JSGS Team Members: Taige Sun, Josh Saskiw, Harjot Singh Tur, Nancy Carlson (coach), Colten Goertz (coach), Jade Anderson (Photos: submitted)
JSGS Team Members: Taige Sun, Josh Saskiw, Harjot Singh Tur, Nancy Carlson (coach), Colten Goertz (coach), Jade Anderson (Photos: submitted)

JSGS Team places second at 2024 National Public Administration Case Competition

Congratulations to the JSGS team for scoring silver in the 2024 National Public Administration Case Competition!

By Karen Jaster-Laforge

JSGS is pleased to congratulate the JSGS Team – comprised of Jade Anderson, Angèle Porirer, Harjot Singh Tur, Taige Sun, and alternate Josh Saskiw, who secured the second position in the 13th National Public Administration Case CompetitionPlacing behind the team from Queen’s University, and ahead of the team from the University of Toronto, the JSGS Team performed well during the presentation and in responding to the challenging questions posed by the panel of judges.   

Organized by CAPPA, IPAC and Carleton University’s SPPC, and hosted by JSGS, the 2024 competition saw 12 teams from across Canada compete virtually on February 24, 2024. Each year teams are provided with a policy case that is rooted in reality, which they are then challenged to research in an effort to understand the complex policy problem. Teams then create policy solutions which are presented to a panel of judges as recommendations. The top three teams receive a cash prize, and the top team receives the opportunity to prepare an article for Policy Options magazine.

The JSGS team was selected in November, and faced many challenges in their preparations. Team members are located in both Regina and Saskatoon, and in addition to the physical separation, the team also had school, work and family commitments to contend with.  Due to these competing priorities, meetings were online and often lasted late in the evening. Coaches Nancy Carlson and Colten Goertz helped the team prepare by encouraging individual research, and connecting them with public servants who could provide professional feedback, critical knowledge of the industry, and an enriched understanding of government decision making. Another vital part of preparations included discussing many different current policy concerns as a team to get to the root of what the actual problem was – and then further the analysis by looking at the pros and cons of potential solutions. 

This year’s case entitled “Phoenix Rising... Again?: Taking Control of Federal Procurement” delved into the federal government’s procurement process, a real-world policy issue that has recently garnered national attention. Although team members were not familiar with the intricacies of this challenging topic when the case was released on February 14, they soon became experts through their research and preparations. In the end, the JSGS team recommended an external review of federal procurement conducted by the OECD, altering payment structures within IT (fee-for-service vs. per diem), and a communications strategy to the judging panel. Team members attribute their clear communication, compelling story telling, engaging slides and ability to support their recommendations in the Q&A with the judges to helping them secure the silver.

Now that the experience is over, team members have had the opportunity to reflect on being part of the JSGS National Case Competition team. While they noted many challenges including the time commitment, learning the intricacies of a new and complex topic and learning how to work as a team, they also spoke positively about making connections with team mates, coaches and experts, gaining experience working collaboratively in a group, and getting a glimpse into the inner world of policy making. When asked whether JSGS students should consider competing in future case competitions, the overall recommendation was yes.

Coaches Nancy Carlson and Colten Goertz were both pleased with the team’s commitment, creativity, patience and critical thinking as they prepared and presented on competition day, noting that their success was a testament to their dedication, hard work and the exceptional education given to them by JSGS. 

This is the fifth time in the course of the 13 year competition that the JSGS team has placed in the top three, with previous teams placing second in 2013, third in 2018 and 2021, and second in 2022.

Meet the JSGS National Team

Jade Anderson is a PhD Candidate with a Master’s in Psychology. She is a past Queen Elizabeth II scholar and has received funding from SSHRC, NSERC, CES, CAMAP, SCPOR, FGSR, and Saskatchewan Innovation & Excellence. She has 12 years of experience in research and program evaluation, including work in the areas of rural homelessness, psychosocial interventions, and employee safety. Her current research interests include health policy, rural access to health, and institutional conscientious objection. She serves on numerous boards for public and early childhood education. She is a nationally competitive equestrian and lives in rural Saskatchewan with her husband, two children, dog, cats, and Arabian horses.

Angèle Poirier is a proud Fransaskoise, which means French is her first language, and she lives in Saskatchewan. She works in an agricultural policy think tank called CAPI and is very active at Saint Mary the Virgin Anglican Church. She loves bikes, gardening, and oatmeal. Angèle lives in Regina, but wants to return to rural Saskatchewan as soon as possible. With blazing-fast internet, nobody will ever know that she’s out in the boonies.

Harjot Singh Tur is a first-year MPA student at JSGS USask. Holding a B.Sc. in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan, he has worked in various public and private agriculture research programs as well as the Government of Saskatchewan. Apart from academics, he is currently serving as the Events Director for the JSGS Student Association and thoroughly enjoying his time at JSGS. His interests include travelling, meeting people from various walks of life and trying out adventurous activities such as skydiving, bungy jumping, rafting, etc.

Taige Sun is a first year MPA student at JSGS’s Regina campus. He studied Political Science during his undergraduate years at the University of Western Ontario. His main interest is political science, and he is very excited for the opportunity to study at JSGS for public policy and public administration related topics. Studying at JSGS has been a great experience, and has already learnt so much in just one and half semesters as a JSGS student. He is looking forward to learning more and participating in other events.