- Studies and Reports
- Bibliography: Relevant Articles and Books
- Links: Relevant Websites
- Relevant CVIOG Publications
Counties have been called the "forgotten governments" in our federal system. Recent developments, however, have intensified the need for a systematic study of counties.
These recent developments include
- the devolution of government resulting in the passing of more functional duties and responsibilities to counties,
- the rise of complex, multijurisdictional problems for which counties are often the primary units of government,
- the increased public awareness that county governments are the primary community-based "first respondents" to emergency situations, and
- the growing number of counties providing a full range of municipal or "urban" services, including parks and recreation, fire protection, emergency medical services, and economic development.
An advisory board has been established to define a timely and relevant work program for the center. Members of the advisory board include representatives from collaborating universities, relevant national organizations, and county government officials and practitioners representing the broad spectrum of county responsibilities.
The Vinson Institute has a long-standing tradition of partnership and collaboration with organizations and entities that serve county governments, such as the National Association of Counties, the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, the National Association of County Administrators, the International City/County Management Association, and others. The center emphasizes collaboration with other universities and colleges and is positioned to act as a clearinghouse for county-related research from other institutions of higher learning.
The new center provides a central mechanism through which a focused program of applied and policy research, technical assistance, and educational programming can be defined and implemented. By translating research into applications, these products can be developed:
- studies and reports on policy and administrative issues of national significance
- instructional and technical assistance programs packaged for electronic distribution
- conferences and workshops on specialized topics of interest to counties
- publications on best practices at the county level
- educational programs in specialized areas of county responsibility
One of the first products of the Center, a national survey of county fiscal constraints, was recently completed. Results of the survey (published in report form) help to shed light on the types of revenue shortfalls counties are currently experiencing and the actions being taken to cope with them.
The Vinson Institute's mission, resources, and capabilities place it in a unique position to coordinate activities of the new center. These activities include
- extensive experience working with counties to address the kinds of problems and challenges that confront counties nationwide. The Institute employs more than 100 faculty and staff, a significant number of whom currently provide research and services to counties.
- in-house knowledge and expertise in policy and functional areas that are directly applicable to the work of county government, i.e., research, technical assistance, and instruction.
- a history of more than 75 years of public service and outreach at Georgia's flagship public unversity, providing it with the institutional stability and support to sustain a national program.