How States Stand to Gain or Lose Federal Funds by Opting In or Out of the Medicaid Expansion
The Commonwealth Fund Vol 32, December 2013
Sherry Glied and Stephanie Ma
Following the Supreme Court's decision in 2012, state officials are now deciding whether to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act. While the states' costs of participating in the Medicaid expansion have been at the forefront of this discussion, the expansion has much larger implications for the flow of federal funds going to the states. This issue brief examines how participating in the Medicaid expansion will affect the movement of federal funds to each state. States that choose to participate in the expansion will experience a more positive net flow of federal funds than will states that choose not to participate. In addition to providing valuable health insurance benefits to low-income state residents, and steady sources of financing to state health care providers, the Medicaid expansion will be an important source of new federal funds for states.
Investigations Done Right and Wrong: Government by Investigation, 1945-2012
Brookings Institution Press, 2013.
Surveying the 100 most significant Congressional and presidential investigations of executive branch breakdowns between 1945 and 2012, Paul Light offers insight into those qualities that compose an “investigation done right.” Light’s research provides data into the quantity and quality of investigatory efforts in the modern era, as well as what these patterns reveal about what investigators can do to increase the odds that their work will pay off in improved government performance and more effective public policy.
Government by Investigation: Congress, President, and the Search for Answers, 1945–2012
The Brookings Institution Press, 2013.
Presidential and congressional investigations are particularly powerful tools for asking tough questions about highly visible, often complex government breakdowns, including: communist infiltration of government 1950s, the Vietnam War during the 1960s, Watergate and Central Intelligence Agency abuses during the 1970s, among 96 others covered in Government by Investigation, by Paul Light. Light, one of America’s premier authorities on public service and management, provides a deep assessment of what he has identified as the federal government’s one hundred most significant investigations since World War II.
Reimagining Governance in Practice: Benchmarking British Columbia’s Citizen Engagement Efforts
The GovLab, May 2013
Andrew Young, Christina Rogawski, Sabeel Rahman, and Stefaan Verhulst
Over the last few years, the Government of British Columbia (BC), Canada has initiated a variety of practices and policies aimed at providing more legitimate and effective governance. Leveraging advances in technology, the BC Government has focused on changing how it engages with its citizens with the goal of optimizing the way it seeks input and develops and implements policy. The efforts are part of a broader trend among a wide variety of democratic governments to re-imagine public service and governance.
At the beginning of 2013, BC’s Ministry of Citizens’ Services and Open Government, now the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, partnered with the GovLab to produce “Reimagining Governance in Practice: Benchmarking British Columbia’s Citizen Engagement Efforts.” The GovLab’s May 2013 report, made public today, makes clear that BC’s current practices to create a more open government, leverage citizen engagement to inform policy decisions, create new innovations, and provide improved public monitoring—though in many cases relatively new—are consistently among the strongest examples at either the provincial or national level.
According to Stefaan Verhulst, Chief of Research at the GovLab : “Our benchmarking study found that British Columbia’s various initiatives and experiments to create a more open and participatory governance culture has made it a leader in how to re-imagine governance. Leadership, along with the elimination of imperatives that may limit further experimentation, will be critical moving forward. And perhaps even more important, as with all initiatives to re-imaging governance worldwide, much more evaluation of what works, and why, will be needed to keep strengthening the value proposition behind the new practices and polices and provide proof-of-concept.”
Democratization and Universal Health Coverage: A comparison of the experiences of Ghana, Kenya, and Senegal
Global Health Governance, 6(2): 1-27.
Grépin, Karen and Kim Yi Dionne
This article identifies conditions under which newly established democracies adopt Universal Health Coverage. Drawing on the literature examining democracy and health, we argue that more democratic regimes – where citizens have positive opinions on democracy and where competitive, free and fair elections put pressure on incumbents – will choose health policies targeting a broader proportion of the population. We compare Ghana to Kenya and Senegal, two other countries which have also undergone democratization, but where there have been important differences in the extent to which these democratic changes have been perceived by regular citizens and have translated into electoral competition. We find that Ghana has adopted the most ambitious health reform strategy by designing and implementing the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). We also find that Ghana experienced greater improvements in skilled attendance at birth, childhood immunizations, and improvements in the proportion of children with diarrhea treated by oral rehydration therapy than the other countries since this policy was adopted. These changes also appear to be associated with important changes in health outcomes: both infant and under-five mortality rates declined rapidly since the introduction of the NHIS in Ghana. These improvements in health and health service delivery have also been observed by citizens with a greater proportion of Ghanaians reporting satisfaction with government handling of health service delivery relative to either Kenya or Senegal. We argue that the democratization process can promote the adoption of particular health policies and that this is an important mechanism through which democracy can improve health.
Information for Impact: Liberating Nonprofit Sector Data
Aspen Institute (January 2013)
Noveck, Beth Simone and Daniel Goroff
This report addresses the challenges to obtaining better, more usable data about the nonprofit sector to match the sector’s growingimportance. In 2010, there were 1.5 million tax-exempt organizations in the United States with $1.51 trillion in revenues. Through the Form 990 in its several varieties, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gathers and publishes a large amount of information about tax-exempt organizations. Over time, versions of the Form 990 have evolved that collect information on governance, investments, and other factors not directly related to an organization’s tax calculations or qualifications for tax exemption. Copies of these returns are available one at a time from the filers or from other sources. The IRS creates image files of Form 990 returns and sells compilationsof them to the subscribing public for a fee. Several institutions, particularly GuideStar, the Foundation Center, and the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) at the Urban Institute, use this IRS data to analyze and present information about individual nonprofits and about the sector as a whole.
Like other important data collected by governments, information contained in the 990s could potentially be far more useful if it were not only public but “open” data. Open data are data that are available to all, free of charge, in a standard format, published without proprietary conditions, and available online as a bulk download rather than only through single-entry lookup. Making the Form 990 data truly open in this sense would not only make it easier to use for the organizations that already process it, but would also make it useful to researchers, advocates, entrepreneurs, technologists, and nonprofits that do not have the resources to use the data in its current form. We argue that open 990 data may increase transparency for nonprofit organizations, making it easier for state and federal authorities to detect fraud, spur innovation in the nonprofit sector and, above all, help us to understand the potential value of the 990 data.
Poverty, governance and decentralization in Vietnam
Swedish International Development Agency, Vietnam
Fritzen, Scott, Nachuk S.
Governance and child rights: A diagnostic framework for donor programming
UNICEF Myanmar and Vietnam
Data quality and empirical strategy in the Indonesian Governance and Decentralization Survey
World Bank, Indonesia
Using incentives and accountability to improve school performance: Proposals for the Ministry of Education and Training in Vietnam
Melbourne University Private for the World Bank Primary Teacher Development Project, Vietnam
Facing Constraints, Seizing New Opportunities: A Strategic Management Review of the United Nations Population Fund Program in Indonesia, 2006-2010
Local Government Performance and Decentralization: A Comparative Approach With Application to Social Policy Reform in Vietnam
Ph.D. Dissertation, Princeton University
Donors, local development groups and institutional reform over Vietnam's development decade
in Kerkvliet, B.J., Heng, R.H.K. and Hock, D.K.W. (eds.), Getting organized in Vietnam: Moving in and around the socialist state, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, pp. 234-270.
International donors have attempted to contribute to, and indeed influence, the overall tenor of socioeconomic and governance-related reforms in Vietnam. They have done so in a number of ways: directly supporting policy research, stablishing forums for debate of developmental issues with government counterparts, funding projects on administrative and judiciary reform and central level capacity building, and providing direct financial and sometimes indirect support for ‘indigenous’ NGOs, primarily development service organizations working as contractors for particular development projects. This paper examines another modality through which donors sought to influence administrative reform over the heady ‘development decade’ of the 1990s – donor support for rural development projects conceived as ‘policy experiments’ (Rondinelli 1983). Though diverse in sectoral focus, these projects commonly attempted to introduce local institutional arrangements promoting greater responsiveness and accountability of local governments to rural communities as a whole, or to particular sub-groups such as smallholder farmers. To do so, local organizations or grassroots groups were typically established as new ways of organizing the rural populace to demand, plan for, access or provide services underpinning rural development and poverty alleviation. “Local development groups” (LDGs) is the name I give to groups comprised of farmers and other end-users of project services (or representatives they choose) that were formed in the process of implementing particular development projects. This paper probes the experience of these development projects and LDGs over approximately the last ten years. It depicts how projects funded by a wide range of donors became an important part of the institutional landscape in many areas of Vietnam, leaving a significant mark on many sectors related to rural development. Five sections follow this introduction. The first examines how changing donor roles interacted with institutional developments to produce an opportunity for projects to influence policy. Section two presents a theoretical framework with which to assess LDGs and the policy experiments in which they were embedded, which section three applies the framework to a sample of 15 donor projects operational over the 1990s in Vietnam. Section four presents more qualitative detail on a few of the higher-impact projects. The final section concludes with implications for donors and the study of local institutional change in Vietnam.
The ‘misery’ of implementation: Governance, institutions and anti-corruption in Vietnam
in Tarling, N. (ed) Corruption and good governance in Asia, New York: Routledge, pp. 98-120.
Implementation of anti-corruption programs is plagued by a paradox: the very actors posited to be the source of the problem are those most critical to implementation success. This paper presents a framework for understanding the large gaps that exist between policy intentions and outcomes in anti-corruption programs. It applies this to ‘grassroots democratization’ as an anti-corruption initiative in Vietnam, a high-profile policy mandating greater transparency in local budget use and participation in decisionmaking. Local leaders in this case face weak incentives for implementation that stem from both poor policy design and local institutional environments. But as with many anti-corruption programs in adverse environments, potential exists for the initiative to
provide tools with which reform-minded leaders and social groups can challenge local governance practices in unanticipated ways.
How do governance capacities affect patterns of crisis management?
Towards an analytical framework, in C. Raj Kumar and D.K. Srivastava (eds) Tsunami and disaster management: Law and Governance, Hong Kong: Sweet and Maxwell, pp. 79-10.
Creating Deficits with Balanced Budgets
Journal of Government Financial Management 60(4): 38-44
Ives, M., Calabrese, T.
Money for Nothing? Pension Obligation Bonds and Government Spending
Public Finance and Budgeting Section, Western Social Sciences Association
Calabrese, Thad., Ely, T. L.
IESP Brief: Public Funding for After-School Programs 1998-2008
Weinstein, M., Calabrese, T.
The authors of this policy brief document that in the decade since the Open Society Institute awarded a challenge grant to TASC to encourage the creation of sustainable public funding streams for after-school programs, every level of government has dramatically increased public funding for comprehensive after-school programs in New York City.
The authors note that the City of New York has contributed an increasingly larger share of public support since the city launched its Out-of-School Time Initiative to provide kids with academic, cultural and recreational activities after school and during summers. The authors estimate that eight times more kids in kindergarten through high school attend after-school programs today than in 1998. "Over the past ten years in New York City," they conclude, "public support for after-school programs has become one of the foundations of service for children and youth."
The Networked State
Harvard University Press
Noveck, Beth Simone
The New Paternalism: Supervisory Approaches to Poverty
Brookings Institution Press, 1997.
Mead, Lawrence M.