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Kaiser, Kai

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Last updated: January 31, 2023

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 18
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From Pork to Performance

2016-06, Custer, Samantha, Rahemtulla, Hanif, Kaiser, Kai-Alexander, van den Brink, Rogier

From pork to performance illuminates the politics of how public resources are spent and the difficulty of the ‘last mile’ of service delivery. Crumbling facilities, absentee teachers, and roads to nowhere waste resources and retard development in many countries around the world. These failures in last mile service delivery underscore a more intractable development problem, a breakdown in accountability relationships, as politicians and civil servants act with impunity to extract private benefits at the expense of public goods. This study examines the extent to which technology and transparency can disrupt this low accountability status quo through turning information into collective action to improve government performance by strengthening the accountability relationships between politicians, service providers and citizens. In 2010, a new president came to power in the Philippines with a compelling message, ‘no corruption, no poverty’, and embraced open government as a vehicle to burn avenues of retreat and advance governance reforms. This study features examples from five sectors, education, reconstruction, roads, municipal development, and tax collection – where government champions sought to open up the black box of service delivery and use digital platforms to disclose data and strengthen accountability. This research provides guidance for public, private, and civil society leaders committed to using technology and transparency to curb pork-barrel politics and create digital dividends for their communities. The study combines rigorous political economy analysis with practical diagnostic tools and recommendations for open government initiatives to go deeper in the Philippines and around the world.

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Implementing Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys for Results : Lessons from a Decade of Global Experience

2009-11, Gurkan, Asli, Kaiser, Kai, Voorbraak, Doris

Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS) can serve as a powerful tool to inform prevailing public financial management (PFM) practices and the extent to which government budgets link to execution and desired service delivery objectives and beneficiaries. Since the first PETS in Uganda in 1996, tracking exercises have now been conducted in over two dozen other countries, often as part of core analytical and advisory work related to PFM. This note synthesizes the findings and lessons from a number of recent PETS stocktaking exercises and indicates their potential benefits for enriching PFM and sectoral policy dialogues in a variety of country settings. Key findings include: (i) PETS have proven to be useful as part of a broader policy strategy aimed at improving service delivery results; (ii) PETS has become a brand name for very different instruments, but at its core there is a survey methodology that requires skilled technical expertise and a solid knowledge of budget execution processes; (iii) policy impact in a variety of PETS experiences could be further strengthened by stronger country ownership and effective follow-up; and (iv) the Bank could enhance PETS results through strategic partnering, and greater emphasis on dissemination and communication strategies aimed at involving actors who can foster actions on the ground.

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Local Conflict in Indonesia: Measuring Incidence and Identifying patterns

2004-08, Barron, Patrick, Kaiser, Kai, Pradhan, Menno

The widespread presence of local conflict characterizes many developing countries such as Indonesia. Outbreaks of violent conflict not only have direct costs for lives, livelihoods, and material property, but may also have the potential to escalate further. Recent studies on large-scale "headline" conflicts have tended to exclude the systematic consideration of local conflict, in large part due to the absence of representative data at low levels of geographic specification. This paper is a first attempt to correct for that. We evaluate a unique dataset compiled by the Indonesian government, the periodic Village Potential Statistics (PODES), which seeks to map conflict across all of Indonesia's 69,000 villages/neighborhoods. The data confirm that conflict is prevalent beyond well publicized "conflict regions," and that it can be observed across the archipelago. The data report largely violent conflict in 7.1 percent of Indonesia's lowest administrative tier (rural desa and urban kelurahan). Integrating examples from qualitative fieldwork, we assess issues in the measurement of local conflict for quantitative analysis, and adopt an empirical framework to examine potential associations with poverty, inequality, shocks, ethnic and religious diversity/inequality, and community-level associational and security arrangements. The quantitative analysis shows positive correlations between local conflict and unemployment, inequality, natural disasters, changes in sources of incomes, and clustering of ethnic groups within villages. The institutional variables indicate that the presence of places of worship is associated with less conflict, while the presence of religious groups and traditional culture (adat) institutions are associated with conflict. We conclude by suggesting future areas of research, notably on the role of group inequality and inference, and suggest ways to improve the measurement of conflict in the village census.

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Managing Post-Disaster Reconstruction Finance : International Experience in Public Financial Management

2008-01, Fengler, Wolfgang, Ihsan, Ahya, Kaiser, Kai

In recent years, natural and man-made disasters have confronted the international community with its most demanding reconstruction challenges since the aftermath of World War II. Managing the inflow of resources and spending those resources well have proven to be two of the main difficulties in such reconstruction projects, particularly after large-scale disasters. A central dilemma of the public financial management of reconstruction is the need for very high levels of accountability to demonstrate fiduciary credibility, while at the same time ensuring the rapid implementation of recovery programs. This paper identifies options and lessons for managing post-disaster reconstruction finance in three key areas: (i) the establishment of special institutions to manage the reconstruction process; (ii) the selection of public financial management systems with respect to the application of country systems, special fiduciary arrangements, or donor/NGO execution; and (iii) monitoring and evaluation systems. The authors synthesize the phasing of assistance and approaches in eight recent post-natural disaster reconstruction efforts (Aceh-Indonesia, Yogyakarta-Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Pakistan, Colombia, Grenada, and Honduras) to help guide the priorities and options for future instances of public financial management for disaster reconstruction. The paper also compares the challenges posed by post-conflict versus post-natural disaster public financial management.

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Sin Tax Reform in the Philippines: Transforming Public Finance, Health, and Governance for More Inclusive Development

2016-07-06, Kaiser, Kai, Bredenkamp, Caryn, Iglesias, Roberto

Excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol products can be an effective instrument for promoting public health through curbing smoking and excessive drinking, while raising significant revenues for development priorities. In 2012, the Philippines successfully passed a landmark tobacco and alcohol tax reform—dubbed the “Sin Tax Law.” This book describes the design of the Philippines sin tax reform, documents the technical and political processes by which it came about, and assesses the impact that the reform has had after three years of implementation.

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Technology for Results: Using Smartphones to Verify Results and Serve the Public in Vietnam’s Water Sector

2019-07, Kaiser, Kai, Chase, Claire, Hong, Hai Le Tuyen

The note serves to show how smartphones and digital platforms/workflows can be effectively used to collect and process validation data about decentralized/dispersed frontline results. The case study shows that World Bank operations can help bring this type of digital platform–based approach to more mainstream government processes, particularly in the context of Program for Results, in this case for the rural water supply and sanitation operations. The note documents both the checklist approach and the realization of a web-based platform established to disclose water and sanitation program planning documents and resources to the public, along with a call center to deal with customer questions and concerns. The experience speaks to the question of how more versatile technology (cloud platforms, smartphones) together with institutional drivers can set the stage for new generation digital platforms taking root in governments like Vietnam, where paper-based processes and reporting persist. While technology is clearly secondary to getting the people and process parts of the equation right, getting the technology wrong may adversely disrupt the reform process, strengthening opposition or perpetuating the status quo. The major value added for the World Bank may be to help design and demonstrate robust and versatile platforms, including as part of results-based operations aligning to country systems.

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Resilience of an African Giant : Boosting Growth and Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo

2012, Herderschee, Johannes, Kaiser, Kai-Alexander, Mukoko Samba, Daniel

The size, resources, and location of the Democratic Republic of Congo have an impact on all of Central Africa. The country has unexplored mining resources, massive agricultural potential, and a population of more than 60 million inhabitants. The second largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo borders nine countries and has complex economic, migration, and political relations with each of them. Its development has a significant impact on the economic growth and political stability of the continent. The international community has a long-standing involvement in the country. During the cold war, Western countries supported the Democratic Republic of Congo, despite its poor economic policies and political repression. Following the end of the cold war, foreign interest declined, reemerging around the turn of the century. In the last 10 years, the international community has invested considerable resources to stabilize the country through international peacekeeping efforts. Rising commodity prices have also ignited interest in the country's unexploited natural resources.

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Electoral Accountability, Fiscal Decentralization and Service Delivery in Indonesia

2011-03-01, Skoufias, Emmanuel, Narayan, Ambar, Kaiser, Kai

This paper takes advantage of the exogenous phasing of direct elections in districts and applies the double difference estimator to: (i) measure impacts on the pattern of public spending and revenue generation at the district level; and (ii) investigate the heterogeneity of the impacts on public spending. The authors confirm that the electoral reforms had positive effects on district expenditures and these effects were mainly due to the increases in expenditures in the districts outside Java and Bali and the changes in expenditures brought about by non-incumbents elected in the districts. Electoral reforms also led to higher revenue generation from own sources and to higher budget surplus. Finally, the analysis finds that in anticipation of the forthcoming direct elections, district governments tend to have higher current expenditures on public works.

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The Power of Public Investment Management : Transforming Resources into Assets for Growth

2014-09-30, Rajaram, Anand, Minh Le, Tuan, Kaiser, Kai, Kim, Jay-Hyung, Frank, Jonas

This publication consists of seven chapters: building a system for public investment management; a unified framework for public investment management; country experiences of public investment management; approaches to better project appraisal; public investment management under uncertainty; procurement and public investment management; and public investment management for public-private partnerships.

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The Political Economy of Decentralization Reforms : Implications for Aid Effectiveness

2011-06-24, Eaton, Kent, Kaiser, Kai, Smoke, Paul J.

This volume presents a preliminary framework designed to help international development partners consider the relevance of political economy issues for their programmatic support to decentralization and local government reform. The intention is neither to advocate decentralization in general or in any particular form, nor to presume or privilege any particular decentralization objective. Instead, the purpose is to document the potential value of better understanding how (primarily national and intergovernmental) political and institutional dynamics do or could affect the scope for realizing decentralization reforms aligned with commonly advocated service delivery, governance, and poverty reduction goals. The underlying premise is that systematic analysis of these issues can productively complement the dominantly technical diagnostic work typically carried out by development partners. Specifically, development partners can benefit from better understanding the practical significance of motives that drive politicians and bureaucrats to support or oppose reform at various stages of the decentralization process, from making an initial reform decision to detailed design and implementation. In addition, the framework addresses how these incentives can weaken, strengthen, or shift in response to changes in political and economic conditions that arise after reform begins. A general approach to conducting political economy of decentralization analysis is outlined, recognizing the need to tailor such analysis to the particular country context. This volume is based on literature reviews and knowledge derived from selected country experiences.