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  • August 14, 2019
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Weekly Briefing: 3 tips to avoid public sector burnout

Our weekly rundown of global policy

Top Stories

New to government? Not everyone succeeds – here’s how to make sure you do. Too often, new public servants arrive with great ideas and enthusiasm, then quickly start to feel disillusioned and leave. Here are three tips to help you avoid burnout and excel in your new role. (Joseph Maltby, US Federal Government)

Meet ‘the matrix’, Queensland, Australia’s new tool for smashing institutional racism. The evidence-based measure aims to combat the health inequity between indigenous and non-indigenous people. It gives hospitals a score based on how well – or poorly – they serve minorities. (Apolitical)

Digital transformation is going too slowly, and not yet delivering results. Too often, digital experts understand tech – but not government. To modernise the public sector, we need more leadership that’s collaborative, open and human-centred. (Martin Stewart-Weeks & Simon Cooper, Authors)

Can hip hop heal trauma? The therapy combines writing, performing and recording tracks with more traditional methods of helping people process emotions. One New York City high school found that it gives students a way to talk about trauma they would otherwise be reluctant to discuss. (Apolitical)


Are you working on complex issues affecting cities? Learn how to make innovation stick. In a free webinar on September 17, leading experts from Bloomberg Philanthropies Innovation Teams will teach you how to build innovation capacity, get buy-in from stakeholders and create lasting change for citizens. (Apolitical)


Join innovators from around at the world at the Blavatnik School’s Challenges of Government Conference in Oxford on October 31. This year’s focus is on how are young people changing the world, and the  issues – from climate change to identity – that are most pressing to them. Register Here.

Governance and Citizen Engagement

In just a month, New Zealand’s gun buyback scheme has collected more than 10,000 firearms. After the Christchurch mosque shootings in March, the government swiftly banned military-style semi-automatic weapons and set aside $97 million to buy back the now-illegal guns. (The Guardian)

Evolving Cities

City hall is the communal space of the future. In the face of political upheaval, commercialisation of public space and declining social institutions, city halls across Europe are becoming open places for citizens to interact. They offer museums, dance classes, daycare, cafés and more. (Fast Company)

Seattle turned housing vouchers into a powerful tool for social mobility. An experiment gives federal aid recipients information about which neighbourhoods promise the most opportunity for their kids. The share of families moving to these neighbourhoods grew from 14% to 54% in just a year. (Vox)

New York City debuted its first public self-driving shuttle. The autonomous vehicles will offer rides on a set loop in a predictable environment – private streets in Brooklyn – but it’s seen as the first step in a larger rollout. Most other AV trials in the US have taken place in Arizona. (Futurism)


“You are right that government needs to change. But if you hold unrealistic expectations and quit, who will make that change happen?” – Joseph Maltby, change management specialist in the US federal government

Energy, Environment and Economic Opportunity

Germany wants to raise its tax on meat from 7% to 19% to combat climate change. Currently, the meat industry pays less than half of Germany’s standard VAT. The additional funds collected would go to improving animal welfare and protections. (Euronews)

Germany also plans to ban plastic bags. Its environment minister said that not enough retailers and people have voluntarily reduced their use. The EU already plans to ban single-use plastic products like straws, forks and knives from 2021. (Reuters)

And finally

British cities are banning swearing. Between 2017 and 2019, at least 15 councils started fining foul language, in hopes of curbing anti-social behaviour. Critics say the measures threaten freedom of expression and may unfairly target people with mental health issues. (The Guardian)

(Picture credit: Unsplash)


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