Public Value Tool Kit

  • Authors Mark Moore, Jorrit de Jong, Gaylen Moore, George Veth

Last Updated

Strategic Leadership and Management



A set of materials designed to help educators and practitioners understand, utilize, and share the core concepts of the public value framework.

  Resources in this collection


The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative’s Public Value Tool Kit is a set of materials designed to help educators and practitioners understand, utilize, and share the core concepts of the public value framework.

Public value is a central principle in public management. It is the net “good” that public leaders produce that each of us—and all of us together—enjoy.

Based on Professor Mark H. Moore’s seminal Creating Public Value, this tool kit offers public leaders and change agents a common vocabulary and a logical framework that can help them become more focused and leverage what experience has already taught them.

The Public Value Tool Kit is for anyone who sees the world with what Moore calls “a restless, value-seeking imagination.”


Overview of Contents

Animated Videos

Two short, introductory videos (below) explain the basics of public value theory. The first introduces the kinds of questions that drive public value creation from the point of view of a leader in city government. Pulled in many directions at once and frustrated by politics and slow progress, our protagonist wonders: How can I use my position to make a real difference? What would give my efforts focus and help clear the way for positive change?

The second video introduces the Strategic Triangle, a framework that can help city leaders align the resources, authorization, and operational capacity they need to create more value for residents.




Concept Note

A ten-page “concept note” from Mark H. Moore and Gaylen W. Moore offers an overview of the processes, frameworks, and vocabulary that have helped thousands of practitioners identify and surmount common barriers to public value creation. This note will help public leaders understand the interplay of action and reflection that characterizes any strategic effort to make change, the features of their position that can enable or hinder their efforts, the complex character of the valuable changes they seek, and the features of their environment that they will have to align and attend to in order to succeed.

Creating Public Value: Concept Note



This graphics deck provides a set of figures illustrating the strategic triangle and other key concepts from public value theory for use in presentations and conversations.

Graphics Deck


Teaching Cases

Two teaching cases invite students and practitioners to put themselves in the shoes of managers working in public libraries—venues where public problems can show up in unexpected ways, creating opportunities for value creation and collaboration.

The Town Librarian and Latchkey Children

In the first case, “The Town Librarian and the Latchkey Children: Understanding Opportunities for Value Creation in the Public Sector,” a town librarian must decide what to do with an influx of noisy youth in need of a safe indoor place to stay after school while their parents are working.

This case has been used for nearly thirty years to help students and city leaders:

  • Identify and evaluate opportunities for creating public value, and
  • Identify conditions unique to public-sector managers’ environments, including complex lines of accountability, nuances of value, and the co-production of social outcomes.

Nobody’s Core Business

The second case, “Nobody’s Core Business: Confronting Cross-Cutting Problems in the Public Sector,” explores what happens when a “wicked problem” that lies far outside the mission of the library makes its way inside. This story adds a third learning objective to the earlier case:

  • Recognize possible avenues for collaboration across organizations and sectors to address social problems that cut across organizational missions and capabilities.

Both cases include an Educator Guide and editable slide deck to help instructors lead case sessions and a Practitioner Guide to help practitioners facilitate conversations with their teams.


Additional Resources

Action Insights on creating public value:

Making Sense of It All: Using Analytical Tools in Everyday Work

All Minds on Deck! Engaging Employees in Strategic Work


Public value cases from our collection:

A Task Force with Teeth? Driving City Performance in Lawrence, Massachusetts

Change at the Speed of Trust: Advancing Educational Opportunity through Cross-Sector Collaboration in Louisville

Doing Something with Nothing: Trying to Make Kampala’s Primary Schools Safer and Healthier

Shanties in the Skyline: Addressing Unauthorized Building Works in Hong Kong

The “Garbage Lady” Cleans Up Kampala: Turning Quick Wins into Lasting Change


More from Mark H. Moore

Creating Public Value

Recognizing Public Value

More public value tools and resources from George Veth and Mark H. Moore

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