NGL Projects & Data

NGL is involved a in a long-term project examining the creation, structure, composition, and performance of networks created by local governments to produce public services and coordinate policy actions. These projects examine both human networks that function within and across public organizations as well as interorganizational networks containing government, private and nonprofit actors.

Network Research

Network Formation. We are currently examining the factors that facilitate and constrain the formation of collaborative relationships.  Using inferential network methods, we are building models to better understand how networks emerge at both a micro and macro level. Current projects include:

  • A longitudinal analysis of collaboration among school districts
  • An exploration of the role of fiscal stress on local government collaboration
  • A qualitative analysis of interlocal agreements and the specific institutional form chosen to manage the agreement
  • Development of new risk assessment measures to better understand how risk shapes the strategic actions of local government partners
  • Systematic review of the theoretical mechanisms used in Public Administration to explain network formation

Network Effects. In addition to our attempts to understand factors associated with network formation, we are also interested in the effects of network structure and composition on the actors in the network and the communities those networks serve. Current projects include:

  • Panel analysis of how county level networks around crime and police protection influence county crime rates.
  • Panel analysis of how county level economic development networks influence employment and wages.
  • A systematic review paper of the impacts of interlocal agreements on service delivery performance and efficiency.

Network Datasets

UIC-NGL-IOWA Intergovernmental Agreements Networks Dataset. An important element of this project is the creation of the UIC-NGL-IOWA intergovernmental agreements networks dataset. This dataset was built using data on 28E agreements filed with the Iowa Secretary of State after 1993 and captures agreements covering 33 service areas. NGL updates the dataset annually to add new agreements and document changes in exiting agreements. A publicly available version of the data will coming soon.  For more information click here.