Final Report: ELGL/UTA Local Government Challenge

Posted on December 15, 2015

The ELGL/UTA Challenge has fostered  a whirlwind of new ideas to combat a key challenge in local government management- #CommunityEngagement. This challenge was a novel undertaking generated out of the collaboration between ELGL and UTA with an underlining mission of thinking bold and outside of the box.

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ELGL issued the Local Government Challenge to Dr. Colleen Casey’s class of Ph.D candidates in the Department of Public Affairs in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs (CAPPA) at the University of Texas at Arlington.


The Challenge: Each of the five teams developed community engagement solutions for one of the following areas: budget, infrastructure investment, planning and zoning, and/or emergency preparedness. (Full details of the challenge can be found here.)

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They were assigned ELGL Advisors which were highlighted in a previous progress report from late October. The advisors assisted in guiding research and brainstorming ideas for students to pursue but overall they served as beacons of encouragement to inspire the students to think outside the box.

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Once the student groups made their final reports, executive summaries, and project videos, an Evaluation Panel of judges from public organizations from around the United States came together to grade the responses and decide a winner based on relevance of the solution, practicality, presentation, and overall quality.

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Once the evaluation was complete, we met the students in class for a final award presentation and announcement.

Below is a link to the Award Presentation and Announcement used during the finale and award ceremony:

Winner! ELGL/UTA Award Presentation

Now the time has come to declare a winner!!

The student group that came in 1st for the ELGL/UTA Challenge was Organized Chaos!!

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As an award, members of Organized Chaos will receive lifetime ELGL membership and a chance to highlight their #LocalGovSolutions on an ELGL Webinar!

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This week will be dedicated to all #LocalGovSolutions from the 5 student groups that participated in the challenge, culminating in the winning team’s (Organized Chaos) solution showcased on Saturday.  The student groups will be featured this week in a #CommunityEngagement showcase highlighting one #LocalGovSolution per day. Let the showcase begin!

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