Projects and Initiatives

Water Law and Governance - The Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue Project

This multidisciplinary project will foster dialogue between scholars, government, special interest groups and the general public on pressing public policy issues related to water. The goal is to use water as a lens to identify problems created by climate change and the ramifications, and to make multi-level recommendations- national and international, provincial and municipal.

Existing policies on the management, preservation and regulation of water in Canada will be examined. Critical change-induced problems will be identified, and recommendations made to policymakers.

The initiative aims to foster dialogue and contribute to protecting our water resources as well as build inclusive and durable democracies.

Lead Researchers:

Marie France Fortin (Lead Investigator – Public Law Centre )
Eric Champagne (Co-Investigator – Centre on Governance)
Thomas Burelli (Co-Investigator - Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability)

Collaborating Institutes:

Public Law Centre (Vanessa MacDonnell, Marie-France Fortin - Lead researcher, Executive Board Member – Public Law Centre)

Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability (Heather McLeod-Kilmurray, Thomas Burelli)

Centre on Governance (Eric Champagne, Ph.D.)

Academics affiliated with the project:

David Robitaille (federalism, rights and freedoms)

Aimée Craft (aboriginal and water law)

Sophie Thériault (environmental and aboriginal law)

Jamie Benidickson (water law)

Sarah Berger Richardson (food and agriculture)

Alexandre Lillo (water law)

André Lecours (federalism, Canadian politics)

Nathalie Chalifour (sustainable development)

Heather McLeod-Kilmurray (environmental law and climate change)

Thomas Burelli (international environmental law, natural resources)

Eric Champagne (political and administrative structures, organizational management)

Sylvie Paquerot (politics of water, sustainable development, vital resources, and human rights)

Anne Mévellec (urban politics, public policy implementation, local governance)

Jennifer Wallner (federalism, comparative provincial politics, intergovernmental relations)

Postdoctoral Fellows:

Alexandre Lillo is a postdoctoral researcher with the Public Law Centre and the recipient of the Alex Trebek Scholarship for the Water Law and Governance project. His research focuses on the legal mechanisms of water governance in Canada, on how they could be continuously and dynamically adapted, and on questions of representativeness of water stakeholders.

Lauren Touchant, Ph.D. (Public Administration) from the School of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability and the Centre on Governance, and the recipient of the Alex Trebek Scholarship.

Affiliated Researchers:

Roxanne Guérard (Research Affiliate – Public Law Centre)
Cristina D’Alessandro (Research Affiliate -Centre on Governance)

Student Researchers:

Loriel Koudoha, Master’s degree candidate in Economics
Florence Robert, Undergraduate student in Law
Stéphanie Ouellet, Undergraduate student in Public Administration
Yasmine Benjelloun, Master’s degree candidate in Sociology

Coordinator, Centre on Governance: Anna Bogic

Digital Communication Manager: Mahyar Sherafat Naseri

External website:

Training and Research Program in University Governance

The main objective of the university governance training and research program is to train senior university managers in developing countries to establish sound management and governance practices in the field of university governance.

This program is offered by the Centre on Governance of the University of Ottawa in collaboration with the Canadian Francophonie Scholarship Program (CFSP) of the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE) and the Institut de la Francophonie pour la Gouvernance universitaire (IFGU) of the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) and with financial support from Global Affairs Canada. The program consists of two components, a training component and an action research component.

prospectus : university-governance

2020-21 university governance cohort



Training component in university governance:

The course is structured around 10 modules presented in the form of distance learning with the support of the campus numériques de l’espace universitaire francophone (CNEUF) managed by the Institut de la Francophonie pour la Gouvernance Universitaire of the AUF. The distance courses (live webinars) take place once every 2 weeks on average and are spread over a duration of 3 hours per interactive session.

The resource persons mobilized in this program come from University of Ottawa with the support of experts from the IFGU which is one of the main partners of the training program. This training combines several methods and work environments, namely the participant requirements, theoretical input of teaching and sharing of experience with Canadian and international stakeholders. The themes covered by this program are :

  1. University leadership, engagement and strategic planning
  2. College governance in academia
  3. Management and measurement of university performance
  4. Governance of human resources in academia
  5. Fiscal budgetary and financial governance in academia knowledge mobilization
  6. Governance of university research and knowledge mobilization
  7. Governance of university internationalization
  8. The impact of digital technologies on university governance
  9. Governance of the Francophonie academia
  10. University governance in times of crisis


Action research component:

The second component of the program is a three-to-six-month field research internship at the University of Ottawa. This component is designed to allow university executives who have received a scholarship from the Canadian Francophonie Scholarship Program to take time to reflect on academic governance practices in their own institutions and develop an action plan to improve a predefined field of governance. Each of the scholarship recipients must identify a specific issue before beginning their program. Work plans are therefore individualized.

Academic supervision and career mentoring will be two fundamental aspects of this initiative. Upon their arrival at the University of Ottawa, fellows are mentored by an academic supervisor and a mentor. Academic supervisors are recruited among the professors of public administration at the University of Ottawa’s School of Political Studies. Supervisor’s role is to oversee the individual work of fellows, including the development of their action plans, and guide them to relevant University of Ottawa resources. The professional mentor supports and advises the intern in his or her professional development while advising him or her on the development of the action plan to help him or her achieve his or her objectives. This can sometimes take the form of a mini-internship of a day or two in one of the university's departments.

Once the internship is completed, interns must then implement all or part of the action plan developed during their stay at the University of Ottawa. The IFGU and the CFSP contribute to the support of interns by offering personalized coaching opportunities to provide fellows with technical and motivational support. During the implementation period, it is also planned that the fellows will be gathered in virtual sessions to discuss their challenges, issues and successes.


Research program on COVID-19

Adaptative Responses of Public Actors in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis


Context and challenges

Public actors have faced many adaptive challenges since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, there are few studies examining the adaptative capacities of public sector governance in the context of a pandemic crisis. Using the adaptive governance approach, which is a relatively new analytical framework for analyzing actors’ responses to uncertainty, helps to tackle complex situations that require resilience, creativity and innovation. This approach involves focusing on interactions between a wide range of individuals, organizations and institutions when responding to a crisis or emergency.

The current pandemic context offers a unique opportunity to gain crucial knowledge on this topic by studying how governmental actors (political and administrative) are adapting to the socio-economic and health crisis caused by the spread of the coronavirus. By using the notion of “adaptive governance”, we analyze the phenomenon from three angles: public policy design, federalism and multi-level governance, and global governance in order to precisely answer to this research question. Our main goal is to understand and compare government adaptation mechanisms in Canada and abroad in order to support informed decision-making in the short, medium and long term. This project primarily examines the political-administrative situation in Canada while incorporating a comparative perspective with other federalist countries. The research also acknowledges the influence and the global governance of the World Health Organization on the policies and actions of the many countries affected by the pandemic.


Research objectives

The Centre on Governance and its partners intend to produce knowledge useful to public decision-makers and to take exceptional steps to mobilize knowledge. First, research results will be integrated into graduate courses beginning in September 2020. Research results will also be disseminated and published in a variety of formats to reach a large variety of audiences including practitioners and decision makers. We will start with a range of research papers, blogs and educational videos along with a webinar series for quick results and impact. Then, for our medium and long-term strategy, we will produce academic papers, case studies, professional advice, and workshops, and we will develop an online course on public sector risks assessment and resilience during pandemics with the Professional Development Institute. Workshops and courses will be targeted to professionals.

We study how prepared and how adaptive are the responses of political and administrative actors to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, taking into account the existing emergency and pandemic plans. We analyze it from three angles:

  1. PUBLIC POLICY: this angle examines the adaptation of public policies in light of the WHO's information/communication strategy.
  2. FEDERALISM AND MULTI-LEVEL GOVERNANCE: this angle examines the adaptive intergovernmental relations in times of pandemic from a comparative perspective between Canada, Australia, the United Stated and Brazil.
  3. GLOBAL GOVERNANCE: this angle examines how influential and how effective are the directives from global governance institutions (led by WHO) on government decisions and policies.


Anticipated impacts

This project is expected to have significant scientific, educational, and policy benefits:

SCIENTIFIC BENEFITS. By exploring several complementary levels of analysis, this research contributes to a better understanding of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the adaptive processes of public stakeholders, policies, and institutional arrangements.

EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS. By bringing research results to undergraduate and graduate courses and by producing materials for professional development training, the project will have a significant impact on education. The aims of this project are to encourage the integration of scientific program’s knowledge into young researchers’ own research and to enable them to join already established research team working on a topical issue. The Centre on Governance will organize a series of webinars on the main themes of this research project that will be integrated into the courses and disseminated to the general public due to the shift to remote learning. The Centre on Governance is also developing a knowledge mobilization collaboration with the Professional Development Institute of the University of Ottawa. The goal is to develop an online course on this issue for professionals in the sector.

PUBLIC POLICY BENEFITS. A crucial aspect of this project remains the knowledge transfer with elected officials and public administration practitioners with the goal of enabling them to develop better policies and to improve the next generation of emergency and pandemic plans.


Research method

The research project uses mixed methods. First, the project will benefit from quantitative data obtained through a survey conducted as part of a CIHR-funded research project in collaboration with the Université de Sherbrooke, with the participation of Professor Burlone and Professor Champagne. Second, the project will use several qualitative methods commonly used in public administration and political science: case studies, government literature reviews, press reviews, and discourse analysis.


Research team

In addition to the four research directors from the Centre on Governance, the project benefits from the collaboration with other colleagues from the Université de Sherbrooke and McGill University and the contributions of numerous undergraduate and graduate students, as well as other affiliated researchers and partners.


Professors associated with the project

  • Nathalie Burlone, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa (principal co-investigator for uOttawa)
  • Eric Champagne, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa (principal co-investigator for uOttawa)
  • Gabriel Blouin-Genest, École de politiques appliquée, Université de Sherbrooke (principal co-investigator, USherbrooke)
  • André Lecours, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa (CoG research director)
  • Sylvie Paquerot, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa (CoG research director)
  • Tracey O'Sullivan, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa (collaborator)
  • Daniel Béland, Political Science, McGill University (collaborator)
  • Gleisse Ribeiro-Alves, UnibCEUB, Centro Universitario de Brasilia (collaborator)


Students associated with the Project

  • Nikola Brassard-Dion, PhD student in Political Science, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa
  • Carl Eastin, Master's student in Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa
  • Natalia Torres Orozco, Master’s student in Droit international et politique internationale appliquée, Université de Sherbrooke
  • Sabrina Beauchesne, Undergraduate's program in Public Administration, University of Ottawa
  • Claire Ogaranko, Undergraduate's program in Public Administration, University of Ottawa
  • Keelan Buck, Undergraduate's program in Public Administration, University of Ottawa
  • Dariya Akhova, Undergraduate's program in Political Science, University of Ottawa


Affiliated researchers

  • David Dubinski, an Affiliated Researcher with the Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa
  • Olivier Choinière, an Affiliated Researcher with the Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa

Research Centre Coordinator: Anna Bogic, Ph.D.


  • Centre on Governance of the University of Ottawa
  • Pôle intégré de recherche environnement, santé et société
  • McGill Institute for the Study of Canada
  • Forum of Federations
  • Professional Development Institute (PDI) of the University of Ottawa
  • Canadian Institute of Health Research


Professors Nathalie Burlone and Eric Champagne received funding as co-investigators in a research project led by the Université de Sherbrooke (Professors Mélissa Généreux, Marc D David, Marie-Ève Carignan and Gabriel Blouin Genest, Principal Investigators) addressing the influence of multi-level governance, transnational actors and public health information during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. This research project is funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research through the Canadian Funding Opportunity for a 2019 Novel Coronavirus Rapid Response (COVID-19) competition. This project aims to broaden the issue to include the Centre’s resources.





Eric Champagne, Prof. School of Political Studies and Director, Centre on Governance

Nathalie Burlone, Prof. School of Political Studies and Lead Researcher, Centre on Governance

Anna Bogic, Coordinator, Centre on Governance


Recent and upcoming publications


  • Blouin Genest, Gabriel,Nathalie Burlone,Eric Champagne,Carl Eastin &Claire Ogaranko,The emergence of COVID-19 as a public policy problem: a comparative analysis of Québec, Ontario and British Columbia pandemic emergency plans and their translation into public policy, Policy Design and Practice, Received 02 Sep 2020, Accepted 20 Dec 2020,
  • Généreux, Mélissa, Marc D David, Tracey O’Sullivan, Marie-Ève Carignan, Gabriel Blouin-Genest, Olivier Champagne-Poirier, Éric Champagne, Nathalie Burlone, Zeeshan Qadar, Teodoro Herbosa, Kevin Hung, Gleisse Ribeiro-Alves, Horacio Arruda, Pascal Michel, Ron Law, Alain Poirier, Virginia Murray, Emily Chan, Mathieu Roy, Communication strategies and media discourses in the age of COVID-19: an urgent need for action, Health Promotion International, Volume daaa136, 1-8 (Oxford Academic, Royaume-Uni, Décembre 2020).
  • Généreux, Mélissa, Philip J. Schluter, Kevin KC Hung, Chi Shing Wong,Catherine Pui Yin Mok, Tracey O’Sullivan, Marc D. David, Marie-Eve Carignan, Gabriel Blouin-Genest, Olivier Champagne-Poirier, Éric Champagne, Natalie Burlone, Zeeshan Qadar, Teodoro Herbosa, Gleisse Ribeiro-Alves, Ronald Law, Virginia Murray, Emily Ying Yang Chan, Nathalie Pignard-Cheynel, Sébastien Salerno, Grégoire Lits, Leen d’Haenens, De Coninck, Koenraad Matthys and Mathieu Roy, One virus, four continents, eight countries: an interdisciplinary and international study on the psychosocial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among adultsInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17, Numéro 22 (Suisse, Novembre 2020).
  • Béland D, Lecours A, Paquet M, Tombe T (2020). ACritical Juncture in Fiscal Federalism? Canada’s Response to COVID-19. Canadian Journal of Political Science 1–5.
  • Dubinski D (2020). Could Canada Build a Fairer Society after COVID 19?.
  • Blouin Genest, Champagne, Burlone, Généreux, Orozco, Bogic. Who Global Response to COVID-19: Communicating Risk / Risky Communication, Working Paper (Rapid Results Report), May 2020.
  • The WHO’s risky communication strategy created confusion around COVID-19, The Conversation July 2, 2020.
  • Comment les ratés de communication de l’OMS ont semé la confusion autour de la Covid-19, The Conversation, 30 juin 2020.
  • The emergence of COVID-19 as a public policy problem: A comparative analysis of Quebec and Ontario pandemic emergency plans deployment, Proposition accepted for Policy Design and Practice. Paper to be submitted by  September 1, 2020


Research Program on Multilevel Governance and Federalism in Collaboration with the Forum of Federations

The research program of the federalism and multilevel governance research network covers several aspects of the functioning of federal and decentralized systems, in particular:

  • fiscal federalism
  • accommodation of nationalist movements
  • intergovernmental relations
  • international relations of constituent entities (paradiplomacy)

As part of this line of research, the Centre on Governance works in collaboration with the Forum of Federations, a non-governmental organization that shares expertise on federalism across the global network. The Forum of Federations funds a scholarship program for doctoral students at the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa who work on federalism.

The federalism and multilevel governance research network at the Centre on Governance organized an important conference on fiscal federalism in Canada on April 21, 22 and 23, 2021. ( The conference was entitled "Fiscal Federalism in Canada: Analysis, Evaluation, Prescription."

The network also published "Oil Rents and the Politics of Equalization in Canada" by Nikola Brassard-Dion in 2020 as well as André Lecours, Daniel Béland, Nikola Brassard-Dion, Trevor Tombe and Jennifer Wallner “The Covid-19 Crisis and Canadian Federalism” also in 2020.

Urban Mobilization in the Context of the Pandemic

Project led by Nathalie Burlone and Anne Mévellec (Centre on Governance and the School of Political Studies)

This project proposes to understand the COVID-19 pandemic both as an object of mobilization and as an element of the context for action. In the first case, the groups of actors seize on the health crisis either to contest the relevance of health measures or to use them as an additional argument that reinforces the legitimacy of their traditional claims. We have thus seen urban groups publicly manifesting their opposition to certain restrictive measures linked to lockdowns. Conversely, groups fighting against homelessness are mobilizing the current health crisis in their discursive registers to strengthen the denunciation of situations of inequality that would otherwise be present and challenged. As an element of context, the social distancing and lockdown measures related to COVID-19 adopted in Canada have greatly disrupted the functioning and activities of associations (recruitment and enrollment of members, fundraising activities, organizational capacity, opportunities for action.

These findings guide the following research question: how do the challenges generated by the COVID-19 pandemic impact and transform the discursive and action strategies of urban mobilizations in Canada? Thanks to a qualitative and comparative survey protocol, it is a question of exploring both the way in which urban mobilizations appeal to the health crisis to strengthen their registers of justification and the strategies they put in place (or not) to maintain their presence with their members (in a logic of internal mobilization) as in the political debate (in a perspective of influence of urban public action). This project has two objectives. The first, empirical in nature, aims to generate knowledge on the impacts of COVID-19 at the urban level in the community sector. The role of the municipal level is also recognized as essential in reducing the severity of the health crisis and ensuring the resilience of the local economy. The second objective is of a more theoretical nature. The choice of the territorial angle makes it possible to engage in a discussion between the analysis of public policies and urban studies to document the interdependence of public problems, social mobilizations and the territory. The territorial scale is an accessible observation and analysis laboratory that has been relatively unexplored in the literature, yet relevant in a health crisis situation.

Our qualitative and comparative methodology is based on case studies. Three stages of analysis are planned: 1) a documentary analysis (press review, gray literature) to identify the key players in the mobilizations studied; 2) in-depth interviews with key players by researchers and students in order to systematically capture the challenges encountered and strategies put in place by urban mobilizations and, 3) ethnographic monitoring of the activities of the groups in which they are part.

Call for applications

Two masters-level scholarships are offered by the Center for Studies in Governance. Recipients of these scholarships must be enrolled full-time in the Masters of Public Administration, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa.

Those selected will be members of the Center for Studies in Governance. Their research project should be devoted to urban mobilizations as envisaged in the project described above. Successful applications will begin their program in the fall 2021 session.

How to apply

1. Apply for admission to the Master of Public Administration at the University of Ottawa

2. Send an application package by email to Nathalie Burlone ( and Anne Mévellec ( In electronic form (PDF document), the file will include the following documents:

- CV

- Transcripts

- A letter of 2 pages maximum explaining the candidate's interest in urban mobilizations and presenting the way in which he or she plans to approach this subject as part of his or her master's thesis or project.


How to write a scientific article in six months? Methodology course (In French)

Course syllabus: Methodology for Applied Research in Public Administration (pdf, 400,7 KB)

The course in Methodology for Applied Research in Public Administration aims to introduce participants to all the dimensions that guide the process of knowledge production. This course has been designed to "prepare participants for the development of a scientific article over a period of six months." The general objective of the course is to familiarize participants with a variety of methodological approaches used in the social sciences and more specifically in public administration. More generally, this joint initiative aims to strengthen the scientific capacity of African training and research institutions.

(in French only)

Pilot Program for Training and Research Scholarships in University Governance

The Centre on Governance at the University of Ottawa in collaboration with the Canadian Francophonie Scholarship Program hosted in 2019-2020 nine interns from four African countries and one Asian country as part of a training and applied research program in university governance. This internship program is designed to strengthen the capacities  of high-potential administrators in African universities. The countries that participated in the internship program are Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Vietnam.

Watch the videos delivered by the nine training and research interns in university governance - 2019-2020


Jacqueline Ibriga Thiombiano
Université OUAGA 1 professeur Joseph KI-ZERBO
Head of Registration and Re-Registration Department
Burkina Faso

Awa KA

Awa Ka
École supérieure Polytechnique
Head of Human Resources Department

Célestin Kaniema Mangianda
Université de Kinshasa (UNIKIN)
Head of Human Resources Management Division
Democratic Republic of the Congo

Badara Niane Alioune

Alioune Niane Badara
Direction générale de l’enseignement supérieur (DGES)
Head of Division, Analysis and Statistics


Christelle Ouattara Kayo
Université Félix Houphouet Boigny
Main Secretary
Ivory Coast

Pélagie THEOUA épse N’DRI K’ra Aménam

Pélagie Theoua N’Dri
Université Alassane OUATTARA
Vice-President in charge of planning, programming and external relations
Ivory Coast

Nga Vu Thi Yen

Nga Vu Thi Yen
Université des Affaires Intérieures de Hanoi
Deputy Director of the Centre for Information Technology and Foreign Languages


Alexis Nzee Bolotsi Ibaku
Institut supérieur des techniques médicales
Head of Academic Services
Democratic Republic of the Congo


Claude Dakuyo
Université Norbert Zongo
Head of the Titles and Diploma Department
Burkina Faso


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