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  • Author: David J. Berteau, Guy Ben-Ari, Joachim Hofbauer, Gregory Kiley, Jesse Ellman
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, federal spending on service contracts more than doubled in constant terms, from $164 billion in 2000 to $343 billion in 2010. Policymakers have recently attempted to reduce or even reverse this increase, emphasizing instead what is now called the “insourcing” of services contracts. Conversions from contractors to government civilians, as well as other actions to expand the federal workforce, are being undertaken for political and cost savings reasons. In this study, CSIS looks into recent developments of these insourcing efforts within one executive department: the Department of Defense (DoD). DoD is the largest government department in terms of demand for services. In 2010, it awarded $161 billion worth of service contracts, up from $67 billion in 2000. This report reviews the analytical validity of the current policy and practices and proposes an alternative methodology for conducting better sourcing decisions between private and public providers.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Matthew Kirk, Julie Steele, Christele Delbe, Laura Crow, Justin Keeble, Caroline Fricke, Richard Myerscough, Gib Bulloch
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Mobile communications can help to meet the challenge of feeding an estimated 9.2 billion people by 2050. The 12 specific opportunities explored in this study could increase agricultural income by around US$138 billion across 26 of Vodafone's markets in 2020.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Government, Non-Governmental Organization, Science and Technology, Communications
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Tessa Bold, Mwangi Kimenyi, Germano Mwabu, Justin Sandefur
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Existing studies from the United States, Latin America, and Asia provide scant evidence that private schools dramatically improve academic performance relative to public schools. Using data from Kenya—a poor country with weak public institutions—we find a large effect of private schooling on test scores, equivalent to one full standard deviation. This finding is robust to endogenous sorting of more able pupils into private schools. The magnitude of the effect dwarfs the impact of any rigorously tested intervention to raise performance within public schools. Furthermore, nearly two thirds of private schools operate at lower cost than the median government school.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Kenya, United States, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Dean Karlan, John A. List
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We develop a simple theory which formally describes how charities can resolve the information asymmetry problems faced by small donors by working with large donors to generate quality signals. To test the model, we conducted two large-scale natural field experiments. In the first experiment, a charity focusing on poverty reduction solicited donations from prior donors and either announced a matching grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, or made no mention of a match. In the second field experiment, the same charity sent direct mail solicitations to individuals who had not previously donated to the charity, and tested whether naming the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as the matching donor was more effective than not identifying the name of the matching donor. The first experiment demonstrates that the matching grant condition generates more and larger donations relative to no match. The second experiment shows that providing a credible quality signal by identifying the matching donor generates even more and larger donations than not naming the matching donor. Importantly, the treatment effects persist long after the matching period, and the quality signal is quite heterogeneous—the Gates\' effect is much larger for prospective donors who had a record of giving to "poverty-oriented" charities. These two pieces of evidence support our model of quality signals as a key mechanism through which matching gifts inspire donors to give.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Humanitarian Aid, Markets, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jon Gant, Nicol Turner-Lee
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Over the last several decades, local, state and federal government entities in the United States have steadily moved toward more openness and transparency.By definition, openness and transparency allow stakeholders to gather information that may be critical to their interests and offer channels of communication between stakeholders and elected officials. Aided by legislative mandates and public policy decisions, most government entities are now required to make a minimum amount of information available to citizens, operate in the “sunlight” and not behind closed doors, and actively engage citizens in the policy-making process.
  • Topic: Corruption, Education, Government, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Barack Obama
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: THE PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, Vice President Biden, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans: Our Constitution declares that from time to time, the President shall give to Congress information about the state of our union. For 220 years, our leaders have fulfilled this duty. They've done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility. And they've done so in the midst of war and depression; at moments of great strife and great struggle.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Government, War, Labor Issues, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael F. Cannon, Aaron Yelowitz
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In 2006, Massachusetts enacted a sweeping health insurance law that mirrors the legislation currently before Congress. After signing the measure, Gov. Mitt Romney (R) wrote, "Every uninsured citizen in Massachusetts will soon have affordable health insurance and the costs of health care will be reduced." But did the legislation achieve these goals? And what other effects has it had? This paper is the first to use Current Population Survey data for 2008 to evaluate the Massachusetts law, and the first to examine its effects on the accuracy of the CPS's uninsured estimates, self-reported health, the extent of "crowd-out" of private insurance for both children and adults, and in-migration of new Massachusetts residents.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Privatization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael F. Cannon
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: House and Senate Democrats have produced health care legislation whose mandates, subsidies, tax penalties, and health insurance regulations would penalize work and reward Americans who refuse to purchase health insurance. As a result, the legislation could trap many Americans in low-wage jobs and cause even higher health-insurance premiums, government spending, and taxes than are envisioned in the legislation.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Privatization
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Lisa Wedeen
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The issue of state fragility and the presence of radical religious movements in Yemen have occasioned misperceptions and confusions in recent debates about the country. This report argues that the language of “failed states” arises nearly exclusively in relation to countries deemed threatening to US security interests. Moreover, this language obscures rather than reveals how regime incentives to build state institutions can be incompatible with regime interests in survival. The result is that a seemingly neutral analytical category misrepresents local realities even while it is used as a warrant for policy initiatives that are likely to be counterproductive.
  • Topic: Government, Islam, Terrorism, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Yemen, Arabia
  • Author: David Ekbladh
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Development is back. U.S. President Barack Obama has put it high on his strategic agenda. It is at the center of the State Department's much ballyhooed “Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.” These aspirations come with real backing—Obama's fiscal year 2010 budget promises to double foreign aid to nearly $50 billion. Perhaps more importantly for supporters of development, across official Washington accord is growing that development must play a greater role not just in conflict zones but in general U.S. global strategy. It is not only the typical aid constituencies calling for greater attention. Even Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has urged a continuation of the emphasis on development that characterized policies of his last boss, former President George W. Bush. Almost assuredly, a pattern of bigger budgets, needed policy focus, and reform to the disjointed aid mechanisms within the U.S. government will emerge. Complementing (although not always supporting) this U.S. activity internationally is a collection of groups ranging from nongovernmental organizations (NGO)s to the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank. Overall, the place of aid U.S. foreign policy has not been so prominent or secure since the end of the Cold War. Development is once again, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton characterizes it, “a core pillar of American power.”
  • Topic: Development, Government, Non-Governmental Organization, United Nations, Foreign Aid, World Bank
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington