Learn more about good governance: Fiscal sustainability and more

Here in part two, we focus on finance and facilitation programs in general, and the full range of programs for sovereign tribal nations.

October 2, 2018 - Author:

Part Two

The history and value of Michigan State University Extension programs for local and tribal government was the subject of part one of this article series. Part one also talks about specific programs offered for local government leaders. Here in part two, we focus on finance and facilitation programs in general, and the full range of programs for sovereign tribal nations.

Local Government Fiscal Sustainability

Finances are a critical element of providing local government services, and the field has become increasingly complex and challenging over the years. Faculty members of MSU Extension’s Government and Community Vitality Team and Center for Local Government Finance and Policy provide a new Fiscal Sustainability workshop series. These six workshops are designed to inspire long term thinking about local government finances, and teach best practices for sound local government budget development and monitoring. The MSU Extension Center for Local Government Finance and Policy also does research on financial topics, publishes papers, and assists local governments with financial analysis.

Governance and Finance Programs for Tribal Governments

Tribal leaders approached MSU Extension nearly 15 years ago and asked us to develop programs similar to the educational programs we were doing for local government, but designed to address the unique nature of government leadership positions in sovereign tribal governments. The Building Strong Sovereign Nations (BSSN) program is held annually for tribal council members and other tribal leaders in a half day format. In recent years, the growing relationships with tribal leaders have led to an increase in programs on specific topics for individual tribes.

The tribal leaders, who designed the original curriculum for BSSN, identified and designed 10 modules, 4 of which make up the BSSN program. The other 6 are nearing completion for presentation to individual tribes or groups of tribes.

Youth citizenship and leadership development programs are also available with a tribal focus.

Facilitation and strategic planning

A variety of planning and facilitation services are available to local and tribal governments by trained facilitators with experience working with tribal and local governments. This deeper knowledge of the challenges facing government bodies makes this a service that is appreciated by government leaders.

Michigan State University Extension’s Government and Community Vitality Team and the Center for Local Government Finance and Policy provide educational programs for government officials and citizens regarding many aspects of local and tribal governments in Michigan, including those discussed in this article, and also land use, planning and zoning, tourism, entrepreneurial communities, and placemaking. Please contact the author at amrhein@msu.edu for more information. To contact an expert in your area on this or any topic, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

Read part one of this article series.

Tags: finance and policy, local government, msu extension


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