McCourt School students Stephanie Keller Hudiburg (MPP ’15) and Xueting Wang (MPP ‘14) were selected as award recipients for the 2014 Case Study Competition hosted by the American Society for Public Administration Center for Accountability & Performance (ASPA-CAP). Hudiburg and Wang presented their case studies at the 2014 ASPA National Conference, which was held from March 14th-18th in Washington D.C.

Hudiburg and Wang, students of McCourt School Professor Jonathan Breul’s Performance Management course, approached the case study competition as an opportunity to apply the concepts of strategic planning and program evaluation that they learned in the classroom to real world challenges that organizations and government agencies encounter on a daily basis.

Hudiburg’s case study entitled “An Assessment of HUD’s Performance Management System,” analyzed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s efforts to measure the impact of its programs and policies.

“Having witnessed the impact as well as some of the ongoing challenges of the Department of Housing and Urban Development while working with Community Development Corporations and constituents in Massachusetts, I wanted to get a sense from the 3,000 foot viewpoint of how HUD managed its plethora of programs and assessed its performance,” said Hudiburg, who recently accepted a position as Ex-Officio Member of the ASPA-CAP Board.

Wang, an exchange graduate student from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, published a case study report and video entitled, “Performance Management in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.”

"With my undergraduate degree in chemistry and interest in energy policy, I wanted to study the Department of Energy and make data-driven recommendations that improved its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy," said Xueting Wang.

Although Hudiburg and Wang encountered obstacles with acquiring sufficient data and synthesizing data from available reports, both found that data was critical to assessing the quality of the agencies’ performance management systems.

“I found that the Department of Energy started to improve its performance management system recently,” said Wang. “Particularly, performance data becomes increasingly valuable in policy making. As a result, a data-driven approach helps to make better policies and improve the agency's actual performance in delivering services.”

“Inaccessibility in itself became part of my report,” said Hudiburg. “One of my final recommendations was to increase transparency of metrics and especially outcomes in HUD's annual performance reports and especially through an expanded online presence.”

Read Stephanie Keller Hudiburg’s case study here. (.pdf)

Read Xueting Wang’s case study here (.pdf) and watch her video presentation.