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.

    Nachuk, Stefan, Susannah Hopkins Leisher, Arya B. Gaduh, Nunik Yunarti, Maulina Cahyaningrum, and Luis Fujiwara. 2006. “Participatory Planning in Maros District, South Sulawesi Province”. Read the full case study Abstract

    Stefan Nachuk, Susannah Hopkins Leisher, Arya B. Gaduh, Nunik Yunarti, Maulina Cahyaningrum, Luis Fujiwara, 2006 

    From 2001 to 2005, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) implemented the Perform (Performance-Orientated Regional Management) project to assist 80 district governments in Indonesia with participatory planning for multi-year district investment plans.

    Forum Warga, a local civil society organization, was Perform's local partner in Maros district, South Sulawesi province. In 2002, Forum Warga and Perform staff began a Program of Participatory Development (PDPP) aimed at increasing villager participation in planning. In 2003, they successfully lobbied for passage of a law requiring participatory planning in Maros. As of the writing of this report, just 20 of Maros' villages (only 19 percent) have completed participatory 5-year village plans under PDPP. In some of these villages, the new planning process has indeed involved more people than did the traditional planning processes. However, in two villages visited by the team, villager awareness of and involvement in the PDPP process was nil. Even in villages where participation has increased, women's participation has still been limited, despite efforts to the contrary. And nowhere are villagers involved in budgeting.

    One of the objectives of PDPP was to ensure that village plans influence district budget allocation. In 2004, the district planned to support just 38 percent of village proposals (calculated by Rp. amount), but in the end more than doubled its support to 67 percent of total requests. However, this was due to advocacy by Forum Warga rather than to PDPP itself. Due to the lack of data, it is impossible to say whether there has been a change in type or amount of village budget allocations over time, though in one village PDPP was confirmed to have helped secure funding for two proposals where, prior to PDPP, no village proposals had ever been funded. Despite minor successes, then, villagers are still pessimistic about their impact on district plans and budgets, and continue to lobby government officials directly as the most effective way to get funding. It is unknown how many village plans are actually being used in district planning and budgeting. Forum Warga asserts that about two-thirds of PDPP village heads are using the 5-year plans as a basis for village-level annual planning, though.

    The financial sustainability of participatory planning in Maros is uncertain, due both to lack of data and limited financial commitments from the district, but financial hardship does not appear to be a factor. PDPP implementation has depended heavily on the involvement of the main local champion, Forum Warga, whose limitations reduce the chances of institutional sustainability. Finally, limited villager involvement in PDPP may reduce chances for social sustainability of participatory planning.

    Tan, Eleonora Suk Mei, C. Clarita Kusharto, and Sri Budiyati. 2005. “Rewarding Educational Performance in Tanah Datar, Sumatra (Indonesia)”. Read the full report Abstract

    Eleonora Suk Mei Tan, C. Clarita Kusharto, Sri Budiyati, 2005 

    In February and March, 2005, research was carried out in Tanah Datar District, West Sumatra Province, Indonesia for one of nine case studies in support of a World Bank analytical project, "Making Services Work For the Poor." The objective of the case studies was to illustrate the impact of service delivery innovation on (a) stakeholders' behavior and (b) access to and quality of the service. The Ash Institute of Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, in collaboration with the Ford Foundation International Innovations Liaison Group, has served as a partner in this project.

    Two innovative education policies are highlighted in this case study: the Stronger Incentives Policy, which rewarded best-performing English teachers and headmasters with training and study visits overseas, and the Smaller Classes Policy, which limited class size in senior high schools to 30 students. As a result of the new policies, over 200 school staff were sent overseas, all public (but not all private) senior high schools, as well as some junior high and elementary schools, have cut class sizes. Key changes in attitude and behavior included increased motivation to do better work on the part of English teachers and headmasters, changes in teaching methodology on the part of some English teachers, increased interest in student performance on the part of teachers and headmasters, increased support for the Bupati (governor) by those who benefited from the policies, and an increase in reform mindedness of government education and school staff. Access to senior high school education decreased for some children. Changes in quality of education included improved teaching skills at the better schools, and broader educational offerings and better facilities at better schools. There was, however, an increased financial burden on some schools and teachers, and an overall increase in inequity among schools. Key to the positive impact of the reforms were changes in national government policy, the vision, imagination and leadership of the Bupati, and effective policy implementation. Factors which limited positive impact included inadequate dissemination of the new policies, lack of follow-up from study trips, the decision not to legalize the reforms, ineffective use of local government, insufficient numbers of classrooms, and no targeting of the poor and disadvantaged.


    Gaduh, Arya B., Laila Kuznezov, Janes Ginting, and Gregorius Kelik Agus Endarso. 2005. “Health Insurance Reform in Jembrana District, Bali Province, Indonesia”. Read the case study Abstract

    Arya B. Gaduh, Laila Kuznezov, Janes Ginting, Gregorius Kelik Agus Endarso, 2005 

    As part of its mandate to alleviate poverty in Indonesia, the World Bank is undertaking a series of case studies to promote better service provision, especially for poor and disadvantaged people. The case studies were chosen from the many innovative practices seen in Indonesian local government in recent years, through a competitive outreach process managed by the World Bank. Donors, non-governmental organizations, and local government staff were contacted and encouraged to submit proposals regarding innovative service delivery work that they either were undertaking or knew about.

    The Jaminan Kesehatan Jembrana (JKJ) health insurance reform scheme in Jembrana District, Bali, touches upon a theme that is central to making services more pro-poor, to wit, the use of private providers to expand service coverage and improve quality by increasing competition. The Jaminan Kesehatan Jembrana (JKJ or Jembrana Health Insurance) scheme begun in Jembrana District, Bali Province in March 2003 provides free primary healthcare to all members; free secondary and tertiary care is also provided for poor members. The scheme has improved the access of both poor and non-poor citizens to healthcare. Before JKJ, only 17 percent of district citizens were covered by any kind of health insurance; now, 63 percent are covered. The percentage of ill people who sought treatment in Jembrana more than doubled from 40 percent in 2003 to 90 percent in 2004. For the poor, the increase was from 29 to 80 percent. Increased access of the poor to health services is due primarily to the inclusion of private providers in the JKJ scheme. Though on paper, out-of-pocket healthcare costs have increased sharply for poor non-members, in practice most public providers still provide free care for all poor clients. This increases access of even non-member poor to healthcare, but subjects them to the discretion of providers who have the legal right to refuse them free services. Meanwhile, JKJ registration requirements have kept many of the poor from joining.

    JKJ's attempts to become self-financing have focused recently on a new one-membership-card-per-person system (rather than the old one-card-per-family scheme), and this is likely behind a drop in membership of the poor, from 66 percent in 2004 to 22 percent (re-registered under the new system) by May 2005, since many poor families cannot afford to re-enroll all members. By increasing access to private providers, JKJ has increased competition between public clinics and private doctors for clients. JKJ has also improved both healthcare quality and client satisfaction. It is likely that JKJ's enforcement of strict standards on equipment, treatment, medication, and referral has contributed to the improvement. JKJ does not, however, appear to be financially sustainable. There has been a rapid, unbudgeted increase in district spending on JKJ. JKJ's inclusion of non-poor citizens adds greatly to its cost--in 2004, 95 percent of the Rp. 9.5 billion in JKJ claims were made for services to non-poor clients. The informal inclusion of poor non-members also increases JKJ costs, as those who provide free services to poor non-members are in fact usually reimbursed by JKJ. Finally, investment in JKJ administration is grossly inadequate, and JKJ's legal basis is challenged by a 2004 law centralizing health insurance.


    Kuznezov, Laila, Janes Imanuel Ginting, and Gregorius Kelik Agus Endarso. 2005. “Improving Budget Transparency in Bandung City, West Java Province, Indonesia”. Read the case study Abstract

    Laila Kuznezov, Janes Imanuel Ginting, Gregorius Kelik Agus Endarso, 2005 

    BIGS is a watchdog NGO in Bandung City, and has become well known for aggressively researching and disseminating budget data for the local government. Since BIGS began focusing on budget transparency in 2002, it has promoted greater government accountability by making citizens more aware of how government allocates and spends money. This has resulted not only in greater public awareness of government spending priorities, but elimination of budgetary allocations to some sectors that are viewed as "easily corruptible."

    Kuznezov, Laila, Janes Imanuel Ginting, and Gregorius Kelik Agus Endarso. 2005. “The Community Block Grant Program in Blitar City, East Java Province, Indonesia”. Read the full report Abstract

    Laila Kuznezov, Janes Imanuel Ginting, Gregorius Kelik Agus Endarso, 2005 

    This study evaluates the impact of the block grant program implemented in Blitar City since 2002. A community block grant program allocates a portion of the city government's budget for small projects that are disbursed directly to communities. The program was designed to increase public participation and self-management at the local level, as well as to serve as a vehicle for local officials and communities to exercise their autonomy. The block grant program initially addressed communities' immediate needs, mostly for small-scale infrastructure improvements. In the longer term, this program has the potential to empower communities to participate systematically in both the design and implementation of more effective development programs.

    Nachuk, Stefan, Maulina Cahyaningrum, Susannah Hopkins Leisher, Arya B. Gaduh, Nunik Yunarti, Lina Marliani, and Luis Fujiwara. 2005. “Creating Learning Communities for Children in Polman District, West Sulawesi Province, Indonesia”. Read the case study Abstract

    Creating Learning Communities for Children (CLCC) is a training package that focuses on school-based management, community participation, and joyful/active learning. This study traces its implementation in two schools in Polewali district in South Sumatra, since its introduction in 2001. The results indicate that CLCC had a lasting impact on improved learning practices in the school. However, no impact on test scores could be identified, parental involvement increased little, and most school committees continued to focus largely on revenue collection.

    Move Information, Not Property: U.S. Department of Defense – 1999 Innovations Finalist

    This government re-engineering case focuses on the agency responsible for procuring goods and services (other than weapons) for the Department of Defense. New leadership at the DLA must deal with a sharply changed system. Rather than receiving an annual appropriation, the mammoth agency must bill its multitude of customers – the various military services – for performing procurement tasks. In trying to make itself a customer-focused operation, DLA considers changing both the management structure of its headquarters and the relationship between its headquarters and field offices.

    CompStat: New York, NY – 1996 Innovations Winner

    The dramatic reduction in crime in New York City during the 1990s grabbed the attention of the U.S. and the world, seeming to provide evidence that new policy and management approaches could make an enormous difference for the better. This case tells the story of key management decisions that the New York Police Department itself credits with the successful attack on the city's crime rate. Specifically, it describes the approach of Police Chief William Bratton in assembling a core, reform-oriented management team and the development of a computerized crime tracking system used as the foundation for the targeting of police manpower. The epilogue raises the dramatic question of whether the goal of minimizing the misuse of force by police officers is also amenable to the measurement techniques successfully employed to the activity of criminals. This case, in addition to the questions it raises, provides a powerful telling of one of the most successful public sector management initiatives of recent times.

    CompStat: New York, NY – 1996 Innovations Winner

    This abridgment is based on the case ”Assertive Policing, Plummeting Crime: The NYPD Takes on Crime in New York City” (1530.0). The abridgment of the case divides the story of the change in the New York Police Department into three, roughly chronological parts – the diagnosis of the crime and organizational problems, the development of a new system of practices and incentives and a description of the variety of impacts which the new ”assertive policing” regime appeared to have. The three parts (1557.3, 1558.3, 1559.3) and Epilogue (1557.1) can be used individually or together. They should not be used along with the full case and sequel (1530.0, 1530.1) but should, instead, be considered a substitute approach.

    Maine Top 200 Experimental Targeting Program: U.S. Department of Labor – 1995 Innovations Winner

    The federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration, created by Congress in 1970 to curtail what was viewed as a still-alarming level of industrial accidents, had, 20 years later, become a lightning rod for controversy. Its advocates viewed it as a bulwark of the defense of sale working conditions but opponents portrayed it as abusively intrusive, creating bureaucratic nightmares for employers. With that backdrop – and with dwindling manpower and other resources – OSHA officials in Maine, in 1991, try a radically different approach to their task, targeting 200 businesses which data has told them are the state’s most important to bring into compliance. OSHA hopes both to avoid diluting the inspection capacity it has – and to find ways to persuade, rather than to coerce through the law, business to make improvements. The apparent success of the Maine 200 program comes at a time when the new Clinton Administration is eager to find such government ”reinvention” programs it can widely replicate. This case allows, first, for analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the Maine 200 effort as an example of gaining compliance through a new form of enforcement, and, second, for discussion of the complications, and advisability, of taking a small program ”to scale.”

    CityWork: Louisville, KY – 1995 Innovations Winner

    The belief of Louisville, Kentucky, Mayor Jerry Abramson in improved service to citizen ”customers” leads to the 1989 establishment of a centralized complaint/information system – a single phone number to which complaints or inquiries about any of the city’s 25 departments can be made. But despite apparent success and a high public profile, managers of the ”CityCALL” system become frustrated with what they view as inefficiencies in their relationships with other city agencies. Some are linked to CityCALL by computer; others show little apparent inclination to cooperate. The case calls for consideration of how CityCALL could be improved through the vehicle of Louisville's ”CityWork” system, in which public employees, in a retreat-style setting, are called upon to offer specific suggestions for change. The case explores the evolution of an innovative program – its unexpected side effects and the sorts of resistance it encounters. It highlights, as well, Mayor Abramson's contention that a system of cooperative program evaluation – CityWork – can lead to efficiencies which rival public/private competitive bidding and other ”privatization”-style strategies.

    CityWork: Louisville, KY – 1995 Innovations Winner

    The belief of Louisville, Kentucky, Mayor Jerry Abramson in improved service to citizen ”customers” leads to the 1989 establishment of a centralized complaint/information system – a single phone number to which complaints or inquiries about any of the city’s 25 departments can be made. But despite apparent success and a high public profile, managers of the ”CityCALL” system become frustrated with what they view as inefficiencies in their relationships with other city agencies. Some are linked to CityCALL by computer; others show little apparent inclination to cooperate. The case calls for consideration of how CityCALL could be improved through the vehicle of Louisville's ”CityWork” system, in which public employees, in a retreat-style setting, are called upon to offer specific suggestions for change. The case explores the evolution of an innovative program – its unexpected side effects and the sorts of resistance it encounters. It highlights, as well, Mayor Abramson’s contention that a system of cooperative program evaluation – CityWork – can lead to efficiencies which rival public/private competitive bidding and other ”privatization”-style strategies.

    Competition and Costing: Indianapolis, IN – 1995 Innovations Winner

    When the city of Indianapolis adopts a policy leading to head-to-head competition for contracts between public and private sector bidders, public departments such as the city’s motor vehicle maintenance facility find themselves in a brave new world. This case examines the point-by-point construction of the Indiana policy Fleet Services bid for the right to perform both routine and non-routine maintenance on the city’s motor vehicles and equipment, ranging from police cars to garbage trucks. It is designed to familiarize students with the process of understanding a public sector Request for Proposals (RFP) and developing a bid in response. It calls on students to understand the city's budget, its contractual relationship with organized labor, the potential use of employee merit pay and the variety of incentives, both for good or ill, that can arise by virtue of the way a contract is drafted. Thus the case is useful both for those interested in the public-private bidding process and for those interested in the drafting of public contracts.

    Competition and Costing: Indianapolis, IN – 1995 Innovations Winner

    During his successful 1991 bid for the Indianapolis mayoralty, Stephen Goldsmith is clear about his preference for privatizing city services. Once in office, however, Goldsmith decides on a different, more complex approach. The inefficiency of publicly-provided services, he reflects, may not be the result of their being public but rather a reflection of the lack of competition over who will provide them. In that light, Goldsmith undertakes a bold experiment: to force city departments to bid against private providers. This case focuses on the first stages of the Goldsmith experiment, a time in which city public works crews must, for the first time, compete against private firms for a pothole repair contract. The case raises core questions as to how to structure public-private competitions to ensure that valid comparison will be possible, as well as how to determine the exact nature of public costs. In addition, it allows for discussion of more theoretical questions as to whether some functions must always be public, while others should be private and still others privately-provided but publicly-financed.

    CityWork: Louisville KY – 1995 Innovations Winner

    This is a public sector total quality management (TQM) case. Louisville, Kentucky Mayor Jerry Abramson, early in his second term, finds himself dissatisfied with what is ostensibly a significant string of accomplishments – among them economic development, housing and urban beautification projects. He finds himself wanting to do more than cut ribbons on new initiatives, though, and seeks, in addition, to change the way the ongoing, core departments of city government serve the public. In an effort to bring a customer orientation to such agencies as Louisville’s public works department, Abramson recruits a major local private employer – General Electric – to design a training program to bring its ”total quality” approach to the public sector. The case tells the story of the origins and effects of the GE/Louisville partnership.

    Wraparound Milwaukee: Milwaukee County, WI – 2009 Innovations Winner

    This video is a companion piece to the “Bringing Kids Home: The Wraparound Milwaukee Model“ case study (case number 1927.0). The Wraparound Milwaukee program was created in 1995 by Milwaukee County, Wisconsin and provides services and treatment to severely emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children and youth. The program utilizes the “wraparound philosophy” to provide the children and youth it serves with a highly individualized, community, and strength-based approach to care. The delivery of services is facilitated by a Care Coordinator who works with the family to choose the right services from Wraparound Milwaukee’s network of individual providers and community based organizations. The program’s funding is pooled from several state and county agencies. Wraparound Milwaukee’s innovative approach to care has brought considerable savings to the county: $3,878 per month per child for Wraparound Milwaukee, versus $8,000-$10,000 per month per child that the county paid for residential placement. Wraparound Milwaukee has seen positive outcomes in the youth it serves after disenrollment in terms of clinical health indicators, as well as other indicators.

    Info/California: California – 1993 Innovations Winner

    New, computer-based technologies offer the prospect of new ways for government to provide services for citizens. That was the hope of the director of the data center of California’s Health and Welfare Agency when, in 1991, he developed a new interactive ”kiosk” that would allow citizens to transact business with the state government without going to a government office. Licenses, permits and answers to questions could be obtained through a service which director Russell Bohart believed should ”go where the people are, as opposed to making everybody come to government.” In introducing the new system, however, Bohart found himself under pressure from state agencies which wanted to interactive technology to be located not at shopping malls and strip centers but in their own offices, as a means of replacing or supplementing employees. Bohart would have to decide which vision of his interactive kiosk was the right one and, if he stuck to his original concept, how to cope with the demands in conflict with it.

    Low-Income Assisted Mortgage Program: West Virginia – 1993 Innovations Winner

    When a local chapter of the Habitat for Humanity organization learns that a state-chartered development fund might be able to provide it with financial help, the non-profit organization faces a decision. Should it accept funds from a public agency? Would doing so jeopardize its independence and push the organization in directions it might not want to go? So, too, does the Development Fund face decisions as it contemplates aiding the non-profit, which builds small homes for the near-poor, in part through the use of volunteer labor. Should Habitat’s religious affiliation bar the Fund from helping it? Should Habitat be allowed to retain control over who gets to purchase the homes it builds? This case focuses on the intersection of the public and non-profit sectors and raises questions about when they should or shouldn't overlap.