University of Idaho - I Banner
A student works at a computer


U of I's web-based retention and advising tool provides an efficient way to guide and support students on their road to graduation. Login to VandalStar.

Idaho Local Government Initiative

What we do: The Idaho Local Government Initiative (ILGI) was created to serve local governments and communities in Idaho and the intermountain region through education, research, advisory support, training and outreach.

Our goal is to help leaders in local governments and communities expand their economies, improve the quality of life for their citizens and increase their capacity for governance.

How: We apply evidence-based approaches to the challenges and opportunities confronting local governments and communities in the areas of local governance, management, public policy and economic development. Our expertise includes strategic planning, data management, performance management, policy analysis and program evaluation, public opinion and measurement of citizen satisfaction, local fiscal analysis, grants and fundraising and economic development.

Data analytics and program evaluation services that are scientifically rigorous yet practical, grounded in the needs and realities of the communities.

Management and policy support to plan and implement evidence-based solutions for improved results.

Training and outreach to enhance the knowledge and skills of local public leaders for effective implementation of public policies and programs.

Education to create trained leaders in government and civic societies dedicated to public service. We offer the Master of Public Administration degree focused on local governments and communities.

The Master of Public Administration degree program is aligned with ILGI and is designed to serve students interested in careers in the governance and management of local governments and communities. The program is public service oriented and is delivered in partnership with municipalities in Idaho and Washington.

Students in the MPA program have the opportunity to participate in ILGI events, to attend training and conference events with practitioners, and to participate in ILGI research projects. Students also have the opportunity to participate in local government internships that are designed to help students develop professional skills and an appreciation for the breadth of local government.

The MPA program is available in both the traditional on-campus and online formats.

The ILGI is a team of scholars with expertise in public administration, public policy, local government administration, program evaluation, policy analysis, local public finance and public opinion research. Members of ILGI include:

Bert Baumgaertner, Ph.D., Research Fellow. Assistant Professor of Philosophy (opinion dynamics, social epistemology, agent-based modeling). 

Charles Dainoff, ABD, Research Fellow. Assistant Professor of Politics (banking and finance)

Florian Justwan, Ph.D., Research Fellow. Assistant Professor of Politics (political psychology, survey research, research methods).

Aman McLeod, Ph.D., J.D., Research Fellow. Assistant Professor of Political Science, Affiliate Faculty College of Law (local government law, state and federal constitutional law, state and federal judiciary).

Michael Overton, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow. Assistant Professor Public Administration (government budgeting and finance, economic development, program evaluation, research methods).

Manoj Shrestha, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow. Associate Professor of Public Administration (local government, social network analysis, policy analysis and program evaluation, research methods, local public finance, community development).

ILGI research fellows have worked on projects as diverse as a local option tax initiative in McCall to the creation of the successful Potlatch Riverside Country Music Festival – a place-based economic development event. We provided survey and analytical support to towns that seek to understand community preferences for economic development investment and delivered data and analysis to Idaho’s economic development professionals though our Breaking Barriers Conference.

Friday Workshop

Engaging Citizens in an Age of Extreme Polarization: A Workshop to Improve a Local Government’s Capacity to Dialogue with Citizens

Designed to help leaders and community builders find ways to improve dialogue in the age of political polarization.

Friday Workshop Information


Department of Politics and Philosophy

Physical Address:
205 Administration Building

Mailing Address:
Department of Politics and Philosophy
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3165
Moscow, ID 83844-3165

Phone: 208-885-6328

Fax: 208-885-5102