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NGOs and public service quality in Russia: to resist the departmental approach Professor Lev Yakobson Moscow, June, 2011 PowerPoint Presentation
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NGOs and public service quality in Russia: to resist the departmental approach Professor Lev Yakobson Moscow, June, 2011. A disquieting picture. 10 years after the Gref’s program: fewer than 40 per cent of the program objectives were achieved What is the present condition of:

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slide1

NGOs and public service quality in Russia: to resist the departmental approach

Professor Lev Yakobson

Moscow, June, 2011

slide2

A disquieting picture

  • 10 years after the Gref’s program:fewer than 40 per cent of the program objectives were achieved
  • What is the present condition of:
      • education? Good – 10%, satisfactory – 50%, bad – 36%
      • health care? Good – 5%, satisfactory – 40%, bad – 53%
    • Quality of public officials’ service (perception of those who have applied for certificates etc.):
    • excellent – 4%, good – 26%, satisfactory –44%, bad – 30%
    • Is the level of corruption high or low? High – 83%, low – 7%

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

to go beyond the administrative reform
To go beyond the administrative reform
  • The last decade: improvement of organization structures, regulations and public servants incentives – still in the agenda
  • The tasks are more doubtful than solutions
  • The state apparatus as the mainarena of interest representation
  • Departmental approach to:
    • agenda setting
    • outputs and outcomes interpretation
  • Do the authorities recognize and take into account the interests of such people as you?- “Yes”-20 per cent, “No”-69 per cent, “Don’t know”-21 per cent
slide4
Which of the following rights and freedoms are the most important for you personally? (more than one option could be selected)

Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Non-for-profit HSE

which of the following human rights and freedoms are you sure to posses
Which of the following human rights and freedoms are you sure to posses?

Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Non-for-profit HSE

slide6

Do you think that associations and other non-government nonprofit organizations should or should not participate, together with the government, in providing social services in education, healthcare, culture etc.?

Russian representative population survey (n = 1600),

Russian survey of NGO leaders (n= 1000),

Survey of Experts at the federal level (n = 303)

6

slide7

По Вашему мнению, чем могут общественные и другие негосударственные некоммерческие организации в наибольшей степени помочь улучшению ситуации в здравоохранении?

7

Результаты всероссийского репрезентативного опроса населения, проведенного ЛИГО ГУ-ВШЭ (разработка программы исследования, включая инструментарий, анализ полученных данных) и ВЦИОМ (сбор информации) в декабре 2008 года. Объем выборочной совокупности – 1600 чел.

slide8

How do you assess in general the contribution of the public and other non-government and non-commercial organizations to addressing social issues in our country?

Russian representative population survey (n = 1600),

Russian survey of NGO leaders (n= 1000),

Survey of Experts at the federal level (n = 303)

8

slide9

The public sector at present: nobody is happy (reсent representative opinion polls)

  • What is the present condition of:
      • education? Good – 10%, satisfactory – 50%, bad – 36%
      • health care? Good – 5%, satisfactory – 40%, bad – 53%
    • Quality of public officials’ service (perception of those who have applied for certificates etc.):
    • excellent – 4%, good – 26%, satisfactory –44%, bad – 30%
    • Is the level of corruption high or low? High – 83%, low – 7%
    • Medvedev’s and Putin’s speeches

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide10

The public sector at present: nobody is happy

  • Typical shortcomings:
    • nominal equality – huge real inequality (mainly in terms of quality),
    • disproportions,
    • lack of efficiency incentives,
    • corruption
  • Cost-efficiency could be at least 1.25 times higher
    • (e. g. Е.Г.Ясин и др. Бремя государства и экономическая политика: либеральная альтернатива. М., 2002)

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide11

Modernization: concentration for a jerk?

  • 10 years after the Gref’s program (Стратегия 2010: итоги реализации 10 лет спустя):
    • fewer than 40 per cent of the program objectives were achieved
    • public sector is the weakest point (as compared, for instance, to financial sphere)
    • reforms are slow and inconsistent
  • To narrow field of the reform for breakthrough at a few decisive directions?

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide12

Major obstacles: people, balance of interests, institutions?

  • The most typical view: a battle between good (benevolent, wise) and bad (self-interested, corrupted, short-sighted) guys →
  • A bit less typical view: coalitions for / against modernization (INSOR) →
  • →Shortage of “troops”? → Don’t disperse them over a wide front
  • Let’s imagine: good guys (supporters of modernization) are free to reform the public sector radically within the existing institutions of public governance and management
  • The role of public governance institutions
      • Institutions of agenda setting in particular

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide13

Communication

  • Communication between the society and the authorities: speaking thickly, hard-of-hearing (Monitoring of the Russian civil society) → lack of information about particular needs and potential responses to reforms
    • opinion poll (2009): Do the authorities understand and take into account the interests of such people as you? - “Yes” – 20 per cent, “No” – 69 per cent, “Don’t know” – 21 per cent
  • Consensus: poor condition of public governance and management

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide14

How did the Government act in the period of the global economic crises?

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide15

Some typical features of implemented and planned reforms - 1

  • Strong bias toward specific interests of a particular ministry (governmental agency)
    • The recent police reform: the purpose – more safety for citizens, the essence of the law– more centralized and better funded police
  • Reduction of a complex problem to particular concern of a ministry
    • Shortage of kindergartens and nursery schools. Ministry of education and science: shorter stay – more kids are involved in preschool education (but mothers still can not work)

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide16

Some typical features of implemented and planned reforms - 2

  • Bias towards the most visible and easily administered aspects of a problem
    • Needs of elderly people: relatively fast growth of pensions (including those for employed pensioners) vs. dramatic shortage and low quality of services for most elderly and disabled persons
  • Excessive unification and centralization
    • Medical insurance reform
  • Unfunded mandates to regional and local authorities
    • The new system of public employees’ salaries

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide17

The departmental approach

  • Federal ministries and other central agencies are principal actors in:
    • the agenda setting (recognition and interpretation of major problems, challenges, and opportunities),
    • working out of the decisions
  • Reforms are structured in accordance with the structure of the Government
    • Adequate treatment of a complex issue is possible if it implies broadening of responsibility of the agency initiating the reform → Usually blocked by other agencies
    • Social benefits and costs are taken into account with strong bias to departmental benefits and costs

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide18

A case study: the public procurement reform

  • The System of Public Procurement in Russia: the Road of Reform www.hse.ru
  • Prior to 2006: broad discretion → kickbacks as a custom → general indignation → window of opportunity for reformists
  • Coincidence: the most radical among influential reformists + high-principled executors
  • The idea (94-FZ): eliminate any administrative discretion
  • The dream: almost everything is bought by electronic auctions, potential providers are completely anonymous

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide19

Success?

  • As a rule, prequalification (requirements on suppliers), negotiation and contract correction are prohibited → Unrealistic assumptions:
    • absolutely comprehensive and detailed requirements on every product
    • instant, reliable and costless check of quality
    • instant and costless substitution or compensation
  • 19 sets of amendments:
    • “exceptions” instead of diversification of procedures
    • exceptions rather for the most influential departments than for types of goods

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide20

Success?- Corruption

  • More than a half the cases procurements are made with technical violations of the law (SU-HSE Monitoring of public procurement)
  • Selective approach to control: risk of corrupted controllers
  • Business: public procurement is not less corrupted than it used to be before Law 94-FZ has been adopted
  • In the procurement of COMPLEX products corruption opportunities have been SHIFTED to the stages of planning, development of specifications and order acceptance

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide21

Why it tends to turn out as always - 1

Representation and reconciliation of interests mainly through executive branch → departmental division of labor and responsibility, “assembling” mainly at the very top level (it is called “political”) → departmental vision of the reform agenda as well as benefits and costs → tendencies to:

  • partial approach (FAS: planning is not our business) → almost inevitable shift of costs and risks
  • departmental political priorities (FAS : competition vs. reliability)

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide22

Why it tends to turn out as always - 2

  • The change should be comfortable for the reform-promoting department:
    • neither reduction of functions nor complication of their implementation (FAS: probably, it make sense to have sophisticated procedures for complex purchases, but one should suggest an easy way to administer such procedures)
    • Ministry of Finance: struggle for balanced budget → the key point: 94-FZ enables to save some money (often at the expense of quality)

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide23

How a window of opportunity looks like?

How to sell a reform if it is generated inside state apparatus without civil society requirement, advice and pressure?

  • Strong monopoly on interpretation, excessive role of individual vies
  • Simple idea linked with major troubles of superiors
  • The Lenin’s (Napoleon’s) approach: let’s get involved into the battle and then we’ll see what to do → “Soft reputation constraint” → both “sellers” and “buyers” of the reform prefer “exclusions” to revision of basic ideas

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide24

Potential outcomes

  • Successful reform initiated and driven by a department:
  • real positive changes in the field of the department’s responsibility
  • strengthening of the department’s administrative power
  • some loss at other fields
  • Resistance to strengthening and prevention of losses: hard, long and distorting bargaining with other departments → a racer converted into a camel (rather to mix of different animals)
  • Reforms are slow and inconsequent (the public procurement reform is a rare example of “a racer”)

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide25

Is the bureaucracy the only culprit?

  • “The receivers” are quite bad, but what is about “the transmitters”?
  • Does “the elite” of a professional community actively promote and defend common interest of the community? - “Yes”:
    • school teachers – 24%, university professors – 13%, doctors – 18%, businessmen and managers – 14%
  • Most people can be trusted – 18%

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide26

SPb, p. 4

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide27

Presentation - 4

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide28

Presentation - 5

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide29

Presentation - 6

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

awareness of ngos and participation in their activities
Awareness of NGOs and participation in their activities

Know / heard about some types of NGOs and civil initiatives

Participate in NGOs activities, are members of NGOs

*Basing on results of all-Russian population representative polls (2007-2009)

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide31

Awareness of NGOs and participation in their activities

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide32

What can be done?

  • Modernization as a jerk under the present circumstances:to strengthen the federal Government control of resource allocation and institutional development for a number of cavalry raids partially solving some of the most visible problems
  • The administrative reform - real and partially successful efforts:
    • to limit the numbers of agencies and their functions,
    • to improve regulations of officials’ activity,
    • to strengthen accountability to the higher organs of power
  • The key problem: agenda setting → The key factor: interaction within the Government and between the civil society and the authorities (selection of “agenda universe” elements for institutional agenda)

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide33

Is the dialog possible?

  • Is the Government hostile to the civil society?
  • “Civil society voices” at the federal level (nation-wide associations and “elites of professional communities”) are not perceived as adequate representatives of wider group’s interests
  • Факторы развития гражданского общества и механизмыего взаимодействия с государством. М., 2008
  • Enhancing opportunities for optimal agenda setting on regional and local levels
    • Indicators of civil society development

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

russian ngos number of paid employees distribution
Russian NGOs: number of paid employees distribution

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

russian ngos number of volunteers distribution
Russian NGOs: number of volunteers distribution

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide36

What kind of relationships do you have with…

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

slide37

Less centralized institutional development vs. standardization

  • Relatively high level of legally fixed social rights → Limit of diversity and competition
  • But
  • Not to accelerate standardization of institutions and concentration of administrative power at the federal level
  • Now just the opposite, e.g. health care
  • To involve private sector and NGOs in social service provision

National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011