Dr. Olu Faokunla received the award in recognition of his dissertation about the efficacy of an electronic government system.
April 2013—Dr. Olu Faokunla '12 was awarded Walden University’s 2013 School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) Dissertation Award for the scientific and intellectual merits of his dissertation, Government-to-Government E-Government: A Case Study of a Federal Financial Program.
The PhD in Public Policy and Administration graduate chose this topic because of his experiences as an employee in an executive department of the U.S. government. “I recognized that there was a lot of government-to-government (G2G) e-government activity that was not getting enough attention,” he explains. He made it his goal to see if the inherent features of e-government also exist specifically in G2G.Dr. Faokunla focused on the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) as a case study to illustrate G2G e-government. “It confirmed some of the benefits and characteristics often associated with e-government and G2G. TOP fostered efficiency and effectiveness, agency collaboration, cooperation, and information sharing,” he explains.
As positive as the initial results sounded, his research also revealed where the program’s implementation could be improved. “The study also confirmed that TOP was confronted with challenges and problems that included communication gaps, technology challenges, regulatory restrictions, and legal issues,” he continues.
He pinpointed simplified processes and technology as well as effective communication as means of improvement. “My study amplified the importance of cooperation, collaboration, and information sharing among government officials at the federal level on one hand and between federal and state officials on the other,” Dr. Faokunla explains.
Not only does he plan to share his dissertation within public policy and administration communities in the U.S., he also believes his findings could positively impact policymakers in developing countries who continue to struggle with the implementation of e-government initiatives.
His dissertation committee was made up of chair Dr. Anne J. Hacker and committee members Dr. Lori Demeter and Dr. Tanya Settles. “I am humbled to be the first recipient of the award,” Dr. Faokunla says. “When Dr. Hacker called to inform me, I was surprised and elated. It gives me a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.
“Research is the essence of new discoveries,” he continues. “It shapes how new inventions in engineering, science, and technology are created; it engenders policies that bring about efficiencies in the private and public sectors; and it helps shape the macroeconomic situations of nations and multilateral institutions.”
Not only does Dr. Faokunla plan to continue research in a similar vein, he also credits the Ph.D. program with furthering his work as a collaborative leader. “I have always had a passion for collaboration and partnership,” he says. “The skills I learned at Walden have been instrumental to my professional work.”
About the School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) Dissertation Award
The School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) Dissertation Award is bestowed upon Walden graduates whose dissertations reflect excellent and appropriate original research and outstanding application of concepts and analysis tools. The award is based on scientific merit, novelty and significance or intellectual merit, style, and contributions to the field.