Global Practice on Governance, The World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
Public policy reform, Comparative politics, Intergovernmental fiscal relations, Public finance, Public sector management
Global Practice on Governance, The World Bank
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Lorena Viñuela is a Public Sector Specialist with the World Bank’s Latin America and Caribbean Region. Her research relates to the political economy of public policy reform, fiscal policy, intergovernmental relations, and comparative politics. Prior to joining the World Bank, she worked at the Maxwell School of Public Affairs of Syracuse University, the Institute for Qualitative and Multi-method Research, and the Inter-American Development Bank. She is the co-author of the book "Rents to Riches: Political Economy of Natural Resource-Led Development," and numerous articles and book chapters related to decentralization, political economy, and public finance.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
Institutions Taking Root : Building State Capacity in Challenging Contexts(World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2014-09-09) Barma, Naazneen H. ; Huybens, Elisabeth ; Vinuela, Lorena ; Barma, Naazneen H. ; Huybens, Elizabeth ; Viñuela, LorenaBuilding and operating successful public institutions is a perennial and long-term challenge for governments, which is compounded by the volatile conditions found in fragile settings. Yet some government agencies do manage to take root and achieve success in delivering results earning legitimacy and forging resilience in otherwise challenging contexts. Drawing on mixed-method empirical research carried out on nine public agencies in Lao PDR, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, and Timor Leste, this volume identifies the shared causal mechanisms underpinning institutional success in fragile states by examining the inner workings of these institutions, along with the external operational environment and sociopolitical context in which they exist. Successful institutions share and deploy a common repertoire of internal and external operational strategies. In addition they connect this micro-institutional repertoire to the macro-sociopolitical context along three discernible pathways to institutional success. Institutional development is a heavily contextual, dynamic, and non-linear process but certain actionable lessons emerge for policy-makiers and development partners.
Intergovernmental Fiscal Management in Natural Resource-Rich Settings(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014) Vinuela, Lorena ; Kaiser, Kai ; Chowdhurie-Aziz, MonaliIn resource-dependent countries, natural resources constitute one of the main assets available for financing local governments because the economy is not greatly diversified. The goal of this note is to highlight different critical dimensions of intergovernmental fiscal relations in these settings, present a survey of the range of arrangements used for managing resource rents across multiple levels of government, and synthesize basic principles or considerations in the implementation of revenue-sharing systems across different contexts. The design and implementation of measures to improve intergovernmental management of the oil, gas, and mining sector must consider the core policy objectives, fiscal context, and overall political structure. Paying attention to the constraints and political economy drivers that shape intergovernmental relations is critical to identify the feasible reforms and alternatives to improve performance that are available in a given country.
Do Performance Agreements Help Improve Service Delivery?: The Experience of Brazilian States(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-07) Vinuela, Lorena ; Zoratto, LauraA growing number of states and municipalities in Brazil rely on results-based management, and many other local and state governments are considering adopting the practice. This paper examines the experiences of the Brazilian states that have implemented results agreements linked to variable pay. The analysis compares current with pre-intervention outcomes in the education, health, and security sectors. The changes are examined in relation to regional trends to determine whether the improvements depart in meaningful ways from the overall trend. In addition, a truncated time-series cross-section model is used to control for several additional factors influencing service delivery outcomes. The results suggest that, at least in the short and medium term, the implementation of results agreements is associated with significant and positive changes in outcomes in the security and education sectors. On average, states using team-level targets and performance-related pay have 15 fewer homicides per 100,000 inhabitants than those that do not, all else equal. Similarly, states that have introduced performance agreements and a bonus for teachers and school staff have improved their Basic Education Development Index score for public secondary schools by 0.3 additional points compared with the scores of states with similar characteristics. The conclusions are in line with the findings of in-depth impact evaluations and case study work in the education and security sectors (Bruns, Evans and Luque 2011, Milagres de Assis 2012). The paper does not analyze unit or team level data, which would be necessary to draw more rigorous conclusions about how results-based interventions affect the behavior of civil servants and outcomes over time. Therefore, the results should be interpreted with caution, as some of the assumptions behind the models cannot be examined with the available data.
Back to Planning: How to Close Brazil's Infrastructure Gap in Times of Austerity(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-07-12) Raiser, Martin ; Clarke, Roland ; Procee, Paul ; Briceno-Garmendia, Cecilia ; Kikoni, Edith ; Kizito, Joseph ; Vinuela, LorenaWhy does Brazil continue to lag its peers in the quality of physical infrastructure? What are the implications for growth prospects? What could be done to close the infrastructure gap? These are the key questions addressed in this new report on infrastructure in Brazil. The key argument of the report is that Brazil needs to improve its capacity to plan and prioritize its infrastructure investments. Poorly prioritized and prepared infrastructure investments are a key reason why successive government programs, often with significant budget allocations, have had limited impact. Insufficient planning efforts have meant that what investment takes place has done little to reduce glaring inefficiencies and losses. With more efforts upstream to prepare a robust pipeline of projects, Brazil is in an excellent position to attract commercial financing to its infrastructure. With more attention to sector planning and governance, losses could be reduced and the effective resources available to infrastructure could be roughly doubled. This in turn would help boost growth and improve the quality of public services without the need for much additional public money. The report analyzes recent government measures such as the creation of the PPI and develops recommendations how infrastructure can become an engine of economic recovery in Brazil.
Rents to Riches? The Political Economy of Natural Resource-led Development(World Bank, 2012) Barma, Naazneen H. ; Kaiser, Kai ; Le, Tuan Minh ; Vinuela, LorenaThis volume emphasizes instead the notion of 'good fit,' taking the position that welfare-promoting policies, institutions, and governance must be tailored, at least in part, to a country's specific context. In this vein, the volume presents an analytical framework for assessing a country's political economy and institutional environment as it relates to natural resource management and, on that basis, it offers a substantial set of targeted prescriptions across the natural resource value chain that are technically sound and compatible with the identified underlying incentives. In other words, the objective of this book is to help development practitioners unravel the political economy dynamics surrounding natural resource management in order to complement their technically grounded engagement. To this end, the analytical approach has been two-pronged. First, case studies were conducted on the political economy of the hydrocarbon and mineral value chains in 13 countries in the Africa, East Asia and Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean regions. Second, in light of this empirical material, the book highlights the current frontier of applied political economy analysis on resource dependence. This volume synthesizes the empirical and the theoretical with an emphasis on illuminating the implications for operational engagement in resource-dependent settings.