Governance

High Performance Government: Structure, Leadership, Incentives

High Performance Government: Structure, Leadership, Incentives
Rand,

Light, P.C. & Klitgaard, R.
01/01/2004

Fixing problems in the federal government. In 2003, the National Commission on the Public Service, chaired by Paul Volcker, issued a report detailing problems within the federal government today and recommending changes in its organization, leadership, and operations. This book suggests practical ways to implement the recommendations and defines a research agenda for the future. Thirteen essays address the primary problem areas identified by the Volcker Commission, and the commission report itself is included.

Opening Doors and Building Capacity: Employing a Community-Based Approach to Surveying

Opening Doors and Building Capacity: Employing a Community-Based Approach to Surveying
Journal of Urban Health. 2004;81:291-300.

Kaplan, S.A., Dillman, K.N., Calman, N.S. & Billings, J.
01/01/2004

Although many community-based initiatives employ community residents to undertake door-to-door surveys as a form of community mobilization or for purposes of needs assessment or evaluation, very little has been published on the strengths and weaknesses of this approach. This article discusses our experience in undertaking such a survey in collaboration with a coalition of community-based organizations (CBOs) in the South Bronx, New York. Although resource constraints limited the already-strained capacity of the CBOs to provide supervision, the CBOs and community surveyors helped us gain access to neighborhood buildings and to individuals who might otherwise have been inaccessible. The survey process also contributed to the coalition's community outreach efforts and helped to link the CBO leadership and staff more closely to the coalition and its mission. Many of the surveyors enhanced their knowledge and skills in ways that have since benefited them or the coalition directly. The participating CBOs continue to be deeply engaged in the coalition's work, and many of the surveyors are active as community health advocates and have taken leadership roles within the coalition.

Performance Evaluation, Public Management Improvement and Democractic Accountability: Some Lessons from Latin America

Performance Evaluation, Public Management Improvement and Democractic Accountability: Some Lessons from Latin America
Public Management Review, Spring 2004, Vol 6, no. 2, pp. 230-251.

Ospina, S., Cunill, N. & Zaltsman, A.
01/01/2004

The results-oriented management reforms fostered by the New Public Management movement are often argued to emphasize the search for efficiency, quality and other typical market values at the expense of democratic accountability. On the other hand, challenging this view, some authors claim that results-based management reforms have the potential to enhance political accountability and representative democracy. There is however, limited empirical evidence of this relationship. This article uses some of the findings from a comparative study of public management evaluation systems in four Latin American countries to illuminate this relationship in practice. We discuss the fact that, in two of the four countries surveyed, the design features of the new systems were based on the explicit search for increased political accountability and the deepening of democracy. We also discuss the possible causes for the finding that the outcome and performance information generated is not being applied for decision-making purposes yet, as expected.

Should Capstone Activities Be Subject to the Human Subjects Review Process?

Should Capstone Activities Be Subject to the Human Subjects Review Process?
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 921-927.

Blustein, J.
01/01/2004

Like many schools of public policy and management, New York University's Wagner School offers a capstone course in which teams of MPA students provide consultation to client organizations, This year, as the they began to assign students to teams, some members of the faculty sounded an alarm. Several of the projects might involve interviewing service recipients about sensitive issues. Other projects would give teams access to confidential information. Faculty members experience with their university human subjects review board knew that such projects, where they to be undertaken in a research context, would require lengthy and cumbersome review. Did the capstone projects need to go through the human subjects review process? If the answer was yes, the program would come to a grinding halt, given the open-endness of a capstone assignments and the bureaucratic nature of the committee application and approval process.

The Role of Cities in Providing Housing Assistance: A New York Perspective

The Role of Cities in Providing Housing Assistance: A New York Perspective
In Amy Ellen Schwartz, ed., City Taxes, City Spending: Essays in Honor of Dick Netzer. Northampton, Mass: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.,

Ellen, I.G., Schill, M.H., Schwartz, A.E. & Voicu, I.
01/01/2004

In a festschrift to Netzer-a public finance economist well known for his research on state and local taxation, urban public services, and nonprofit organizations-eight chapters apply microeconomics to problems facing urban areas and use statistical analysis to gain insight into practical solutions. The essays look at alternative methods of financing urban government, such as a land value tax and the impact of sales and income taxes on property taxation; at government expenditures, including housing subsidies; and at subsidies to nonprofit arts groups as well as the role of the nonprofit sector in providing K-12 education. Of interest to the fields of public finance, urban economics, and public administration.

Welfare Reform in Miami: Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods

Welfare Reform in Miami: Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods
MDRC,

Brock, T., Kwakye, I., Polyné, J.C., Richburg-Hayes, L., Seith, D., Stepick, A… & Rich, S.
01/01/2004

The 1996 national welfare reform law introduced a five-year time limit on federally funded cash assistance, imposed tough new work requirements, restricted benefits for noncitizens, and gave states more flexibility to design their welfare programs than in the past. Anticipating that the law might pose particular challenges for urban areas — where poverty and welfare receipt are concentrated — MDRC launched a study to examine its implementation and effects in four big cities. This report focuses on trends in Miami-Dade County between 1996 and 2002.

Gender, Race, Class and Welfare Reform

Gender, Race, Class and Welfare Reform
Roundtable of Institutions of People of Color and the Women of Color Policy Newtwork

Walter Stafford, Diana Salas, Melissa Mendez
08/01/2003

This study on welfare reform contends that race and gender coalesce through historic and contemporary government, policy and market failures to deny benefits and jobs to women of color while blaming them for their condition. It is divided into three sections: the first addresses national policy trends with an emphasis on race and gender, the second looks at New York City, and the third offers recommendations. The report was published in the National Urban League's State of Black America, 2003.

Gender, Race,Class and Welfare Reform

Gender, Race,Class and Welfare Reform
State of Black America. National Urban League, Aug

Stafford, W.W. with Salas, D. & Mendez, M.
08/01/2003

This study on welfare reform contends that race and gender coalesce through historic and contemporary government, policy and market failures to deny benefits and jobs to women of color while blaming them for their condition. It is divided into three sections: the first addresses national policy trends with an emphasis on race and gender, the second looks at New York City, and the third offers recommendations. The report was published in the National Urban League's State of Black America, 2003.

Funding Analysis for Long-Term Planning

Funding Analysis for Long-Term Planning
Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, July

de Cerreño, A.L.C.
07/01/2003

In existence since 1956, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is the source of nearly all federal highway funding and roughly four-fifths of all federal transit funding. The Highway Trust Fund is integral to the long-term transportation planning of all 50 states. However, recent Congressional Budget Office forecasts show that at the current baselines (i.e. spending at currently enacted levels with adjustments for inflation within the context of current tax policies), the Highway Account of the HTF would be depleted by 2006 and the Mass Transit Account would fall to $0 three years later. These projections have been made in the midst of discussions regarding the reauthorization for surface transportation and the looming national needs in transportation that require an estimated average annual investment from all levels of government of between $90.7 billion and $110.9 billion just to maintain the system and between $127.5 billion and $169.5 billion to improve it.

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