2018-2019 Projects

Open Data in Lane County Government

To take advantage of any possible benefits of data openness, Lane County Government has requested an examination into existing open data policies and their effects on the surrounding community. The research team’s objective was to conduct research into open data policies among comparable governments and observe their strategies to achieve open data, seeking to understand the advantages or disadvantages of open data, assessment of data in Lane County, and any barriers to making data open.

Results of this research provided Lane County with recommendations for the most advantageous types of data to make open to be those which are most frequently requested, behavioral and mental health needs, affordable housing availability, transportation and road usage, and budget information. Researchers recommend that the county cultivate a culture of data sharing and employ an open data portal with consistent formatting of datasets.

Policy Labs Report

The Oregon Policy Lab furthered the research conducted in 2018-2019 developing evaluative frameworks for policy labs. Objectives of the 2018 project were to provide Lane County and the Oregon Policy Lab with recommendations to best fit their partnership agreement. Research methods included interviews and focus groups with OPL’s key stakeholders: PPPM faculty, Lane County management staff, PPPM students, and representatives from other policy labs across the United States.

Recommendations from this research informs the structure and practices of the Oregon Policy Lab housed at the University of Oregon. Use of the framework developed will serve to build a partnership between PPPM and Lane County which is resilient through funding and administrative changes as well as adaptable to include new opportunities as they arise. Finally, these recommendations help ensure a partnership which is firmly rooted in valuing the unique skills and priorities of students, faculty, and government stakeholders.

Relocating Glenwood Transfer Station

This research discusses options for relocating the Glenwood Transfer Station and potential impacts on the using jurisdictions of Lane County, the City of Eugene, and the City of Springfield. A primary concern in relocating the transfer station is tension between distance and convenience that are associated with costs to communities and residents. Researcher’s conducted case study analysis, reviewing cases of communities that have successfully relocated transfer stations to develop recommendations for the Glenwood project.

This research provides siting suggestions for Lane County with options for using one, two, or multiple locations for a new transfer station(s). At the time of the research conclusion, a single location was recommended as the most favorable option for Lane County, although the actual location of the site was not determined by this research. Further recommendations include policy interventions that can streamline community outreach efforts while targeting funding sources for planning and site design.

Policy Interventions for Managing the Risk of Wildfire Smoke for Vulnerable Populations

The School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management produced a guide of known interventions for smoke hazards in response to increasing concerns of wildfire, like smoke and ash risks, in Lane County. This document concludes with a list of helpful guides from other communities that may be adapted to fit Lane County’s needs. Recommended actions to mitigate smoke risk includes: public information campaigns, staying indoors, filtration systems, reducing physical activity, reduce indoor air pollution, use cleaner air shelters, closures, portable air cleaners, respirators, and in some cases, evacuation.

Lane County, Oregon Snowstorm 2019, Emergency Management Case Study

In 2019 a significant snowstorm affected Lane County, impacting several community’s ability to effectively function several days following the storm. Student researchers at the University of Oregon conducted an assessment of Lane County’s emergency management response to this snowstorm through a review of published literature and qualitative data and interviews with impacted communities and decision makers. The results provided Lane County with defined best practices in county level emergency management and public management in responding to this emergency. The team was able to assess what went right, what went wrong, and how to better prepare for future emergencies and disasters. Recommendations include additional trainings and exercises for staff during non-emergency times, updating and ensuring redundancy in communications systems, review data, responses, plans, and practices from past emergencies to assess and update for effectiveness, conduct citizen engagement, promote interagency collaboration, and ensure safety of EOC personnel and families during an event.

Lane County Organizational Resilience

In 2018, the Lane County Board of Commissioners approved a government restructure that transferred authority of County Emergency Management from the Office of the Sheriff to the County Administrator to increase efficiency and better leverage county, state, and federal funding. In conjunction of this reorganization, County Administration has been investigating opportunities to improve county resilience overall. To assess organizational resilience, IPRE proposed research using the resilience framework developed by New Zealand’s Resilient Organizations which posits that resilience is a function of (1) leadership and culture, (2) networks and relationships, and (3) readiness for change. The research team used a resilience assessment survey, stakeholder interviews, and focus groups to evaluate the organizational resilience across the county. They also conducted case studies of other organizations that have integrated resilience into their organizational structure to understand what precipitated the focus on resilience and the approach of these agencies.