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CGS provides expertise that helps decision-makers implement efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective approaches to economic, social, and information management issues.


CGS Recent Work

NEW Policy Profile
The Back to the Cities Movement: Will It Help Illinois’ Smaller Cities?

Downtown Chicago is attracting record numbers of new residents, particularly college-educated young adults. Attracted by the convenience and amenities of downtown living, they are generating new revenue for businesses and government. Can smaller cities capitalize on the interest in an urban lifestyle and attract new residents, visitors and businesses? This Policy Profiles suggests several ways that smaller cities can compete for downtown growth. Read the full profile here.  To read more Policy Profiles, visit the CGS Publications page

Illinois Creative Economy Report

CGS partnered with Arts Alliance Illinois to facilitate research looking at policy directives related to building the creative economy in Illinois. Download the complete report including recommendations made to Governor Quinn. To learn more about the project, visit the Arts Alliance Illinois website.

October Policy Profile 

After five years of economic recovery, debate persists on the performance of Illinois compared to neighboring and competing states.  This edition of Policy Profiles takes a balanced, holistic approach to the debate and provides broader context for accusations that Illinois is losing jobs and businesses.  The article discusses how business starts and expansions outweigh companies leaving the state, and how slow employment growth is partly attributable to improving technology. Read the full profile here.  To read more Policy Profiles, visit the CGS Publications page

View More CGS Work

CGS Events

CGS and ILCMA Partner for 7th Annual Illinois Financial Forecast Forum

The Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies Civic Leadership Academy and Illinois City/County Management Association invite you to attend the seventh annual Illinois Financial Forecast Forum: Private Sector Views that will Impact the Public Sector on January 30, 2015 to discuss pertinent economic and financial issues affecting local governments in Illinois. Join us to explore economic conditions and the pressures each experts on local government fiscal health and gather information to incorporate in your strategic planning, financial forecasts, budget development, and economic development plans. Click here to learn more and register.  

Civic Leadership Academy

Registration for the 2014-2015 Civic Leadership Academy is now open. Plan to attend one or more of the 40 workshops offered during this upcoming season. The 2014-2015 season offers new locations, workshops, and partnerships! 
Learn more here.

Civic Leadership Academy Highlight

"Preparing Communities for Change", a Civic Leadership Academy workshop on the changing face of civic engagement, was held on November 12, 2014 at NIU's Naperville campus. Municipal and nonprofit leaders from throughout Illinois attended to learn about approaches and techniques for engaging residents on a range of issues. NIU researchers Tracy Rogers and Norman Walzer led the discussions and may be contacted for more information. Click here to access the presentation and here for a list of resources. 

CGS Past Events

Midwest Leadership Institute

The Center for Governmental Studies is proud to announce the launch of the Midwest Leadership Institute March 31 - April 4. The goal of the Midwest Leadership Institute is to provide local government professionals a deeper understanding and mastery of core leadership concepts and experiences in order to increase their skills at managing people to achieve intended outcomes. Click here to learn more and register.

CGS Hosts Local Food Conference

CGS hosted a conference focused on Engaging Institutions in Developing Regional Food Systems on October 15 at the Loyola University of Chicago Ecology and Retreat Center.  Learn more about the conference here. 

CGS In the News

Enterprise Zone Assistance

CGS, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), has developed a single centralized location for obtaining much of the data needed to complete an Enterprise Zone application. Users of this site may generate a PDF report of the relevant data for all 10 Enterprise Zone criteria along with a map of the Local Labor Market Area (LLMA). Visit the Enterprise Zone Assistance website for more information.

Alternative Service Delivery

The Great Recession prompted a "new normal" for local government that caused some organizations to refocus their goals, structure, and service delivery methods. CGS Assistant Director Dawn Peters co-authored A Handbook of Alternative Service Delivery for Local Government that offers a guide to alternative service delivery methods. Through research of organizations that have ventured into these various alternative methods, this handbook provides information and insight local governments can use to provide public services more effectively and efficiently. Information about the e-book may be found here.

CGS and the Data Act

The DATA Act is a monumental piece of legislation - probably the most significant legislation for government since the passage of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in 1966.  With the signing of the DATA Act, our nation's leaders are now transititioning to the implementation phase.  It is critical that our leaders think holistically about any new developments for this Act.  The design and development of solutions should involve a variety of consumers as well as producers of financial information; this will ensure their reporting and analytic activities will be made easier and more effective. Most importantly, a standard data dictionary (taxonomy) and core repository is necessary to implement the DATA Act.  Read what Shannon Sohl, CGS research associate, recently wrote on this topic for the Sunlight Foundation blog.