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Decision Making in Psychiatric Reform: A Case Study of the Czech Experience

Abstract

This study examines the initial impact of a broadly participatory planning process in the Czech Republic during 2016–2017, aimed at both reducing inpatient care and expanding community mental health systems, on policy and programmatic decision making. A central focus of the study involves the trade-offs between and efforts to integrate shared decision making with evidence-based planning methods within the context of a national psychiatric reform strategy, particularly one involving a former Soviet bloc state.

Given the uniqueness of the Czech experience, an exploratory case study methodology is used, one involving ten interviews with key informants and examination of a wide variety of documents. Results include the development of broad new decision and oversight structures, and the initial implementation of community mental health services. The nation faces some of the same trade-offs found elsewhere, such as in the United States, between an inclusive participatory process, and one that systematically incorporates empirical rational and evidence and best practices within bounded parameters.

Implications for new psychiatric deinstitutionalization initiatives are identified, including development of a national mental health authority, a professional workforce, new funding strategies, multi-level service coordination, mechanisms to assure transparency, among others.

Open access
The fuzzy concept of collaborative governance: A systematic review of the state of the art

Abstract

This article contributes to the consolidation and synthesis of scholarship on collaborative governance by expanding our knowledge of how the term is used in the academic literature and policy documents in a range of European countries. It adds value to the existing reviews of the field by conducting a systematic literature review on a corpus of over 700 article abstracts and a traditional literature review identifying five key analytical dimensions. The article also provides an exploratory analysis of grey literature hitherto outside the purview of researchers and considers the linguistic and cultural connotations that alter the meaning of the term when translated into new contexts in ten EU/EFTA countries. Findings indicate heterogeneity and fuzziness in the way the concept is used. The article argues that explicit positions with respect to five main analytical dimensions and taking into account the national connotations that the term carries across political systems would inject more clarity into the academic discourse. This, in turn, will help policymakers to make informed use of the concept, especially in multi-national policy-making arenas.

Open access
The influence of age factors on the reform of the public service of Ukraine

Abstract

It had been established that the heads of institutions should form teams of workers of different generations with different expectations and methods of work in the context of reforming the public service. The periods of forming generations have been set on the basis of literary sources, such as: Generation X (the period up to 1980); Generation Y (from 1981 to 1996); and Generation Z (after 1997). The most important criteria which form the characteristics of public servants have been singled out, and common and distinctive traits of Generations X, Y, and Z have been systematized. The distribution of the number of public servants in Ukraine has been analyzed by gender, age and the category of position. Based on the use of correlation-regression analysis, the tendency of changes in the share of state servants of Ukraine by age category up to 2020 was investigated. This made it possible to confirm the suggested hypothesis of the dependence of the effective reform of the Ukrainian public service on the effective interaction and cooperation of all generations of public servants. The main requirements for a public institution in which the employees of the new generation will work have been systematized.

Open access
Budget transparency innovation in the Czech local government

Abstract

Budget transparency innovations bring new extent and forms of transparency. The aim of the article is to explore the diffusion of budget explorers, that is, a budget transparency innovation extremely popular in the Czech Republic, and to evaluate their impact on voluntary budget information disclosed.

Careful mapping of the diffusion using a survey of budget explores in 72 former Czech district towns and media analysis shows that the key success factor was its convenience for politicians, as it is attractive, easy to implement and up-to-date demonstration of their transparency. Budget explorers are nowadays a standard extension to accounting software, and their usage is evaluated in several government transparency competitions.

The major benefit of the budget explorers is that they made for the first time publicly available detailed public financial information, changed the standard of best practice and drew some public attention. At the same time, they, unfortunately, narrowed the scope of the budget transparency debate by omitting the importance of the draft budget and introduction of performance measurement.

Open access
Consequences of Fiscal Adjustment and Public Finance Management. The Costs of Limiting the Fiscal Imbalance in Eurozone Countries

Abstract

This article focuses on the effects of corrections to the budgetary policy in eurozone economies. The goal of the text is to check if advancement in implementing modern tools of public management is helpful in the time of fiscal adjustment. We assume that the most important role of a performance approach in conducting fiscal policy is the ability of government to implement active policy meant as structural changes in the composition of public expenditures. In the case of the need to cut general levels of public spending, public sector managers who have knowledge of performance effects of public policies should be able to conduct fiscal adjustment in such a way as to minimise negative outcomes of spending correction on society. The structure of the text is as follows. First, we present some insights on the economic effects of fiscal adjustment. Then, we discuss the concept of performance management presented in the theory and policy agendas of international institutions such as the European Union or the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). Finally, we present the result of an empirical exercise that is designed to combine the level of advancement in implementing performance budgeting (PB) and the social cost of fiscal adjustment in eurozone economies. The most important finding of the research is that PB tools seem to have very limited usefulness in a time of fiscal adjustment. There is no statistical evidence that countries advanced in utilisation of PB tools conduct more active fiscal policy – approach of cutting all expenditures across the border by given percentage rather than looking at priorities and social outcomes of fiscal adjustment dominates in all cases.

Open access
Planning for resilience in the case of power shortage: The Swedish STYREL policy

Abstract

Modern society has developed a growing dependence on electricity in order to carry out important societal functions. This implies the risk of cascading failures to society in the case of power shortage. The creation of a resilient and sustainable power energy system is therefore crucial. Equal crucial is the preparedness for the event of power shortage. As a part of the Swedish crisis management system, the Swedish Energy Agency (EM) has developed a planning system, STYREL, to identify social important objects in order to ensure important social functions in the case of power shortage. This article examines STYREL as a policy network and as a planning system to ensure a sustainable and resilient power supply. The study focus on the design of the system, the implementation of the system based on the results from the two rounds completed in 2010 and 2014. Using interviews with coordinators at the local and regional level in three counties and a survey including all 21 coordinators at the regional level, it indicates that the design of the planning system reviles opportunities for improvements of the planning system. The study also indicates that the coordinators at the local level lack trust in the planning system depending on both the lack of resource and the lack of feedback. This in turn indicates challenges for the system from a resilient and sustainability point of view.

Open access
A Refugee Crisis Without Refugees: Policy and media discourse on refugees in the Czech Republic and its implications

Abstract

Along with other Central and Eastern European counties, Czechia has invested significant effort in deterring refugees from entering the country during the ‘refugee crisis’. This article sheds light on the role of the media in legitimising anti-refugee policies by analysing the politicised discourse on refugees in 900 articles published in Czech newspapers between 2014 and 2016. The findings indicate that refugees were depicted as a security threat and an administrative burden partly imposed by the European Union. The article discusses the policy implications of depicting refugees in this way and thus broadens the literature on European narratives during the refugee emergency in Europe.

Open access
Empirical evaluation of professional traineeships for young people up to 30 years of age

Abstract

In this article, we evaluate ‘Professional traineeships for young people up to 30 years’, an active labour market policy measure implemented in the Czech Republic. Professional traineeships were one of the possibilities for suitable offer to young people within Youth Guarantee in the Czech Republic in 2014 and 2015. First, we conducted a process evaluation (document analysis and interviews) to uncover the design and implementation aspects of the program. Next, we followed the counterfactual impact evaluation approach towards the estimate of returns to unemployment (competing risk analysis) based on individual administration data from public employment services. We have found that professional traineeships were successful in attracting the interest of both young people and employers. Mainly young people with middle and high level education have entered the program. Most of them have been provided with on-the-job subsidies in the private sector. When considering the impact of the program on the unemployment of participants and a control group, it was shown that after two years, the measure was effective only for young people with long pre-program Employment Office registration. When we consider the reasons for leaving Employment Office registration, the measure seems to be more effective, since many young people in the control group left the Employment Office register in favour of options that were outside of the labour market.

Open access
The European Union as a Trigger of Discursive Change: The Impact of the Structural Deficit Rule in Estonia and Latvia

Abstract

Our paper explores how a rule prescribed by the European Union can bring about changes in the policy discourse of a member state. Drawing on the literatures of discursive institutionalism and Europeanization, the theoretical part discusses the factors that influence discursive shifts. The empirical part examines the discursive impacts of the introduction of the structural budget deficit rule, required by the Fiscal Compact, in Estonia and Latvia. It demonstrates how the discursive shifts have been shaped by the localized translations offered by civil servants, the entrance of additional actors to the policy-making arena, crisis experience, and the strategic interests of policy actors.

Open access