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PA Genome Project Brief

Page history last edited by John Dickey 7 years, 2 months ago

Public Administration (PA) Genome Project (Brief) 

 

Starting in the year 2000, much effort has been exerted on a long term endeavor known as the Public Administration Genome Project (PAGP). The basic idea is that public administrative behavior has many similarities to the functions of genes in the human body. Moreover, since there are approximately 35,000 genes in each of the human body’s trillions of cells, there are likely to be at least that many “genes” (referred to as single-word “topics” or "cistrons") in public administration. Hence the long term, Phase I, goal for the PAGP is to “map” these topics and clusters thereof (that is, “variables” or "operons"), as well as the relationships ("kineses") between them. The general result should be a clearer and fuller understanding of public administration actors, their actions, and the consequent impacts.

 

Currently (as of March 2014) the total number of topics (PA “genes”) is over 5000; variables about 15,000; and bivariate relationships about 15,500. All of these come from 80 sources, including case studies, textbooks, articles, reports, regulations, constitutions, and analogies to the biochemical and genetic world. All of these have been captured in an information and guidance system (called "COMPASS").

 

Phase II work, now underway, involves using this knowledge productively in practical strategizing and decision making.  For this a five step strategic planning process using COMPASS has been created and employed with some success in about seven issue/problem/opportunity (IPO) trials so far. This process, it should be noted, is somewhat akin to the development of gene therapies to solve, say, particular health problems.

 

Our ultimate, quite ambitious objective is to create a useful database as large as those in the biological and genetic world. For instance, the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has created GenBank -- a collection of over 135 million "sequence records" (strings of genes - which might be analogized as variables) from over 500 organisms (as of April, 2011). 

 

For more detail, read Dickey, John (2009) The Public Administration (P. A.) Genome Project: Capturing, Mapping, and Deploying the "Genes" of P. A. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing (www.infoagepub.com). And/or contact Dr. Dickey at jdickey@vt.edu.

 

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