Public Management, Services

 
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Local Government Discretion and Accountability in Sierra Leone (Research Report)
Benjamin Edwards, Serdar Yilmaz, Jameson Boex

Sierra Leone is a small West African country with approximately 6 million people. Since 2002, the nation has made great progress in recovering from a decade-long civil war, in part due to consistent and widespread support for decentralization and equitable service delivery. Three rounds of peaceful elections have strengthened democratic norms, but more work is needed to cement decentralization reforms and strengthen local governments. This paper examines decentralization progress to date and suggests several next steps the government of Sierra Leone can take to overcome the remaining hurdles to full implementation of decentralization and improved local public service delivery.

Posted to Web: April 17, 2014Publication Date: March 01, 2014

Immigration and the Changing Landscape for Local Service Delivery: Demographic Shifts in Cities and Neighborhoods (Research Report)
Julia Gelatt, Gina Adams, William Monson

Growing immigration affects many communities across the United States, but the demographic impacts vary widely, with implications for service delivery. Some places have experienced high levels of immigration for decades and others are facing new influxes. In many communities, the mix of national origins of immigrants has been shifting. These changes—increasing numbers, geographic dispersion, and increasing diversity—have played out very differently across US communities and over time. In this brief, we provide examples of how national trends have played out in select US cities and neighborhoods. We then highlight the implications of these trends for effective service delivery.

Posted to Web: March 19, 2014Publication Date: March 19, 2014

Innovations in NYC Health and Human Services Policy: Procurement and Shared Services (Research Brief)
Carol J. De Vita, Sarah L. Pettijohn

Nonprofit organizations are a vital partner to government in the delivery of human services. Through government contracts, nonprofits deliver a broad range of essential services to local residents. This brief examines three New York City initiatives to improve procurement, save money, and help city agencies and local nonprofits function more efficiently. Undertaken with guidance from the Strengthening Nonprofits Task Force, these initiatives feature innovative uses of electronic storage and information sharing. This brief is one in a series examining selected social service initiatives undertaken during the Bloomberg administration.

Posted to Web: March 17, 2014Publication Date: March 17, 2014

Transforming Neighborhoods with Government Partners (Research Report)
Molly M. Scott, Thomas Callan, Jennifer Biess, Saunji Fyffe

The Great Recession and the corresponding collapse of the housing market have had far-reaching effects on communities across the country. With nonprofits and local governments both trying to do more with less, Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) commissioned a study to crystallize the tools its affiliates need to nurture successful collaborations. Synthesizing information gleaned from a literature review, an extensive web survey of Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) affiliates, and case studies of three communities, this report suggests concrete strategies to plan, build, and sustain relationships with local government partners.

Posted to Web: May 31, 2013Publication Date: May 31, 2013

Opportunities for Police Cost Savings Without Sacrificing Service Quality: Reducing Fuel Consumption (Research Report)
Philip S. Schaenman, Aaron Horvath

Police vehicles burn a great deal of fuel while patrolling continuously. Various approaches have been proven to significantly reduce the amount of fuel used and its cost. Hybrid vehicles typically get two-three times higher mileage per gallon than conventional vehicles and have proven viable for policing, in many cities, including New York. Computers in vehicles that reduce trips back to stations, fuel-saving driving techniques (such as reducing idling), good vehicle maintenance (such as maintaining proper tire pressures), use of on-line reporting and other strategies such as community policing that require fewer vehicle trips also can reduce fuel consumption.

Posted to Web: April 12, 2013Publication Date: April 12, 2013

Opportunities for Cost Savings in Corrections Without Sacrificing Service Quality: Inmate Health Care (Research Report)
Philip S. Schaenman, Elizabeth Davies, Reed Jordan, Reena Chakraborty

In many cities and counties, inmate health care comprises as much as a third of the cost of the corrections department. Options are presented on ways to substantially reduce the costs without reducing the quality of the care. We drew on practices of jails and prison across the nation. The approaches for cost reduction include ways to reduce demand or need for health care (e.g., screening need for hospitalization), and ways to reduce the cost per inmate when care is need (e.g. use of telemedicine.)

Posted to Web: February 26, 2013Publication Date: February 26, 2013

Social Impact Bonds : Testimony before the Committee on Appropriations Maryland House of Delegates (Testimony)
John Roman

Social welfare problems in Maryland and elsewhere have remained intractable because their scale is beyond the ability of government to address alone, John Roman told the Appropriations Committee of the Maryland House of Delegates. Social impact bonds’ integration of private capital into traditionally public-sector activities is a promising mechanism for addressing these challenges. On March 6, 2013, this testimony was presented to the Maryland Senate Committee on Budget and Taxation regarding the Senate version of the social impact bond legislation.

Posted to Web: February 26, 2013Publication Date: February 26, 2013

Improving Public Services and Achieving Sustainable, Inclusive Development: Development Assistance and the Role of the Local Public Sector (Policy Briefs)
Jameson Boex

Industrialized countries typically spend 50% or more of public sector resources to fund public services at the local level including public health services, access to drinking water, local infrastructure development, and so on. In contrast, developing economies typically dedicate a much smaller share of public resources to front-line service delivery within the local public sector. In countries like Bangladesh or Egypt, only about 20% of all public sector spending trickles down to the local level for service delivery. Dr. Jamie Boex, a Senior Research Associate, discusses the ramifications of this for international development and how The Urban Institute's Local Public Sector Initiative plays a role.

Posted to Web: February 20, 2013Publication Date: February 20, 2013

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