The Division of Governmental Studies and Services was created in 1964 as a sub-unit to Washington State University’s Political Science Department. Upon its creation, DGSS provided applied research services to federal, state, and local government agencies in Washington.
In 2001, the College of Liberal Arts at Washington State University and Washington State University Extension agreed to jointly sponsor DGSS as a Washington State University outreach unit. This partnership allowed DGSS and the Program for Local Government Education, a program funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and housed at Washington State University Extension, to merge, yet, retain the title Division of Governmental Studies and Services. Today, DGSS still finds its home under Washington State University Extension.
The merging of the two units in 2001 allowed more support and greater expansion of DGSS, which resulted in a broader scope of activities, increased staff, growth in applied social science engagement capacity, and expansion in technical training services for organizations in the Pacific Northwest.
Since 1975, DGSS has produced over 200 research reports, supported over a dozen Ph.D. dissertations, partnered in the publication of hundreds of journal articles, and received over $15,000,000 in research funding.
Today, DGSS continues to serve as a model for successful partnership, as a trusted resource of Washington State University, and with the main goal of improving the quality of life for those in the Pacific Northwest. Many of DGSS’s projects involve emerging and complex challenges, strategic initiatives, and operational decision making. These projects make DGSS uniquely poised to enrich the learning of undergraduate and graduate students at Washington State University through internships and applied research opportunities.
For more than 50 years DGSS has conducted applied research, technical assistance, and training to private and public organizations in the Pacific Northwest. We have worked with local, state, and federal organizations to examine the big issues facing our region and our nation.
Our areas of expertise include:
- Public Safety
- Government and Sustainability
- Digital Initiatives
DGSS has worked with law enforcement, fire service, and other public safety entities across the region to address key issues in public safety. DGSS currently maintains a wildfires website that provides information and resources to those dealing with the impacts of wildfires.
DGSS utilizes their expertise in applied research and program evaluation to help public safety entities examine their effectiveness, enhance citizen engagement, evaluate impact of policies, and improve services, as well as enhance organization training.
We have conducted numerous public safety studies in the following topics:
- Biased Policing
- Drug Recognition Expert Programs
- Community Policing
- Law Enforcement and Fire Service Training Evaluation
- Smart Policing
- Community Emergency Response Training
- Forecast Modeling
- Needs Assessments
A key part of our expertise involves working with local, state and federal government entities to help evaluate the efficiency of policies and programs and to aid in future planning.
We provide a variety of technical assistance to public entities, including training, data collection and analysis. We specialize in community engagement, community and economic development, and facilitation, as well as planning support.
We have helped numerous organizations in the following areas:
- Program Evaluation
- Needs Assessment
- Inter-agency Cooperation
- Resource Management
- Collaboration Opportunities and Collaborative Approaches
- Facilitation and Planning Support
- Voluntary Stewardship
- Improving Efficiency
- Capacity Building
- Ethics Training
The Program for Digital Initiatives empowers individuals, businesses, communities and other organizations by increasing technology awareness, access, and adoption. It allows digital technology to be applied in ways that result in greater participation in our growing knowledge-based society.
PDI focuses on business, sustainability, development initiatives supporting digital technologies and community and economic resilience. DGSS works in partnership with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to assist with promotion, assessment, policy development, program implementation, training, research, and evaluation.
For more than 25 years, we have helped organizations in the following areas:
- Business Continuity/COOP
- Broadband Planning
- e-Commerce Training
- Community Technology Opportunities