Research Briefing, October 2017

blogimage_researchbriefingEach month, there is new, fascinating research emerging that provides practical insight into how the government, business, and non-profit sectors partner to address society’s most pressing problems. To keep our readers up to date on this work, which comes from a variety of academic and non-academic sources, we compile a monthly briefing and publish it on our blog — for researchers who want to stay up to date on progress in the field of cross-sector collaboration and practitioners who are interested in how this research may be applicable to their work.

This month’s briefing includes articles about:

  • the economic and political determinants of public-private partnership adoption,
  • the emergence of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) continuum of care (CoC) model,
  • the Rikers Island Social Impact Bond,
  • challenges facing leaders of a cross-sector collaboration for community health,
  • the potential to extract public value from social media data through data collaboratives, and
  • the relationship between collaborative governance and environmental outcomes,
  • along with a special issue on infrastructure public-private partnerships from the Australian Journal of Public Administration.

An Examination of State-Level Public–Private Partnership Adoption: Analyzing Economic, Political, and Demand-Related Determinants of PPPs,” Public Works Management & Policy, Eric J. Boyer and Daniel S. Scheller

Abstract: “This study examines the influence of economic, political, and demand factors on the adoption of public-private partnerships (PPPs) from 2000 to 2016. State debt, urban travel demand, and state laws allowing unsolicited PPP proposals have a significant effect on PPP adoption. Counter to previous studies that suggest conservative state governments adopt PPPs at a greater rate than liberal governments, we find that the influence of political ideology on PPP adoption is contingent upon state legislative professionalism. For states with high legislative professionalism, a change in state government ideology in the liberal direction decreases the likelihood of PPP adoption. For states with low legislative professionalism, a change in state government ideology in the liberal direction increases the likelihood of PPP adoption. The results inform the study of politics of privatization by demonstrating how ideological preferences can be shaped by the legislative capacities of state governments.”

Understanding the Emergence and Persistence of Mandated Collaboration: A Policy Feedback Perspective of the United States’s Model to Address Homelessness,” The American Review of Public Administration, Joseph A. Hafer

Abstract: “Collaboration is commonplace in contemporary public administration. In many instances, policy mandates collaboration between previously unconnected organizations for those organizations to obtain essential funding for public services, thus creating new administrative structures grounded in collaboration. There exists substantial research that focuses on the collaborative process and potential outcomes of these structures, yet their emergence and development is less understood. The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) continuum of care (CoC) model is one such collaborative structure that has been the dominant administrative service delivery system used to address homelessness in the United States since the early 1990s. A historical analysis reveals that policy feedback effects help explain the emergence and persistence of the CoC model from before its origin to its eventual codification in the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009. A policy feedback perspective of the CoC model demonstrates how the interplay of policy, politics, and administration led to a mandate to collaborate to address a large-scale social problem.

Goldman Sachs Goes to Rikers Island,” Harvard Business Review, Elena Loutskina et al.

Abstract: “Yi Hua, the leader of an impact-investing initiative at Goldman Sachs, was examining a new financial arrangement in a proposed public-private partnership called the Rikers Island Social Impact Bond (SIB). The proposed SIB was the result of a partnership between Goldman Sachs, the New York City (NYC) Department of Correction, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and three nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)-MDRC, Osborne Association (Osborne), and the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera). The investment that Goldman Sachs was considering would finance the implementation of a cognitive behavioral therapy program for teens (aged 16 through 18) incarcerated at Rikers Island. The goal of the program was to lower the likelihood of those teens returning to jail following their release (i.e., recidivism). If predetermined outcome-based metrics, which focused on lowering recidivism, were reached, the NYC government would repay Goldman Sachs its contributed capital along with a return. The case helps students develop an awareness of the growing innovative financial structure that attracts private capital to finance governmental efforts to address social issues: SIBs. Alongside SIBs, the following related issues could be discussed: financial and social returns, models of investing for social impact, measuring social impact, private-sector financial resources used for public benefit, and private debt vehicles. This case can be used as an introduction to SIBs in an MBA course or in undergraduate electives dedicated to impact investing, public-private partnerships, or other related courses covering the role of business in society. The material can also be used in executive education around issues of cross-sector collaboration to address social issues.”

Strategic Challenges Confronting Leaders of a Cross-Sector Collaboration Organization Created to Improve Community Health,” SAGE Open, Michael J. Fratantuono and David M. Sarcone

Abstract: “This article explores the strategic challenges associated with launching and managing a cross-sector collaboration that confronted Aligning Forces for Quality of South Central Pennsylvania (AF4Q-SCPA), which was established to improve health care quality in partnerships with patients, providers, employers, and community organizations. It draws upon the work of scholars from the fields of public administration, public health, organizational theory, and business strategy. It synthesizes previous contributions to create a new model called the Collaboration Cube, which links the likelihood of success of initiatives to intended outcomes and collaborative structures. With respect to methodology, it takes an inductive approach and uses the insights from the case study to offer nine generalizable propositions that readers may find relevant to collaborative organizations operating in any field. Finally, the article offers thoughts about possible lines of future research.”

The Potential of Social Media Intelligence to Improve People’s Lives: Social Media Data for Good,” The GovLab, Stefaan G. Verhulst and Andrew Young

Abstract: “The twenty-first century will be challenging on many fronts. From historically catastrophic natural disasters resulting from climate change to inequality to refugee and terrorism crises, it is clear that we need not only new solutions, but new insights and methods of arriving at solutions. Data, and the intelligence gained from it through advances in data science, is increasingly being seen as part of the answer. This report explores the premise that data — and in particular the vast stores of data and the unique analytical expertise held by social media companies — may indeed provide for a new type of intelligence that could help develop solutions to today’s challenges. In this report, developed with support from Facebook, we focus on an approach to extract public value from social media data that we believe holds the greatest potential: data collaboratives. Data collaboratives are an emerging form of public-private partnership in which actors from different sectors exchange information to create new public value. Such collaborative arrangements, for example between social media companies and humanitarian organizations or civil society actors, can be seen as possible templates for leveraging privately held data towards the attainment of public goals.”

The Environmental Performance of Participatory and Collaborative Governance: A Framework of Causal Mechanisms,” Policy Studies Journal, Jens Newig et al.

Abstract: “Many have advocated for collaborative governance and the participation of citizens and stakeholders on the basis that it can improve the environmental outcomes of public decision making, as compared to traditional, top-down decision making. Others, however, point to the potential negative effects of participation and collaboration on environmental outcomes. This article draws on several literatures to identify five clusters of causal mechanisms describing the relationship between participation and environmental outcomes. We distinguish (i) mechanisms that describe how participation impacts on the environmental standard of outputs, from (ii) mechanisms relating to the implementation of outputs. Three mechanism clusters focus on the role of representation of environmental concerns, participants’ environmental knowledge, and dialogical interaction in decision making. Two further clusters elaborate on the role of acceptance, conflict resolution, and collaborative networks for the implementation of decisions. In addition to the mechanisms, linking independent with dependent variables, we identify the conditions under which participation may lead to better (or worse) environmental outcomes. This helps to resolve apparent contradictions in the literature. We conclude by outlining avenues for research that builds on this framework for analysis.”

Special Issue: Infrastructure Public Private Partnership,” Australian Journal of Public Administration

The September Issue of the Australian Journal of Public Administration is a special issue on public-private partnership for infrastructure. Articles include “Public-Private Partnerships: The Way They Were and What They Can Become,” “After the Ribbon Cutting: Governing PPPs in the Medium to Long Term,” and “Busting Some of the Public Private Partnership Myths from a Government Perspective.”

Other recently released research on cross-sector collaboration: