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Second Annual PSD-CAMA Essay Competition in Municipal Government

Second Annual PSD-CAMA Essay Competition in Municipal Government

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 Essay Competition in Municipal Government 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 essay 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 related to municipalities. The winning paper will be published in the June issue of the Public Sector Digest. The author of the winning paper will also be invited to present at CAMA’s annual conference, taking place in May 2018 in Fredericton, NB.



Authors must be enrolled in a Canadian university graduate-level program in at least one academic term during the 2017-18 academic year, on either a full or part-time basis.


Rules & Process

  • 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 1000 and 2000 words in length
  • Submission deadline: April 13th, 2018 5pm ET (DEADLINE EXTENDED)
  • Submit papers to info [at] publicsectordigest [dot] com ( )indicating in the subject line “PSD-CAMA Essay Competition in Municipal Government”
  • 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 municipalities in Canada today, propose an innovative 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. Last year’s winner, Catalina Blumenberg, discussed the forthcoming legalization of marijuana in Canada, exploring the potential of a new municipal revenue stream that a marijuana tax may provide. Her article outlined the challenges of legalization, including enforcement and the implementation of public health campaigns to address the health risks of marijuana consumption. Her original argument, that a Federal Marijuana Tax Fund will help diversify municipal revenue streams to support long-term fiscal sustainability, awarded her first place.

If possible, all submissions should incorporate real-world examples of the solution in practice. The essay should also focus on applying and implementing an innovative solution or solutions, emphasizing the importance of innovation in municipal 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? Does the submission offer an innovation solution or set of solutions?


Selection & Recognition

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 June 2018 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 2018 conference in Fredericton, NB 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. Additionally, the winner will receive a $300.00 travel voucher to attend the CAMA conference.

contact us:

info [at] publicsectordigest [dot] com    |    519.690.2565    |