Publications

    Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, August 2020 

    Amanda McClelland, Senior Vice President of Prevent Epidemics at Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of the global health organization Vital Strategies, provided a briefing of critical public health information on COVID-19 in Latin America and Africa. Rawi Abdelal, Harvard Business School Professor and faculty co-chair of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative and Jennifer Musisi, the former executive director of Kampala, Uganda, and City Leader in Residence at the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, facilitated a discussion between Mayors Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr of Freetown, Sierra Leone; Claudio Castro of Renca, Chile; and Bettina Romero of Salta, Argentina, on lessons learned while leading their cities through the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

    Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, July 2020 

    Dr. Cyrus Shahpar, Director of the Prevent Epidemics Team at Resolve to Save Lives, provided a briefing of critical public health information on COVID-19 in Latin America and Africa. Herman B. "Dutch" Leonard, the George F. Baker Jr. Professor of Public Management at the Kennedy School and Eliot I. Snider and Family Professor of Business Administration and Cochair of the Social Enterprise Initiative at Harvard Business School, facilitated a discussion on crisis leadership. The session was moderated by Rawi Abdelal, Harvard Business School Professor and faculty co-chair of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative and Jennifer Musisi, the former executive director of Kampala, Uganda, and City Leader in Residence at the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.

    Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, June 2020 

    In the first session of the Latin American and Africa COVID-19 Response program, Dr. Cyrus Shahpar, Director of the Prevent Epidemics Team at Resolve to Save Lives, provided a briefing of critical public health information on COVID-19 in Latin America and Africa and introduced the Adaptive Response Framework, a public health tool to guide pandemic response decision making. Rawi Abdelal, Harvard Business School Professor and faculty co-chair of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, facilitated a discussion on crisis leadership—providing mayors with a tool for imagining and working through the implications of various plausible futures, and strengthening their capacity to respond and learn as they go. The session was moderated by Jennifer Musisi, the former executive director of Kampala, Uganda, and City Leader in Residence at the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative. Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and three-term mayor of NYC, welcomed the mayors.

    Knoop, Carin-Isabel, Carlos Paiva, Jorrit de Jong, and Rawi Abdelal. 2020. “Fortaleza: Keeping An Electoral Promise”. Read the full case study Abstract

    Carin-Isabel Knoop, Carlos Paiva, Jorrit de Jong, and Rawi Abdelal; May 2020 

    During his re-election campaign in 2016, Mayor Roberto Cláudio faced recurring complaints from voters concerning the availability of essential medicines at their health clinics. Limited access to medicine frustrated patients and health care providers, raised the cost of treating chronic conditions, and increased the risk of infectious diseases. It also placed the City in violation of Brazil’s constitution that guaranteed access to essential medicines to patients of the public health system, most of whom were low income. In Cláudio’s first term, Fortaleza’s public health network went through significant advances, renovating the majority of its health clinics and improving access to medical personnel. The team’s considerable progress nonetheless fell short of a comprehensive solution for the lack of access to medicine. This became one of Cláudio’s main campaign promises, and a priority for his second term. The case chronicles how he approached a persistent problem, changed tactics and teams, and pushed for the necessary improvements and innovations to fulfill his promise.

    The case raises questions around how to deliver on a campaign promise when your organization seems to have hit a ceiling in performance improvement: When do you push harder for better execution and advancement of current systems? When do you invest in something new to achieve optimal performance? What is the role of mayoral leadership in ensuring that goals are achieved?

    Thanks to a gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies, no permission is required to teach with, download, or make copies of this case.

    Gilberto Garcia, July 2005 

    After analyzing 271 government programs qualified as innovative through having won a national government and local management award in Mexico, and submitting a questionnaire to the 79 persons responsible for some of the best practices in the municipal government in the years 2001, 2002, and 2003, this paper identifies and analyzes variables that have a bearing on the emergence and sustainability of the innovation process in Mexico’s local governments. The results show paradoxes in the process of innovation of organizations needing to accomplish increasingly complex objectives through a lack of mechanisms to accrue intermediate and long-term technical expertise, as well as organizational learning. This paper also describes the differences in the process of innovation according to three contextual variables: organization capability, institutional development, and political and electoral competition.