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CommuniquĂŠ

The Magazine of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation Fall 2016 Volume 19

Improving Health Outcomes Through Citizen Action


Letter from the Director

Communiqué Fall 2016, Volume 19

Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation Harvard Kennedy School 79 John F. Kennedy Street Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

Welcome to the 19th issue of the Ash Center’s Communiqué magazine, which explores just some of the important work of those engaged with the Center. In this issue, we feature the landmark Transparency for Development project, the largest and most rigorous research study ever conducted on transparency and accountability interventions (p. 10). Our second feature highlights the recent Race and Justice in the Age of Obama conference, a dynamic discussion cosponsored by the Ash Center (p. 12). In our Q+A (p. 4), we talk with Dara Kay Cohen, assistant professor of public policy, about her new book, Rape during Civil War. On p. 15, we introduce alumna Suparna Gupta, who is working to prevent and remedy child harm in India. And, we discuss our Technology and Democracy Fellowship Program (p. 14), which is comprised of technologists committed to improving the health of American democracy. There is much more to be found in this issue and I hope you will enjoy exploring the work of our students, alumni, fellows, and scholars as they strive to make a difference. As always, you can find more information about the work of the Ash Center on our website at ash.harvard.edu.

Tony Saich Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation Daewoo Professor of International Affairs Harvard Kennedy School

617-495-0557 www.ash.harvard.edu Director Tony Saich Associate Director for Communications Daniel Harsha Editor Jessica Engelman Design forminform llc Photography Jessica Creighton Tim Glynn-Burke Eliesa Johnson Sabina Joshi, UNICEF Nepal Dan Levy Maisie O’Brien Will Pfeffer Tony Rinaldo Rodolfo Rodriguez Martha Stewart Ahsen Utku Xenia Viragh


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In this Issue IN THE NEWS

FEATURES

IN THE FIELD

RESEARCH BRIEF

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Q + A with Dara Kay Cohen

Change from the Bottom Up Examining the Potential for Citizen-Led Action to Improve Health Outcomes

Alumni in the Field Ash Alum Suparna Gupta “Activating” for Social Change in India

Fellows Focus Meet Our New Fellows

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Race and Justice in the Age of Obama

Student Focus Ash Center Supports Experiential and Research Activities for Students

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News and Announcements 19

Event Snapshots

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On the Bookshelf

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Student Focus The Path to Local Government Leadership

NEWS IN DEPTH 8

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative 14

Technology and Democracy Fellowship Program Enters Its Second Year


IN THE NEWS

Q+A with Dara Kay Cohen Q: Can you describe some of the common misconceptions about rape during civil war? Is it accurate to call rape a “weapon of war”? There are a host of misconceptions about wartime rape; for example, that victims are always women and perpetrators always men, and that it is mainly an African problem. We now know that victims and survivors of rape include both men and women, that both men and women perpetrate rape, and that wartime rape has been reported in every region of the world. But perhaps most engrained among misconceptions, is that it is often assumed that when rape occurs on a large scale, it must have been ordered or directed as a "weapon of war." I argue in my book that just because we observe rape to be frequent does not imply it was ordered, and in fact that frequency and whether rape is a strategy of war are entirely separable concepts. Most of the time, rape is not a weapon of war in the sense that it has been ordered as part of a strategy. There are exceptions, including some well documented cases, like the mass rapes in Bosnia and Rwanda. But more commonly, rape is simply tolerated by commanders, rather than ordered for an explicit military purpose.

Dara Kay Cohen is an assistant professor of public policy and faculty affiliate of the Ash Center. Her recent book, Rape during Civil War, examines the variation in the use of rape during recent civil conflicts; the research for the book draws on extensive fieldwork in Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, and El Salvador

Q: In your interviews with ex-combatants, were you able to characterize the motivations of this violence? I show in my book that rape by armed groups is associated with whether that group abducted its fighters. Based on interviews with former fighters in three post-conflict countries, I argue that rape—and especially gang rape—serves as a means for building cohesion in armed groups that recruit by force. The motivation I emphasize in the book is that fighters are seeking to be perceived as "real fighters" by their peers, and are attempting to regain a lost sense of masculinity from the trauma of their abduction process. However, while I believe that this is the most important motivation, there are a range of motivations that fighters reported, from revenge to sexual gratification. Q: Did you uncover notable variations in the instances of rape during civil conflict across different regions of the world? Yes, there is remarkable variation across contemporary civil conflicts, with no reports of conflict-related rape in some and reports of mass rape in others. This was important to establish early in my project, because variation in rape makes the question of why it happens much more puzzling from a social science perspective. But I ultimately argue that we have been focusing on the wrong level of analysis: we shouldn't be focused so much on which countries or

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which conflicts have had mass rape, but rather which armed groups have perpetrated rape. One illustration of this is something I highlight in the book: while there were a number of armed groups active during the Sierra Leone civil war, they were remarkably demographically similar in terms of ages, tribal affiliations, and levels of education. But only one of these groups, the RUF, committed the vast majority of the reported rape. The most interesting question, then, is not why was Sierra Leone a mass rape war but, say, El Salvador's was not. Rather, it is what distinguishes the RUF from the other groups in Sierra Leone? Q: From a policy perspective, what steps can the international community take to prevent rape? One of the appeals of the "rape as a weapon of war" narrative is that it implies a fairly simple policy solution: punish the commanders who ordered the rape in the past and hope that this will serve as a deterrent for future commanders who might consider ordering rape. Unfortunately, the argument I advance does not imply easy policy interventions; however, there are some steps that can be taken. These include leveraging some of the correlates of rape (whether the armed group used abduction or perpetrated torture against detainees) as early warning signs. Also, a campaign of naming and shaming perpetrators may then serve to dissuade future perpetrators. In addition, interventions should include increasing the costs of raping for commanders, by making aid or weapons transfers conditional on not raping. C


IN THE NEWS

Lower Mekong Policy Forum on Environment, Agriculture, and Livelihoods

more effectively use resources to advance equity, safety, and health initiatives in line with the mission of The Laura and John Arnold Foundation, which has generously funded this work. The final week of October brought about the second convening of the CAN members. For two days, the group discussed the most pressing issues in datadriven municipal governance including the next generation of open data portals, data for emergency response, and data-driven policing and criminal justice. The keynote was delivered by HKS Lecturer and Research Fellow David Eaves who discussed the importance of open data and data-driven policy.

New Initiative on History and Public Policy The Lower Mekong Policy Forum on Environment, Agriculture, and Livelihoods was held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on August 11–12, 2016. Senior government officials, researchers, practitioners, civil society representatives, and members of the business community participated in the forum. The forum featured international and regional experts who are leading efforts to encourage public policy analysis and dialogue on emerging challenges and opportunities related to the Lower Mekong Basin’s environment, agriculture, and rural livelihoods. The first plenary session discussed problems and policy approaches in the context of trans-boundary water governance in the Lower Mekong Basin. Key issues raised included water management strategies, energy development policies, and trans-boundary resource protection. The second session focused on strategies used by rural households to cope with emerging threats and natural disasters. Topics included appropriate resource management and sustainable agricultural systems, household adaptation and resilience to natural disasters, and the role of government policies in facilitating adaptive livelihoods. The session’s keynote was delivered by Malcolm McPherson, a senior fellow with the Ash Center’s Vietnam Program. McPherson asserted that, by any definition of “sustainability,” the current growth trajectory in the Mekong River basin is not sustainable. The third session examined the synergies and tradeoffs of economic development policies on resource-dependent livelihoods. A major challenge noted is the need to reconcile the quest for rapid natural resource-led economic growth with the problem of sustaining the environment while offsetting the burdens these developments impose on vulnerable groups, particularly women. The forum, funded by USAID, was organized by the Lower Mekong Public Policy Initiative (LMPPI); the Cambodia Development Resource Institute, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and the Sustainable Mekong Research Network, Bangkok, Thailand. The Ash Center administers LMPPI with the support of

ABOVE LEFT Le Thi Quynh Tram, director of the Lower Mekong Public Policy Initiative ABOVE LEFT Participants of the Lower Mekong Policy Forum on Environment, Agriculture, and Livelihoods

the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. At the conclusion of the forum, FETP director Nguyen Xuan Thanh discussed the future of LMPPI after the project officially concludes in mid-2017. LMPPI will be transitioned to a regional research center, called the Lower Mekong Public Policy Institute in the newly formed Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management of Fulbright University Vietnam.

Civic Analytics Network The Civic Analytics Network (CAN) is an affiliation of municipal data officers from the largest cities in the country including New York City, Los Angeles, and Boston. The network, directed by Professor Stephen Goldsmith, seeks to advance the use of data and analytics in municipal governance. CAN members work on data systems that provide critical services for millions of people such as emergency response, police violence reduction, and population health. CAN brings members together as a peer group to exchange ideas and best practices monthly via conference calls and twice annually for an in-person convening. CAN produces webinars, policy memos, and resources to support the replication of analytics projects for its members. Additionally, the CAN team, in conjunction with partners at the Center for Data Science and Public Policy at the University of Chicago, will seek to replicate data-driven predictive analytics projects to help our municipal partners

Moshik Temkin, Associate Professor of Public Policy at HKS and a newly affiliated faculty member of the Ash Center, has helped launch the Initiative on History and Public Policy at the School, which brings together scholars, practitioners, students, and policymakers with the goal of linking interpretations of the past with approaches to contemporary policy issues. The Initiative, made possible through the generous support of the Andrew Offit Family Fund, will draw on the expertise and leadership of faculty and practitioners at HKS who work and teach at the intersection of history and public policy. Working with Temkin as faculty advisors to the Initiative are Fredrik Logevall, the Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Arne Westad, the S.T. Lee Professor of U.S.-Asia Relations; and Alex Keyssar, the Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy. According to Temkin, the Initiative will serve as a meeting point between scholars—whose cuttingedge historical work is informed by (or seeks to influence) ongoing policy debates—and practitioners eager to draw on historical knowledge and expertise to promote successful policy outcomes. Temkin expects that participants in the initiative will bring historical perspective to bear on the work and challenges facing policymakers. For the 2016–17 academic year, the Initiative is supporting four doctoral and postdoctoral fellows, including Daniel Hummel, who received his PhD in History from the University of Wisconsin, Madison last spring; Elizabeth Katz, a PhD candidate in Harvard University’s History Department; Renée Blackburn, a PhD candidate in the History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology and Society Program at MIT; and David Allen, a PhD candidate in International and Global History at Columbia University.

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IN THE NEWS

Launch of Fulbright University Vietnam This past May, during a formal visit to Vietnam with President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry witnessed a ceremony marking the award of Fulbright University Vietnam’s establishment license by the Ministry of Education. In his remarks, Secretary Kerry said “Fulbright University Vietnam represents the next big step forward…I am absolutely confident that this academic institution is going to make an enormous contribution to Vietnam, yes, and it’s going to become a true center of excellence marked by academic freedom, by meritocracy, transparency, and equal access. It’s also going to make a mark beyond Vietnam.” The establishment license allows the new university to assume the operations and intellectual capital of the Fulbright Economic and Teaching Program (FETP), a collaborative initiative of Harvard Kennedy School’s Vietnam Program and the University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City. FETP’s flagship teaching program is a two-year master’s of public policy program, which starting in the fall of 2017 will be formally offered as Fulbright University Vietnam academic program. “The Ash Center is proud to have played an important role in helping the Fulbright Economics and Teaching Program grow into one of Vietnam’s leading centers for public policy scholarship,” added Tony Saich, the Daewoo Professor of International Affairs and director of the Ash Center. “Its transition to Fulbright University Vietnam is a testament to the educational commitment of FETP and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center to strengthening the higher education sector in Vietnam.”

Visiting Faculty Woo Wing Thye Woo Wing Thye, Professor of Economics at University of California, Davis joined the Ash Center as a visiting faculty member for the fall semester of 2016. Professor Woo also serves as president of the Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia based at Sunway University in Malaysia. His current research focuses on macroeconomic management of open economies; and on the growth challenges of East Asian economies, such as the middle-income trap and the Sustainable Development Goals. At HKS, Professor Woo is teaching Workshop on the Growth Challenges of China and Southeast Asia, which focuses on the economic development of East Asia, and the growth experiences of China, Indonesia, and Malaysia in particular.

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ABOVE US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Ash Center’s Tommy Vallely (right) applaud as former US Senator Bob Kerrey, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the new Fulbright University Vietnam, is presented with the school's license during a ceremony on May 25, 2016, at the Rex Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

New Faculty Affiliate Scott Mainwaring Scott Mainwaring joined the Kennedy School faculty and the Ash Center this fall as the Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor for Brazil Studies. Previously at Notre Dame, Mainwaring served as director of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies for 13 years and as Chair and Director of Graduate Studies of the Political Science Department. His research interests include democratic institutions and democratization, authoritarian and democratic regimes, and political parties and party systems. His book with Aníbal Pérez-Liñán on The Rise and Fall of Democracies and Dictatorships: Latin America since 1900 (Cambridge University Press, 2013) won prizes for the best book awarded by the Comparative Democratization section of the American Political Science Association and the Political Institutions section of the Latin American Studies Association. His edited book, Party Systems in Latin America: Institutionalization, Decay, and Collapse, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. Mainwaring arrived in Cambridge at a particularly tumultuous time for any scholar of Brazilian politics as the country was in the midst of impeachment proceedings against then-President Dilma

Rousseff. “The impeachment deepened polarization and created skepticism on most of the left that the center and right will play fairly,” observed Mainwaring. “Some of those who voted to remove Rousseff from office did so to squelch the investigations of corruption. And all of this takes place in the context of a bruising recession.”


IN THE NEWS

Faculty Promotions The Ash Center is pleased to announce that faculty affiliate Tarek Masoud was promoted in July to Professor of Public Policy and Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations. His research focuses on political development and democratization in Arabic-speaking and Muslim-majority countries. His most recent book is The Arab Spring: Pathways of Repression and Reform (2015). Masoud is currently conducting research on Islam and violence, and on the relationship between social change, religious identity, and political behavior in the Arab world. The Center is also pleased to announce that faculty affiliate Quinton Mayne was promoted in July to Associate Professor of Public Policy. Working at the intersection of the comparative study of political behavior, political institutions, and social policy, Mayne’s research focuses on cities and decentralization as engines of human welfare. He is

currently completing a book manuscript, titled States of Satisfaction, which examines the important positive role played by welfare municipalization in shaping public attitudes toward democratic performance. Mayne was also recently named as the 2016 recipient of the Kennedy School’s Innovations in Teaching Award.

New Senior Visiting Scholar The Ash Center is delighted to welcome Melissa Williams, Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto, as a Senior Visiting Scholar for the academic year 2016–2017. This is a return to Harvard for Williams, as she received her AM and PhD degrees from the University and was later a faculty fellow at the Safra Center for Ethics. A contemporary democratic theorist, Williams’ work frequently addresses core concepts in political philosophy through the lens of group-structured inequality, social and political marginalization, and cultural and religious diversity. Her publications include Voice, Trust, and Memory: Marginalized Groups and the Failings of Liberal Representation (Princeton,

1998), as well as articles on numerous topics ranging from the history of Western political thought, deliberative democracy, toleration, affirmative action, multiculturalism, and the rights of Indigenous peoples. Williams was also the founding director of the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto. While at the Ash Center, Williams will be contributing to the Democracy Fellows’ weekly seminars and a number of research projects, including the development of a systemic approach to understanding democracy’s prospects in a globalizing world.

Timor-Leste Officials Visit HKS On September 26, the Ash Center and the Harvard University Institute of Politics (IOP) hosted a delegation of senior government officials from TimorLeste who visited the campus following the United Nations General Assembly. At HKS, the delegation, which included Prime Minister Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo, Foreign Minister Mr. Hernâni Coelho, and the country’s founding president, Mr. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, met with students and faculty over lunch to discuss a host of issues, including Timor-Leste’s development challenges. The lunch, presided over by interim IOP Director Bill Delahunt, was attended by several students from the region who spoke with the delegation about economic growth issues in Timor-Leste and also posed questions on topics as diverse as climate change and women’s rights. The delegation later met with Harvard University Marshal Jackie O’Neill and signed the University’s formal guest registry in Wadsworth House. RIGHT Timor-Leste Prime Minister Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo signs the University's formal guest book in the office of the University Marshal in Wadsworth House on September 26, 2016, during his visit to Harvard organized by the Ash Center

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Michael R. Bloomberg


NEWS IN DEPTH

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative In August, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Harvard University jointly announced the launch of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, an unparalleled collaboration to advance leadership, management, and innovation in cities across America and around the world. Funded by a $32 million gift from Michael R. Bloomberg and administered through Harvard, the Initiative will equip city leaders with the tools, skills, and support increasingly required to tackle the complex leadership and management challenges faced in governing cities around the globe. Within the next four years, as many as 300 mayors and 400 top mayoral aides will participate in the Initiative’s executive training programs. This ambitious effort will generate the world’s largest hub of new and customized curriculum, instructional and technology tools—most of which will be made freely available to the world, and cases focused on innovative city leadership. The Initiative will also create student internships in mayors’ offices, on-demand programming for participating cities, significant new research on innovative city government, and an executive coaching program through which successful mayors mentor newcomers. Each year, a select group of mayors and key aides will be invited to New York City to participate in interactive convenings. "With more and more of the world living in cities, mayors are increasingly responsible for solving major challenges we face, from climate change to poverty to public health,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, three-term mayor of New York City, philanthropist, and Harvard alum. But despite the importance of the role, mayors often lack opportunities to learn from experts—and one another. By giving mayors tools and resources—and by connecting them with peers facing many of the same challenges—this program will go a long way toward helping them run cities more effectively." The Initiative will create extensive collaboration between Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Executive Education programs, bringing together Harvard University’s distinguished array of scholars, and integrating the governance ideas, management tools, and leadership techniques each School has to offer. It will also bring to bear Bloomberg Philanthropies’ extensive network of experts and experience working in more than 400 cities around the globe to solve major problems and improve city life. “We are grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for a pathbreaking gift that will strengthen cities and their leaders through collaborations with university researchers and educators focused on improving urban life. This is a vitally important opportunity to advance the understanding of urban issues and to

work with mayors and other public officials to bring discoveries from university research into communities across the nation and around the world,” said Harvard University President Drew Faust. “We hope to enlighten and inspire leaders, and to provide them with even greater understanding and capacity to solve the many problems that they face in their cities,” said Douglas Elmendorf, dean of Harvard Kennedy School. “The goal is to enable innovative leadership, and to foster lifelong networks that will serve them and their citizens for decades to come.” “Ultimately this program will better enable mayors and their senior leaders to improve the livesof residents,” said Nitin Nohria, dean of Harvard Business School. “The impact will be felt far beyond just those that participate as this Initiative will educate and inspire an entire global community focused on cities as key to solving the world’s most pressing challenges.” The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative is Bloomberg Philanthropies’ latest Government Innovation offering. Government Innovation equips mayors and other city leaders with the tools and techniques they need to solve urban challenges and improve citizens’ lives. “We routinely hear from city leaders that they crave high quality opportunities to learn about the most effective governance approaches and latest ideas to create better results for their citizens,” said Patricia E. Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We’re excited to dramatically increase the availability and quality of skills building and leadership development opportunities for the most critical public leaders around—our mayors.” Designed to build on Harvard’s unique network and convening power, the Initiative will be housed within the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, a globally recognized leader in government innovation. Jorrit de Jong, lecturer in public policy and management and academic director of the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center, will serve as the faculty director. “This new and exciting Initiative will serve as an engine for continuous interaction between research, curriculum development and long-term engagement with practitioners to further develop and disseminate knowledge about the art and science of innovative problem-solving i cities,” said de Jong. C

“This new and exciting Initiative will serve as an engine for continuous interaction between research, curriculum development and long-term engagement with practitioners to further develop and disseminate knowledge about the art and science of innovative problem-solving in cities” — Jorrit de Jong

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Change from the Bottom Up Examining the Potential for Citizen-Led Action to Improve Health Outcomes

ABOVE RIGHT TANZANIA TOP Inventory of a health facility’s pharmaceutical drug stocks MIDDLE Community activists develop action plans LEFT INDONESIA TOP Community activists discuss the progress of their action plans MIDDLE A discussion of barriers to improved maternal and neonatal health BOTTOM Baseline survey data collection

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A subsistence farmer in Indonesia. A disabled US veteran. An orphaned child living in a Mumbai slum. A woman giving birth in a remote part of Malawi. Each may rely on government services or outside aid agencies to provide basic services like health care or education. But too often these services are inadequate and unresponsive to their needs. Among the many reasons are corruption, inefficiency, and simple lack of dedication and effort—the kinds of problems that too often prove difficult for governments and donors to solve. How can governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and civil society organizations (CSOs) faced with these sorts of problems do a better job of being responsive and accountable to the poor? One answer may lie in empowering everyday citizens to advocate for their basic rights, and push for public services to be more responsive and accountable to their needs. In recent decades, transparency and accountability (T/A) techniques have emerged to address these challenges and alleviate the difficulties they pose to the capabilities, health, and wellbeing of individuals across the globe. Used by NGOs, CSOs, and other players in the development field, T/A techniques begin with data collection and dissemination. Organizations aggregate information on government spending, service provision (or lack thereof), and other relevant metrics like health outcomes and education levels. This information is presented to citizens and government officials in the form of social audits, public expenditure tracking surveys, citizen report cards, absenteeism studies, and community scorecards. The simple idea at their core is that making these data open and available empowers citizens and civil society, helping them diagnose problems and motivating them to push for solutions that improve service delivery in their communities. Although T/A interventions have come to be widely used within the development sector, there is mixed evidence of their effectiveness, and little to shed light on why they work and in what contexts. In an effort to address this research gap, in 2013, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Department for International Development in the United Kingdom released a request for proposals—brokered by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, a donor collaborative—to study the impact of transparency and accountability initiatives on health and other social sector challenges.


Transparency for Development Archon Fung, Academic Dean of Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Stephen Kosack, HKS Senior Research Fellow and a professor of public policy at the University of Washington; and Dan Levy, HKS Senior Lecturer in Public Policy; along with Courtney Tolmie and Jean Arkedis from the nonprofit Results for Development Institute (R4D), successfully applied to the foundations’ request and designed an intervention and mixed methods evaluation to explore the conditions by which accountability efforts can improve governance and health-care service delivery. The project, Transparency for Development (T4D), is the largest and most rigorous research study ever conducted on T/A interventions. Running from 2013–2018, it currently spans 400 communities in both Indonesia and Tanzania, and is expanding to three additional countries in early 2017. The implementation of the intervention was designed in partnership with two CSOs, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in Tanzania and PATTIRO in Indonesia, in order to leverage their local knowledge and expertise in the areas of health and community engagement. After carefully assessing a host of public health challenges and service gaps in these countries, the T4D team chose to focus on improving maternal and neonatal health, which aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and is an area where health indicators have remained relatively low in many countries. Even more important, maternal and newborn health care is a public service that citizens typically care a great deal about and may be highly motivated to help improve. “Birth is one of the most important moments in life,” reflected Kosack. “When the health-care system fails a mother or child, citizens experience it in very acute ways. It’s they or their sister or wife or baby who is suffering. And when newborn health outcomes are poor, that has long-term implications for the health and wellbeing of the whole community.” The project employs a mixed methods approach utilizing randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and rigorous qualitative field research to determine whether the intervention was successful, as well as why, and whether success differed in different contexts. In addition to community surveys as part of the RCT, the team is using focus groups, surveys and interviews with participants, and detailed observation of project meetings. Ethnographers also lived in a small subset of communities over the course of the program, to gain a deeper understanding of the village context and of the ways participants experienced the intervention. “This project is designed to shed light on the creative ways in which transparency can empower local communities to improve health information to improve public health outcomes,” said Fung, the project’s principal investigator. “We hope that our approach will create greater insight into the impact of transparency policies and the mechanisms that produce that impact.”

The Intervention in Action The T4D project, like most RCTs, begins and ends with data collection. Prior to the start of the intervention, the T4D team captured survey data on local health clinics, service utilization by mothers and babies, and community empowerment across treatment villages—those that participated in the intervention—and control villages—those that did not. In parallel, CHAI and PATTIRO collected similar data from each intervention village. A survey of mothers who had recently given birth determined their knowledge and usage of maternal and neonatal healthcare services. Health clinic data provided insights into the services offered to mothers and babies in each village, including the availability of pharmaceutical drugs, the presence or absence of key medical staff, cleanliness, and privacy. After collecting data on each village, community engagement workers for CHAI and PATTIRO, known as facilitators, held a series of meetings to guide the intervention: • The facilitators first introduced themselves to village elders and local leaders and provided an overview of T4D’s overall structure and goals. • Following this introduction, the facilitators organized two daylong meetings with a small group of community activists selected based on a number of criteria, such as personal interest in maternal and neonatal health, leadership potential,

and desire to work on behalf of the community. During the first meeting, the facilitators shared the results of the health clinic and service utilization survey, and informed the community of how they fared compared to country targets. For many citizens, it was a unique opportunity to learn of best practices regarding maternal and neonatal health and discuss both their own experiences and ideas for improving health in their community. • During the subsequent meeting, the group identified the top barriers to maternal and newborn health-care provision, which included problems like lack of transportation to attend check-ups, absenteeism on the part of the midwife, the clinic’s disregard for cultural norms, and costs associated with receiving services. The facilitators presented a series of “social action stories,” which demonstrated how other communities had organized to develop concrete steps to confront barriers to care. The group then brainstormed ways to improve service provision and increase utilization for mothers and babies, and created action plans to address the specific barriers in their community. • The facilitators returned 30, 60, and 90 days later to meet with the community activists and gauge their progress. Each action is led by the community members themselves with limited guidance from the facilitators and without monetary support. Though end-line data will not be available until 2018, the project has already shown many promising instances of community members organizing and advocating for improved health-care services. In many villages, community activists began by implementing education campaigns: going door-to-door and handing out information on what constitutes a good maternal and newborn health-care package, or emphasizing the importance of giving birth in a facility with a trained midwife or medical professional. Many communities established transportation funds for pregnant women to use for check-ups and delivery. Others installed suggestion boxes in their local health-care facility, and some are in the early stages of building new clinics. Absenteeism on the part of the village midwife was a common barrier in many villages, and community activists have come up with a variety of ways to address this issue. “Every village has unique health-care challenges,” says Courtney Tolmie, Senior Program Director at R4D and an HKS Research Fellow. “What underlies this intervention is the idea that citizens themselves are in the best position to know, understand, and address the problems impacting their community—far more so than an outsider would be.”

Change from the Bottom Up Although many T/A interventions work at the level of local government officials, this project is unique in its reliance on everyday citizens to propel change in their communities. “The problems that contribute to poor maternal and neonatal health outcomes often manifest at the hyper-local level,” says Tolmie. “For T4D, we really wanted to put the power in the hands of the community members who suffer the most from poor service delivery.” Furthermore, the intervention itself was designed jointly through collaboration between the university-based researchers and NGOs in Indonesia and Tanzania. It is the T4D team’s hope that the grassroots nature of the intervention continues to benefit the villages beyond the point of end-line data collection and the issue of maternal and newborn health. “What we are trying to do is empower citizens and build a sustainable, long-term solution that will encourage these communities to organize and advocate for themselves,” said Kosack. Designed to advance the theory and practice of transparency and accountability interventions, T4D has the potential to shed light on the connections between transparency, participation, and government accountability; the pathways between them that lead to improved government services; and the differences in place that impact those pathways. “For the CSOs and NGOs engaged in T/A techniques, this project will provide nuance and detail into how and under what conditions they are effective,” says Jessica Creighton, Assistant Director of the T4D project. “In regions of the world where resources are scarce, it’s critical to find the most effective and sustainable means of making peoples’ lives better.” C

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Race and Justice in the Age of Obama It is important to take stock of where we have come in order for us to move more powerfully forward in the future. Archon Fung HKS Academic Dean and Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship

In October, as part of its Race and American Politics seminar series, the Ash Center collaborated with HKS Assistant Professor of Public Policy Leah Wright Rigueur, an Ash Center faculty affiliate, to organize a Conference on Race and Justice in the Age of Obama. Attended by over 300 people over the course of two days, the event offered a unique and important opportunity for scholars, journalists, and public officials to debate President Obama's impact on race relations in the United States during his eight years in office. The conference was co-chaired by Wright Rigueur and Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Professor of History, Race and Public Policy at HKS and the Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Joining the event as cosponsors were the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy; Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics and Public Policy; and Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, as well as Harvard Kennedy School student groups including the Black Student Union, the Black Policy Conference, and the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy. “We thought it was important to really think about what the impact was of this historic time when President Obama concludes his term in office,” reflected Wright Rigueur. “We had such a diverse set of perspectives and opinions, and we saw a really broad ranging discussion of the last eight years. They're not always easy conversations, but they're important conversations nonetheless,” she added. The conference kicked off with a discussion in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum on the evening of October 12, moderated by Wright Rigueur and featuring con-

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He [Obama] encouraged people seeing the arrival of his election as a new social movement and that hope and change was the transformation of a nation by simply showing up at the polls. Khalil Gibran Muhammad HKS Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy

servative commentator Avik Roy; Brittany Packnett, a community activist and cofounder of Campaign Zero, which works to prevent police violence; and Paul Monteiro, acting director, Community Relations Service at the US Department of Justice and former Obama White House staffer. In his welcoming introduction to the packed Forum audience, HKS Dean Doug Elmendorf emphasized how critical this topic was to the HKS community by noting, “The Kennedy School is an outward facing place. And, we address public challenges, not on our own, but by engaging with people outside the school, across the country, sometimes across the world who are addressing those same challenges.” As an activist concerned with police violence, Packnett offered a unique perspective on the Obama administration’s track record on race and justice. She recounted a meeting at the White House with President Obama and his senior staff. “It was all black and brown folks in that room, including himself and [senior advisor] Valerie Jarrett. It was clear that we were part of something historic and part of a conversation that, had someone else been president, we would not have been invited into that space.” Those sentiments were echoed by Monteiro who began his career in government in the office of then-Senator Barack Obama before following the senator from Illinois to the White House in 2009. For Monteiro, Obama’s legacy of “intentionally giving young folks like me chances to work at a federal level in the administration” will have a tremendous impact, as an entire cadre of young Obama staffers will continue to work in and influence government for a generation to come.


At this critical social and political moment, the Kennedy School has an opportunity and an obligation to use our platform to weigh in on the impact of our nation's first black president. Leah Wright Rigueur HKS Assistant Professor of Public Policy The biggest hurdle we have to overcome is segregation. I mean in the economic and social science sense. Ideologically where conservatives and liberals lives are completely separated from one another. This has led to two different countries living simultaneously with one another. It is the dominant reason we have this polarization in America. Avik Roy Opinion Editor, Forbes Magazine

“The Kennedy School is an outward facing place. And, we address public challenges, not on our own, but by engaging with people outside the school, across the country, sometimes across the world who are addressing those same challenges.”—HKS Dean Doug Elmendorf Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship and HKS Academic Dean, opened the following day’s series of panels, which included reflections on Obama’s legacy on key issues including economic opportunity, inequality, civil liberties, civil rights, and voting. The conference’s afternoon panel, meanwhile, focused primarily on policy prescriptions and recommendations for the next administration. In closing, Professor Muhammad lauded the event for engaging scholars, experts, and activists in a dialogue both about the challenges of race and justice as well as the significance of Obama’s presidency. But he also expressed being “left with a sense that indeed there was a missed opportunity” and that the president was ultimately too worried about “using the language and aesthetic of a community activist against himself.” Some panelists criticized the Obama administration for not seizing the political reins in the president’s first term when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, and for not taking greater action

When I ask kids what you think about your future, they said I can do anything. And when I ask why, they say, look at President Obama and Michelle Obama. It’s beyond policy. It’s something I think and hope will uplift an entire generation of people. Shermichael Singleton founder, Singleton Strategies LLC and communications director for Ben Carson’s 2016 presidential campaign

What’s being laid bare are the perils of tinkering around the margins of really fundamental and structural civil rights crisis… There’s this real disconnect between the plan for change that a policy indicates and the reality of how they are implemented on the ground because of deeply structural issues. Heather Ann Thompson Professor of History, Department of Afro-American and African Studies, Residential College, and Department of History, University of Michigan

in tackling income inequality or targeting greater assistance to African American communities hit especially hard by the recession. However, many were in agreement that Obama’s term in office had a significant impact on the political consciousness of younger people who have largely known no other president than Barack Obama. Speakers participating in the conference included Mary Frances Berry, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought, History, and Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania; Callie Crossley, host, Under the Radar with Callie Crossley, WGBH; Josh Dubois, founder, Values Partnerships and former Head of White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships; Clarissa Martinez-de-Castro, deputy vice president, Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation, National Council of La Raza; and Ron Sullivan, Clinical Professor of Law and director of the Criminal Justice Institute, Harvard Law School. For Glendean Hamilton, a second year MPP student and co-chair of the HKS Black Student Union, the conference was an important opportunity for the Harvard community to host a conversation about race. “Using our platform to really call attention to the issues of racial injustice in the United States is so important because it adds power to the movement, it adds power to struggle of so many, whether they're here in Cambridge or whether they're in other cities across the world or across the country.” C

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NEWS IN DEPTH

Technology and Democracy Fellowship Program Enters Its Second Year This fall, the Ash Center welcomed its second cohort of Technology and Democracy Fellows (listed on page 16), comprised of technologists committed to improving the health of American democracy. This year’s fellows are especially passionate about building the capacity and new tools needed by civic activists, community organizers, local government officials, and journalists who are so critical to making democracy work. Under the direction of Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship and academic dean of the Kennedy School, the Technology and Democracy Fellowship and affiliated workshop series are designed to build connections between School and the worlds of technology, policy, and government. Hollie Russon Gilman, PhD, a long-time friend and affiliate of the Ash Center and now a postdoctoral research scholar at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, serves as an advisor and mentor. The fellows form a unique virtual community of learning—both with one another and with faculty, students, and others across Harvard—that provides encouragement and support as the fellows develop a substantive project that is salient to their field and seeks to improve the quality of democratic governance. The AY2016–17 Technology and Democracy Fellows’ projects include the development of cuttingedge digital tools and systems for government transparency, community organizing, and cybersecurity efforts. Other projects are geared toward research with direct political and policy implications, including an analysis of political speech using machine learning and natural language processing, and a study on the role of culture change in government’s adoption (or avoidance) of digital tools. Technology and Democracy Fellows also design and lead a series of hands-on workshops for HKS students on a broad range of technological skills and concepts. Through participation in the workshops, students gain a deeper understanding, for example, of how to effectively utilize data visualization techniques, use design thinking techniques to develop new human-centered products and services, convey compelling digital stories, employ technologists’ platforms like GitHub, and make use of technology to facilitate interaction between the public and government.

TOP Students participate in a Technology and Democracy workshop on design thinking ABOVE LEFT Marci Harris, Technology and Democracy fellow, former congressional staffer, lawyer, and cofounder and CEO of POPVOX ABOVE RIGHT Hollie Russon Gilman, Technology and Democracy fellow, and postdoctoral scholar at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs RIGHT Kirsten Gullickson, special guest, and senior systems analyst, Office of the Clerk, US House of Representatives

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IN THE FIELD

Alumni in the Field Ash Center Alum Suparna Gupta “Activating” for Social Change in India “Almost half of the girls in India are married before they're even 18 years old,” says Suparna Gupta MC/MPA 2013, founder and director of the Indian nonprofit Aangan, which is dedicated to protecting vulnerable children. “I think we have the highest number of child laborers in India—5.8 million child laborers, with 2.4 million adolescents in hazardous work. There is also an alarming figure of one child going missing every eight minutes—a statistic that is deeply linked to child trafficking.” Since 2002, Gupta has led Aangan in its mission to make India a safer place for children and adolescents. From premature marriage, early motherhood, sexual abuse, or trafficking, the children of India suffer exceedingly tumultuous and dangerous childhoods. For the past decade and a half, Gupta has worked to build child protection systems that are all too often nonexistent in areas of India, especially where most marginalized groups live. She came to Harvard Kennedy School in 2012 as a Ford Foundation Mason Fellow supported by the Ash Center and took classes on social change and leadership. Since then, her work has spread to 80 hotspots of child harm in six states. As a native of Mumbai and a precocious volunteer, Gupta was exposed early on to the suffering that exists in some parts of India. She herself was fortunate enough to attend a prestigious private school in Mumbai, but this school helped her discover her lifelong passion for volunteer work. “Of course I was just a regular teenager,” she said. “But it did lead me to my first volunteer experience at a church-based afterschool program—a volunteer program with street children. That was interesting for me because in a way, it stayed with me for so many years.” After graduating from St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, Gupta held a job in advertising. However, around age 30, she realized that she did not wish this to be her life’s work. Drawing on her experience volunteering with street children, she founded Aangan. Originally, the organization focused heavily on state-run rescue and shelter homes. “We would meet the child after she had been through multiple levels of harm. Our focus was on the conditions, care, and response to these traumatized children,” said Gupta. After attending HKS, she realized the need to shift Aangan’s approach. Her work with Aangan became much more preventative, focusing on a unique community-based model that went straight to hotspots of child harm to preclude the harm being done to children in the first place. Aangan continues to implement a post-harm program. “We work with government functionaries to strengthen work with child victims, emphasizing the recovery, return, and reintegration processes in order

“We would meet the child after she had been through multiple levels of harm. Our focus was on the conditions, care, and response to these traumatized children”

to prevent recurrence of harm. We look at all the officials within that journey. We more or less work like trainers and facilitators to strengthen existing government systems.” Gupta employs what she calls “activations” in her work to protect children. “It’s really about mobilizing communities, helping them identify existing resources and alerting government officials so that formal and informal systems work in coordination with each other,” said Gupta. She further explained, “For instance, this year we'll be training a cohort of a thousand mothers to be child protection workers. In turn, they run girls' safety networks. This year, they'll be running safety networks for 30,000 girls and 10,000 boys across all our communities, and we'll be activating 500 local officials. They're appointed and maybe available, but they're inaccessible. Through this work, we’ve impacted over 100,000 children over the last two years.” Gupta is not nervous about the political implications that her work might have. She emphasizes the paramount importance of allying with the government. “There's no use in us working independent of local officials,” she said. “Local officials are slowly starting to realize that they need information from the community to act in a timely way. That's the kind

of dialogue that our community program builds.” Acknowledging the necessity of this partnership, Gupta designs her child protection programs with the state in mind, ensuring that the programs could readily be adopted by the government. At HKS, Gupta took a class titled Sparking Social Change offered by Academic Dean Archon Fung and Professor Mark Moore, both affiliated with the Ash Center, which taught her the importance of the intersections between sectors. In this spirit, and in an effort to expand the services of Aangan, Gupta’s team have combined social science and technology by working with a partner to develop an app that aims to collect data on family vulnerability in hotspots where Aangan works. Aangan’s cohort of community volunteers will be trained in the use of this app in order to spread real-time data to be viewed and acted upon by local governments. Gupta speaks confidently about the future of Aangan. “We're hoping to shift from being those who are doing and demonstrating in the next two years to having the government adopt our model. We do see ourselves as moving into the role of trainers, creating innovative tools for all types of community child protection volunteers, workers, and functionaries.” C

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IN THE FIELD

tion of domestic security threats. Kerry Jiao MPP ‘17: Innovation summer intern on Clean Energy Result Analysis project at Boston office of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Yuxiang Luo, master’s student at Graduate School of Design: Institutions of Urban (Re)Development: Assessing Formal Partnerships and Informal Networks in China’s Transformed Shantytowns Wei Meng, MPA/ID ‘16: Global Value Chains and China’s Upgrade Strategies Austin Strange, PhD candidate in Department of Government at FAS: Logics of Statecraft: Pre-Modern and Contemporary Chinese Economic Foreign Policies Mingjie Yuan, MPP ‘16: The rural commercial banks’ implementation of Basel regulatory framework in China

Student Focus Ash Center Supports Experiential and Research Activities for Students The Ash Center is committed to encouraging careers in the public sector, providing opportunities for students to explore in greater depth the topics and questions of most interest to them, and strengthening the connection between students and faculty affiliated with the Center. During the summer of 2016, the Center supported and facilitated a number of opportunities for students. Ash Center Summer Fellowship in Innovation Since 2008, the Center has been placing students in summer fellowships with some of the most creative and effective public officials and policy advisors in the country, not only to learn but also to add value by sharing cutting-edge trends and ideas explored at HKS. This summer, 10 HKS students were hosted by public-sector agencies: Jennifer Angarita MPP ’16, Information Technology Department, City of Cambridge, MA Ana Babovic MC-Mason ’16, Office of Representative Jonathan Hecht, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Glendean Hamilton MPP ’17, Mayor’s Office, City of Denver, CO Karry Jiao MPP ’17, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Boston, MA Grace Oh MPP ’17, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY Yoko Okura MPP ’17, UNICEF Nepal, Kathmandu Betsy Ribble MPP ’17, City Council Speaker’s Office, City of New York, NY John Scianimanico MPP ’17, Council of Economic Advisors, Washington, DC George Simpson MPP ’17, Mayor’s Office, Los Angeles, CA Glynis Startz MPP ‘17, Smart Chicago Collaborative, Chicago, IL Innovation Field Lab Summer Fellows Beginning in 2015, the Ash Center Summer Fellowship in Innovation has included a number of additional placements, with funding support from the Taubman Center's Government Performance Lab. These student fellows continue the work done by students in the Innovation Field Lab experiential learning course, which works to create data-driven solutions to problem properties in partner cities in Massachu-

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setts. The students work full-time in Field Lab cities, implementing and refining the innovations designed during the semester. During the summer of 2016, six students served as Field Lab Summer Fellows: Sean Alaback BLA ’17, Harvard Extension School, CityNexus Developer Axelle Bagot MPP ’16, Chelsea, MA Paula Brown MC-Mason ’16, Fitchburg, MA Jon Jay DrPH, HSPH, Lawrence, MA Angela Reyes Rangel MPP ’16, Salem, MA Elizabeth Ruth Wilson MPP ’17, Winthrop, MA China Public Policy Program Student Research Grants The China Public Policy Program financially supports Harvard University students pursuing China-related internships, independent research, and other forms of study conducted in China. Peter Bacon MPP ‘16: Limiting Nuclear Escalation in a War Between the US and China Jane Bai MPP ‘16: Assessment of Diagnosis-Related Groups Reform at Pilot Hospitals in China Naisi Gao & Yameng Hu MPP ‘16: Empowering Migrant Children by Youth Public Leadership Development: An Evaluation of EduRunner Summer Camp in China Jack Gao & Diana Zhou MPA/ID ‘16: Scaling Up Electric Vehicles in China Yichen Guan, PhD candidate in Political Science at FAS: From Education to Politics: The Role of Minority Education in Chinese Muslim Minorities’ Political Participation Jingkai He, PhD candidate in Department of Government at FAS: Research on the development trajectory of the Chinese internal security institutions and the ways these institutions were transformed to respond to the evolu-

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TOP TO BOTTOM Ana Babović (left), Ford Foundation Mason Fellow 2016 and 2016 Summer Fellow with Massachusetts Citizen Initiative Review, here meeting with former Governor Michael Dukakis Karry Jiao, MPP 2017 and 2016 Summer Fellow with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Partnership for Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities, visiting the Worcester Regional Upper Blackstone Wastewater Treatment Facility Yoko Okura, MPP 2017 and 2016 Summer Fellow with UNICEF Nepal, meeting with teachers in Dadeldhura, Nepal on disaster risk reduction at their school Glynis Startz (left), MPP 2017 and 2016 Summer Fellow with Smart Chicago Collaborative, speaking with a young community member at an “Array of Things” public meeting

Vietnam Program Internships For summer 2016, the Vietnam Program provided summer internship awards for two HKS students and three undergraduate students (one from Harvard College and two from outside Harvard). Yanjia Wang and Anisha Pradhan, both HKS MPP ’17, were among students selected for an internship in the Vietnam Program’s Fulbright of Economics Teaching Program (FETP). During his internship, Wang conducted research on comparative financial policy in China and Vietnam, while Pradhan spent her internship exploring the state of slums in Vietnam, particularly looking at the proportion of urban slums in Vietnam and whether these slums had access to improved water sources and sanitation. The program also provided internship awards to Harvard and non-Harvard undergraduate students. Dan Holmqvist, Harvard College ’17; Uyen Chau, University of California, Berkeley, ’17; and Sakineh Roodsari, George Washington University ‘17.


IN THE FIELD

Student Focus The Path to Local Government Leadership

“Inequality was very apparent in my early life,” said Glendean Hamilton MPP ‘17. She recalled the stark difference between the public elementary and middle schools she attended in the Bronx and the selective high school she would later commute two hours every day to attend. “In the Bronx, we didn’t have enough books or chairs, and what we did have was tattered,” she said. Her mother, a single parent who worked three jobs to provide for their family, encouraged Glendean to apply to Bard High School Early College in Manhattan where she was viscerally struck by the abundance of resources. “There were enough books for all of the students and we were allowed to take them home and leave some of them in our lockers. I remember thinking, ‘Why are there so many books?’ ‘Why are there no metal detectors and police officers in the hallways?’ I could see the difference at the time—the underlying inequality—but I couldn’t name the systems and mechanisms supporting it.” It was not until her first-year sociology courses at Smith College that she fully understood the deleterious effects of housing policy and redlining on poor, minority, and immigrant communities in the United States. She learned how depressed housing values in many low-income communities failed to produce adequate property tax revenue compared to wealthier towns and cities, resulting in more limited education funding for the children living in them. “The intersection of housing and education robbed me of the chance to get a good quality education around the block because my community was filled with black and brown individuals who are often overlooked by these systems.” After completing her bachelor’s with degrees in government and education, Glendean began teaching sixth-grade English in Lawrence, one of the poorest cities in Massachusetts and home to a large immigrant population. By 2012, the Lawrence schools had reached a nadir, with the state declaring them “chronically underachieving” and effectively taking them over. “Working as a teacher, my colleagues and I were more focused on specific and immediate concerns, like an upcoming standardized test, than on systemic inequality,” she said. “This is not a criticism of them. It’s just that when you’re responsible for 60 students, it can be hard to think about social change on a large scale.” Two years later, she applied to Harvard Kennedy School in an effort to understand how public policy can impact economic development, education, and employment opportunities for youth. “I was attracted to HKS because I thought it would help me figure out how to move the needle on complex issues impacting high poverty communities.”

Glendean Hamilton MPP ’17

During her first year at HKS, Glendean worked as a coordinator for the Innovation Field Lab, a course led by Jorrit de Jong, faculty director of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, and Somerville, Massachusetts Mayor Joseph Curtatone. The semester-long initiative places students in city halls in five economically struggling Massachusetts cities to address problems related to the cities’ housing stock and strengthen their internal capacity to collect and analyze data. As part of the Innovation Field Lab, Glendean worked in Salem, Massachusetts, and focused on creating and implementing a predictive analytic tool to aggregate data on properties that may pose a danger to public health and safety. “I saw the Innovation Field Lab as a test run for working in local government. I thought I might thrive in this environment and I wanted to see if it met my expectations —and it did. It really pushed me to develop my problem-solving skills to negotiate with different stakeholders and manage competing interests.” Glendean leveraged the skills she gained in the Innovation Field Lab working as a Summer Fellow in Denver, Colorado, with support from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. She is completing a case study examining the city’s response to homelessness, which is rapidly approaching crisis levels as rising housing prices have left many individuals and families vulnerable to displacement. She is also working to help establish the performance framework for a new homelessness office, bringing together the activities and functions of different departments to improve prevention and sup-

portive services for those at risk of or experiencing homelessness. “I’m not only thinking about how do you ensure that all citizens have a place to lay their heads at night, but during the day, are we exposing them to environmental hazards? Do we give them support? Are we connecting them to mental health services? Are we connecting them to job training and employment assistance programs? How do we measure that? How do we make sure that people moving through the system aren’t ending up homeless again?” This fall, Glendean is tailoring her class schedule to address these questions and other community development challenges. She is planning to take courses in public finance, real estate, social impact bonds, and community organizing, and has signed on for another year with the Innovation Field Lab. “Everything fell into place when I came to the Kennedy School. There is so much interesting and important work going on, and I’m really grateful for the research centers, like Ash, which create opportunities for students to engage with communities in a meaningful way.” Considering her future, Glendean says, “I really love city government and I definitely see myself running for mayor someday. They are responsible for managing a whole ecosystem of lives and issues ranging from housing to education to development. They are responsible for bringing together the public, private, and nonprofit sectors as well as everyday citizens. I always want to be close to the people I’m working for and the issues I care about.” C

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RESEARCH BRIEF

Fellows Focus Meet Our New Fellows

Ford Foundation Mason Fellows The Ford Foundation Mason Fellowships are awarded to meritorious midcareer students with financial need and a demonstrated interest in the overarching issues of concern to the Ash Center to study at HKS for an intensive, one-year master’s degree in public administration. Mason Fellows come from developing, newly industrialized, and transitional economy countries. The Center is sponsoring the following students for this academic year: Santiago Amador, MC-Mason ’17, from Colombia Sukhman Randhawa, MC-Mason ’17, from India David Razu Aznar, MC-Mason ’17, from Mexico Kinga Tshering, MC-Mason ’17, from Bhutan Roy and Lila Ash Fellow The Roy and Lila Ash Fellowship in Democracy supports students with a strong interest in the broad questions of democratic governance, a capacity for leadership, a commitment to search and inquiry, and a dedication to advancements in social justice and service to citizens around the world. This year’s Roy and Lila Ash Fellow is Teresa Acuña, MC/MPA ’17. Ms. Acuña has been working in state and national politics since 2008, most recently as Director of Policy and Leadership Programs at the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of the nation’s 40 leading Latino organizations. Ms. Acuña has also worked as a Legislative Director in the California State Assembly and the US House of Representatives, focused on legislation that sought to diminish social and civil inequalities. Tomorrow Education Foundation Student Fellows The Tomorrow Education Foundation Fellowship is awarded each year to Mason Fellows from China with financial need. Candidates must demonstrate a strong interest in the areas of domestic politics and social development of China, with a focus on public

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policy challenges. Ming Fan, MC-Mason ’17 Dalio Scholars The Dalio Fellowship is awarded each year to one Chinese midcareer Mason Program MPA degree student and one Chinese MPP degree student with financial need. Leading candidates will be proven leaders in philanthropy or will demonstrate clear philanthropy sector leadership potential. Tracy Yingcui Cai, MC-Mason ‘17 May Chengnan Wu, MPP ‘18 Hui Fellows The Hui Fellowships are awarded to Chinese midcareer Mason Program MPA degree students and Chinese MPP degree students with financial need. Leading candidates demonstrate a strong interest in the areas of China’s integration with the world economy and polity, sustainability, socioeconomic stability, and those active in civil society, with a focus on public policy challenges. Zumi Jin, MPP ‘17 Wei Wei, MPP ‘17 Runzhou Zhang, MPP ‘17 China Public Policy Postdoctoral Fellowships The Ash Center China Programs offer two postdoctoral fellowships in the field of contemporary Chinese public policy to recent PhDs of exceptional promise. The China Programs welcomed the following two new postdoctoral fellows for AY2016–17: Manfred Elfstrom, PhD in Government, Cornell University Yao Li, PhD in Sociology, Johns Hopkins University Democracy Fellowships The Ash Center’s Democracy Fellowships welcomes doctoral candidates as well as postdoctoral and senior scholars in research areas related to democratic governance. This year, the following five new Democracy Fellows joined the Center: Monica Bell, PhD candidate, Sociology & Social Policy, Harvard University; Cli-

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menko Fellow & Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School LaGina Gause, PhD in Public Policy and Political Science, University of Michigan Hilary Silver, Professor of Sociology, Urban Studies, and Public Policy, Brown University Kai Thaler, PhD candidate, Department of Government, Harvard University Julian Urrutia, PhD candidate, Health Policy, Harvard University History and Public Policy Fellows The Initiative on History and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, based at the Ash Center, seeks to attract outstanding predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows who are engaged in cutting-edge historical research that is informed by, or seeks to illuminate, issues of contemporary public policy. In AY2016–17, the Center welcomed the following four fellows: David Allen, PhD candidate, International and Global History, Columbia University Renée Blackburn, PhD candidate in the History, Anthropology, Science, Technology and Society (HASTS) Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Daniel Hummel, PhD in History, University of Wisconsin, Madison Elizabeth Katz, PhD candidate, Department of History, Harvard University Innovations in Government Fellows The Ash Center occasionally invites scholars and professionals from the government, academia, and business to address issues pertaining to innovations in government. This fall the Center welcomed Muradiye Ates, PhD candidate in Political Science, Yildirim Beyazit University, Turkey. Rajawali Fellows The Rajawali Fellows Program allows predoctoral and postdoctoral scholars as well as practitioners the freedom to pursue independent research projects on public policy issues related to Asia, with the help of the Ash Center’s Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia

and other Harvard resources. The Center welcomed 22 new Rajawali Fellows this fall. For a complete listing of this year’s Rajawali Fellows, please visit the Ash Center website at ash.harvard.edu. Technology and Democracy Non-Resident Fellowship The Technology and Democracy Fellowship is part of an Ash Center initiative to explore technology’s role in improving democratic governance — with a focus on connecting to practice and on helping HKS students develop crucial technology skills. The Technology and Democracy Fellowship is intended to support fellows as they design, develop, or refine a substantive project that is salient to their field and seeks to improve the quality of democratic governance. This project could take the form of a new platform, service, or organization, or could entail research, reflection, and writing on issues that most interest the fellow. The Center welcomed five new fellows this semester. Leah Bannon, Organizer, Tech Lady Hackathons, and Product Lead, 18F Trevor Davis, CTO, National People’s Action, and Founder/CEO, ToSomeone Noel Hidalgo, Executive Director, BetaNYC Harlo Holmes, Director of Newsroom Digital Security, Freedom of the Press Foundation Hila Mehr, Senior Analyst for Market Developments and Insights, IBM Global Philanthropy Senior Research Fellow Paula Doherty Johnson joined the Ash Center in summer 2016 as a Senior Research Fellow and she spearheads research on the growth, practice, and impact of global philanthropy and social investment. Johnson is leading a major new effort to develop and disseminate the Global Philanthropy Report, a pioneering study that will provide first-of-its-kind data on institutional philanthropic capital, trends, and innovations in countries throughout the world.


IN THE NEWS

Event Snapshots Hong Kong and Mainland China, Uneasy Bedfellows April 5, 2016 On April 5, Ash Center director Tony Saich moderated a discussion with Anson Chan, former Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, regarding recent tensions between Hong Kong and mainland China. Chan first described the transition from British rule of Hong Kong to that of China in 1997. Though many cast doomsday prophecies about this handoff, in reality it was a smooth transition and the government in Beijing kept its distance. More recently, however, interference by the Chinese government in the “one country, two systems” paradigm has increased and China has taken steps towards reducing Hong Kong’s status as separate from the mainland. Chan hypothesized that this is either because China’s recent rise to the position of the world’s greatest exporter has emboldened China or because Beijing feels that it is losing control over this region. Chan further described the importance of maintaining the identity of Hong Kong, which is more liberal and westernized than mainland China. Hong Kong has struggled to create universal suffrage, and recent protests such as those by the Umbrella Movement have pushed towards this goal and inspired younger generations to defend the values of Hong Kong. Finally, Chan emphasized that this issue is of global relevance, especially for America which has large investments in Hong Kong as well as important bilateral agreements.

Ash Center Director Tony Saich with Anson Chan, former Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, at the JFK Jr. Forum

Building Support for Taxation in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence from Mexico April 7, 2016 In April, the Ash Center‘s Comparative Democracy Seminar Series hosted Gustavo Flores-Macías, an Assistant Professor of Government and director of the Latin American Studies Program at Cornell University. Flores-Macías emphasized the importance of public opinion in matters of policy and described how careful tax design could make some taxes more palatable to citizens. Flores-Macías hypothesized three features of a tax that could lead to higher levels of support: an oversight mechanism to ensure correct use of the new funds, a sunshine provision which puts an expiration date on the tax, and an earmark which provides a very specific use for the tax revenue. He also noted that the ability of these features to increase the support for a tax are conditional upon the public’s trust in the government, the perceived quality of the public good being provided, and the income of those being taxed. Flores-Macías put his hypotheses to the test in Mexico, where he polled 1,300 people, asking how likely they would be to support paying increased taxes to bolster public safety. His research found that when he promised an oversight mechanism, sunshine provision, or earmark, support for the tax increased by about 40 percent relative to the control subjects who were offered none of these features. Interestingly, he also found that those who had low trust in the government reported larger increases in support for the taxes than did those with high trust when offered these three features.

Candelaria Garay, Associate Professor of Public Policy, moderates a discussion with Gustavo Flores-Macías from Cornell University on taxation in Mexico

Can China Still Benefit from Earlier Experience with Poverty Elimination? Can Other Countries? May 5, 2016 In May, the Ash Center hosted a discussion with Arthur Holcombe, Rajawali Fellow and founder and president of the Poverty Alleviation Fund, to discuss whether China and other countries can benefit from China’s earlier experience with poverty elimination. Recently, China committed to the goal of eradicating residual extreme poverty by 2020, and Holcombe examined the country’s successes and failures at fighting poverty in the past. He described how China was enormously successful in reducing poverty in the two decades prior to the turn of the millennium. Previous growth-oriented programs focused on poverty re-

Arthur Holcombe, Rajawali Fellow at the Ash Center and president of the Poverty Alleviation Fund, discusses attempts at poverty alleviation in China

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IN THE NEWS

duction in rural areas by increasing the demand for agricultural products and expenditures on education and rural infrastructure. In theory, these programs targeted poor households, but Holcombe found that much of the aid given to these rural areas ended up in the hands of wealthier farmers and businesses, thus reducing poverty but also increasing inequality. He emphasized that a more equitable program would focus on providing aid at the individual household level, referencing his work with an NGO in Tibet that offered interventions such as close involvement with civilians, the lending of microcredit, greenhouses to extend crop periods, the introduction of cash crops, improved health care, and job training for youth. Holcombe also reflected that Africa, Rwanda, and Ethiopia have begun to pursue the Chinese rural growth model and have seen strong results. He recommends that other African countries look to the Rwandan and Ethiopian models for guidance. This discussion was moderated by Ash Center director Tony Saich.

Making Democracy Work September 7, 2016 The Making Democracy Work Seminar Series is a public dialogue series examining practical solutions to strengthening democracy and public engagement and participation in government in the United States and around the world. The Ash Center will be convening academics, practitioners, technologists, community members, and elected officials to explore solutions to our democratic deficit. “Anonymity, Pseudonymity, and Deliberation: Why Not Everything Should Be Connected” kicked off the series. University of Cambridge Postdoctoral Research Fellow and former Ash Center Democracy Fellow Alfred Moore discussed his recent research on the design of online commenting platforms in the pursuit of more civil online deliberation. The panel also included Ethan Zuckerman, director, MIT Center for Civic Media, and Associate Professor of Practice, MIT Media Lab, and Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and HKS Academic Dean. Moore and colleagues built a dataset of some 42 million comments made on the Huffington Post website between January 2013 and February 2015. During this period, the site moved through three different models: from easy anonymity, to registered pseudonyms, and finally to outsourcing their comments to Facebook. It turns out that real-name environments may be worse for talking about politics online than many people expect. On the one hand, normative pressure from peers can improve the level of civility in terms of language and personal attacks. However, on the other hand, the loss of anonymity may discourage those with divergent views from saying what they truly believe for fear of backlash from their social networks. Other events in the series this fall included “#Tech4Democracy: Meet the Change Makers,” a panel discussion with HKS alumni organized as part of HUBweek, and “The Ethics of Democracy Entrepreneurship,” in which leading practitioners and scholars joined a frank discussion about the possibilities and challenges of marketing participatory democratic innovations like citizens’ assemblies, participatory budgeting, or deliberative polling as policy tools for government. Also included in the Making Democracy Work seminars was a series of four talks by Dame Baroness Tessa Jowell, a member of British Parliament from 1992–2015 who also held several cabinet-level minister positions. Jowell, a Senior Leadership Fellow this fall with the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, spoke on a range of topics from the implications of today’s populist movements to the requirements of well-functioning political parties to the future of progressive politics. Each of the discussions in the Making Democracy Work series moved beyond diagnosing the problems and challenges to democracy and toward analysis or exploration of promising solutions in order to offer suggestive or prescriptive conversations on ways we might address these types of pressing issues.

Building a Civic Engagement Toolkit for Election Officials September 7, 2016 The Ash Center’s Government Innovators Network, an online forum for innovation in the public sector, hosted a webinar on the development of the Election Toolkit (http://electiontools.org/), a project of The Center for Technology and

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Alfred Moore, University of Cambridge postdoctoral research fellow and former Ash Center Democracy Fellow, discusses online commenting platforms

Tiana Epps-Johnson, founder and executive director at Center for Technology and Civic Life, discusses the Election Toolkit she developed

Civic Life. The Election Toolkit is an online library of tech resources, including tools like a Twitter guide, a free app to measure voter wait times, tools for publishing real-time election results, and a collection of graphics. All of the tools in the Toolkit are either free or low-cost and come paired with step-by-step instructions, making them usable by any election official, regardless of their budget or technical ability. Tiana Epps-Johnson, a former Technology and Democracy Fellow at the Ash Center and founder and executive director of the Center for Technology and Civic Life, developed the Election Toolkit in part during her tenure at the Ash Center and with the financial support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. “Local election officials are a trusted source of nonpartisan election information, but they often lack the tech resources to ensure that all voters have access to the information they need to cast an informed ballot,” reflected Epps-Johnson. “Elections are the heart of our democracy, and the idea behind the Election Toolkit is that any local election official, regardless of their tech background, should have the tools and skills to effectively engage with their communities.”


IN THE NEWS

Panelists on the webinar represented partner organizations in the Toolkit’s development: Gerri Kramer, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office, Florida; Whitney May, Center for Technology and Civic Life; and Whitney Quesenbery, Center for Civic Design. The event was moderated by Hollie Russon Gilman, a fellow at New America and Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, and a former Ash Center fellow.

Stein Ringen Discusses New Book on China

Stein Ringen, Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at University of Oxford, discusses his new book, The Perfect Dictatorship: China in the 21st Century

September 14, 2016 Stein Ringen, Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, travelled to the Ash Center on September 14 to discuss his new book, The Perfect Dictatorship: China in the 21st Century. The talk, which was cosponsored by the Harvard University Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and moderated by Ash Center Director Tony Saich, was at capacity, with students and fellows crowding the Center’s foyer to hear Ringen’s argument that under the new leadership of President Xi Jinping, China’s system of government has been transformed into a new regime radically harder and more ideological than the legacy of Deng Xiaoping. Ringen discussed his thesis that China is weaker economically and more dictatorial politically than the world has wanted to believe.

Project on Municipal Innovation September 27–29, 2016 The 16th convening of the Project on Municipal Innovation (PMI) was held in Washington, DC, in late September. PMI brings together chiefs of staff and top advisors from 46 of the country’s major cities to discuss challenges and share innovative solutions that can increase operational efficiency and the quality of life for city residents. Members attended sessions moderated by Professor Stephen Goldsmith that touch on a number of topics: the many ways in which city government can support public schooling, new trends in using data and technology to mitigate homelessness, holistic approaches to improving city health, and how city government can better utilize federal resources. This year’s guest panelists included, among others: R.T. Rybak, former mayor of Minneapolis; Adrian Fenty, former mayor of Washington, DC; Kaya Henderson, chancellor of the Washington, DC public school system; Laura Zeilinger, director of the Washington, DC Department of Human Services; and Tara McGuinness, senior advisor at the Office of Management and Budget. Adrian Fenty, former mayor of Washington, DC, listens as Kaya Henderson, former chancellor of the DC Public School System, speaks at the Project on Municipal Innovation convening

Archon Fung, academic dean of HKS, moderates a #Tech4Democracy event on inclusive innovation

#Tech4Democracy: Meet the Change Makers September 28, 2016 In late September, the Ash Center hosted #Tech4Democracy: Meet the Change Makers as part of HUBweek. Moderated by Archon Fung, HKS Academic Dean and Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship, the panel featured HKS alumni who went on to become innovators in the areas of civic technology or technology and governance. What differentiates these speakers in the tech innovation world is that they address public or civic needs rather than investing their energy in meeting private or individual needs. Speakers on the panel included Tiana Epps-Johnson (Ash Center Technology and Democracy Fellow ‘16), Center for Technology and Civic Life; Rey Faustino, One Degree; Seth Flaxman, Democracy Works; and Denise Linn, Smart Chicago. The discussion highlighted each speaker’s experience navigating the potential and pitfalls of digital technology in realizing democratic values such as participation, transparency, accountability, responsiveness, and equal representation. #Tech4Democracy aligned with a HUBweek theme of ‘inclusive innovation.’ This is the second year that the Ash Center has participated in HUBweek, a novel civic collaboration between The Boston Globe, Harvard University, MIT, and Massachusetts General Hospital. HUBweek aims to engage the Greater Boston community to celebrate innovation and creativity at the intersections of art, science, and technology. Other Harvard programs explored advances within life sciences and reimagined uses of the arts.

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RESEARCH BRIEF

On the Bookshelf

Dealing with Dysfunction: Innovative Problem Solving in the Public Sector Jorrit de Jong Brookings Institution Press and Ash Center, 2016 How can we intervene in the systemic bureaucratic dysfunction that beleaguers the public sector? De Jong examines the roots of this dysfunction and presents a novel approach to solving it. Drawing from academic literature on bureaucracy and problem solving in the public sector, and the clinical work of the Kafka Brigade—a social enterprise based in the Netherlands dedicated to diagnosing and remedying bureaucratic dysfunction in practice, this study reveals the shortcomings of conventional approaches to bureaucratic reform. The usual methods have failed to diagnose problems, distinguish symptoms, or identify root causes in a comprehensive or satisfactory way. They have also failed to engage clients, professionals, and midlevel managers in understanding and addressing the dysfunction that plagues them. This book offers conceptual frameworks, theoretical insights, and practical lessons for dealing with the problem. It sets a course for rigorous public problem solving to create governments that can be more effective, efficient, equitable, and responsive to social concerns. De Jong argues that successfully remedying bureaucratic dysfunction depends on employing diagnostics capable of distinguishing and dissecting various kinds of dysfunction. The “Anna Karenina principle” applies here: all well-functioning bureaucracies are alike; every dysfunctional bureaucracy is dysfunctional in its own way. The author also asserts that the worst dysfunction occurs when multiple organizations share responsibility for a problem, but no single organization is primarily responsible for solving it. This points to a need for creating and reinforcing distributed problem-solving capacity focused on deep (cross-)organizational learning and revised accountability structures. Our best approach to dealing with dysfunction may therefore not be top-down regulatory reform, but rather relentless bottom-up and cross-boundary leadership and innovation. Using fourteen clinical cases of bureaucratic dysfunction investigated by the Kafka Brigade, the author demonstrates how a proper process for identifying, defining, diagnosing, and remedying the problem can produce better outcomes.

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Praise for Dealing with Dysfunction: Drawing on all-too-recognizable examples of how citizens experience official dysfunction, this book provides a wonderfully engaging overview of theories of bureaucracy, along with accounts of how bureaucratic failures can be remedied. — Geoff Mulgan, CEO, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), United Kingdom

Real world complexities can twist attempts at reform into adverse or even perverse outcomes. Professor de Jong identifies this “bureaucratic dysfunction” and explores a unique synthesis of theory, research, and practice to offer a systematic guide for diagnosis and correction. Policy professionals will find this both fascinating and useful. — Peter Wallace, City Manager, City of Toronto, Canada


RESEARCH BRIEF

Rape during Civil War Dara Kay Cohen Cornell University Press, 2016

Dara Kay Cohen, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and faculty affiliate of the Ash Center, recently authored her first book, Rape during Civil War, which examines variation in the severity and perpetrators of rape using an original dataset of reported rape during all major civil wars from 1980 to 2012. Cohen also conducted extensive fieldwork, including interviews with perpetrators of wartime rape, in three post-conflict countries, finding that rape was widespread in the civil wars of Sierra Leone and TimorLeste but was far less common during El Salvador's civil war. Cohen argues that armed groups that recruit their fighters through the random abduction of strangers use rape—and especially gang rape—to create bonds of loyalty and trust between soldiers. The statistical evidence confirms that armed groups that recruit using abduction are more likely to perpetrate rape than are groups that use voluntary methods, even controlling for other confounding factors. Important findings from the fieldwork— across cases—include that rape, even when it occurs on a massive scale, rarely seems to be directly ordered. Instead, former fighters describe participating in rape as a violent socialization practice that served to cut ties with fighters’ past lives and to signal their commitment to their new groups. Results from the book lay the groundwork for the systematic analysis of an understudied form of civilian abuse.

Praise for Rape during Civil War: Dara Kay Cohen's extraordinary work breaks new ground in the study of sexual violence in war. Students of violence have struggled to explain why rape occurs in some conflicts and not others and have had difficulties characterizing the functions of sexual violence that distinguish it from other types of abuse. Cohen addresses both challenges by examining the role that sexual violence plays in solidifying bonds in otherwise fragmented fighting groups. Rape is used as a response to organizational weaknesses and is not just a product of them. Cohen develops and tests the argument using a unique dataset that characterizes the behavior of armed groups around the world and probes the logics through in-depth analysis of Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, and El Salvador. This is scholarship on violence at its best: innovative, engaged, informed. — Macartan Humphreys, Columbia University, coauthor of Coethnicity: Diversity and the Dilemmas of Collective Action

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The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation strives to make the world a better place by advancing excellence and innovation in governance and public policy through research, education, and public discussion. By training the very best leaders, developing powerful new ideas, and disseminating innovative solutions and institutional reforms, the Center’s goal is to meet the profound challenges facing the world’s citizens.

Ash Center Communiqué Fall 2016  

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