Governance

Old Assumptions, New Realities: The Truth About Wages and Retirement Benefits for Government Employees

Old Assumptions, New Realities: The Truth About Wages and Retirement Benefits for Government Employees
Citizens Budget Commission, April

Brecher, C., Lynam, E. & Spiezio, S.
04/01/2006

Most government workers are paid more than their private sector counterparts, so more generous and expensive
retirement benefits are no longer justified.

Public Authorities in New York State.

Public Authorities in New York State.
Citizens Budget Commission, April

Brecher, C. & Brill, J.
04/01/2006

Public authorities play a major role in delivering public services. They supplement direct government agencies in three ways:

• Provide a business-like organizational structure for public services that are financed primarily by user fees and whose capital investments are self-financed through bonds supported by user fees.
• Provide a stewardship for major capital assets and make long-run investment decisions with some isolation from pressures of the electoral cycle.
• Provide a mechanism for taking advantage of federal tax benefits for economic development and other purposes that otherwise would be treated as private activities.

Authorities are intended to strike a balance between political accountability and political independence. Unlike heads of direct government agencies, governing boards of authorities are expected to be more independent of those who appoint them, to make difficult and unpopular decisions outside the arena of elected politics, and to be accountable to the public indirectly through reporting, transparency in decision-making and long-run performance. New York State makes extensive use of public authorities.

 

 

Why Partnerships?: Historical and Legislative Background on Public-Private Partnerships for Surface Transportation

Why Partnerships?: Historical and Legislative Background on Public-Private Partnerships for Surface Transportation
Prepared for Innovative Transportation Financing and Contracting Strategies - Opportunities for NY State, Symposium, March

de Cerreño, A.L.C.
03/01/2006

On March 8, 2006, a symposium was held in Albany, New York, on public-private partnerships or Transportation Development Partnerships (TDP) as they are called in the State of New York. Co-sponsored by the New York State Department of Transportation and the University Transportation Research Center housed at the City College of New York, the symposium attracted over 250 guests who heard from 22 speakers from around the world. This symposium was timely as the federal government is encouraging partnerships for transportation projects, many states have implemented partnership projects, and many more states are aggressively investigating the potential for public-private partnerships. These proceedings are intended to describe the presentations made by the speakers at the symposium and advance the discussion on public-private partnerships in transportation.

Efforts to Improve Public Policy and Programs Through Improved "Data Practice": Experiences in Fifteen Distressed American Cities"

Efforts to Improve Public Policy and Programs Through Improved "Data Practice": Experiences in Fifteen Distressed American Cities"
Public Administration Review Vol. 66 No. 3

Weitzman, B.C., Silver, D. & Brazill, C.
01/01/2006

Philanthropies and government agencies interested in children's issues are encouraging localities to improve the process of collecting, linking, and sharing microdata and aggregated summary statistics. An implicit assumption of these efforts is that outcomes will improve as a result of the new approaches. However, there has been little systematic study of these efforts. In this article, we examine efforts to improve data practice in 15 distressed American cities. Interviews conducted in these cities revealed variation in the types of information collected, dissemination, and intended audiences. We identify significant challenges to these efforts, including adequate resources, turf battles, technical problems, access to information sources, inconsistent leadership, and absence of political will. We find that little is known about the impact of these initiatives on decision making. Assumptions that improved data practice will lead to improved policy making have not yet been realized in these cities.

Financing Pro-poor Governance in Africa

Financing Pro-poor Governance in Africa
in Karen Millet, Dele Olowu and Robert Cameron (eds), Local Governance and Poverty Reduction in Africa (Tunis: Joint Africa Institute of the African Development Bank)

Smoke, P.
01/01/2006

Defines key lessons on financing pro-poor governance based on cases from Latin America, Asia and Africa (Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya and Uganda). The starting point for pro-poor fiscal decentralisation is that its major goals should be improved governance and performance, specifically, higher efficiency and equity in service delivery, economic development, and poverty alleviation. The enabling environment for fiscal decentralisation involves first the functions and the resources that might normally be allocated to local governments. Second, it can include alternative models and mechanisms to finance local governments, including intergovernmental transfers, markets, capital and donor financing.

Fostering Organizational Change Through a Community-Based Initiative

Fostering Organizational Change Through a Community-Based Initiative
Health Promotion Practice 2006; 7:1-10.

Kaplan S.A., Calman N.S., Golub M., Ruddock C. & Billings J.
01/01/2006

Program funders and managers are increasingly interested in fostering changes in the policies, practices, and procedures of organizations participating in community-based initiatives. But little is know about what factors contribute to the institutionalization of change. In this study, we assess whether the organizational members of the Bronx Health REACH Coalition have begun to change their functioning and role with regard to their clients, their staff, and in the broader community, apart from their implementation of the funded programs for which they are responsible. The study identifies factors that seemed to contribute to or hinder such institutional change, and suggests several strategies for coalitions and funders that are seeking to promote and sustain organizational change.

School Efficiency and Student Sub-groups: Is a Good School Good for Everyone?

School Efficiency and Student Sub-groups: Is a Good School Good for Everyone?
Peabody Journal of Education

Schwartz, A, Kim, D.Y., Stiefel, L. & Zabel, J.
01/01/2006

State and federal accountability reforms are putting considerable pressure on schools to increase the achievement of historically low-performing groups of students and to close test score gaps. In this article, we exploit the differences among the large number of elementary schools in New York City to examine how much schools vary in the efficiency of the education they provide to subgroups. In addition, we examine the extent to which observable school characteristics can account for the variation that exists. We find that New York City elementary schools vary in how well they educate poor students compared to nonpoor students and Asian and White students compared to Black and Hispanic students. The disparities in school efficiency measures between boys and girls are lower than for the other subgroups. There is no conclusive evidence about which school resources and characteristics are associated with more or less efficient education across all subgroups.

Separate and Unequal Care in New York City

Separate and Unequal Care in New York City
Journal of Health Care Law & Policy, Vol. 9, Number 1. 

Calman, N.S., Golub, M., Ruddock, C., Le, L. & Kaplan, S.A.
01/01/2006

Bronx Health REACH, a coalition of community- and faith-based groups, health care providers, and an academic institution, recently examined the causes of racial and ethnic health disparities in the southwest Bronx and identified separate systems of care for uninsured and publicly insured patients, who are predominantly people of color, and those with private insurance. We found evidence that patients are sorted into segregated pathways of care, a system of medical apartheid in which differential care contributes to disparities in health care and health outcomes.

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