Continue below for proposal submission instructions.

The COMPA 2024 conference theme of “Reshaping Public Administration: A Search for Self Determined, Participatory, and Sustainable Governments” serves as a call to all public servants— scholars, public and nonprofit practitioners, and community advocates and stakeholders—who seek to rethink the future of local communities by revisiting past and present experiences as the foundation for engaging debate on reshaping self-determined, participatory, and sustainable local community initiatives. The conference will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana at Southern University at New Orleans located in the Historic Pontchartrain Park neighborhood.


Proposals: Friday, January 26, 2024

Papers: Friday, January 26, 2024


FEBRUARY 25-28, 2024


Applicants must submit via our online form only.


The primary interaction with government for most citizens is at the local level, despite the prominence of national and state governments. Citizens are more engaged with their counties, municipalities, townships, school districts, and special purpose districts. These local authorities respond to citizens’ highest demands. Local governments are where the rubber meets the road. Yet in today’s society, the road success for local communities faces many serious challenges. From the expulsion of democratically elected representatives to banning efforts to empower communities of color, political actors often challenge the power of local authorities and communities. Proposed bans to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, and negative portrayals of specific communities, and finger-pointing led to calls to usurp the power of local authorities, particularly in communities of color. Although State and local governments are co-producers in public programs,

and the financial management of state and federal funds, it is not clear that the political interests of states align with the needs of local communities, or that they share an interest in their success. The Governor of Maryland, Wes Moore, clearly expressed the firm belief that the state of Maryland’s fate is intertwined with the city of Baltimore. He recognizes the potential of Baltimore and that all levels must work together to achieve its success, and the success of the state of Maryland. States cannot thrive without working in good faith with their major cities, which are often populated by people of color. Efforts to stifle these communities of color, therefore, harm the entire state. The shocking movements toward policies and decisions that target specific communities, particularly those of color, coincide with the increasing disparities in quality of life indicators between urban communities and suburban communities. These trends raise many questions:

● What is the role of public administrators and policy makers in environments hostile to communities of color and marginalized groups?

● How should an ethical public administrator address injustices that cost not only targeted communities but local residents as a whole?

● How should local public administrators respond to state and federal decisions that violate the rights of their local communities?

The challenges worldwide for public administrators and policy makers are equally daunting. We are witnessing movements that push in the opposite direction of local empowerment. The road to success for local communities across many nations faces a rise in unequal outcomes and economic inequalities fueled by different levels of economic growth, the rise in centralized anti-democratic movements and the predominance of the politics of division that threatens the attainment of forward thinking policy. The U.S. in particular now faces major global competitors who are urging nations to turn away from the US and the Dollar as the major source of future investments, and there have been predictions of serious impacts on future local economies. The lack of the presence of a democratically “self determination” lens that reflects the genuine needs and priorities of local communities has resulted in policy failures and the inability to accomplish and manage the institutions designed to address local needs and desires.

Many local governments operate within a federal system of shared rule and self-rule, aiming to balance cooperation among all constituent governments. In the end, it’s the citizens’ perceptions of local government that hold the most substantial opinion. Public administrators and policy makers at all levels and areas of government, key nongovernmental nonprofits, and service organizations must play a major role in rethinking how to create mutually beneficial successes for all local communities. The challenge today, however, is that administrators must address the best ways to minimize existing divisions that are fueled by jurisdictional squabbles, miscommunications, self-interest and personal political agendas aimed at taking advantage of unequal resources or capacities of local governments.

● Can learning from past experiences and successes help us develop innovative ways to integrate local needs and priorities?

● Can past and existing experiences inform how to advance local governance when governments have insufficient authority to shape their own policies?

● How do local communities and emergency and disaster management responses in communities worldwide?

COMPA 2024 challenges public administrators, researchers, scholars, policy wonks, think tanks, nonprofits, faculty, students, and both scholars and practitioners across multiple fields and professions to rethink the future of local communities by revisiting past and present experiences as the foundation for engaging debate and reshaping self-determined, participatory, and sustainable local community initiatives.

● How do we move towards local governmental sustainability through highly inclusive communities with capacities for adaptation to change?

● How do citizens’ concerns for their local environment translate into better local management?

● How do we maintain positive values that improve social and political equity, racial/ethnic/gender equality, intergenerational justice and effective institutional designs locally?

Join us at the COMPA 2024 National Conference in New Orleans next year. It will be the first time being face-to- face in three years. We will examine the future of local government and tackle those issues that most directly impact each of us. We welcome research and praxis from different backgrounds and methodological orientations, current updates to traditional models and frameworks, and other emergent perspectives on all issues of public service related to the theme. The conference program committee is pleased to invite proposals from academics, practitioners, independent scholars, and students. The proposals should be related to the theme and subthemes. The conference tracks from the 2023 have been consolidated and adapted into six track groups for the 2024 Conference. Each track grouping contains tracks with a new range of topics that were developed to include topics from previous tracks along with new topics.

Step 1: Pick a Track Grouping

2024 Conference Track Groupings

The conference program committee is pleased to invite proposals to the conference from academics, practitioners, independent scholars and students. The proposals should be related to the conference theme and sub-themes. The conference tracks from 2023 have been consolidated and adapted into six track groupings for 2024. The bullet points below each track grouping (in Bold) contain tracks with a new range of topics created to include topics from previous tracks along with new topics.

Track Grouping 1: Social Equity/Justice and Public Health Disparities

● Track 1: Social Equity and Justice (systemic racism, environmental injustice from the perspectives of health and climate, economic injustice, depopulation, and voter suppression)

● Track 3: Disparities (Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Housing, Education, Employment, Social Services Administration

● Track 7: Law & Criminal Justice, Equity and Accountability

Track Grouping 2: International and Global Perspectives in Public Policy and Administration

● Track 14: Comparative Public Administration, Foreign Policy, Democratization, and Authoritarianism

● Track 15: Global Health, Systems, and Policy

● Track 13: Pan-Africanism, Diaspora Affairs, and International Relations, International and Regional Defense and Security Alliances

Track Grouping 3: Homeland Security, Adaptive Capacity, Resiliency, and Sustainability

● Track 18 Climate Change, Environmental Impact, Forestry and Agricultural Preservation

● Track 10: Emergency Preparedness, Crisis Management/Disaster Reponses, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and National Defenses, and Cyber-Security

Track Grouping 4: Planning and Development, Community Engagement, and Infrastructure Management

● Track 8: Nonprofits Management & Leadership

● Track 16: Urban and Regional Planning and Design and Community Economic Development

● Track 19: Public Projects, Capital Improvements, Historical Preservation and Transportation

● Track 6: Citizen Engagement, Community Coalitions, Collaboration and Empowerment

Track Grouping 5: Public Management and Finance

● Track 11: Local Government, Leadership, and Ethics

● Track 2: Business and Entrepreneurial Development

● Track 5: Public Budgeting, Finance, and Procurement

● Track 4: Public Policy & Management

Track Grouping 6: Preparing the Next Generation for a Rapidly Changing World

● Track 9: Primary, Secondary, Higher Education Administration, STEM and Historical/Cultural Preservation

● Track 17: Professional Development for Executives, Advanced, Senior, Mid-level, Early, Beginning Professionals and Emerging Leaders

● Track 12: Big Data, Emerging Technology, and Artificial Intelligence

Step 2: Submit Your Proposal

Proposals from individuals at all stages of their careers are welcome.
Proposals by graduate students are particularly encouraged.

The deadline for submission of proposals is Friday, January 26, 2024. Proposals will be evaluated by the conference program committee, and proposers will be notified of the committee’s decisions via email. Abstract or Presentation Synopsis should not exceed 400 words. Applicants must submit CFPs via our online form only.

Step 3: Enter for Best Scholarly Paper Contest

Conference participants are encouraged to submit their full conference papers for entry into the Best Paper Award Competition.

Scholars are encouraged to participate in the student “poster” presentation session to share research and interact with conference attendees while competing for a $500 Best Poster Prize.


● 1st Place: $1,500

● 2nd Place: $1,000

● 3rd Place: $500

● An additional $500 will be awarded to the best paper from an undergraduate student.