The Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama’s research report Together We Can: Charting a Course to Cooperation for Greater Birmingham received national recognition by the Governmental Research Association (GRA) at the GRA’s annual conference in Detroit last week.
PARCA received the GRA award for “Most Distinguished Research” on a regional government issue for its ongoing work to examine the current structure of government in Greater Birmingham, with Jefferson County as its primary focus. The study sought to answer three questions. Is the region fragmented? If yes, does fragmentation produce negative consequences? If yes, are there viable options to reduce fragmentation and increase regional cooperation? In all three questions, we found the answer to be yes.
Together We Can was commissioned by the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham in conjunction with their ongoing project Together We Prosper, a campaign to get the people of the Birmingham metro area talking about how we can work together better to help our entire community prosper and compete in a global economy.
The award was given based on several criteria, including the use of new and/or innovative research methods, or new and/or innovative uses of existing methods; usefulness of the study to other states and/or municipalities; and, whether or not the subject is one of critical national, regional, or local concern or costs.
This is the 11th national award that PARCA has received from the GRA, which was founded in 1914 as the national organization of individuals involved in government research. GRA’s annual awards competition is conducted to “recognize exceptional individuals involved in government research.”