The 2016 attacks on U.S. election infrastructure were an attempt to undermine democracy. Protecting against future threats is a complex challenge that state and local governments can’t face alone, requiring inputs across multiple sectors. This project examines cyber risks that challenge states’ administration of elections and proposes ways to address and mitigate those risks, while gaining better understanding of the challenges and opportunities presented by multi-sector collaborative problem solving. We examine the collaborative cybersecurity risk management practices of a representative set of state election authorities in order to create a comparative baseline that can be used to facilitate improved cyber protections and information sharing across jurisdictions and across sectors. And we are establishing an evidentiary baseline that can be used to support practical improvements in election system cybersecurity.
Journalists have a critical role to play in covering cross-sector collaboration, not only to fulfill the Fourth Estate’s mission of holding public officials and agencies accountable for their work in these partnerships, but also in educating the public about cross-sector collaboration as a potential model for addressing public problems. A project of The Intersector Initiative and the University of Maryland Phillip Merrill School of Journalism, the media education module aims to provide guidance to professional journalists and students of journalism on covering cross-sector partnerships, helping them produce quality, compelling stories on the topic that are in the public interest and that readers want to read. Informed by previous research completed by The Intersector Project, and additional workshops or focus groups with experienced journalists and Merrill College faculty, this work will produce a suite of resources that will be accessible online and used for in-person trainings.
This research project seeks to answer two questions: (1) What are the costs and benefits of collaboration among the business, government and non-profit sectors? and (2) Under what economically advantageous conditions does effective government-business-non-profit collaboration take place? The project will identify specific methodologies, approaches, and considerations for assessing the economic aspects of multi-sector collaborative governance. It will also seek to understand how analysis of the economic dimensions may differ by industry and policy area. The project will also consider practical issues (e.g., problem definition, data collection and availability, integrating economic information into decision making).
The Community Resilience Initiative (CRI) is designed to accelerate public and private investment in community resilience projects. CRI engages cities to help build community capacity to attract and retain investment in local climate change resilience efforts. Partner cities receive direct technical assistance from a team of UMD faculty and students, resilience policy and planning experts, and impact investors, in order to assess readiness for investment, identify key investment opportunities, align projects with financing, and lay the foundation for a more resilient economy. The result of this work will be direct investment in urban centers across the region.