The Last Post in this Blog

Friday, September 30, 2011

While we’re all doing the same work to bring you the latest information, this blog is being merged with the Business New Titles and Environment and Planning New Titles blogs. Our new blog is called “Need to Know…” . So if you’d like to continue to receive RSS feeds or email alerts, would you re-subscribe in the new blog.

Let us know what you think of the new blog

Lazarus rising : a personal and political autobiography, Revised edition (book)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Author: John Howard
“Traces his personal and political journey, from childhood in the post-World War II era through to the present day, painting a fascinating picture of a changing Australia.” – publisher.

In this revised edition, Howard also analyses the 2010 election, the role of the Greens and the Independents in Australian politics, and the performances of Labor PMs Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, as well as Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
Call number: 324.29405092 LAZ 2011
Borrow your library’s copy – click here to email your request to us.

Making the most of public investment in a tight fiscal environment : multi-level governance lessons from the crisis (online)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Author: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
“How to make the most of public investment? This question is critical in today’s tight fiscal environment. Given that sub-national governments in OECD countries carry out more than two thirds of total capital investment, they have played a key role in executing national stimulus packages during the global crisis. The effectiveness of recovery strategies based on public investment thus depends largely on the arrangements between levels of government to design and implement the investment mix.  This report provides an overview of challenges met in the recovery and highlights good practices and lessons learned, focusing on eight country cases: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United States.” – abstract.   
Full report

Cost containment and quality of care in Japan: is there a trade-off? (journal article)

Monday, September 26, 2011

By Hideki Hashimoto et al

from The Lancet, Vol 378, Iss9797, 24 Sept 2011, pp 1174 – 1182

“Japan’s health indices such as life expectancy at birth are among the best in the world. However, at 8·5% the proportion of gross domestic product spent on health is 20th among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries in 2008 and half as much as that in the USA. Costs have been contained by the nationally uniform fee schedule, in which the global revision rate is set first and item-by-item revisions are then made. Although the structural and process dimensions of quality seem to be poor, the characteristics of the health-care system are primarily attributable to how physicians and hospitals have developed in the country, and not to the cost-containment policy. However, outcomes such as postsurgical mortality rates are as good as those reported for other developed countries. Japan’s basic policy has been a combination of tight control of the conditions of payment, but a laissez-faire approach to how services are delivered; this combination has led to a scarcity of professional governance and accountability. In view of the structural problems facing the health-care system, the balance should be shifted towards increased freedom of payment conditions by simplification of reimbursement rules, but tightened control of service delivery by strengthening of regional health planning, both of which should be supported through public monitoring of providers’ performance. Japan’s experience of good health and low cost suggests that the priority in health policy should initially be improvement of access and prevention of impoverishment from health care, after which efficiency and quality of services should then be pursued.”

Full article. Free registration required.

Delegation and Institutional Design in Health-Care Rationing (journal article)

Monday, September 26, 2011

By Claudia Landwehr, Katharina Bohm

from Governance,  Vol 24, Iss 4, Oct 2011 pp 665–688

“The delegation of decision-making powers to nonmajoritarian, independent agencies has become a significant phenomenon in more and more policy areas. One of these is the health-care sector, where decisions on the range of services covered within public systems have, in most developed countries, been delegated to specialized bodies. This article offers an analytical framework that seeks to grasp the empirical variety and complexity of delegative processes and appointed institutions. The framework is used to describe decision-making processes and institutions in six countries: Austria, Germany, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. We find that, although constrained by preexisting institutional structures and traditions, delegators enjoy a considerable degree of discretion in their institutional design choices and engage in strategic design and redesign of appointed bodies. ”    Full article

The Hollowmen : the complete first and second series [DVD set]

Monday, September 26, 2011

Writers/Producers: Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner & Rob Sitch
“Set in the offices of the Central Policy Unit, a special think tank personally set up by the Prime Minister to help him in the most important job of all – getting re-elected. Their brief is “long-term vision” – to stop worrying about tomorrow’s headlines, and focus on next week’s”–Container.
Like to have a laugh? Click here & request to borrow your library’s copy. 

Together for better public services : partnering with citizens and civil society (online)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Author: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
This report analyses the partnerships that governments form with citizens, users and CSOs in order to innovate and deliver improved public service outcomes. These approaches can offer creative policy responses that enable governments to provide better public services in times of fiscal constraints.  Although co production and citizens’ involvement are still in the developmental stage in many countries, early efforts appear to lead to cost reductions, better service quality and improved user satisfaction. This report identifies the risks of citizen and user involvement in service delivery, and the barriers that must be overcome to make these models work. Top-level political commitment, adequate public sector capacity, and aligned financial incentives are the key factors for success.
Full report


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