Publications

    in Program, Innovations Government. 2008. “Celebrating 20 Years of Government Innovation ”. Read the full report Abstract

    Innovations in Government Program, March 2008 

    This report offers findings and subsequent analysis of the winners of the Innovations in American Government (IAG) Awards honored between 1986 and 2007. The findings were released at the Institute’s “Frontiers of Innovation: Celebrating 20 Years of Innovation in Government” conference held March 31 through April 2, 2008.

    Thanh, Nguyen Xuan, Vu Thanh Tu Anh, David Dapice, Jonathan Pincus, and Ben Wilkinson. 2008. “The Structural Roots of Macroeconomic Instability”. Read Full Paper Abstract

    Nguyen Xuan Thanh, Vu Thanh Tu Anh, David Dapice, Jonathan Pincus, Ben Wilkinson, September 2008

    This paper responds to a request from the Vietnamese government for an analysis of the short- and long-term challenges confronting the Vietnamese economy. The paper argues that restoring macroeconomic stability and positioning the economy for long term growth will require fundamental, structural reform. The paper begins by comparing Vietnam’s performance over the past 20 years to other countries in the region. This comparison reveals a set of worrisome trends which, taken together, raise questions about the sustainability of Vietnam’s growth path. Part II examines the current macroeconomic environment and assesses the government’s response to date. The paper concludes that, while government policy has succeeded in reducing macroeconomic turbulence in the short run, nothing has been done to address the structural weaknesses of the Vietnamese economy.

    Vietnam Program, May 2008

    The Vietnamese economy is facing its most serious challenges since the mid-1980s. Over the past several months the government has stated its determination to curb inflation and restore macroeconomic stability. These are indeed critical priorities, but the government’s actions to date to achieve this end have been largely ineffectual. This Vietnam Policy Discussion Paper argues that a restoration of the situation prior to the onset of the current instability is neither possible nor desirable. This is because the current situation is due largely to structural weaknesses in the Vietnamese economy; the international conditions that have been offered as explanations are, at best, secondary factors.

    de Jong, Jorrit, and Elba C.S. de Andrade. 2008. “Citizen Assistance Service Charters, Brazil”. Read the full case study Abstract

     Jorrit de Jong, Elba C.S. de Andrade, March 2008  

    The research project Improving Access (www.ImprovingAccess.Org) was developed by an international group of researchers interested in innovations in democratic governance. It explores the ways in which democratic institutions fail or succeed to create genuinely equal opportunities. This partnership between the Ash Institute at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and the Centre for Government Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands has resulted in the production and organization of research, conferences, publications, and teaching materials.

    This document is an interview with Elba C.S. de Andrade, Quality Management Director of the Superintendency for Citizen Assistance, State Secretariat of Administration for the state of Bahia, Brazil, about the innovative Mobile Citizen Service Assistance centers in Brazil.

    If bureaucracy impedes service delivery to citizens, it doubly affects citizens in remote areas, who live great distances from administrative centers. In the state of Bahia, Brazil, the government created mobile centers that bring services directly to those citizens. In the process, procedures were simplified and services were coordinated among different agencies.

    Erik Gerritsen, March 2008  

    The research project Improving Access (www.ImprovingAccess.Org) was developed by an international group of researchers interested in innovations in democratic governance. It explores the ways in which democratic institutions fail or succeed to create genuinely equal opportunities. This partnership between the Ash Institute at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and the Centre for Government Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands has resulted in the production and organization of research, conferences, publications, and teaching materials.

    This document is an interview with Erik Gerritsen, Knowledge Ambassador for the city of Amsterdam, regarding the innovative program, One Stop Shop for Hotel Restaurant Café Licenses (abbreviated HoReCa1).

    Despite the economic value of the hotel and restaurant sector in Amsterdam, the regulations for acquiring a bar, hotel, or restaurant license in the city were extremely complicated. Especially for nascent immigrant entrepreneurs, the investments of time, money, and energy were prohibitive. HoReCa1, a novel, cross-agency, and web-enabled initiative, dramatically reduced the complexity and costs of licensing-for the entrepreneurs and the government.

     

    Jorrit de Jong, Harsh Mander, March 2008

    The research project Improving Access (www.ImprovingAccess.Org) was developed by an international group of researchers interested in innovations in democratic governance. It explores the ways in which democratic institutions fail or succeed to create genuinely equal opportunities. This partnership between the Ash Institute at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and the Centre for Government Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands has resulted in the production and organization of research, conferences, publications, and teaching materials.

    This document is an interview with Harsh Mander, the Convenor of Aman Biradari, a people's campaign for secularism, peace and justice, regarding the innovative program, Nyayagrah.

    In the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots, more than half of the complaints filed by victims were closed without trial. The Nyayagrah initiative brought together working-class Muslim and Hindu volunteers to provide moral support and legal assistance to the victims. Along with a petition to the Supreme Court, the project led to real access to justice for the survivors of the riots.

    Thanh, Nguyen Xuan, Vu Thanh Tu Anh, David Dapice, Jonathan Pincus, and Ben Wilkinson. 2008. “Macroeconomic Instability: Causes and Policy Responses”. Read Full Paper Abstract

    Nguyen Xuan Thanh, Vu Thanh Tu Anh, David Dapice, Jonathan Pincus, and Ben Wilkinson, February 2008

    This paper argues that a series of resolute and coordinated policy interventions is needed to restore macroeconomic stability, cushion the impact of the global economic downturn, and keep Vietnam on the path of sustainable growth. Specifically, the Vietnamese government must quell price inflation, reduce fiscal and trade deficits and slow down money and credit growth through a consistent and synchronized set of policy interventions. Gradual deflation of the real estate price bubble is needed in order to avoid a sudden collapse in prices, which would, if it occurred, destabilize the financial sector with potentially serious contagion effects for the real economy. Successful implementation of these policy prescriptions in the near term, and maintaining a stable economic environment over the medium to long term, will require greater policy coordination than the Vietnamese government has demonstrated in recent years.

    Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication

    Sandford F. Borins, editor, Brookings Institution Press, 2008

    What is the future of government innovation? How can innovation enhance the quality of life for citizens and strengthen democratic governance? Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication answers these questions by presenting a comprehensive approach to advancing the practice and study of innovation in government. The authors discuss new research on innovation, explore the impact of several programs that recognize innovation, and consider challenges to the replication of innovations.

    Presidential Politics in Taiwan: The Administration of Chen Shui-bian
    Chang, Julian. 2008. Presidential Politics in Taiwan: The Administration of Chen Shui-bian. Edited by Steven M. Goldstein. EastBridge Books. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Steven M. Goldstein and Julian Chang, editors, EastBridge Books, 2008

    Presidential Politics in Taiwan discusses some of the main themes which emerged following Chen Shui-bian’s election and seeks to elucidate the major challenges that the administration faced, as well as the policies that Chen established. This serves as a foundation for the individual chapters assessing the direction that the Chen Shui-bian administration has taken in regard to the major issue areas of domestic political dynamics; socio-political “hot buttons”; and foreign policy/national security. Each chapter addresses the question of how the Chen administration’s first term defined, debated, and impacted specific aspects of the evolving Taiwanese polity.

    Providing Public Goods in Transitional China
    Saich, Anthony, and Palgrave Macmillan. 2008. Providing Public Goods in Transitional China. Publishers Limited. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Anthony Saich, Palgrave Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2008

    China's leaders faced a major challenge to provide citizens with acceptable social welfare during the economic transition. They are confronted with building a new support system in the countryside, shifting the burden in urban China from the factory to the local state, and integrating new social groups into existing systems. Providing Public Goods comprises a detailed study of healthcare, disease control, social insurance, and social relief.

    Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication

    Sandford F. Borins, editor, Brookings Institution Press, 2008

    What is the future of government innovation? How can innovation enhance the quality of life for citizens and strengthen democratic governance? Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication answers these questions by presenting a comprehensive approach to advancing the practice and study of innovation in government. The authors discuss new research on innovation, explore the impact of several programs that recognize innovation, and consider challenges to the replication of innovations.

    Globalization of Chinese Enterprises
    Alon, Ilan, and John R. McIntyre, ed. 2008. Globalization of Chinese Enterprises. Palgrave Macmillan Publishers Limited. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Ilan Alon and John R. McIntyre, editors, Palgrave Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2008

    The 21st century has been dubbed the Chinese century. As China becomes a dominant world economic actor, its enterprises—state-run or otherwise—increasingly look to distant shores in the Western hemisphere and the European continent for inspiration. Edited by John R. McIntyre and former Rajawali Fellow Ilan Alon, this collection of papers brings together a diverse community of interdisciplinary Chinese research scholars to assess the impact of Chinese business on global business and environments, disseminate knowledge on the emergence of globalizing Chinese firms, and address the issues related to corporate sustainable development and outsourcing.

    Gonzalo Delamaza, 2008 

    In recent years, human rights have become a prominent issue in politics and society, creating a new idea of concept of what human rights entails, extending to include not only social rights, but economic and political rights as well. As human rights have become a central element of international policy, it is important to highlight instances where great strides in their development have occurred. This book, part of the Learning from Innovations series, presents case studies from eight countries. From China, South Africa, and Brazil, the issue of the rights of women and girls is addressed. Indigenous rights are the focus of the contributions from Chile and the Indian Nations. A case from Kenya presents youth rights and human rights and the justice system is the topic of the contributions from Mexico and Peru. The Learning from Innovations series aims to disseminate some of the lessons that are being learned by comparing innovation in the ten partner programs of the Liaison Group for Innovations in Governance and Public Action.

    Ceciliah Kinuthia-Njenge, 2008  

    The Millennium Development Goals have become a universal framework for development and a means for developing countries and their development partners to work together in pursuit of a common vision. The challenge of achieving the Millennium Development Goals in all regions of the developing countries by 2015 is a daunting one. Unfortunately, many of these countries are behind the MDG targets. Success is possible but there is a clear need for more targeted interventions and strategies for greater localization of the MDGs. There is still a dire need for sound local governance, enhanced productive capacities, effective policies, strategies and technical and financial support. There is increasing awareness that sustainable development will only be enhanced if processes at the local level are strengthened.

    Fostered by the Ford Foundation in the mid-1980s, the Innovation in Local Governance Award Programme now exists in Brazil, Chile, China, the Indian Nations of the USA, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, East Africa, and the United States. The programmes are dedicated to identifying and disseminating experiences that are making significant contribution to increasing service provision, broadening citizenship, and improving governance at local levels. In East Africa, UNHABITAT initiated the "Mashariki Innovations in Local Governance Award Programme" (MILGAP) in three of the East African countries-Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. MILGAP recognizes innovative practices in local governance and through this award, enabling innovative ideas to reach a wider audience and help reinforce the ideals of UNHABITAT's Campaign on Urban Governance and the goal of eradicating poverty through improved urban governance.

    This book, part of the Learning from Innovations series, was prepared by UNHABITAT's MILGAP programme and provides regional perspectives and different approaches to improving local governance using selected case studies from Brazil, Philippines, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Indian Nations in the U.S. and China. The discussions are centered around local innovations enacted to realize the MDGs. These call for effective and inclusive local development practices to enhance the abilities of the local actors by equipping them with the capacities to plan, implement, and monitor activities in a participatory manner. The Learning from Innovations series aims to disseminate some of the lessons that are being learned by comparing innovation in the ten partner programs of the Liaison Group for Innovations in Governance and Public Action.

    Yang Xuedong, 2008 

    Participation is an integrated part of development. By mobilizing public participation, development can win support and clarify its goal. As for social groups, especially disadvantaged groups, they influence the process of development and share its fruits through participating. How to mobilize and sustain public participation has always been an important issue for development. In addition to institutional and technological obstacles, there are social obstacles hindering public participation in development. In spite of views to the contrary, numerous cases from development have shown that the poor can participate in public affairs, in a manner that promotes public governance, if there are practicable mechanisms connecting their interests with public affairs and coordinating their opinions and actions. This book, part of the Learning from Innovations series, offers examples of designing mechanisms for participation from four Latin American countries: Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Chile. The Learning from Innovations series aims to disseminate some of the lessons that are being learned by comparing innovation in the ten partner programs of the Liaison Group for Innovations in Governance and Public Action. The Fund for Agricultural Development (FUNDAT) was established in Tupandi, a town in Brazil. It helps local residents with agricultural development. In Coatepec, Mexico, local government initiated the "Program for Payment of Environmental Forestry Services in Coatepec" to protect forests and ensure the water supply for approximately 50,000 inhabitants in 22 municipalities. In the rural Andes area of Ranra (Junin), Peru, local people rely on the irrigation system to increase productivity. In Lampa, Chile, local government runs the local environmental management program with financial support of UNDP. Each of the four innovations presented in this book have designed practicable mechanisms to mobilize and sustain participation of concerned groups, especially local residents. The cases presented include analysis of other factors, including individual innovators, capacity training, and strong and sustainable financing.

     

    China Urbanizes: Consequences, Strategies, and Policies
    Saich, Anthony J., and Shahid Yusuf, ed. 2008. China Urbanizes: Consequences, Strategies, and Policies. World Bank Publications. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract
    Over the next 10-15 years, China's urbanization rate is expected to rise from 43 percent to well over 50 percent, adding an additional 200 million mainly rural migrants to the current urban population of 560 million. How China copes with such a large migration flow will strongly influence rural-urban inequality, the pace at which urban centers expand their economic performance, and the urban environment. The growing population will necessitate a big push strategy to maintain a high rate of investment in housing and the urban physical infrastructure and urban services. To finance such expansion will require a significant strengthening and diversification of China's financial system.

    Organized by Kay L. Schlozman, April 2007 

    With the 2008 political season starting to heat up, The Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation and Visiting Fellow Prof. Kay Schlozman of Boston College took a look at the ways in which political arrangement impact citizenship in an April 27 workshop, "Practicing Democracy: How Political Arrangements Promote Equal Citizenship...or Not." The daylong workshop examined four key areas of political arrangements: political money and campaign finance; citizenship and enfranchisement; representing groups; and ballot integrity and prevention of electoral corruption. Experts from the Kennedy School of Government and across the county discussed American democratic practices in the context of political arrangements in other democracies-both long-established ones and, where appropriate, emerging ones. "Political arrangements can have consequences for equal citizenship in various ways," Schlozman explained; "for example, by controlling who is considered a citizen or which citizens have the right to participate fully in governing, or by facilitating or inhibiting the conversion of market resources into political influence."

    Decentralizing Governance: Emerging Concepts and Practices
    Cheema, G. Shabbir, and Dennis A. Rondinelli, ed. 2007. Decentralizing Governance: Emerging Concepts and Practices. Brookings Institution Press. Visit Publisher’s Site Abstract

    G. Shabbir Cheema and Dennis A. Rondinelli, editors, Brookings Institution Press, 2007

    The trend toward greater decentralization of governance activities, now accepted as commonplace in the West, has become a worldwide movement. Today's world demands flexibility, adaptability, and the autonomy to bring those qualities to bear. In this thought-provoking book, experts in government and public management trace the evolution and performance of decentralization concepts, from the transfer of authority within government to the sharing of power, authority, and responsibilities among broader governance institutions. The contributors to Decentralizing Governance assess emerging concepts such as devolution and capacity building; they also detail factors driving the decentralization movement such as the ascendance of democracy, economic globalization, and technological progress.

    Informal Institutions and Rural Development in China

    Biliang Hu, Routledge, 2007

    China's successful transition from a centrally planned economy to a socialist market economy, with rapid growth in rural areas 1980s, is a consequence of the impact of both formal and informal institutions. Hitherto, most work undertaken on this issue has focused on formal institutions. This book shows the great importance of informal institutions on the economic and social development of rural China. It examines the relationship between informal institutions and rural development in China since the end of the 1970s, focusing in particular on three major informal institutions: village trust and rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs), guanxi community and 'integrating village with company' (IVWC) governance.

    Decentralizing Governance: Emerging Concepts and Practices
    Cheema, G. Shabbir, and Dennis A. Rondinelli, ed. 2007. Decentralizing Governance: Emerging Concepts and Practices. Brookings Institution Press. Publisher's Version Abstract
    The trend toward greater decentralization of governance activities, now accepted as commonplace in the West, has become a worldwide movement. Today's world demands flexibility, adaptability, and the autonomy to bring those qualities to bear. In this thought-provoking book, experts in government and public management trace the evolution and performance of decentralization concepts, from the transfer of authority within government to the sharing of power, authority, and responsibilities among broader governance institutions. The contributors to Decentralizing Governance assess emerging concepts such as devolution and capacity building; they also detail factors driving the decentralization movement such as the ascendance of democracy, economic globalization, and technological progress.

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