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NGOs and public service quality in Russia: to resist the departmental approach Professor Lev Yakobson Moscow, June, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "NGOs and public service quality in Russia: to resist the departmental approach Professor Lev Yakobson Moscow, June, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 NGOs and public service quality in Russia: to resist the departmental approach Professor Lev Yakobson Moscow, June, 2011

2 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

3 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 main arena 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

4 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

5 Which of the following human rights and freedoms are you sure to posses? Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Non-for-profit HSE

6 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.? 6 Russian representative population survey (n = 1600), Russian survey of NGO leaders (n= 1000), Survey of Experts at the federal level (n = 303)

7 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.

8 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? 8 Russian representative population survey (n = 1600), Russian survey of NGO leaders (n= 1000), Survey of Experts at the federal level (n = 303)

9 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

10 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

11 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

12 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

13 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

14 How did the Government act in the period of the global economic crises? National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

15 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

16 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

17 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

18 A case study: the public procurement reform The System of Public Procurement in Russia: the Road of Reform www.hse.ruwww.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

19 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

20 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

21 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

22 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

23 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

24 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

25 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

26 SPb, p. 4 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

27 Presentation - 4 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

28 Presentation - 5 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

29 Presentation - 6 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

30 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

31 Awareness of NGOs and participation in their activities National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

32 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

33 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

34 Russian NGOs: number of paid employees distribution National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

35 Russian NGOs: number of volunteers distribution National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

36 What kind of relationships do you have with… National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2011

37 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

38 ljakobson@hse.ru


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