Topic: Public policy

Rx ICT: Digitally Disrupting Healthcare

By Sarang Deo and Hanu Tyagi Technology can be a game-changer in addressing the endemic problems that affect the Indian healthcare ecosystem, say Professor Sarang Deo and Hanu Tyagi. However, digital disruption needs careful identification of the right problems to solve. "Lycra bike shorts that take our pulse, count our steps and read our moods are pretty nifty, but they …

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Do Electronic Voting Machines Work for Indian Voters?

Professor Sisir Debnath and co-authors find that electronic voting machines protect democracies from electoral fraud. An unexpected benefit is that the provision of a key public good, electricity, improves measurably. The integrity of electronic voting machines (EVMs) is a controversial topic. News reports continue to debate the relative costs and benefits of EVMs and paper ballots. According to a 2017 Economic …

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Word of Mouth Matters for Healthcare

What drives uptake of tertiary healthcare services? Word of mouth effects may have an important role to play, say Professor Chirantan Chatterjee and his co-authors. Hospitals across India set up many free health check-ups every year. Health activists often run campaigns on ways to screen diseases such as breast cancer and cervical cancer. Despite such efforts, awareness about many diseases remains …

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The Pros and Cons of Privatising Gulf Healthcare

Private sector healthcare provision is increasingly prevalent in the GCC, easing the cost burden on the state. But governments cannot rely on private companies to provide for all their healthcare needs. From the 1,171-bed Al-Jahra Hospital, which is close to completion in Kuwait City, to the planned 700-bed New Sultan Qaboos Hospital in Salalah, Oman at the opposite end of the …

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How Language Of Instruction Influences Education Outcomes

In a multi-lingual country with large deficits in education, how does the language of instruction influence learning? Drawing on lessons from the British era, Professor Tarun Jain finds that the language-based reorganization of states helped improved literacy outcomes. In recent decades, mother tongue instruction boosted literacy rates by as much as 18%. Tarun Jain is Assistant Professor in the Economics and …

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Saving Lives: Emergency Medical Services in India

BY MILIND SOHONI, WITH ANUBRATA BANERJEE By the year 2025, road traffic deaths in India are expected to cross 250,000 annually. Providing timely and high-quality emergency health services is a challenge, given supply-side problems, regulatory and policy issues, and lack of awareness about emergency care in the country. A robust national emergency medical service with an interdisciplinary approach is the need …

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How to Prevent Soft-targeting in Government Performance Management Systems

We do not have to be a trained psychoanalyst to know this much — we humans are wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Referred to as the “pleasure principle” it was made famous by Sigmund Freud in German as “lustprinzip.” It is, therefore, hardly surprising that the preference for “soft-targets” is a near universal phenomenon. Anyone designing a government performance …

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How to Design Effective Team Targets in Government

Government is famously a team sport. Almost everything (really) important we do in government requires effective teams. Whether it is reducing child mortality, disaster management, fighting opioid crisis or stopping money laundering. The list is indeed long and familiar. Like in all team sports, it is not important how well you do individually, rather, how well you do as a team. …

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