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This Element aims to connect the literature of street-level bureaucrats with that of policy entrepreneurship in order to analyze why and how bureaucrats operating at the street level can promote policy change in public administration at the individual level. I demonstrate how street-level bureaucrats act as policy entrepreneurs in different contexts around the globe to promote policy change and analyze what they think of policy entrepreneurship and what they do about it in practice. For this purpose, I use multiple research methods: a survey, in-depth interviews, focus groups and textual analyses. I also offer recommendations to decision-makers to promote street-level policy entrepreneurship, highlighting the benefits of doing so. Lastly, I critically discuss the normative aspects of street-level policy entrepreneurship: ultimately, is it desirable?
This paper explores the factors that influence citizens' attitudes toward the alternative provision of health care services, leading them to be willing to make extra, informal payments within the public health care system. We question whether these attitudes depend primarily on inherent normative preferences, such as beliefs about the government's responsibility to its citizens, or on certain aspects of the reality that they experience, such as satisfaction with the quality and quantity of services as well as the fairness of public systems. Analyzing the findings from a national survey, the paper shows that practical considerations and real-world conditions strongly relate to attitudes more than normative perceptions do.
This article proposes a new perspective for analysing regulatory reforms by emphasising the important role of policy entrepreneurs. We provide a framework for understanding the interaction between appointed regulators and politicians, as well as other players in the policy arena, by emphasising the strategies that entrepreneurial regulators use to promote their agendas. Analysing the individual regulatory entrepreneur’s barriers, goals and strategies helps us gain a better microunderstanding of how regulatory reforms are actually achieved. We maintain that when regulators act as policy entrepreneurs, they change policy outcomes by adopting strategies that promote their agendas. We develop this argument by analysing two case studies of regulatory reforms in Israel: one in the banking sector and one involving changes in competition policy.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: The study aimed to determine the effects of bilateral frontal active transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) at 2 mA for 12 minute Versus sham stimulation on functional connectivity of the working memory network during an fMRI N-Back task. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Stimulation was delivered over bilateral frontal dorsolateral prefrontal cortex via and MRI-compatible tDCS device during an fMRI working memory task in healthy older adults in a within-subject design. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Active stimulation compared with sham resulted in significant increases in functional connectivity in working memory related brain regions during the N-Back task. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Older adults typically have reduced functional connectivity compared with young adults. Our findings demonstrate that a single session of tDCS can increase functional connectivity of the working memory network in older adults. Based on this mechanism of effect, tDCS may serve as an adjunctive method for interventions aiming to enhance cognitive processes in older adults.
Black medicine represents the most problematic configuration of informal payments for health care. According to the accepted economic explanations, we would not expect to find black medicine in a system with a developed private service. Using Israel as a case study, we suggest an alternative yet a complimentary explanation for the emergence of black medicine in public health care systems – even though citizens do have the formal option to use private channels. We claim that when regulation is weak and political culture is based on ‘do it yourself’ strategies, which meant to solve immediate problems, blurring the boundaries between public and private health care services may only reduce public trust and in turn, contribute to the emergence of black medicine. We used a combined quantitative and qualitative methodology to support our claim. Statistical analysis of the results suggested that the only variable significantly associated with the use of black medicine was trust in the health care system. The higher the respondents’ level of trust in the health care system, the lower the rate of the use of black medicine. Qualitatively, interviewee emphasized the relation between the blurred boundaries between public and private health care and the use of black medicine.
This paper reviews current research and literature on the issue of informal payments for health care and its context and suggests a new perspective for a better understanding of this phenomenon. This perspective, based on political culture and behavior and on wider social processes, is already used to explain various phenomena from different fields of public policy. The paper explains the impact of a specific type of political culture, called ‘alternative politics’ (AP) in the Israeli literature, on healthcare policy and institutional healthcare settings. AP is based on a ‘do-it-yourself’ approach adopted by citizens to address their dissatisfaction with governmental services. When such a mode of political culture is diffused to all sectors and levels of society, all players, including bureaucrats and politicians, are guided by short-term considerations and apply unilateral strategies that bypass formal rules either through illegal activity or by marginalizing formal rules. Explaining informal payments by analyzing social processes and political culture and behavior has some disadvantages, but it provides us with a better understanding of the phenomenon while covering most of its characteristics and configurations.
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