Katherine Bersch lecture

by Sofia

Quick notes from lecture entitled “When Democracies Deliver: Governance Reform in Argentina and Brazil”

problem-solving approach more effective than “powering” reform (sudden, all-changing, used in Argentina) or laggard reform
incremental changes over time by actors inside
– allows for corrections and learning
– de-emphasizes contentious political issues – not take opposition head-on
– sequentially builds support and extends reforms – evolve along the way
brazil and argentina both federal countries
govt contracting 10-30% of GDP, can be heart of corruption, but also how taxes turn into roads schools and vaccines
– will look at health and transportation

PAMI: argentina’s medicare: health to elderly/pensioners
exemplar by World Bank, but in crisis by 2000s: billions in arrears, endemic corruption,
– NESTOR Kirchner appoints Graciela Ocaña to intervene, to fundamentally restructure
– reduces personnel
– restructures contracting system
– creates internal pari auditing body
– publishes contracting info online
– put PAMI on sound fiscal footing
– 2007, CRISTINA promotes her
– de Cesere appointed to her old post, near reversal of her policies

example of power reform that made changes but left few defenders.
after confrontation with el campo, gives more power to La Cámpora.
same factors that allowed Ocaña to change things were the same things that allowed them to be reversed.

pregão – reverse auctioning. public (online), takes the lowest bidder who can do it
some years later, gains steam, non-corrupt servants can use it to avoid political pressure to do what their superiors want
Dilma signs a measure making it more mandatory, but still without forcing it on the giants that would crush it.
sequential, incremental changes that slowly gains ground. a very small group did this!

problem-solving more effective over the long term. both countries have used both approaches, but argentina TENDS to power.
– exclusionary governing facilitates power in Argentina
– multiparty coalitions work with presidents frustrate large upheavals, but favour small, modest changes

benefits of problem solving
– continual adjustment benefit from learning
– incremental approach makes reform more durable and preserves bureaucratic autonomy
state capacity
implications for policymakers and practitioners