How do public service fellowship programs impact fellows’ mindsets and career trajectories?

How do public service fellowship programs impact fellows’ mindsets and career trajectories?

Project Summary

Fellowship programs seeking to increase people’s interest in public sector jobs, promote diversity in the public workforce, and recruit talent to fill priority gaps in this workforce have expanded rapidly in recent years. As a result, there is growing interest among funders and implementers of such programs to evaluate their impact. However, little research exists to formally assess the impacts of such programs on fellows. The People Lab is partnering with public service fellowship and leadership programs in the Talent for Good community to study the effectiveness of these programs.

Why is this issue important?

As Baby Boomers continue to retire, the public sector urgently needs younger skilled workers to replace them. At the same time, many areas of the public sector would also benefit from diversifying their workforce to better reflect the diverse communities they serve and to target and retain workers with highly specialized skills. A host of fellowship programs and models exist to recruit such talent into public service.  However, little evidence exists on the best methods for attracting and retaining talent into government or public service roles, and even less is known about the impact of these fellowship programs on fellows’ career trajectories and their attitudes towards public service and the communities they are called to serve.

What are we doing?

In partnership with the Talent for Good community, we are designing an evaluation to measure the impact of fellowship programs on fellows’ career trajectories, their work experiences, and their attitudes about working in public service.