Call for Papers: The Science of Delivery, December 9-12, 2014, Hong Kong
International Public Management Network and City University of Hong Kong
Clay Wescott, Senior Consultant, The World Bank
Richard Walker, Professor, City University of Hong Kong
Many countries are trying to understand why the policies put in place to reduce poverty and build shared prosperity are not leading to the results they want. The tensions we see in countries such as Greece, Nigeria, Egypt, Turkey, Brazil, Ukraine and India arise in part from the gap between rising expectations of citizens and their everyday experience. One way forward could be a new form of knowledge, the “science of delivery”. This concept is borrowed from the healthcare field, where the previous emphasis on understanding the causes and consequences of health issues, is shifting to give more attention to organizing, managing and financing health promotion. The challenges for health and other public services are both to improve the quality and accessibility of the services, and to manage citizen’s expectations so as not to get too far beyond the ability of their society to deliver.
Governments and development partners have a treasure trove of evidence using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods linking successful delivery of interventions with local politics, culture, capacity, and other factors that affect delivery outcomes. However, some of this experience is not easily accessible, buried in lengthy reports, files, datasets, and as tacit knowledge in the heads of practitioners and evaluators. At the same time, there have been recent theoretical advances in many scholarly fields ranging from systems engineering, behavioral economics, complexity, and organizational development that are being exploited to help countries organize the emerging evidence on successful delivery to help them improve development results. These new sources of knowledge help managers in adapting their projects to local conditions, ultimately resulting in a higher level of success.
Building on the large literature on implementation, key elements of the “science of delivery” are to ensure that projects or interventions have adequate monitoring and evaluation (M&E) mechanisms, and to ensure these are linked to feedback loops to ensure management of expectations, continual learning, experimentation, results monitoring, and redesign based on experience. The conference will provide examples of such deeply contextual approaches to learning. Where learning is generalizable, examples will be given of mechanisms for taking ideas to scale through communities of practice and other forms of diffusion and implementation.
By creating better monitoring and evaluation systems, making available user-friendly evidence, linking evidence from monitoring information and evaluation to feedback-loops in learning, and enhancing the diffusion of information, researchers and evaluators can make greater contributions to advancing the science of delivery and ultimately lead to well-informed, evidence-based decision-making.
The conference will be limited to 40 participants, including scholars and practitioners from universities, think tanks, government agencies, and service providers from around the world.
Paper submissions are welcome on the following sub-topics:
- Improving service quality and accessibility: successes and failures;
- Managing citizen’s expectations for public services within society’s ability to deliver;
- Exploiting theoretical advances in systems engineering, medicine, economics and public; management to improve service delivery;
- Adapting service delivery reforms to local context;
- Financing service quality and accessibility improvements;
- Using monitoring and evaluation and feedback loops.
Proposals should be submitted to by May 31st to Professor Richard Walker by email at < firstname.lastname@example.org>
For more details, visit http://ipmn.net/