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2017 PSD-CAMA Paper Writing Competition

The rate of retirement among senior staff in the municipal sector, combined with the fierce competition for talent across sectors, has made it imperative to nurture interest in careers in municipal government among up and coming generations of Canadians. The PSD-CAMA Paper Writing Competition in Municipal Management will provide graduate students across the country with the opportunity to explore complex issues in municipal administration.

The Public Sector Digest (PSD) and the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) have partnered to launch this paper writing competition in order to introduce Canada’s future leaders to the dynamic world of municipal governance. Our hope is that new solutions to entrenched municipal challenges may emerge from this competition, with a new generation of talented Canadians exploring issues in municipal administration. The winning paper will be published in the “The Next Generation of Leadership” issue of the Public Sector Digest, going to print in March 2017. The author of the winning paper will also be invited to present at CAMA’s annual conference, taking place in May 2017 in Gatineau, QC.


Authors must be enrolled in a Canadian university graduate-level program in at least one academic term during the 2016-17 academic year, on either a full or part-time basis.


  • The paper must be submitted in word format for revision purposes

  • The paper must be sole-authored (not group authored)

  • The paper cannot have been previously published elsewhere, or be under consideration for publication currently

  • The paper must be between 1500 and 2000 words in length

  • Submission deadline: January 20th, 2017 5pm ET

  • Submit papers to indicating in the subject line “PSD-CAMA Paper Writing Competition Submission”

  • Submit with your paper, a short (2-3 line bio), the name of your academic program and post-secondary institution, and your contact information (phone number)


Authors must identify a challenge facing municipal administrators in Canada today, propose a solution or number of solutions to address that challenge, and explore the benefits/draw-backs associated with implementing the proposed solution. For example, the author might discuss inefficiencies in the processes or structure of municipal government, presenting Lean training as a potential solution for municipal administrators to consider. If possible, all submissions should incorporate real-world examples of the solution in practice. The focus of the paper should be on the impact that the identified municipal challenge (and proposed solution) has on city managers/chief administrative officers (CAOs) specifically, rather than in relation to mayors or political representatives in local government.


Submissions will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Originality (25%) - Does the author present an original approach to the challenge and/or solution in question?

  • Research (25%) - Has the author conducted sufficient research in support of the completion of his or her submission?

  • Clarity (25%) - Does the author present a clear challenge, a compelling solution to the challenge, and a thorough analysis of the solution?

  • Significance/relevance (25%) - Is the submission timely and relevant to municipal administrators in Canada today?


Following the deadline for submissions, papers will be reviewed by a committee of judges made up of PSD's editorial board and selected members of CAMA's board. Papers will be judged against the above assessment criteria. After the committee has read and scored each paper, the committee will discuss the top papers and determine the winner of the inaugural competition. PSD will publish the winning paper in the March 2017 print issue of the Public Sector Digest and provide the author with a 1 year complimentary membership to the publication. CAMA will provide the author with a complimentary registration for its 2017 conference in Gatineau and provide the author with the opportunity to present his or her paper to the conference delegation, made up of city managers from across Canada.



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