2011 Nov 17

Clearing the Air: The Role of NGOs in China’s Environmental Transparency Measures

12:00pm to 1:00pm


124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 2000 South, Cambridge, MA

Yeling Tan, Harvard Kennedy School

About the Seminar

Yeling Tan, a pre-doctoral candidate in the Ph.D. in Public Policy degree program at the Kennedy School of Government, will present her paper titled “Clearing the Air? The Role of NGOs in China’s Environmental Transparency Measures” at a brown bag lunch. Tan will examine the impact of NGOs in using China’s Open Environmental Information measures, focusing on an online database disclosing enterprise pollution, and an index disclosing government performance in environmental transparency. The analysis focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of various accountability channels between state, enterprise and society, and identifies the successful pathways through which change occurs. NGOs have been able to affect environmental governance in clear but marginal ways, when stakeholder incentives have been aligned. This has taken place with MNCs using the online database to monitor Chinese suppliers, and to a lesser extent with local governments responding to the index by engaging more closely with NGOs. However, the impact of NGO actions remains limited. For the environment ministry, enforcement costs remain high in a decentralized bureaucracy. For local governments and enterprises, the cost-benefit calculus depends on government capacity and type, state-enterprise bargaining relations, and internal government interests alignment. The improvements in environmental governance, moreover, do not map directly onto stronger accountability, given China’s authoritarian structure.

2011 Nov 16

Innovations in American Government Finalist Presentations

12:00pm to 2:00pm


JFK Jr. Forum, Littauer Building, Harvard Kennedy School, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA

Innovations sealGood Government. Good Ideas.

Six reasons why these words go together.

Representatives from the government finalists in competition for the Innovations in American Government Award will present their initiatives before the National Selection Committee at the JFK Jr. Forum on Wednesday, November 16 from 12-2 p.m. These six government initiatives demonstrate creative problem solving to some of our nation’s most pressing issues ranging from education, economic development, and poverty to civic services and healthcare. The winner of the competition will be announced in early 2012.... Read more about Innovations in American Government Finalist Presentations

2011 Nov 16

Memories of Justice: Distributive Politics and the Arab Uprisings

4:10pm to 5:30pm


124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

Steven HeydemannSteven Heydemann, United States Institute of Peace
Co-sponsored the Middle East Initiative, HKS

About the Seminar
This presentation will address questions about the extent to which issues of economic justice and popular preferences for distributive equity factor into repertoires of collective action in Arab societies, and continue to shape popular reactions to shifts in economic policy that expose citizens to increased levels of economic insecurity. Heydemann will focus on the historical processes through which popular conceptions of distributive justice became institutionalized within systems of economic governance in Arab societies in ways that have had enduring effects on state-society relations. He will argue that the intensity of redistributive preferences in the Arab world can be shown to be higher than in other comparable developing regions, and that this divergence is important for understanding both the mass uprisings that have swept the Middle East over the past year and the emerging politics around issues of social and distributive justice that have become especially prominent in post-authoritarian societies in the region.... Read more about Memories of Justice: Distributive Politics and the Arab Uprisings

2011 Nov 15

Best Practices to Combat Child Trafficking

9:00am to 11:00am


Online Webinar

Online event. Registration required, and free of charge.

About the Webinar
As part of their online conference series, the Harvard Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery and the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation are joined by the U.N. Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) in hosting a Web-based conference: “Best Practices to Combat Child Trafficking.” Bringing together a panel of experts from academia, policy, and non-governmental organizations, the conference will be an opportunity to share their perspectives on best practices to combat the trafficking of children. Ms. Thatun will represent UNICEF’s perspective on service provision to children; Mr. Davis will share insights into the role of private companies in combating trafficking; and, Mr. van de Glind will highlight viewpoints from major labor organizations.... Read more about Best Practices to Combat Child Trafficking

2011 Nov 10

Reviews, Reputation, and Revenue: The Case of Yelp.com

12:00pm to 1:00pm


124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Room 226, Cambridge, MA

Michael Luca124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Room 226

About the Seminar

Michael Luca is an assistant professor in the Negotiation, Organizations, and Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. Luca studies the role of information (such as rankings, expert evaluations, online consumer reviews, and quality disclosure laws) in market settings. He is interested in understanding which types of information are most salient for decisionmakers, how information is produced, and how it shapes markets. His current work investigates learning in the internet age, where consumer review websites such as Yelp.com are changing the way people make decisions.... Read more about Reviews, Reputation, and Revenue: The Case of Yelp.com