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Lessons Learned: Assessing the District of Columbia’s Certified Public Management Program

PAQ, Vol. 28 No. 3, (2004)

By concentrating on building leadership and management
capacity in the middle ranks of the organization, government services
will be enhanced and public trust increased. While this proposition
makes intuitive sense, it is difficult to verify. However, the District of
Columbia government offers an interesting case study in trying to
achieve this goal. This paper outlines the history, rationale, and current
status of an innovative leadership development strategy for a complex
municipal environment. It specifically reviews an assessment of the
Program for Excellence in Municipal Management—a training program
of the District of Columbia government which meets the criteria of the
Certified Public Manager program, implemented by The George
Washington University Center for Excellence in Municipal
Management. The paper presents lessons learned from the experience
to assist government organizations in their transformational efforts.
While government training programs are not unique, the DC case is
different in that the delivery of the training is conducted through a
public-private partnership, is organized for middle management, and
the explicit purpose of the training is to enhance public service delivery
by giving public managers the tools necessary to work with and
through the bureaucracy and organizations of government.

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