Research & Thought Leadership

The ICMA Strategic Plan, Envision ICMA, establishes thought leadership as a key organizational priority. To bring this priority to life, ICMA addresses the important trends, drivers, and issues affecting local government and maintains a resource network for professionals in the field.

Through its survey research, ICMA has gathered more data on local government than any organization except the federal government. ICMA’s survey topics include contracting for service delivery, economic development, technology, cybersecurity, labor-management relations, and e-government. Longitudinal data are available from surveys that are conducted on a regular schedule. ICMA’s database of local governments includes all cities, towns, townships, villages, and boroughs with a population of 2,500 or greater and all counties.

ICMA continually seeks opportunities to engage in applied research to advance the state of the art and the state of the practice. We conduct research on topics of perennial concern to local government, such as workforce development and health benefits, and those at the leading edge, such as smart cities, food security, and innovation.

In addition, ICMA's work in more than 70 countries around the world has provided a rich database of challenges facing local government leaders and the solutions they have devised to address them. Armed with data and the collective experience of our members--both leading local government practitioners and academics--we share our expertise in support of our mission and vision. You can find resources in ourTopics area and in PM Magazine and Leadership Matters, the ICMA Newsletter.

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