conversations. Within Canada, the development of government based mobile applications has increased over the years, creating with it, the need for properly developed methods which evaluate the development of these applications. These methods must also ensure that they assist in helping Canadian citizens with the issues, daily concerns and challenges that they face.

An Integrated Information Services Model: A Proposed Solution for Improving the Management of Information in the Government of Canada

Anushka Samarawickrama


Executive Summary: This paper applies an 'information lens' to the Blueprint 2020 vision, and argues that information is a core component of it. A salient barrier preventing more effective and accountable management of information in the federal government is the siloed nature information services. A possible solution is the implementation of an integrated information services model, which envisions an umbrella approach to information services, and accounts for the dynamic skill set demanded by a rapidly evolving information and technological landscape. The anticipated benefits of this model include streamlined business processes and reduced redundancy in costs, personnel and information.

Getting Better All the Time: Cultivating a Positive Workplace in the Public Sector

Ayla Boz, Maysaa Maraqa, and Madelaine Morrison


Executive Summary: This study recommends the cultivation of a positive workplace environment by focusing on Deputy Ministers as heads of their departments. We aim to incentivize these top civil servants by tying a percentage of DM performance pay to the results from the Public Service Employees Survey (PSES) in his/her department. This scheme will have two phases. The remedial phase will aim to achieve a departmental improvement rating of 1-2%.  Afterwards, departments will enter a maintenance phase to ensure the sustainability of the process. We advocate this programme on the grounds that it is an effective yet cost-efficient solution.

Capitalizing on Enterprise-Wide Learning: Considerations and Recommendations for the Canada School of Public Service and its Role Supporting Blueprint 2020

Lucas Donlevy-Riddall, Adrian Senn, Monika Szpytko, Alexander Thistlewood


Executive Summary: The Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) will play a key role in supporting the Clerk's 2015 priorities for Public Service workplace culture: being nimble and agile, open and collaborative, and high-performing. In designing programs, the CSPS must ensure content relevance and develop skills for networked governance. For program delivery, the CSPS needs to adopt appropriate pedagogical methodologies, ensure sufficient learner support, and promote its new learning approaches. For management, the CSPS needs to promote the values of the Public Service, explore other options to control demand for training and education, and review programming against sufficient feedback.

The High Cost of Transportation Infrastructure: The 2015 Metro Vancouver Transit Referendum and Lessons for Policymakers

Matthew Chan


Executive Summary: Transportation infrastructure has major impacts on both quality of life and economic well-being. Municipalities assume most of the costs of transportation infrastructure within their borders. Although many revenue instruments exist, those currently used by Canadian municipalities do not adequately meet the costs of transportation infrastructure. This paper evaluates the 3 revenue instruments most commonly used by Canadian cities to fund transportation: property taxes, user fees, and sales taxes. The recent examples of Vancouver and the GTHA indicate an interest in increasing the role of sales taxes in paying for transportation in major Canadian cities.

Meeting Practical Needs and Strategic Gender Interests of Clients for Excellence in Programs and Services

Fatema Taskin Chowdhury


Executive Summary: This paper urges the need for a paradigm shift while designing programs for vulnerable groups from a "service" to an "empowerment" perspective. It suggests ways of translating conceptual resources into practice to identify the actual needs (practical needs and strategic gender interests), resources and agencies of a social group, which are required to design a program from an empowerment perspective. This may lead towards attaining excellence in designing and delivering policies, programs and services (Government of Canada, n.d., p. 2) that meet the actual needs of clients, increase efficiency, and have the potential for a positive socio-economic impact.

Blueprint 2020: Key Interface Requirements to Develop a Knowledge Sharing Infrastructure for the Public Service Workplace

Matthew Fallon, Sanwara Bilkis, Connor Macdonald


Executive Summary: Modern workplaces require effective methods for sharing knowledge and information, both within and outside of the organization. The Government of Canada should take steps to modernize its information and communication technology, and develop a cloud-based storage and file sharing system.  Furthermore, simple guidelines on data secrecy and employee accessibility must be developed to ensure the benefits of cloud based solutions are used responsibility and to their fullest potential. Primary risks include maintaining data security, effectively training employees, and encouraging or enforcing employee adoption. These risks are easily manageable and a number of solutions are proposed.

Delivering the New Government's Historic Infrastructure Investment

Brett Taylor


Executive Summary: Canada is about to make a "historic investment in infrastructure." P3 arrangements, and in particular the model employed in the Champlain Bridge negotiations, offer important insights into how Canada can maximize benefits from these investments. This paper argues P3s are just improved and more complex contracts. They are neither revolutionary nor privatization in disguise. The real benefit of P3s is the evolution of the public service's approach to contracting and quantification of risk. Applying the lessons of the Champlain Bridge project to future P3s can improve public sector approach to contracts overall.

Fixed to Move: Renewing Canada's Transportation Infrastructure

Ben Kyllo


Executive Summary: The new federal administration's election with a mandate for infrastructure investment provides an Overton window to deal with challenges stemming from transportation infrastructure in land-use, health, energy efficiency, urban congestion and economic productivity. Jurisdictional divisions in responsibility and short-term electoral cycles have previously been obstacles to their resolution in a comprehensive, coordinated and systematic manner.
By combining internationally-recognized and evidence-based best practices for capital projects and collective decision making, Canada has an opportunity to take a strategic approach to resolving the problem, using federal spending power and local knowledge of specific needs to achieve outcomes in the national interest.

Regulating the Sharing Economy: Applying the Process for Creative Destruction

Salman Dostmohammad, Jude Long


Executive Summary: The rising popularity of sharing platforms such as Uber, AirBnB, Taskrabbit and others is democratizing access to services as part of a larger sharing economy phenomenon. The sharing economy is a hub of peer-to-peer activity for obtaining, giving, or sharing access, and is coordinated through a web interface featuring community feedback.1 Uber, AirBnB and other such firms are drawing the attention of regulators as the sharing economy operates within a gray zone that is not contained within the existing regulatory framework. As new technology is accelerating the emergence of new forms of economic activity, regulators must adopt quicker measures in order to remain relevant. This paper first examines the reasons that cause governments to regulate, the problems currently affecting the regulatory framework, and the trade-offs regulators must consider in formulating the appropriate regulatory response. This paper then calls for possible solutions by proposing a regulatory framework that is flexible and responsive enough to allow these companies to operate into the future. Responsiveness can be enhanced by creating an inter-jurisdictional task force that will develop government's foresight and anticipatory abilities, and applying the process of creative destruction toward regulations that can solve the problem of outdated regulations.