Person: Brixi, Hana
Global Practice on Social Protection and Jobs
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Public sector governance, Public finance, Public service delivery, Human development, Social Protection and Labor
Global Practice on Social Protection and Jobs
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated: January 31, 2023
As Practice Manager, Dr. Brixi leads the World Bank engagement on social protection and employment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In her career in the World Bank, Dr. Brixi has been advancing analytic and operational contribution to human development, service delivery, and public sector governance. She led the Global Solutions Group on Public Service Delivery and a Thematic Group on Quality of Fiscal Adjustment; and held senior technical positions across regions, including Program Leader for the Gulf countries, Lead Economist for Human Development in the MENA region, and Senior Economist in China and in countries of Europe and Central & South East Asia. Based in China during 2001-10, she served as World Health Organization’s Sector Leader for Health Sector Development and UNICEF Social Policy Chief; and she taught international development as a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University, School of Public Policy and Management, in Beijing. She published several books, including Trust, Voice and Incentives on governance and service delivery and Government at Risk on contingent liabilities and fiscal risk management (Oxford University Press), and numerous articles on topics of public finance, governance, and human development in professional journals.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
PublicationEquity and Public Governance in Health System Reform : Challenges and Opportunities for China(2011-01-01) Brixi, Hana; Targa, Beatrice; Hipgrave, DavidAchieving the objective of China's current health system reform, namely equitable improvements in health outcomes, will be difficult not least because of the continuously growing income disparities in the country. The analysis in this paper shows that since 2000, disparity in selected health outcomes has been declining across provinces, largely due to earmarked central government allocations. By contrast, public expenditure on health is increasingly regressive (positively correlated with local income per capita) across provinces, and across prefectures and lower levels within provinces. The increasing inequity in public expenditure at sub-national levels indicates that incentives, responsibilities, and resources at sub-national levels are not well aligned with China's national priorities. To address the weaknesses in equity and efficiency that characterize China's health system and health outcomes, China's health system reform may require complementary reforms to improve governance for public service delivery across sectors. PublicationTax Expenditures--Shedding Light on Government Spending through the Tax System : Lessons from Developed and Transition Economies(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Polackova Brixi, Hana; Swift, Zhicheng Li; Polackova Brixi, Hana; Valenduc, Christian M.A.; Swift, Zhicheng LiRecently developing countries have focused attention on the usefulness of tax expenditures' in shaping prudent and transparent fiscal policy. In adopting a market economy, developing countries commonly use tax expenditures as major fiscal policy instruments. However, with limited theoretical understanding of, and ad hoc experience with, applying tax expenditures, developing countries now confront not only revenue losses higher than they had anticipated but also the erosion of their tax bases in systems that generally have been in existence fewer than 10 years. Fortunately, the experience and practice of developed countries offer insights into understanding and applying tax expenditures. Most developed countries have established tax reporting systems, which provide empirical information on their tax expenditures. Such tax reporting systems tend to be part of a country's overall fiscal system for strengthening government finance and contribute significantly to fiscal transparency. Using the information available, several governments attempt to analyze the cost and economic effects of individual tax expenditures. Some governments even bring tax expenditures into the budgetary process and subject them to a level of scrutiny similar to that for direct expenditures. This book contains several papers on how both developed and transition economies define and apply tax expenditure systems. The developed countries-Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States-have established tax expenditure accounting and, in varying degress, brought tax expenditures into budgetary process. The experience of China and Poland shed light on why it is important for developing and transition economies to ensure fiscal transparency and to perform systematic fiscal analysis when implementing tax expenditures, as well as how to address these issues in relatively new tax systems. PublicationChina : Urban Services and Governance(2009-08-01) Brixi, HanaThe study addresses governance challenges in public service delivery in China. It builds on the citizen scorecard survey conducted in five Chinese cities in 2006 to gauge citizens experience with public services, and demonstrates the usefulness of citizens feedback for policy development and implementation. The survey found that citizens were generally pleased with urban public services, but worried about the associated fees. Compared with the official urban residents, the urban poor and rural migrants in cities reported sharper utilization constraints, lower readiness to complain or pay informal fees, and a much larger income share spent on public services. The reported citizens perceptions sometimes diverged from the evidence and pointed to significant information asymmetries. Explaining the survey results, the study reveals problems of inadequacy, inequality and misaligned incentives in public resource allocation. The study presents several successful experiments reducing the dependence on user fees in basic education and primary healthcare. It recognizes that China has been undertaking comprehensive reforms to enhance equity and quality in public service delivery. Such reforms have included measures to strengthen the regulatory, monitoring, and enforcement systems and accountability relationships. In the context of the ongoing reforms, this study highlights the need to: a) hold the provincial governments accountable for public service delivery performance; b) develop effective mechanisms to align public resources and incentives at each level of government with the national priorities; and c) develop proper means to empower the citizens. In this context, the study affirms that the Chinese government is rightly placing reforms in the intergovernmental, administrative, and public finance systems at the top of its agenda. PublicationMonitoring Fiscal Risks of Subnational Governments(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2002-03) Ma, Jun; Polackova, HanaGrowing experience with decentralization indicates that a country's public finance system suffers when subnational governments expose themselves to excessive risk. But central governments often lack the information needed to monitor the fiscal risks of subnational governments. Several countries, having experienced subnational fiscal crises, have established systems to monitor such risks. These systems assess subnational fiscal health and call for central government attention-and possible intervention-if preset indicators of fiscal imprudence are exceeded. In developing countries such systems also provide useful information for subnational credit ratings. This note describes several country experiences with indicators of subnational fiscal risks, identifies some limitations of such indicators, and suggests alternative indicators. PublicationContingent Liabilities : A Threat to Fiscal Stability(World Bank, Washington, DC, 1998-11) Polackova, HanaThe economic policy note discusses the issue of serious fiscal instability faced by many governments as a result of their contingent liabilities, which are associated with major hidden fiscal risks. Direct liabilities are predictable obligations that will arise in any event, and are the main subject of conventional fiscal analysis. Conversely, contingent liabilities are obligations triggered by a discreet but uncertain event, and are not always accounted for fully. The note further discusses explicit and implicit liabilities of a central government, suggesting ways to reduce fiscal risks for the policy makers. PublicationTrust, Voice, and Incentives : Learning from Local Success Stories in Service Delivery in the Middle East and North Africa(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015-04) Brixi, Hana; Lust, Ellen; Woolcock, Michael; Alaref, Jumana; Halabi, Samira; Hebert, Luciana; Linnemann, Hannah; Quota, ManalThis report examines the role of incentives, trust, and engagement as critical determinants of service delivery performance in MENA countries. Focusing on education and health, the report illustrates how the weak external and internal accountability undermines policy implementation and service delivery performance and how such a cycle of poor performance can be counteracted. Case studies of local success reveal the importance of both formal and informal accountability relationships and the role of local leadership in inspiring and institutionalizing incentives toward better service delivery performance. Enhancing services for MENA citizens requires forging a stronger social contract among public servants, citizens, and service providers while empowering communities and local leaders to find 'best fit' solutions. Learning from the variations within countries, especially the outstanding local successes, can serve as a solid basis for new ideas and inspiration for improving service delivery. Such learning may help the World Bank Group and other donors as well as national and local leaders and civil society, in developing ways to enhance the trust, voice, and incentives for service delivery to meet citizens’ needs and expectations. PublicationPublic-Private Partnerships in the New EU Member States(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2007) Budina, Nina; Polackova Brixi, Hana; Irwin, TimothyPublic-private partnerships (PPPs) operate at the boundary of the public and private sectors, being neither fully public nor fully private. PPPs are defined in this paper as privately financed infrastructure projects in which a private firm either: (i) sells its services to the government; or (ii) sells its services to third parties with significant fiscal support in the form of guarantees. Despite these common elements of PPPs across sectors, there are differences in the type of arrangements that are typical in each sector. This study focuses on whether and when using PPPs can create fiscal space for additional infrastructure investments in the EU8. In doing so, the paper will examine the fiscal risks of PPPs and the role of fiscal institutions in this regard, including how these affect the use and design of PPPs and thus the potential for creating fiscal space while promoting investment in infrastructure. Chapter 2 distinguishes the illusory from the real fiscal effects of PPPs. Chapter 3 relates the extent to which PPPs reduce fiscal costs to the nature of fiscal institutions. Chapter 4 explains how fiscal institutions can be improved to encourage fiscal prudence in the use and design of PPPs. Chapter 5 concludes. PublicationGovernment at Risk : Contingent Liabilities and Fiscal Risk(Washington, DC: World Bank and Oxford University Press, 2002) Polackova Brixi, Hana; Polackova Brixi, Hana; Schick, AllenConventional fiscal analysis fails to address contingent fiscal risk. The government budget process and documentation generally fail to scrutinize the substantial claims on public resources that are associated with government contingent liabilities, realized and potential. This report fills gaps on our understanding of fiscal risks and develops suitable frameworks for managing them. It offers new analytical concepts, presents country case studies, and based on country case studies, provides a menu of practical ideas for policymakers and scholars to bring fiscal risk within the ambit of public finance. The book is divided into two parts: Part I of this book gives an overview of different approaches to dealing with government fiscal risks. The country examples in this part offer additional conceptual approaches and illustrate some of the discussion in the earlier chapters. Part II presents analytical and institutional approaches that governments might consider when facing risks in specific government programs or sectors. The book indicates that countries differ greatly in their treatment of contingent liabilities and other fiscal risks. In this respect, the book illustrates that contemporary practices have yet to be standardized.