Publications

    In summer 2010, unusually intense monsoon rains in Pakistan triggered slow-moving floods that inundated a fifth of the country and displaced millions of people. This three-part case series describes how Pakistan’s government responded to the disaster and highlights the performance of the country’s nascent emergency management agency, the National Disaster Management Authority. It also explores the integration of international assistance, with a particular focus on aid from the international humanitarian community and the U.S. military. Case A provides background on the political situation in Pakistan at the time of the floods, as well as on the country’s water management policies and its newly formed emergency management system. It also recounts initial efforts to respond to the disaster.
    In July 2012, a gunman entered a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and opened fire, killing 12 people, injuring 58 others, and traumatizing a community. Case A provides background on Aurora, describes the shooting, and recounts the emergency response that unfolded in its aftermath. The case then focuses more specifically on the role of the Aurora Public Schools, which under the leadership of Superintendent John L. Barry drew on years of emergency management training to play a substantial role in the response and the early community recovery efforts that took place over the ensuing days.
    As the second case in the two-part Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill case study, Case B builds upon Case A’s overview of the disaster and early response of the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in late April 2010, by focusing on the challenges the National Incident Command encountered as it sought to engage with state and local actors – an effort that would grow increasingly complicated as the crisis deepened throughout the spring and summer of 2010.

    Following the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in late April 2010, the Obama administration organized a massive response operation to contain the enormous amount of oil spreading across the Gulf of Mexico. Attracting intense public attention and, eventually, widespread criticism, the response adhered to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, a federal law that the crisis would soon reveal was not well understood – or even accepted – by all relevant parties. This two-part case profiles the efforts of senior officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as they struggled to coordinate the actions of a myriad of actors, ranging from numerous federal partners (including key members of the Obama White House); the political leadership of the affected Gulf States and sub-state jurisdictions; and the private sector. Case A provides an overview of the disaster and early response; discusses the formation of the National Incident Command (NIC), which had responsibility for directing response activities; and explores the NIC’s efforts to coordinate the actions of various federal entities.

    When Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Judy Monroe learned of the emergence of H1N1 (commonly referred to as “Swine Flu”) in late April 2009, she had to quickly figure out how to coordinate an effective response within her state’s highly balkanized public health system, in which more than 90 local health departments wielded considerable autonomy. Over the next several months, she would come to rely heavily on relationships she had worked hard to establish with local health officials upon becoming commissioner – but she and her senior advisors would also have to scramble to find new ways to communicate and coordinate with their local partners, who represented jurisdictions that varied considerably in terms of size, population demographics, resources, and public health capacity.

    In late 2006, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg created the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO). Born out of recommendations made by the Bloomberg appointed public-private Commission for Economic Opportunity, CEO was designed to be an innovations lab that would test anti-poverty programs by applying a results-based approach. With a budget of $100 million, CEO would closely monitor new programs and hold them accountable for producing measurable results. Uniquely, CEO would cut funding for programs that did not “make the grade.” Bloomberg named Veronica White the Executive Director of CEO. White had decades of experience working in executive positions in several New York City agencies but with CEO she had daunting tasks ahead. She would have to redefine how poverty was measured in the city, facilitate cross agency partnerships, and, most important, develop an effective and achievable evaluation system for all programs. This case traces the CEO team’s challenges in placing program evaluation at the core of their mission. 

    On January 15, 2009, shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport, US Airways Flight 1549 struck a flock of Canada geese. The geese were then sucked into the plane’s twin engines, causing total engine failure and the loss of power. Case A of this three-part series recounts how over the following four minutes, Flight 1549’s Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles grappled with a variety of extreme challenges. Not only did they have to keep the plane under control, but they also had to quickly decide whether they could make an emergency landing at a nearby airport – or find another alternative to get the plane down safely in one of the most crowded regions in the country. Cases B and C then describe how, after the plane landed in the cold waters of the Hudson River, emergency responders from many agencies and private organizations – converging on the scene without a prior action plan for this type of emergency – scrambled to both rescue passengers and crew and stabilize the aircraft as it began to move downstream.

    This case prompts readers to consider the challenges of responding to a sudden crisis involving intense pressure and significant uncertainty. By highlighting the actions the captain and crew of US Airways Flight 1549 took following the failure of the plane’s two engines. Cases B and C illustrate the complexities of coordinating a multi-organizational response involving actors from a range of public agencies and private sector partners.

    On January 15, 2009, shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport, US Airways Flight 1549 struck a flock of Canada geese. The geese were then sucked into the plane’s twin engines, causing total engine failure and the loss of power. Case A of this three-part series recounts how over the following four minutes, Flight 1549’s Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles grappled with a variety of extreme challenges. Not only did they have to keep the plane under control, but they also had to quickly decide whether they could make an emergency landing at a nearby airport – or find another alternative to get the plane down safely in one of the most crowded regions in the country. Cases B and C then describe how, after the plane landed in the cold waters of the Hudson River, emergency responders from many agencies and private organizations – converging on the scene without a prior action plan for this type of emergency – scrambled to both rescue passengers and crew and stabilize the aircraft as it began to move downstream.

    This case examines the steps political leaders, emergency management professionals, and public health officials in Louisiana and Texas took to improve their capacity to evacuate, shelter, and repatriate individuals with special needs following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, both of which revealed serious shortcomings when it came to the execution of evacuation processes. (In the context of evacuation management, the term “special needs“ generally refers to people requiring assistance to move out of harm’s way, including those with disabilities and medical conditions, the elderly, the institutionalized, the homebound, and people without direct access to their own means of transportation.) The case also looks at how well the states’ revised plans prepared them to manage yet another round of special needs evacuations when, in 2008, Hurricanes Gustav and Ike threatened the New Orleans and Houston metropolitan regions, respectively.

    In January 2011 senior Indonesian officials were contemplating the results of a new travel survey that showed that the number of trips in the Jakarta metropolitan area was growing steadily while the share of trips made on public transportation was falling rapidly. Jakarta had a reputation as one of the world’s most congested cities, and the situation was getting worse because the population and average incomes in the metropolitan area were growing rapidly.
    In late summer 2005, Hurricane Katrina – the worst natural disaster in U.S. history – wreaked havoc along the Gulf Coast, causing massive loss of life and property damage. (Just a few weeks later, Hurricane Rita would inflict even more suffering across much of the same area.) The evacuation of special needs individuals (e.g., the institutionalized, those with medical conditions, people without access to cars, etc.) from New Orleans was especially problematic, not simply in getting people out of the city but also in tracking who had gone where, letting their families know what had happened to them, caring for them properly in receiving areas, and repatriating them to their homes and loved ones. Illustrating the challenges health officials and political leaders faced in evacuating people with special needs during Katrina and Rita, this case prompts readers to consider the complexities of managing a critical public safety function as response plans are upended and capabilities overwhelmed.
    The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic posed enormous challenges for state health departments across the U.S. This case focuses on the experience of Tennessee – which endured an intense resurgence of the disease in late summer and early fall 2009 – and explores, in particular, how state health officials, working with their partners from local government and the private sector, mobilized in advance of this second wave of the disease. An array of preparedness efforts, such as the development of mechanisms for distributing vaccine, ultimately put the state in a strong position to deal with H1N1 come fall, but health officials still experienced considerable difficulty in several areas, including vaccine delivery, communicating with an anxious public, and managing a surge of patients seeking care. The case highlights methods for preparing for a significant public health emergency and explores the difficulties of coordinating a response involving multiple jurisdictions and a mix of actors from both the public and private sectors.
    The Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA) is an agency established in 2000 to improve the business environment and encourage foreign investment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This agency was created out of the Kingdom's landmark Foreign Investment Law of 2000 with the mandate to diversify the economy and provide jobs for its burgeoning young population. The fledgling agency was expected to enlist the aid of other government ministries and agencies in reducing barriers to investment – including the politically sensitive “Saudization“ policy, which gave employment preference to Saudis over foreign workers – and in marketing Saudi Arabia as a welcoming location for foreign investors. However, the law that had formed SAGIA gave it few tools to work with. Therefore, it had to find a way to cooperate with the rest of the government to effect change. The case should be used for class discussions of several important themes: the difficulty of collaboration across government bureaucracy with little authority or resources; effecting change in an unfavorable political climate – both external and internal; human capital development with the skill for strategic planning and communications; and the impact of an individual dynamic leader on an organization.
    In the spring of 2009, cases of a previously unidentified strain of influenza began appearing in Mexico and the southwestern U.S. Within just a few months, outbreaks of 2009 Novel H1N1 (commonly referred to as Swine Flu) were so widespread that the World Health Organization declared its first influenza pandemic in over 40 years. This case focuses on how state health officials in Texas, which experienced some of the first cases of H1N1, organized a response to the disease in the face of considerable uncertainty regarding its contagiousness, lethality, and geographic spread. The case prompts readers to contemplate the challenges of responding to a rapidly unfolding event featuring a high degree of novelty, the benefits and limitations of pre-event preparedness efforts, and the difficulties of coordinating an effective response among a number of partners and across multiple levels of government.

    New York Acquisition Fund: New York, NY – 2008 Innovations Winner

    This 9-minute video is a companion to “Buying Property in a Hot Market: NYC Creates a Fund to Keep Affordable Housing Developers in Play“ (case number 1907.0). In it, Shaun Donovan, the former New York City Housing Commissioner, explains the genesis of the New York City Acquisition Fund, created in 2006 with the goal of delivering timely loans to small and nonprofit affordable housing developers so as to allow them to compete with market-rate developers at a time of rampant speculation, rapidly rising prices, and fierce competition in the New York real estate market. The Fund represented a groundbreaking effort to use public sector funds and authority, together with foundation capital, to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in loan capital from banks and private lenders.

    In this video, Donovan stresses the importance of correctly assessing the scope of a problem, and designing a solution that is “to scale.” He also notes that the creation of the NYC Acquisition Fund relied in part on a critical philanthropic contribution that funded the research and development stage of the initiative.

    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.

    Parents as Teachers: Missouri – 1987 Innovations Winner 

    In the early 1980s, Missouri’s director of early childhood education launched a novel parent education pilot project designed to increase children’s kindergarten readiness and support family well-being by sending specially trained educators on monthly home visits to help parents foster their babies’ early development. By 1985, when an evaluation touted strong results for the pilot, the Missouri legislature already had made the program – dubbed Parents as Teachers – a mandatory offering of school districts statewide. Soon after, the St. Louis-based Parents as Teachers National Center, formed to oversee the state program and respond to outside inquiries, became an independent nonprofit. From the start, the National Center staff built quality controls into program design and the training of parent educators while simultaneously embracing rapid growth; by 1999 Parents as Teachers programs served more than 500,000 children in the U.S. and six foreign countries. But despite such quality control efforts, the flexibility and adaptability that aided fast replication left the National Center with no effective way to manage or monitor the more than 2,000 sites worldwide. As a result, the National Center was forced to take a hard look at its replication model, its oversight role, and at how the center could better monitor and improve program quality.

    This two-case series allows discussion of key issues facing growing nonprofits, in particular, weighing the tradeoffs inherent in different replication strategies; managing the tension between rapid growth and quality control; and analyzing how political and funding constraints can impact program design. While the (A) case addresses replication, training, organizational structures, and program design, the (B) case focuses on questions around evaluation, program fidelity, and implementation of quality standards.

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