Governance

The Great Recession's Impact on New York City's Budget.

The Great Recession's Impact on New York City's Budget.
Municipal Finance Journal 32(1): 89-113.

Miller, Lawrence J. and Daniel L. Smith.
01/01/2011

Strong property tax growth and proactive policies - including beginning the recession with a substantial surplus of $5.3 billion (9 percent of revenues) - offset a severe contraction in income tax receipts, protecting the City's budget such that it never contracted in absolute terms during or immediately following the Great Recession. Policymakers increased property and sales tax rates, utilized fund balances, cut agency budgets repeatedly, and re-appropriated retiree health benefits in response to the fiscal challenges brought about by the Great Recession. Whether one attributes it to compliance with a strong, state-mandated, balanced budget rule or adept leadership, New York City certainly appears to be dealing effectively with the Great Recession's impact on its budget. However, City leaders have asked lower income residents to bear a substantial portion of the burden by favoring more regressive tax policies and by cutting the social service agency's budget substantially. With forecast budget gaps of $3 billion and $4 billion in FY 2012 and FY 2013, the long-term impact of the Great Recession on New York City's budget remains an open question.

Creative State: Forty Years of Migration and Development Policy in Morocco and Mexico

Creative State: Forty Years of Migration and Development Policy in Morocco and Mexico
Ithaca: Cornell University Press

Iskander, N.
09/16/2010

At the turn of the twenty-first century, with the amount of money emigrants sent home soaring to new highs, governments around the world began searching for ways to capitalize on emigration for economic growth, and they looked to nations that already had policies in place. Morocco and Mexico featured prominently as sources of "best practices" in this area, with tailor-made financial instruments that brought migrants into the banking system, captured remittances for national development projects, fostered partnerships with emigrants for infrastructure design and provision, hosted transnational forums for development planning, and emboldened cross-border political lobbies.

In Creative State, Natasha Iskander chronicles how these innovative policies emerged and evolved over forty years. She reveals that the Moroccan and Mexican policies emulated as models of excellence were not initially devised to link emigration to development, but rather were deployed to strengthen both governments' domestic hold on power. The process of policy design, however, was so iterative and improvisational that neither the governments nor their migrant constituencies ever predicted, much less intended, the ways the new initiatives would gradually but fundamentally redefine nationhood, development, and citizenship. Morocco's and Mexico's experiences with migration and development policy demonstrate that far from being a prosaic institution resistant to change, the state can be a remarkable site of creativity, an essential but often overlooked component of good governance.

 

A Philanthropy Tackles Growth In Health Costs At The State Level

A Philanthropy Tackles Growth In Health Costs At The State Level
Health Affairs, 29, no. 7 (2010): 1411-1414 

Sandman, D., & Kovner, A.
07/01/2010

Slowing the rate of growth of health spending is as critical a goal at the state level as it is at the national level. Philanthropy can hardly address this issue alone, yet it has an obligation to take on big and seemingly intractable problems. The New York State Health Foundation is committed to stimulating innovative and replicable approaches to bending the cost curve.

This article describes how the foundation recently awarded six grants to support efforts related to payment reform, hospital re-admissions, medical malpractice reform, palliative care, and the quantification of other cost containment approaches that could be pursued atthe state level.

Building Bridges from Margins: The Work of Leadership in Social Change Organizations

Building Bridges from Margins: The Work of Leadership in Social Change Organizations
The Leadership Quarterly  

Ospina, S. and E. G. Foldy
01/01/2010

Attention to the relational dimensions of leadership represents a new frontier of leadership research and is an expression of the growing scholarly interest in the conditions that foster collective action within and across boundaries. This article explores the antecedents of collaboration from the perspective of social change organizations engaged in processes of collaborative governance. Using a constructionist lens, the study illuminates the question how do social change leaders secure the connectedness needed for collaborative work to advance their organization's mission? The article draws on data from a national, multi-year, multi-modal qualitative study of social change organizations and their leaders. These organizations represent disenfranchised communities which aspire to influence policy makers and other social actors to change the conditions that affect their members' lives. Narrative analysis of transcripts from in-depth interviews in 38 organizations yielded five leadership practices that foster strong relational bonds either within organizations or across boundaries with others. The article describes how these practices nurture interdependence either by forging new connections, strengthening existing ones, or capitalizing on strong ones.

Re-creating Street Level Practice: The Role of Routines, Work Groups and Team Learning

Re-creating Street Level Practice: The Role of Routines, Work Groups and Team Learning
Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory

Foldy, E.G. & Buckley, T.R.
01/01/2010

Ample research documents the ubiquity of routines in street-level practice. Some individual-level and organizational-level research has explored how to break street-level routines, but little has looked at the work group level. Our study observed teams of state child welfare workers over 2.5 years, documenting whether they discarded old routines and learned new ones. Results suggest that team characteristics such as clear direction and reflective behaviors had greater influence on team learning than individual characteristics such as stress level, tenure, and educational level. We suggest that group-level factors be included in future models of what enables the re-creation of street-level practice.

The Behavioral Dimension of Governing Inter-Organizational Goal Directed Networks: Managing the Unity/Diversity Tension

The Behavioral Dimension of Governing Inter-Organizational Goal Directed Networks: Managing the Unity/Diversity Tension
Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory Second Author with A. Saz-Carranza

Ospina, S.
01/01/2010

Network management research documents how network members engage in activities to advance their own goals. However, this literature offers little insight into the nature of work that aims to advance the goals of the network as a “whole.” By examining the behavioral dimension of network governance, this article identifies a specific tension that network leaders address to effectively govern networks: although unity and diversity are essential to network performance, each makes contradictory demands which require attention. Findings from four case studies of immigrant networks in the United States point to three activities representing mechanisms that staff of network administrative organizations use to address this (network level) managerial tension. The study proposes that unity versus diversity represents a distinct challenge to the governance of networks that requires strategic action at the whole-network level and merits further study.

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