procurement

Learning To Be Smart: Using Data and Technology to Improve Services in Kansas City, Missouri, 2009 – 2019

Author
Tyler McBrien
Focus Area(s)
Country of Reform
Abstract

When Troy Schulte took over as interim city manager of Kansas City, Missouri, in 2009, the local economy was struggling and the government faced hard choices about how to use scarce resources. With a slashed budget and a diminished workforce, Schulte had to figure out how to deliver city services without reducing quality. Together with a small team of employees, he began to create a culture of data-driven decision making in municipal offices, to invest selectively in technology, and to give nonprofit organizations and firms an opportunity to develop their own, innovative solutions to city problems by making more information available to them. Schulte found a kindred spirit in Mayor Sly James, who negotiated a public–private partnership with a view to developing what Kansas City’s chief innovation officer called “the smartest 54 blocks in the country” along the city’s new streetcar corridor. As initial efforts came to a close and a new mayor entered office, Schulte and other officials stepped back to assess what they had learned. The new, data-driven culture had yielded positive improvements, whereas the technology-based smart-city initiative had had a more limited impact—at least in the shorter term. The experience generated important lessons about the scale of the benefits that technology could generate in midsize cities and in what kind of time frame.

Tyler McBrien drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Kansas City, Missouri, in January 2020. Case published March 2020.

 

Contested Terrain: Reforming Procurement Systems in South Africa, 2013-2016

Author
Tristan Dreisbach
Country of Reform
Abstract

When he took office as South Africa’s finance minister in 2009, Pravin Gordhan found that government officials responsible for purchasing goods and services were wasting billions of dollars every year as a result of inefficiency, errors, and corruption. Gordhan wanted to confront all three problems by consolidating and strengthening control over procurement. In February 2013, he tapped longtime finance ministry official Kenneth Brown to serve as the country’s first chief procurement officer. Brown had to restructure systems, tighten procedures and regulations, and build effective oversight. He assembled a skilled team and persuaded skeptical politicians and business interests to support Gordhan’s goals. His office reviewed and renegotiated costly contracts, provided crucial market analysis and advice on procurement strategies for other departments, and took first steps toward creating an online system. Brown strengthened funding, built a staff, and put new systems in place. By the time he retired in December 2016, his efforts had sharply reduced opportunities for corruption, increased transparency in the procurement process, and slashed the time required to process tenders. The new office helped South Africa better comply with some of its obligations under the United Nations Convention against Corruption, even though Brown and Gordhan faced opposition from people at some of the highest levels of government.

Tristan Dreisbach drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town, South Africa, in March 2017. The British Academy-Department for International Development AntiCorruption Evidence (ACE) Program funded the development of this case study. Case published June 2017.

 

Qazi Ullah

Ref Batch
A
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
6
Interviewers
David Paterson
Name
Qazi Ullah
Interviewee's Position
Deputy Chief Integrated Support Services
Interviewee's Organization
UNMIL
Language
English
Town/City
Monrovia
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

In this interview, Colonel Qazi Ullah, Deputy Chief for Integrated Support Services at UNMIL and a Bangladeshi military logistician. Colonel Ullah begins by describing the initial challenges of coordinating the logistics of a 35-agency response effort for Ebola. He then details a variety of specific logistics problems he dealt with and the innovative solutions he and his team were able to design, relating to issues such as Priority Procurement Lists for donors, warehouse management, shipping and helicopters, and cold storage challenges for medical supplies. Finally, Col. Ullah concludes by reflecting on the overall logistical successes in the management of the Ebola crisis, offering lessons learned and best practices going forward. 

Profile

Colonel Qazi Ullah is a Bangladeshi military logistics officer and the Deputy Chief for Integrated Support Services at the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). Prior to joining UNMIL, he held a variety of assignments relating to logistics, natural disaster response, and national emergency response for the Bangladeshi army. He also was stationed at the UN Mission in Sierra Leone, and did a first tour at UNMIL before being assigned as a military advisor to the UN Mission for West Africa in Senegal, after which he returned to UNMIL to assume his current post in January of 2014. At UNMIL, his main responsibilities encompassed all logistical coordination for the multi-agency response to Ebola, when he simultaneously worked for UNMIL and was seconded to the Liberian Ministry of Health, coordinating resources and supply chain management for the Ebola response for over 35 different multinational partner agencies. 

Full Audio Title
Audio available upon request

Nicolas Dupont

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A
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
10
Country of Reform
Interviewers
David Paterson
Name
Nicolas Dupont
Interviewee's Position
Director of Procurement and former Interim Emergency Coordinator for the 2014 Ebola Outbreak
Interviewee's Organization
Médecins Sans Frontières(MSF)
Language
English
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

In this interview, Nicolas Dupont describes his role in overseeing  Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) procurement of medical and logistical supplies during its emergency response to the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa. He talks about how his department conducted quality assurance and product validation for supplies, while adhering to technical standards. He addresses how MSF’s procurement operations and supply chain adapted to the evolving nature of the outbreak. He describes the role of institutional donor funding on MSF’s external humanitarian partners during the outbreak and its effect on an organization’s spending capacity during a crisis. He explains MSF’s role in collaborating with its partners and the need to prioritize external customers amidst an emergency response. He notes the importance of creating centralized commercial and replenishment points during an emergency response and the benefit of facilitating strong cooperation between procurement departments and field operations. Finally, he reflects on the most difficult logistical issues he encountered and the need to avoid market bottlenecks in future emergency responses. 

Profile

At the time of this interview, Mr. Nicolas Dupont was the Director of Procurement and former Interim Emergency Coordinator for the 2014 Ebola Outbreak at  Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). He helped oversee the procurement of medical and logistical supplies during the Ebola epidemic and coordinate the emergency response with external partners. Prior to serving in these positions, he graduated from the ISC Paris Business School with a master’s degree in General Business Management. He worked as Change Management Stream Leader at Deloitte Consulting before joining MSF as a Management and Budget Controller. 

Full Audio File Size
50 MB
Full Audio Title
Nicolas Dupont Interview

Blowing the Whistle on the Pay-to-Play Game: Campaign Financing Reform in New Jersey, 1998-2012

Author
Rachel Jackson
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Abstract

In the late 1990s, civil society reformer Harry Pozycki began a grassroots campaign to eliminate pay to play, a form of influence buying whereby businesses donated money to New Jersey political parties and candidates in exchange for favorable consideration in the awarding of government contracts. Pay to play had plagued state politics for decades and raised the cost of public services. Pozycki pushed for enactment of contracting regulations at the state and local levels that would bar companies making campaign contributions from being awarded New Jersey government contracts. Although civic groups did make steady progress in winning public support for reform, the state legislature failed to pass regulations because both political parties relied heavily on donations from contractors to fund their electoral campaigns. But in 2004, outgoing Governor James E. McGreevey implemented the regulations by executive order, and his successor, Richard J. Codey, carried forward that momentum, thereby enacting a state law that made the regulations permanent. The state and local pay-to-play reforms ultimately required very little administrative cost and avoided legal complications related to free speech by their regulation of state contracts rather than of campaign financing. By 2006, New Jersey had one of the strongest anti-pay-to-play laws in the United States, and several other states followed its model. Under two successive governors, New Jersey continued to consider the legislation and make changes to it through the end of 2012. 

 
Rachel Jackson drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in New Jersey in mid-2012. Case published December 2012. 
 
Most ISS case studies chronicle reforms in detail and rest on large numbers of interviews. This publication is intended to provide an overview of implementation challenges and was informed by fewer interviews than other ISS case studies. 

Juan Miguel Luz

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ZC
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
3
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Rushda Majeed
Name
Juan Miguel Luz
Interviewee's Position
Associate Dean
Interviewee's Organization
Asian Institute of Management
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Philippines
Place (Building/Street)
Asian Institute of Management
Town/City
Makati City
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Juan Miguel Luz describes his involvement with the conception and execution of the Textbook Count Project as a senior official in the Philippine Department of Education. Beginning with a description of the problems with the department prior to his appointment, Luz outlines how corrupt department officials awarded textbook contracts to favored, often unqualified publishers, and further critiques the poor controls on textbook quality and delivery at the time. He describes the steps taken under Textbook Count One, Two, and Three to overhaul the bidding, production, and nationwide delivery of textbooks, emphasizing the importance of relying on non-governmental organizations such as Government Watch, the National Citizens Movement for Free Elections, and even the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in inspecting the quality and quantity of books delivered. Luz describes the success of the project, supported by the World Bank, in reducing the cost of textbooks, establishing stringent quality controls, and ensuring the timely delivery of needed textbooks to public schools all across the country. Providing numerous examples of corruption, Luz offers valuable insights into the challenges of monitoring services and holding both suppliers and civil servants accountable.
 
Profile

At the time of this interview, Juan Miguel Luz was serving as an associate dean of the Center for Development Management (CDM) at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). Earlier on, from 1997-2005, he was a member of the business and development management faculty at AIM, and also served as the managing director of the AIM Center for Corporate Responsibility from 1999-2002. In 2002, he entered public service as undersecretary of the Philippine Department of Education, where he was in charge of finance and administration. He held this position until 2006, and during his tenure, was part of significant reform within the department, including the numerous Textbook Count projects that helped improve the quality and availability of textbooks to local schools. From 2006-2008, Luz served as president of the International Institute for Rural Reconstruction, an international NGO with programs in Southeast Asia and East Africa. He rejoined AIM in September 2009, and remains actively involved with a number of non-profit organizations, including the Knowledge Channel, the Philippine Center for Population Development, and Philippine Business for Education. He has also authored books on the strategic management of non-governmental organizations, corporate-community relations and education management. 

Full Audio File Size
140 MB
Full Audio Title
Juan Miguel Luz Interview

Promoting Accountability, Monitoring Services: Textbook Procurement and Delivery, The Philippines, 2002-2005

Author
Rushda Majeed
Focus Area(s)
Country of Reform
Abstract
From 2002 to 2005, Juan Miguel Luz, a senior official at the Department of Education of the Philippines, led a nationwide drive to ensure timely procurement and delivery of textbooks to the country’s 40,000 public schools. Before Luz took office, corrupt department officials awarded textbook contracts to favored, and often unqualified, publishers. Because of weak quality controls, books had poor binding, printing defects and missing pages. Without a fixed schedule, publishers sometimes delivered textbooks several months after the start of the school year or failed to deliver them. The entire cycle from procurement to delivery could take as long as two years, twice the specified time span. Soon after taking office, Luz initiated the Textbook Count project to overhaul the procurement and delivery process. He partnered with nongovernmental organizations to monitor the department’s bidding process, inspect the quality of textbooks, and track deliveries. Groups such as Government Watch, the National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections, and even the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts mobilized thousands of volunteers to help track textbook deliveries to public schools. And Coca-Cola Company used its delivery trucks to transport textbooks to schools in far-flung areas of the country. By 2005, textbook prices had fallen by 50%, binding and printing quality had improved, and volunteer observers reported 95% error-free deliveries. The case offers insights into the challenges of monitoring services and holding civil servants and suppliers accountable.
 
Rushda Majeed drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Manila, Philippines, in March 2011. She added an epilogue based on interviews conducted in Manila in February and March 2013. Case republished July 2013
 
Associated Interview(s): Juan Miguel Luz

Increasing Transparency and Improving Project Management: South Africa's National Roads Agency, 1998-2011

Author
Richard Bennet
Country of Reform
Abstract
Following the transition to democracy in 1994, South Africa experimented with ways to improve ministry effectiveness by separating policy-making functions from operations. The Department of Transport introduced principles of New Public Management and public-private partnerships to improve service delivery. The South African National Roads Agency Ltd. (SANRAL), led by Nazir Alli, reconfigured the procurement process and financing models for planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of the country’s national road network. Increasing transparency in the tendering of contracts led to greater accountability on the part of project managers and contractors. This case study chronicles the steps that Alli and his staff took to build the agency and to deliver results on a large scale, culminating with the upgrade of the freeway connecting the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria during the final months before the 2010 FIFA World Cup. 
 
Richard Bennet drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa, in March 2011. Case published July 2011.
 
Associated Interview(s):  Jeremy Cronin

Rebooting the System: Technological Reforms in Nigerian Elections, 2010-2011

Author
Gabriel Kuris
Focus Area(s)
Core Challenge
Country of Reform
Abstract
In 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan appointed committed reformer Attahiru Jega to chair Nigeria’s electoral commission, building hope that the West African nation would finally break its chain of discredited elections. With under a year to prepare for the April 2011 elections, the commission turned to emerging technologies such as open-source software and social media to register 73 million voters from scratch and open a direct dialogue with the electorate. A small team of young Nigerian engineers guided by Nyimbi Odero pioneered these innovations, many of which contradicted the advice of elections experts. Despite some initial technical difficulties, Nigeria’s homegrown technology enabled the commission to prepare for elections goals on schedule and under budget. The credibility the commission earned helped spur unprecedented levels of voter participation. Ultimately, domestic and international observers validated the 2011 elections as the most free and fair in Nigeria’s history.
 

Gabriel Kuris drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in Abuja and Lagos, Nigeria, in October 2011. Case published March 2012. For a broader analysis of Nigeria's 2011 elections, see "Toward a Second Independence: Repairing Nigeria's Electoral Commission, 2010-2011."

Associated Interview(s): Nyimbi OderosDapo Olorunyomi

 

A Promise Kept: How Sierra Leone's President Introduced Free Health Care in One of the Poorest Nations on Earth, 2009-2010

Author
Michael Scharff
Country of Reform
Abstract

When Ernest Bai Koroma assumed the presidency of Sierra Leone in 2007, he promised to run his government as efficiently as a private business. A few years earlier, a brutal 11-year civil war had ended, leaving an estimated 50,000 dead and an additional two million displaced. The effects of the war gutted the government’s capacity to deliver basic services. Koroma launched an ambitious agenda that targeted key areas for improvement including energy, agriculture, infrastructure and health. In 2009, he scored a win with the completion of the Bumbuna hydroelectric dam that brought power to the capital, Freetown. At the same time, the president faced mounting pressure to reduce maternal and child death rates, which were the highest in the world. In November, he announced an initiative to provide free health care for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five years of age, and set the launch date for April 2010, only six months away. Working with the country’s chief medical officer, Dr. Kisito Daoh, he shuffled key staff at the health ministry, created committees that brought ministries, donors and non-governmental organizations together to move actions forward, and developed systems for monitoring progress. Strong support from the center of government proved critical to enabling the project to launch on schedule. Initial data showed an increase in utilization rates at health centers and a decline in child death rates. 

Michael Scharff drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in Freetown, Sierra Leone and London, U.K., in September and October 2011. Case published February 2012. See related cases, “Turning on the Lights in Freetown, Sierra Leone: Completing the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Plant, 2008-2009” and “Delivering on a Presidential Agenda: Sierra Leone’s Strategy and Policy Unit, 2010-2011.”