Sep 19, 2011

Case studies on social change

This is a follow up on my last post
Chris Blattman reports on Innovation for Successful Societies which offers numerous case studies on institutions and social change. These are two examples: 

Between 1999 and 2001, the powerful Directorate of Public Service Management in Botswana decentralized personnel authority to line ministries.  This process was critical in enabling ministries to be more efficient while also allowing the directorate to focus on more substantive issues concerning the public service.  The Botswana case demonstrates three components that contributed to the successful devolving of responsibility from a central public service ministry:  1) the training for and establishment of new human resource mechanisms within the line ministries, 2) the creation of new accountability mechanisms to ensure that new powers were not abused, and 3) the creation of a new role and identity for the relatively disenfranchised central public service ministry.

Organizing the Return of Government to Conflict Zones, Colombia, 2004-2009


In May 2004, Colombia’s Office of the Presidency established a national-level agency, the Centro de Coordinación de Acción Integral, to manage the reintroduction of state institutions into areas that had been retaken from leftist guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries and drug traffickers. The agency set up a central Bogotá office from which it coordinated work in so-called consolidation zones around the country. In many of these areas, the government had either been absent for decades or never present. In the words of Andres Peñate, former vice minister of defense and an architect of the initiative, “Although we were all Colombians, it was almost like conquering a different country.” Despite setbacks, by late 2009 the agency had received broad-based domestic and international endorsement. 
See the full list here

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