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Building Capacity in Local Government: Strategic Planning with Euna Solutions and Funkhouser & Associates

In the evolving landscape of public finance, local governments face unprecedented challenges. Workforce shortages, fiscal constraints, and heightened expectations from citizens have created a pressing need for strategic planning and capacity building.

Listening to Leaders: A Year of Research

Over the past year, in collaboration with Funkhouser & Associates, we engaged directly with dozens of city leaders across the country. This included roundtables with city and county administrators in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. These interactions provided us with a rich understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities local governments face. This extensive listening tour informed our strategies and ensured they are practical and effective.

Learn more about the insights gathered from these roundtables in the resulting playbook here.

Insights from the Webinar: Building Capacity in Local Government

In June 2024, we hosted a webinar with Funkhouser & Associates titled “Building Capacity in Local Government: How Plans, Budgets & Tech Can Help You Lead Through Change.” The webinar featured insights from experts like: Mark Funkhouser, Cheriene Floyd (Chief Data Officer for Miami), Jake Pawlak (Deputy Mayor of Pittsburgh), Dr. Holly Sun (Budget Director for Howard County), Abhi Nemani (SVP Product Strategy at Euna Solutions), and Dr. Brita Anderchek (Chief Data Officer for Dallas).

Key takeaways from the webinar include:

  • Focus and Prioritization: Cheriene Floyd emphasized the need for a laser focus on specific, impactful goals rather than trying to address everything at once. She highlighted the importance of being deliberate about advancing specific initiatives and avoiding the temptation to address every issue simultaneously.
  • Root Cause Analysis and Frontline Engagement: Jake Pawlak discussed the importance of tracking problems to their root causes and involving frontline staff in the solution process. He explained how Pittsburgh has empowered implementers closest to the work to generate solutions, thus improving responsiveness and operational efficiency.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Dr. Brita Anderchak stressed the role of data in driving decisions and improving outcomes. She shared an anecdote about how her team used a natural language processing algorithm to assist detectives in the Police Department, significantly reducing the time required to identify potential human trafficking cases.
  • Public Engagement and Communication: Dr. Holly Sun talked about the importance of engaging the public throughout the budget development process. She described Howard County’s Spending Affordability Advisory Committee, which includes experts from various fields, to provide nonpartisan, data-driven recommendations.
  • Technology as an Enabler: Abhi Nemani underscored the role of technology in expanding capacity without adding new human resources. Tools like interactive budgeting platforms can facilitate public engagement and streamline decision-making processes. For example, we partnered with Polco’s Balancing Act to enable citizens to participate in budget allocation scenarios.

The overall takeaway from the webinar was the critical need for adaptive capacity within local governments. Panelists highlighted that developing adaptive capacity is essential for responding effectively to changing circumstances and demands. This involves continuous learning, process improvement, and strategic use of technology. By fostering a culture of adaptability, local governments can better manage fiscal challenges, evolving political dynamics, and heightened citizen expectations.

Watch the full webinar here.


The Playbook for Strategic Planning

Our collaboration with Funkhouser & Associates has produced a comprehensive playbook designed to enhance local government capacity. This playbook is more than a document; it is a strategic guide for navigating the complexities of modern public finance. These strategies are grounded in real-world experiences from our extensive research and consultations with local government leaders. It emphasizes:

  • Strategic Budgeting: Aligning fiscal realities with strategic goals to ensure sustainable growth.
  • Telling Your Story: Effectively communicating the rationale behind budget decisions to foster transparency and trust.
  • Purpose-Driven Procurement: Leveraging procurement processes to achieve strategic outcomes.
  • Collaborative Grant Funding: Enhancing resource allocation through strategic partnerships and funding opportunities.
  • Increasing Tech Capacity: Utilizing technology to streamline operations and improve service delivery.

New Partnership Announcement

We are thrilled to announce our new strategic partnership with Funkhouser & Associates. This collaboration combines Funkhouser’s extensive consulting expertise with Euna’s purpose-built technological solutions to boost capacity, accountability, and confidence in the public sector. Together, we aim to raise awareness of strategic budgeting as a transformative approach for local governments. Our joint efforts will include knowledge sharing through thought leadership pieces, white papers, informational webinars, and case studies, along with integrated consulting services and software tools.

For more information about this partnership, visit Euna Solutions’ announcement.

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Learn how to find the right solutions partner to enhance your ERP, save time and resources, and ultimately deliver a greater impact on the communities you serve.

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DOWNLOAD OUR LATEST EBOOK.

Learn how to find the right solutions partner to enhance your ERP, save time and resources, and ultimately deliver a greater impact on the communities you serve.

Download eBook