For these assignments as well I will add the instructions, questions, link to the material to read, and examples of colleague assignments in class.
Prepare a one-page (500 words) executive summary explaining each of the following components of your evaluation of West Chester University’s PPA (Public Policy and Administration) department. Refer to the RWE Bamberger textbook for political influence (pg. 425), managing the evaluation process (pg. 426), stakeholder roles (pg. 431), and capacity-building (pg. 465, 467, 468).
Reflection: Contingency planning, limitations, and trade-offs
Assignment 11: Reflection- Contingency Planning
A contingency Plan is a step undertaken as an evaluative measure by an organization in order to deal with future incidents. A contingency Plan is frequently referred to as a backup plan, as it is put into action if the original plan fails to materialize. Contingency plans aim to encourage the continuity of business, facilitate recovery in case of a disaster, and manage the risk associated with any kind of situation. Contingency plans have been developed over the years by businesses in response to cyber threats, weakening of critical infrastructure, and natural disasters. The plan also aims to enhance the resilience of an organization.
Westchester University has a Contingency plan in place for incidents like Weather-related emergencies, Fire, Hazardous Materials releases, Medical emergencies, Bomb threats, Utility failures, Active Shooter Incidents, Mental health crises, Loss of major, Communications failures, and, Emergency shutdowns. Assessments are undertaken by the University in order to understand the demands and drawbacks associated with the institution. During the COVID pandemic, a contingency plan had to be quickly formulated and put into action. In the plan followed by Westchester University, the goals and objectives of the University are clearly communicated so that the various components of the organization are aware of the University’s priorities. This also helps the employees function in an expectant manner. In accordance with the Contingency plan in place for various emergencies, in the case of Westchester University, it is clear that the focus is on the continuity of operations (Emergency Response Guideline, 2020, p.14). There is proper training that is dispatched to the employees in order to deal with the situation and a chain of command is followed. Through, this responsibility is properly distributed across the various constituents. The contingency plan encourages Proper communication to be set up between the various bodies in order to develop a wholesome response. The plan is prepared in such a way that the institution does not suffer much loss and can continue its operations as quickly as possible. This is done by the facilitations of online classes so that even after disasters, the curriculum can be properly continued. There is always a certain amount of budget assigned for such situations, and aid is also taken from governmental bodies to repair infrastructural damage. The PPA department of West Chester University also focuses on the aftermath of such situations in its contingency plan by collaborating with various public organizations in order to provide mental health services.
There are several limitations to the concept of contingency planning in the organization. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the elements of time and budget that prove to be barriers to any kind of Contingency plan. Similar to Westchester University, organizations mostly want to invest in contingency plans in order to secure themselves from future risks and losses. The issues that are often faced are related to the accommodation of various organizational perspectives and priorities. The management of evaluations also proves to be a problem, as the designed evaluations are often difficult to accommodate in real-world settings. In order to deal with such limitations, assessments are conducted on a regular basis by the institution in order to understand the demands of the constituents and, at the same time, communicate their own priorities. The issue of management is still a problem, as the perspective of all groups is not taken into consideration. If a disaster takes place that stops the functioning of the infrastructural system in place, the socio-economic condition of all groups in the student body is not the same. The measures in the contingency plan should address this aspect. In order to manage limitations, critiques are facilitated at regular intervals in the institution. In order to cope with such limitations, it is necessary to invest in trade-offs. Trade-offs aid in investing in a necessary aspect by taking resources from another aspect that is not a priority.
Trade-offs happen when one element of the contingency plan is prioritized over the other. This trade-off is usually planned and facilitated through assessments. It is through assessments that limitations and drawbacks present in the contingency plan are revealed. The organization, in order to fulfill its objectives, makes the trade-offs in accordance with the suitability of its needs. The focus of the Contingency plan developed by Westchester University is the continuity of operations. Therefore, oftentimes trade-offs are made in order to fulfill this objective. Therefore, a lot of investment is made to maintain the communication system in order to ensure that the University functions healthily even in the case of a disaster. Oftentimes, investment is taken away from other elements in order to bolster the functioning aspects of the University. In this manner, a trade-off is applied by the PPA department.
Emergency Response Guideline. (2020). Westchester University.