Ebook: Innovative Trends in Public Governance in Asia
Public governance is one of the most important topics in public administration and political science worldwide. It is of special importance to many Asian countries struggling with governance issues related to environmental concerns, democracy, service delivery, and economic growth. The purpose of these innovations is to bring about radical governance improvements, promote citizen participation and utilize private sector organizations in the provision of public services. Innovativeness in Asian countries seems to be heavily constrained by unique historical developments, cultural features, developmentalism and authoritarianism. The potential for innovation in public governance is huge, but it is unlikely that this can be fully harnessed before a resolute attempt to develop good and democratic governance and to support local creativity. This publication provides a contextual and realistic view of the preconditions for successful innovations in public governance. Special attention is paid to the conditions in which innovations are created and implemented. Geographically, the cases presented in this book cover such countries as Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. In-depth analyses show that societal conditions, regime formations, ideologies and managerial doctrines condition innovation activities and affect their outcomes and sustainability. Governance innovations thus reflect the changing nature of the public sector and its connections to its increasingly complex and tensional environment. The chapters of this book are written by academics and experts with special knowledge of governance in Asia. As a result of their collaboration, the book provides a unique compilation of real-life cases on governance innovations in Asia with the addition of theoretical considerations. As such it is of value not only to academics and students but also to developers, public managers and politicians in their efforts to create and implement innovations in public governance.
Public governance is one of the most important topics in public administration worldwide. It is of special importance to many Asian countries, which struggle with governance issues related to environmental concerns, democracy and economic growth. This book highlights a range of contextual issues related to public governance in East, Southeast and South Asian countries. This is a part of a wider project in which we have pictured key challenges and developments in different parts of the world. We provide a contextual view for the innovation discourse by focusing on the practical context in which innovation emerges and hopefully makes a real difference.
February 2, 2011, in Tampere, Finland and Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Ari-Veikko Anttiroiko, Stephen J. Bailey, Pekka Valkama
In this book we discuss innovations in public governance in Asian countries. Our approach is contextual, innovations being discussed in their societal, political and administrative contexts with a special focus on both conditions for innovativeness and innovations actually introduced in various Asian countries. The purpose of these innovations is to bring about radical governance improvements, promote citizen participation and utilize private sector organizations in the provision of public services. Innovativeness in Asian countries seems to be heavily constrained by unique historical developments, diverse cultural features, developmental orientation and authoritarianism. The potential for innovation in public governance is huge but it is unlikely that it can be fully harnessed before further democratization takes place, before a determined attempt to develop good governance and before support of local creativity.
Asia-Pacific countries have increasingly sought to innovate the way they are governed. The following chapter begins with the question: How have global economic governance regimes affected the development of public governance in the region? It then narrows the focus to public financial management and procurement, looking at how external forces have affected the redesign of governments and governance models. It draws on evidence from recent evaluations of World Bank and other international partner support to understand why governments and their international partners fostered certain types of innovations, including participatory expenditure reviews, use of performance information, accelerated disbursements, cutting costs through tighter central controls, hard budget constraints, medium-term expenditure frameworks, modernized accounting systems, computer-based financial management information systems, contracting out public services, merit-based posting of staff in key positions, and salary top ups. It examines what advances have been made and the challenges faced. It concludes with suggestions for further research.
This chapter analyzes the change in local governance with regard to the financial crisis in Japan. The Japanese system of public administration is based on a multilayered structure, which may increase efficiency but it is nevertheless severely constrained by the financial difficulties of local governments. Such a condition is likely to cause the underutilization of the innovation potential of local governments. What should be done to improve the situation is to recover the tax system, promote innovation in local public governance, and fix the existing intergovernmental fiscal relations by emphasizing the role of local government initiatives. The latter are essential to the attainment of the goal of creating high performance of local government in Japan.
This chapter aims to explain why and how South Korea develop such an advanced information and communication technology (ICT) and e-government in short period of time, and how the public sector is being innovated by using various e-government services. Beginning with a brief introduction to South Korea, the author provides a historical overview of the developmental processes of South Korea's ICT and e-government. E-government systems and services available in South Korea are explained along with the major achievements in public governance innovation. Much of the e-government services provide efficient and transparent processes of public service provision, and citizen participation in policy making and politics is being increased over time. The combined effects of e-government systems and services are: convenient access to government services, fast responses to citizen demands, automatic digital record-keeping, increasing transparency, cost-effective service provision, active citizen participation in policy making processes, and increasing political activism. However, South Korean experience of building e-government still has problems to be resolved. Most problems are behavioral as well as cultural instead of technical.
This chapter argues that the innovations in the governance of China are divergent from the conventional understanding of authoritarian regime about the centrality of political elites in policy initiation. Local governments in China often played a leading role whilst central government took a back seat as long as its political supremacy was not challenged. Contradicting the conventional wisdoms about the organizational inertia and change resistance of bureaucracies, local bureaucrats in China may be innovative in structural reform that entailed changing their work habit, restricting their authority, and undermining their sources of revenue as long as the reform was compatible with local agendas and incentives. The ambiguities of central policies provided room for local authorities to experiment their innovations. This paper concludes that the changing political, economic and social dimensions of China offer incentives to both central leaders and local officials for further innovations in the practices of governance.
China's transition from a planned economy to a market economy has been producing a market-based government. Outsourcing in service delivery has been increasingly adopted as a major public management innovation. This paper provides an overview of the development of outsourcing in China by analyzing the changing service delivery environments in China and generalizing the major developments and characteristics of outsourcing. An analytical framework for capacity development is proposed to examine the management practices of Chinese governments on outsourcing. A case of competitive outsourcing of social services in Shanghai is studied as China's avantgarde local innovation. The author argues that public-private collaboration in service delivery has become an irreversible trend in China, with important commonalities and differences from its western counterpart. It is critically important for Chinese governments to develop managing capacities to achieve success in harnessing this “buy” option.
In accordance with the Digital China strategy, the Mayor of Beijing declared in 1999 that Beijing Municipal Government (BMG) would launch the Digital Beijing plan. Digital Beijing aimed at building up an advanced and comprehensive information platform to support Beijing's sustainable development, as well as creating a public information space for government, enterprises and citizens to interact and to share knowledge. Digital Beijing changes the conception of traditional administration and contributed to the reengineering of organization structures of BMG. As a result, e-government, to some extent, promoted ‘quantitative management’ in governmental administration, supervision and service. However, the transaction capability of e-government in the future will largely depend on the result of horizontal connections. Due to a great number of databases serving individual agencies or even offices, it is necessary to continue to invest in setting up the mechanisms of sharing and maintaining information resources.
When the People's Action Party (PAP) government assumed office in Singapore in June 1959, it was saddled with a serious housing shortage and rampant corruption. This chapter analyzes the innovative approaches to resolve these problems by explaining why the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has been more effective than its predecessor in providing public housing for Singaporeans, and why the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) has succeeded in minimizing corruption in Singapore. Apart from being effective organizations which recruited competent personnel, the HDB and CPIB also benefited from the PAP government's commitment to solve the housing shortage and to curb corruption as reflected in the provision of the necessary legislation, personnel, and budget, to enable both agencies to perform effectively.
This chapter focuses on local governance innovation in Thailand. During the past 15 years, decentralization has been implemented in Thailand. Local government in Thailand is increasingly important in providing public services, not only in civil engineering but in social policies as well. Major functions of Thai local governments and the course of decentralization shall be briefly explained. While structural innovation, such as amalgamation or local cooperation, was unsuccessful, monitoring and giving incentives through ‘local government awards’ by central government are widely used. Awards are given to local governments in areas central agencies think significant and want local governments to pay more attention to. In this chapter, the capability of local governments will be analyzed, by using survey data on Thai local government conducted in 2006. Our findings suggest that people's access to local governments plays a significant part in the capability of local governments.
To respond to slow economic development, urbanization and other challenges many South East Asian countries have undertaken wide ranging public administration reforms, ranging from the big bang decentralization in Indonesia which started in 1999 to the more gradual approach taken by the government of Vietnam. The objectives have usually been to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of service provision in order to reduce transaction costs and enhance opportunities for economic growth and respond to the citizens' demand for greater participation in decision making processes. This chapter describes specific innovation in the field of governance looking at the role that research-based evidence has played in informing or influencing the policy reforms. The assumption is that while governance reforms are extremely complex, the adoption of an evidence-based approach to pilot and design the reforms can enhance the possibility to design policies and define practices more in line with specific institutional needs and local demands. Three case studies illustrate these developments: One Stop Services in Indonesia, development planning through participatory rural appraisal in the Philippines, and the case of simplification of administrative procedures in Vietnam.
Metropolitan governments in South Asia are facing difficult challenges in meeting citizens' demands for better services. Innovations are being attempted to effectively counter the challenges faced and to prepare to move forward into an uncertain future. Innovations have been more successfully implemented and institutionalized in some Indian cities, but slow to come in two Pakistani cities. The experience of Colombo in Sri Lanka has been encouraging from the perspective of innovation initiation and institutionalization. Dhaka's experience in Bangladesh provides a mixed picture as small innovations are initiated from time to time but these have not been institutionalized. The variables critical for the successful introduction and sustenance of innovations in metropolitan governance are: active citizen involvement, dissemination of relevant information to citizens, regular monitoring of the progress of innovations through client participation, transparency in the decision-making process and accountability of the officials concerned to the consumers of service.
The system of public governance through progressive strategic planning lays down the mechanism to deliver services to the people. Though an innovative approach is the prerequisite for evolving an effective dynamic system, it is equally important to follow the fundamental normative patterns inherited in societal conventions. The Indian system of governance is one such example where traditionalism is amalgamated with modernism. Thus there are certain legacies which form the basic fabric of governance, but at the same time the government has also introduced highly-advanced practices to keep pace with changing circumstances. This chapter presents an analysis of the main developments in order to understand how the Indian system has evolved.
Market-State interactions are quite interesting these days in dual preference economies like India, in which both the public and private sectors are equally active. The Market expects minimal interference from the State but the question is: does the market require assistance from the State or should the State leave the market alone? In this connection India is an interesting economy to observe new trends in the interrelationship between Market and State, where both are uncomfortable in decisionmaking, especially in the field of privatization. Another equally important question is: in which capacity does the State have its role? Does the responsibility of the State end or start after privatization? These questions are essential to answer because the Constitution of India places a very high degree of welfare responsibility on the State. This paper traces the unique and innovative responsibility of the state and the market to govern privatization properly.
Due to the tremendous growth of information technology, economic globalization and development and the increasing role of the third sector and civil society organizations, the innovation of public governance in developing countries can be considered an important policy issue in meeting the challenges of the 21st century. This chapter attempts to explain the major innovations in local governance during the various successive regimes in Bangladesh since 1971. Two major aspects of democratic local governance and good governance, such as decentralization and people's participation, have been examined in a descriptive and analytical manner. It has been found that despite many past reforms, decentralization of local governance and people's participation in local development have not taken place due to lack of political and bureaucratic will, the patron-client relationship, massive corruption, institutional incapability and conflicting political culture of the country. As a result, local governance institutions became a meeting place of the elites rather than of the local people and corruption remained endemic.