10 (More) Adventures in Good Governance
Have you ever wondered what a student of Public Policy and Public Management actually studies? We are not going to tell you, but we are going to show you! The Jubilee Projects were established as part of the Hertie School's 10 Year Anniversary celebrations to showcase the variety of relevant, real life and real world problems that our students tackle. Apart from facilitating field trips and other activities related to their research, we followed them on their research journey in order to show you the diversity of topics that students at the Hertie School can tackle.
This slide show showcases a selection of the MPP Jubilee Projects from the 2014 graduating class, as well as some Masters’ thesis projects from the Executive Master of Public Management (EMPM) cohort (See Part I for more). In keeping with the Hertie School’s commitment to real world applications, each project has a Practice Partner to ensure the policy relevance of the research. Many of the students worked in groups, while others opted to work individually. You are invited to browse through the exhibition to discover how our students are taking strides to shape tomorrow.
Illustrations and graphics by bitteschön.tv
A New Set of Fiscal Rules for the Länder On the Path to Debt Brake Compliance and Fiscal Discipline?1 / 10
MPP Thesis By Quirin Maderspacher
Advisor: Jobst Fiedler
Practice Partner: Coordinating for Cohesion in the Public Sector of the Future (COCOPS) - Projekt WP7
In the immediate aftermath of the crisis, Germany decided to adopt a rules-based approach to control its fiscal deficit and has introduced a constitutionally entrenched ‘debt brake’. This fiscal rule obliges the federal budget to be balanced by 2016 – with a margin of 0.35% of the GDP – and the Länders’ (German States) budget to be balanced by 2020. In the transition period until 2020, the Länder are not required to improve their fiscal performance. Many of them have, however, committed to reducing their deficits by introducing fiscal rules. Whether these rules have been effective
or not is the focus of this study. The Länders’ legal and political commitment to the debt brake through the adoption of fiscal rules is measured by a new ‘Debt Brake Index’. There are a number of findings that emerge from the study. First, the Länders’ commitment to the debt brake through the adoption of fiscal rules differs widely across the country. Second, the adoption of the new fiscal rules has had a positive impact on the Länders’ primary balance. Third, economic factors rather than political factors explain fiscal performance
at the Länder level. Finally, revenue growth – in contrast to expenditure cuts – seems to account for most of the improved budget balance in the past years.
Restraining Corruption by Controlling the Informal Economy? Analysis of Formalization Policies in the Context of Developing Countries2 / 10
MPP Thesis by Anne-Marie Kortas, Pedro Obando & Johannes Wahner
Advisor: Alina Mungiu-Pippidi
Practice Partner: World Bank
On the basis of current analysis, this paper attempts to identify the interrelation between the informal economy and corruption and to assess the anticorruption potential of formalization policies. After a literature review and a quantitative analysis of 158 countries, we establish the existence of a reinforcing association between the informal economy and corruption in the context of developing and transitioning countries. This relation is influenced by policies (enforcement, regulation, ease of compliance), social factors (trust) and external factors, such as the country’s economic conditions. We found that the reduction of informal economy does not automatically lead to a better control of corruption, but that it rather acts as a prerequisite for change. After the analysis of three carefully selected case studies (Tanzania, Georgia, and El Salvador), we formulate some policy recommendations. Our results suggest that it is more effective to focus tax policy on tax administration and regulation rather than on the structure of tax rates. Furthermore, the visibility of reforms and their depersonalization, for example through the use of technology, support formalization policies and are shown to restrain corruption.
The Role of Civil Society in Anti-Corruption Lessons from Russia and Ukraine3 / 10
MPP Thesis by Niklas Kossow
Advisor: Alina Mungiu-Pippidi
Practice Partner: German Marshall Fund
Collective action by civil society is a powerful tool in the fight against corruption. This thesis demonstrates that high levels of activity in civil society have a positive impact on the control of corruption. Building on existing research, it argues that civil society can foster social accountability and provide social capital, both of which are needed to promote good governance and norms of ethical universalism. In the analysis, data covering 24 countries from Eastern Europe and Central Asia over a time span of eight years is examined. It then goes on to use the results from this quantitative study to refine its theoretical framework and test it in two individual case studies: Russia and Ukraine. Based on the results of these case studies, the thesis evaluates the nature of the relationship between civil society and corruption
and draws conclusions as to what lessons can be learned from those two countries. It confirms the positive relationship between higher levels of civil society involvement and the control of corruption. Support for different kinds of civil society actors is thus pivotal in controlling corruption and should be a priority for national policymakers and international donors alike.
Anti-Corruption Revolutions: When Civil Society Steps In4 / 10
MPP Thesis by Mónica Wills, Lucia Gabriela Ixtacuy & José Julián Prieto
Advisor: Alina Mungiu-Pippidi
Practice Partner: Transparency International
This research explores the scope of high citizen engagement and access to information in reducing corruption levels. More specifically, it hypothesizes that only through a simultaneous reduction of information asymmetries and overcoming of collective action problems, citizens are able to hold their governments into account. The methodology used is composed by a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. On the one hand, OLS regressions showed evidence of a robust joint effect of engagement of
civil society and access to information on corruption. In addition, it was possible to show that an increase in corruption perception is associated with a higher level in control of corruption in a following period. These results, on the other hand, are contrasted with the analysis of the process undergone in the
Anti-Corruption Movement in India. The case study confirms that top-down mechanisms of accountability cannot control corruption alone, but its oversight
function is augmented only after civil society collectively demands governmental action against corruption. It additionally shows that the Right to
Information Act and media diversification were instrumental mechanisms that raised awareness of corruption, but only through a strong civil society. Factors such as leadership, discourse and strategies on targeting audiences were revealed as specific contextual factors contributing to the development of the Movement. Finally, key policy recommendations were derived.
Creative Industry Clusters: Berlin’s Digital Technology Sector: Practice and Governance5 / 10
MPP Thesis by Ian Roderick, Rywa Salamander & Sebastian Campos Groth
Advisor: Kai Wegrich
Practice Partner: Bundesagentur für Arbeit
Digital technologies are becoming an increasingly important part of Berlin’s economy. Hundreds of technology companies call Berlin home, generating millions in revenue and employing thousands of people. Over the past few years, the media has hyped Berlin as Europe’s next big centre of technology start-ups. Whether this is true, and what role the government plays in the development of this economic sector, is the focus of this thesis. We show that behind the media hype surrounding the start-up scene in the city, lies real substance. Furthermore, the reasons for Berlin’s attractiveness as a location to start a business are likely to be present in the short and medium term: its affordability, cultural diversity, and general openness towards international workers as well as the availability of skilled labour. The two most significant challenges to digital technology start-ups are a lack of later-stage financing capital, and the long-term supply of skilled labour. Seed financing is relatively easy to acquire, and there seem to be enough skilled workers for now. As start-ups begin to expand their businesses, however, a static supply of skilled labour as well as a lack of later-stage financing could prove challenging.
When Do Apps Nudge? Nudging People Towards a More Active Lifestyle Through Smartphone Application6 / 10
MPP Thesis by Devin Marco & Freddy Cottes
Advisors: Kai Wegrich and Mark Hallerberg
Practice Partner: Protogeo
Up until now, the use of ‘nudge’ – a behavioural science concept – has been limited by time and space. Practical concerns mean that only a certain number
of channels have been utilised for nudging, such as billboard, television and online advertisements. Since the smartphone is a ‘must have’ item today for so many people around the world, could this mobile communications device hold the key to effective nudging? We studied the physical activity levels of approximately 100 young adults for a period of 4 months, to gather evidence for our hypothesis that smartphone applications can nudge people towards a more active lifestyle. Based on our findings, we recommend that policymakers
seriously consider the smartphone as a viable medium for delivering nudges as part of their policy design. We acknowledged that issues that need to be addressed remain and that nudging through smartphones, at best, is simply a complementary tool for policymakers. Nevertheless, great potential exists, the benefits are within reach and the time for policymakers to utilise smartphone applications for nudging has arrived.
What Effect Could Selective Contracting Have on Surgery Volumes? At the Example of Hip and Knee Replacements7 / 10
MPP Thesis by Inga-Lena Boos & Ricarda Milstein
Advisor: Gerhard Hammerschmid
Practice Partner: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Germany is one of the OECD’s champions in hip and knee surgeries. This has raised concerns among policymakers about the provision of unnecessary surgeries. Next to demographic change and medical progress, the following
factors contribute to the high amount of surgeries:
- Supplier-induced demand due to a bed ratio that is too high
- A remuneration system which incentivises high surgery volumes andallows for profit-making for cross-financing
- Weak budget control
Selective contracting aims to reduce the number of unnecessary surgeries by
introducing competition into hospital budgeting. For a given quantity of services, health insurance companies contract hospitals offering the highest quality at the lowest price and channel their clients towards them. If hospitals cannot offer low prices, they will not be contracted and risk going bankrupt. This potentially reduces the number of hospital beds and reduces supplier-induced demand. However, this instrument only works if the insured agree on being channelled. Since freedom of choice is highly valued, however, this policy tool is likely to show only marginal effects. Furthermore, politicians will save hospitals from going bankrupt, and thus no reduction in hospital beds occurs.
Health Outcomes and Social Health Insurance in Viet Nam8 / 10
MPP Thesis by Mario Spiezio
Advisor: Stein Kuhnle
Practice Partner: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
The research employs data from the World Health Survey 2003 to study the relationship between the Viet Nam Social Health Insurance and health status of the population. Different to previous studies carried out on this topic, the paper segmented insurance into its two components, namely the voluntary and compulsory pillars, to study the schemes separately. They are considered pivotal devices to enhance universal access to health services, as enshrined in the Viet Nam Social Protection strategy 2010 – 2020. First, the research focused on the rationale behind health financing, and in addition provided an overview of the literature on the relation between health status and the government’s intervention in the field of health, narrowing the scope of the paper to the case of Viet Nam. Subsequently, the research employed a partial proportional odds regression model to analyse the association between health status of respondents and health insurance, while addressing potential issues that may arise due to measurement error in the dependent variable and respondents’ attitudes toward risk.
Social Innovation: A Desirable and Feasible Journey for Organisations Addressing Public Problems? The State of the Art of Social Innovation in German Social Welfare Organisations9 / 10
MPP Thesis by Magdalena Schmidt & Katinka Brose
Advisor: Johanna Mair
Practice Partner: Vodafone Stiftung
This thesis illuminates the organisational capacity for Social Innovation (SI) within the German welfare sector. The relevance of this thesis is demonstrated by the growing discussion around SI, while social problems become more pressing. As such, SI offers new ways of facing social problems. Furthermore, this thesis contributes to the academic discourse on
the subject and elaborates on the level playing field of traditional and innovative approaches within the German welfare sector. The central research question is: What are enabling factors and barriers for German welfare organisations to strive for Social Innovation? The general understanding of SI, external and internal drivers to the innovation process, respective barriers as well as innovation management attempts will be analysed. The thesis is conducted as a multiple case study. The sample includes four of the major social welfare organisations in Germany: Diakonie, Caritas, the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz and the Arbeiterwohlfahrt. Our main findings show that the innovation process is mostly located at the local organisational level and is highly dependent upon personal initiative, whereas the organisational discourse on SI is mainly held at the national organisational level. Attempts at scaling remain ambiguous. The impetus for innovation responds mostly to changing beneficiaries’ demands. Further, innovation management is generally supported, although its implementation remains vague. Both external and internal barriers to the innovation process occur. On the side of the welfare organisations, external barriers are pointed to, such as means of financing SI or the regulatory framework. Within this thesis, the internal organisational and governance structures have also been identified as a barrier to the innovation process; however, the organisations attach less value to these barriers. Finally, we have experienced that theory and practice regarding the non-profit sector is drifting apart.
Collaboration Is What Matters: The Critical Role of Cross-Sector Innovation for Social Inclusive Development in Rural Haiti10 / 10
MPP Thesis by Paulina Maddalena
Advisor: Johanna Mair
Practice Partner: Prime Minister Office of the Republic of Haiti, Earth Institute-Columbia University
Fragile countries suffer from chronic underdevelopment and are often caught in a vicious cycle of intractable societal challenges (Chronic Poverty Report, 2008). Cross-sector innovation is, however, poised to make a difference for development. This study sheds light on why and how to embrace cross-sector innovation. Cross-sector innovation is uniquely suited to open the window of opportunity for social inclusive development and transformative change in fragile countries. It favours collaborative governance to confront urgent cross-sector challenges such as extreme poverty, food insecurity or environmental degradation. The study’s primary concern is to fill the knowledge gap regarding social innovation in collaborative governance. Moreover, the research intends to address larger questions concerning the value of development assistance, as well as the mobilizing but also limiting effects of policy experimentation in the quest for social innovation. Building on a case-study from rural Haiti (a local dairy network), the study aims to conceptualise the nature and dynamics of cross-sector innovation as well as to examine social innovation in collaborative governance. It identifies stage-specific innovation techniques and governance roles that actors within the social innovation process can take. The study concludes that largescale, innovative solutions to critical social problems need to be embedded in a cross-sectorial governance process if they are to ensure long-term public benefit.