Research Reports of the Centre on Governance

Centre on Governance Working Papers Series

The Centre on Governance Working Papers Series is a platform that allows for the dissemination and publication of working papers that address governance issues and that are completed by either our professors, senior fellows, student researchers and/or affiliated staff of the Centre on Governance. The working papers presented are works that may reflect the beginning of research, special reports and projects, conference papers, and also gives M.A. and Ph.D. students an opportunity to distribute and circulate their initial research. All articles are available below in PDF format, and are listed according to their date of publication.


January 2022

Digitalization of Public Administration in Federal Countries: Challenges, Opportunities, and a Look Ahead

Silvana Gomes, Eric Champagne, André Lecours

The digital transformation of the public sector has been reshaping how governments function and deliver public services worldwide. However, the effects of this digital-oriented shift on federal countries remain largely unaddressed. We need to know more about the impacts of digitalization on the distribution of power, intergovernmental relations, coordination, and policymaking in multi-tiered systems. Fundamentally, an important question still lacks a clear answer: is digitalization favoring the empowerment of central governments in federal government settings? Based on a comprehensive desk research, this paper aims to analyze whether the advancement of digitalization policies has been giving room to centralizing devices in federal countries. To this end, we explore the impacts of digitalization across levels of government in four domains: intergovernmental relations, collaborative action, digital policies implementations, and accountability. We study the main challenges and opportunities that federations face to thrive in the digital era, and the interplay between digitalization and centralization. We conclude that while there seems to be a trend towards centralization in certain areas, these centralizing devices usually coexist with devolved mechanisms.





October 2021


The Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on University Organization and Governance


The Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on University Organization and Governance

Eric Champagne, Aracelly Denise Granja

Emerging in December 2019 and becoming an international public health emergency as of mid-March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has swept the world. The rise of COVID-19 has altered social interactions while also substantially transforming how organizations operate. Universities have been one of the most widely affected institutions. Since the imposition of worldwide quarantine measures, they have had to adapt to new administrative practices quickly. As such, this paper addresses the effects COVID-19 has had on university operations in the developed world. Specifically, this paper examines what the long-term effect of COVID-19 will be on university organization and governance. This research analyzes six areas of interest. The first section focuses on the effects the coronavirus has had on university pedagogical activities. We illustrate the hybridization of the teaching process as a result of the transition to online learning. Next, we discuss the adjustments university researchers have made to continue their work within a pandemic world. We emphasize how research collaborations and data collection will have to change post-epidemic. The third section serves to highlight the difficulties students, as well as university professionals, are facing. Here, the paper underlines how universities are dealing with issues concerning stress and mental health. The following section considers international students’ economic saliency, elaborating on how universities will need to adjust to maintain their financial stability while remaining academically appealing to overseas students. The fifth section concentrates on the changes made by universities regarding administrative and operative functions. Finally, we analyze the work of universities surrounding the implementation of an emergency preparedness plan, principally looking at the steps these academic institutions are taking to minimize any future health crisis’s detrimental effects.



June 2021




Public Ethics and the Regulation of Corporate Political Activities in North America and Europe

Maxime Boucher

Since 2000, an increasing number of countries – as well as EU supranational institutions – have adopted policies to regulate corporate political activities. This research investigates how European countries and EU institutions manage to define and regulate corporate political activities. The first part retraces key judicial and political decisions that led to the introduction of modern regulatory frameworks for corporate lobbying activities in North America and Europe. The second part compares the regulation of corporate lobbying, corporate donations and revolving-door hiring practices in European countries. In so doing, this research demonstrates the different approaches of EU member states to regulate corporate political activities.






October 2020


 Narrowing the Implementation Gap Description



Results, Adaptability, Capacity and Engagement: Narrowing the Implementation Gap

Eric Champagne, Francis Gaudreault, Moira Hart-Poliquin

Too often public policies are developed in an attempt to solve complex problems but once under implementation, fail to have the expected impact on those problems. In this paper, we define the “implementation gap” as the disparity between the desired outcomes set by public sector organizations and their actual performance on the ground. Approaches and tools to tackle the implementation challenges in complex situations rely on a new generation of principles that often imply the need for action-based, iterative and adaptive public management models. Drawing from the most recent body of knowledge in the field of implementation and the science of public policy delivery , this analysis has allowed us to create a model that highlights key drivers of implementation. This new governance model which aims to tackle the implementation gap in the public sector is called the RACE model-based on four components which are: driving Results, driving Adaptability, driving Capacity, and driving Engagement. This paper describes a range of implementation approaches that have evolved over the last decades and introduces the RACE framework as a way to narrowing the implementation gap.





September 2020



Oil Rents and the Politics of Equalization in Canadian Federalism

Nikola Brassard-Dion

Oil production and Equalization payments are two contentious and often overlapping subjects in Canadian politics. Alberta’s Premier recently argued that his province’s energy sector pays a disproportionate share of the Equalization payments that Quebec receives. This came after Quebec’s Premier referred to Alberta oil sands as “dirty energy.” Canadian federalism has become the stage for the debate on oil rents and the politics of Equalization. The purpose of Canada’s Equalization program is to reduce the horizontal fiscal imbalance between provinces to ensure public services of comparable quality. Whereas Canada is the world’s fourth largest producer and exporter of oil, proven reserves are largely concentrated in the Prairies’ oil sands. Eastern Canadian provinces, including Quebec, have so far been the main recipients of federal Equalization payments. But to what extent do oil revenues sustain Canada’s Equalization program? This paper argues that oil rents in no way sustain the Equalization program, because these are revenues that belong exclusively to the provinces. However, provincial ownership of natural resources and their uneven geographic distribution actually contribute significantly to the regional wealth disparities that Equalization tries to mitigate. This study provides an overview of oil policy and federal transfer payments, paying close attention to the structure of Equalization. The objective is to demystify some of the claims surrounding the relationship between oil revenues and their redistribution and thus better inform policy debates on equalization in Canada.




Réseaux communautaires



Réseaux communautaires et communautés épistémiques dans le secteur culturel : le cas du Groupe de recherche sur la culture d’Ottawa 

Julien Doris

This research paper focuses on the forms and structures of governance in the municipal cultural sector. It emphases the very particular case of the City of Ottawa, which occupies a privileged position compared to other municipalities of similar size in Canada, particularly because of its high concentration of human, administrative, financial, material and artistic resources. The case study focuses on the Ottawa Cultural Research Group (OCGR), an informal intersectoral entity created at the initiative of the City of Ottawa and which intends to bring together government, private, associative and academic actors in order to promote a common approach to the production of indicators and data on cultural matters. By convening two ideal-typical structures of public policy governance, this paper raises the contribution but also the issues and challenges of such a collective action vis-à-vis the governance of the cultural sector in Ottawa.





June 2020



WHO Global Response to COVID-19: Communicating Risk / Risky Communication

Rapid Results Report -- Phase 1: December 31, 2019 – January 31, 2020

Blouin‐Genest, Gabriel; Burlone, Nathalie; Champagne, Eric; Généreux, Mélissa; Torres Orozco, Natalia; Bogic, Anna

The present study is an analysis of the communication and information shared by the World Health Organization (WHO) from December 31, 2019 (when the first pneumonia cases from unknown cause were detected in Wuhan, China) to January 31, 2020, the day after the WHO declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). All recommendations, statements, press conferences, tools, social media posts, and guidelines released by the WHO during this period were reviewed to identify the WHO information and communication strategy. In this first report in a series of reports, our objective is to examine the WHO strategy within the context of uncertainty, data shortages and insufficient cooperation which greatly affected a coordinated global response towards the novel coronavirus. This report thus seeks to illuminate recent criticisms expressed by international actors against the WHO by looking specifically at problems, failures and limitations of the communication and information strategy of this international organization. We present key findings on the WHO’s use of social media and other tools, as well as the findings of a Canadian survey suggesting that the WHO may have appeared too far removed as a source of information to be able to reduce stress, anxiety and misinformation.






April 2019



Étude sur la collaboration interprofessionnelle et inter ordres au Québec

Eric Champagne et Francis Gaudreault

This research is looking at collaboration between professional colleges in Quebec and is part of a reflection from a group of professional colleges in the area of health and social services who have undertaken an initiative to improve their collaborative practices. Interprofessional collaboration is seen as a critical approach to improving the governance and the quality of health care systems in Canada and around the world. This exploratory research first seeks to better situate and understand the concept of collaboration between professional colleges from a conceptual perspective. Then, with the help of an appreciative inquiry and individual interviews with representatives of the professional colleges, this research makes it possible to identify the main models of collaboration between professional colleges along with the success factors.





May 2017



The Implementation of Trade Relations and Industry Standards: The Qatari National Development Strategy & the African Mining Vision

Jason McSparren and Cristina D’Alessandro

Abstract: Relations between Qatar and sub-Saharan Africa are developing. Qatar is in fact at a critical time: the forthcoming Qatari National Development Strategy has to present and explain the future economic strategy and the measures needed to achieve it, including the complex crucial role Africa may have to realize it. It is argued here that Qatar has to consider partnerships with African stakeholders as mutual learning and mutually beneficial dynamics, revising accordingly its soft power strategy. This paper analysesthe critical and renewed role of these relations between Qatar and sub-Saharan Africa, the new trends, and innovative possibilities offered by African stakeholders to Qatari counterparts and vice versa. These reciprocal opportunities go beyond mining and mineral resources, but sound natural resource governance is the starting point for economic diversification and structural transformation, both in Africa and in Qatar.






Qatar’s Global Investment Strategy for Diversification and Security in the Post-Financial Crisis Era

Jason McSparren, Hany Besada, Vasundhara Saravade

Over the past few years, developing a sustainable and resilient economy has emerged as a priority for many nations, regardless of their level of development. It is especially important for non-renewable resource dependent countries like Qatar, to become self-sufficient and sustaining in the long term.However, in order to make this happen, there are a few factors that need to be addressed, of which economic diversification and social development are key towardscreating a resilient and self-sustaining economy. As Qatar’s National Vision puts it, “Charting economic and social progress in modern societies depends on a clear vision and a strategy about how to get there...[and in order] for societies to develop, balancing the interests of the present and future generations is vital” (QNV, 2030). Qatar, through its National Vision 2030 strategy, seeks to build a bridge between its current resource-dependent and affluent economy with a futuristic knowledge-based and sustainable one. While most nations would follow a more traditional path towardscreating a resilient economy, Qatar has relied on a more non-conventional mode of resilience known as soft power. By using its affluent wealth and investing it strategically, Qatar has built close relations with countries that range from advanced Western nations to developing and emerging economies in Asia.







December 2016

Generating Investment in Ghana: Exploring opportunities for investment from Gulf Cooperation Council Countries

Susan Adwoa Mensah


September 2016

Economic Diversification in Africa: What can Gulf States learn from African countries?

Cristina D'Alessandro


May 2016


Governance of Natural Resources in sub-Saharan Africa: What is Qatar’s Role?

M. Evren Tok


November 2015

Coaching For Results: The Kind of Change Results Coaches Facilitate and the Tactics They Use to Do So

Eric Champagne, Moira Hart-Poliquin, SaveraHayat, Aaida Mamuji, Benjamina Randrianarivelo, Kay Winning

The research presented in this document was developed as a result of an applied research project led by Professor ÉricChampagne (Assistant Director) and Moira Hart-Poliquin (Senior Fellow) at the University of Ottawa’s Centre on Governance along with Benjamina Randrianarivelo and Kay Winning (governance and leadership specialists) at the World Bank. The purpose of this research is to better understand the role of a new professional practice called “results coaching” on public sector projects and reforms in the context of development.


Analyses of pronvincial and territorial budgets from the perspective of the arts, culture and heritage



Books / Works
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