Innovations for successful societies
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Innovations for Successful Societies. Analytical Focus Key Concepts. Agenda. The challenge Three focal points What lies outside the focus. I. The Challenge.

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Innovations for Successful Societies

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Innovations for successful societies

Innovations for Successful Societies

Analytical Focus

Key Concepts

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Agenda

Agenda

  • The challenge

  • Three focal points

  • What lies outside the focus

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


I the challenge

I. The Challenge

  • Reformers sometimes start to make a difference in tough settings—post-conflict situations, remote areas in insecure borderlands or neighborhoods, areas poorly served by infrastructure services.

  • But many cannot sustain their efforts or cannot find a way to move ideas from paper to reality.

  • Puts fragile state turnarounds at risk.

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


I a by itself political will is not enough

I-A.By itself, political will is not enough

  • Reformers may have an incentive to act.

  • They may build on strong public demand.

  • They may believe fervently in serving diverse communities

  • But…

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


I b the supply side matters too

I-B. The supply side matters too

  • Reform is not a technical exercise.

  • It is about

    • Timing, identification of ripe moments, opportunity

    • Identifying people with the talents to move a process forward

    • Managing expectations, providing narratives

    • Building support—both coalitions and constituencies

    • Acquiring information, escaping the yes men, tapping sources of ideas appropriate to the context

    • Problem solving

    • Personal aptitudes

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Ii three iss focal points

II.Three ISS focal points

Strategies reform leaders use to address:

  • Service delivery in tough places, where it is hard to exercise control over agents

  • Traps that often subvert turnarounds

  • High politics of reform (traps plus…)/implementation game

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Iii service delivery challenges

III.Service delivery challenges

  • A universal problem: People everywhere try to do what they think suits their individual interest or family interest

    • Crane inspectors in New York

    • Teachers in DC

    • Farmers in Italy

  • …except in Scandinavia? (well, maybe norms matter…or a long tradition of trustworthy institutions)

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Iii a typical service problems

III-A. Typical service problems

  • High absenteeism among providers—teachers, doctors, nurses, land registry officials

  • Shortages in critical supplies (paper, medicines, etc.)

  • Poor service or wrong service delivered

  • Many visits required—partial performance, many steps

  • “Extra payments” required: Corruption or diversion of funds for other purposes

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Iii b principal agent problem

III-B. Principal-agent problem

  • The people who decide and manage (principals)

  • The people who execute parts of the task (agents)

  • Examples:

    • Manager (principal) and person on the assembly line (agent)

    • Leaders (principals) or publics (principals) and civil servants (agents)

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Iii c difficulty greater when

III-C. Difficulty greater when?

  • Discretion/judgment required

  • Lots of transactions or a few?

  • It is hard to attribute outcomes to the way the service is provided (as opposed to other influences)

  • It is hard to attribute outcomes to a single service provider

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Iii d difficulty greater when

III-D. Difficulty greater when…

  • Information is limited or flows poorly

  • …Resources to support supervision are limited (not only money but capacity; managers are scarce)

  • …Limited infrastructure makes supervision very costly

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Iii e some of the solutions commonly used

III-E. Some of the solutions commonly used:

  • Bonuses or commissions

  • Pay-for-performance (from piece work to appraisal-linked pay)

  • Prizes or sharing in patents

  • Social pressures (work groups)

  • Screening devices (to attract the people most likely to pay attention to the interests of the principal)

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Iii f some other options

III-F Some other options

  • Give the community control (Bamako Initiative)

  • Contract with community user groups

  • Provide community members with a lot of information to compare what they are getting to what others receive (Uganda example; report cards)

  • Give people more choice among service providers (make the providers compete)

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Iii g some cautions

III-G. Some cautions

  • It is hard to “get organizational incentives right”

    • “Promoting to centers of inefficiency” when labor laws are tough

    • Can cause people to focus on the wrong thing (equivalent of teaching to the test…the cows’ ears problem)

    • Managerial quality and leadership continue to matter a lot

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Iv traps

IV. Traps

  • Class of problems

  • Common theme: getting stuck in a bad equilibrium

  • Reformers find they can’t move changes forward because of one or more of these problems

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Iv a thresholds

IV-A. Thresholds

  • Critical thresholds: We must reach certain thresholds before the forces of standard competitive theory work “Critical thresholds may arise when ‘lumpy’ investments are required to increase productivity, or more generally when there are scale economies”

  • Market size /constituency size may be too limited to promote reform or innovation

  • Examples:

    • Demand for court reform

    • Collier in industrialization in Haiti & other places

    • Development of drugs for poor people’s diseases

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Responses to thresholds

Responses to thresholds

  • Attract multiple firms in the same industry (Collier on industrialization in Haiti)

  • Invest heavily to push people over the threshold (Sachs)

  • Create alternative sources of pressure if constituency is too small

  • Gates Foundation and research on diseases that strike Africans disproportionately—subsidize the cost

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Iv b vicious circles

IV-B. Vicious Circles

  • Vicious circles: Feedback loops between a bad outcome and its causes increase the probability that the bad outcome will occur again

  • Examples:

    • Brain drain during civil war limits capacity to reform or rebuild after peace settlement. (Collier)

    • To settle a conflict, we accommodate an armed faction by granting a cabinet portfolio, but the faction performs poorly in office, making the government less effective, and it threatens to re-kindle conflict if moved out.

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Responses to vicious circles

Responses to vicious circles

  • Break the feedback loop: Schevardnadze in the Republic of Georgia/Seretse Khama’s early days in Botswana

  • Eritrea’s skill shortage & policy toward diaspora v. El-Rufai proposal in Nigeria

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Iv c coordination traps

IV-C. Coordination Traps

  • Returns depend on everyone else’s participation and without everyone’s participation there is no way to capture benefits that exceed the costs

  • In a coordination trap, everyone gains or everyone loses.

  • Examples:

    • Corruption: Norms require officials to pass opportunities or resources to kin groups or lose their standing.

    • Performance: No one believes there is such a thing as a stable government or consistent paycheck, so everyone moonlights and takes time away from the job, rendering it harder for a government to perform well.

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Responses to coordination traps

Responses to Coordination Traps

  • Shock the system to shift norms (Machiavelli’s beheading in the village square…Githongo’s sights trained on ministers)

  • Twaweza experiment in Tanzania

  • Women traffic cops

  • Sesame Street , Search for Common Ground

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Iv d institutional traps

IV-D. Institutional traps

  • There is another institutional arrangement that would yield higher returns or greater social gains but those who benefit from the status quo have the power to block reform.

  • In an institutional trap, reform creates both winners and losers.

  • Examples

    • Want to reform but government offices are for sale and the brokers don’t want merit to guide appointments and block change.

    • Everyone might benefit from stronger property rights but those at the top benefit from weak rights enforcement and block change.

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Responses institutional traps

Responses, institutional traps

  • “politician-friendly” strategies…give the people blocking reform a stake in the reform (constituency development funds)

  • build a very powerful, large public constituency to shame those blocking reform

  • Offer positive incentives to the beneficiaries to retire and retreat (easier in a growing economy)

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Iv e neighborhood effects

IV-E. Neighborhood effects

  • Neighborhood effects -- peer group effects, role model effects and other things fall in this category. Array of influences from one’s membership in various groups.

  • Easterly’s “trouble with neighbors” and Collier’s observation that a civil war or weak state next door depresses growth at home.

  • Examples

    • Resource wars are hard to stop if arms can pass through a neighboring country’s customs offices without notice.

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


Responses neighborhood effects

Responses, neighborhood effects

  • Create buffer zones

  • Flood population with alternative positive role models, images

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


V third focus implementation game traps plus

V. Third focus: Implementation Game (“traps plus”)

  • Are there tactics that highly effective reformers use to build support or acceptance, within institutions and without?

  • Are these effective tactics common across fragile state contexts, or are there regionally-specific or other site-specific styles?

  • Which tactics more consonant with democratic values?

Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University 2010


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