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The purpose of this paper is twofold: to analyse the diffusion of an innovative policy or service and the factors influencing it through an explorative study of the…
The purpose of this paper is twofold: to analyse the diffusion of an innovative policy or service and the factors influencing it through an explorative study of the diffusion of the Bookstart program in Taiwan; and second, to provide an analytical framework for further study of this program.
The study is both empirical and theoretical. It uses data from existing studies and also agencies involved in Bookstart to explain the diffusion of the program. It then draws on theories of policy diffusion and the initial findings of this study to develop an analytical framework for the further study of the diffusion of the Bookstart program.
The Bookstart program, which is designed to promote reading habits for children 0 to 3 years old and to strengthen parent‐children relations, was originally initiated in the UK. It was first introduced into Taiwan in Taichung County in 2003. The paper shows how the program spread throughout Taiwan and indicates the role of the key players in the diffusion, including charitable institutions, local politicians and leaders, local authority agencies, and the Ministry of Education. The paper posits an analytical framework identifying factors which may help to promote or facilitate the diffusion. In this respect, the paper draws on the theoretical literature and also initial evidence from the research so far undertaken. This will guide the research in the next stage of the study.
This explorative study provides an example of the nature, process and direction of the diffusion of a policy or service innovation, and suggests the possible factors promoting or facilitating it, as identified in the initial findings of the research and in the relevant theoretical literature.
Although the “Administrative Reform Program” was initiated by former Premier Lian Chain in 1993, the comprehensive “Government Reinvention” programs which emphasized the…
Although the “Administrative Reform Program” was initiated by former Premier Lian Chain in 1993, the comprehensive “Government Reinvention” programs which emphasized the notion of entrepreneurial government were proposed and implemented by former Premier Vincent Shiew in 1998, and similar reform strategies and designs have been followed by the DPP administration since 2000. Despite the continuity in reform efforts, full-scale reform assessment based on concrete empirical evidences is still difficult to be found. The proposed study attempts to evaluate the results of government reform in Taiwan's local government by focusing on one major question: Have local governments in Taiwan become “smaller and better”? This question will be addressed by looking at indicators in three areas: changes in the size of local government in terms of human and financial resources, changes in the level of corruption, and changes in citizen's evaluation of the performance of local government. It is argued that the progress of government reform at the local level is slow, and the tentative evaluation show warning signals.
Bidhya Bowornwathana is associate professor at the Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. His research interests are on governance and administrative reform. His writings appear in journals such as Governance: An International Journal of Policy and Administration, Public Administration and Development, Australian Journal of Public Administration, Asian Survey, Public Administration Quarterly, Public Administration: An International Quarterly, Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, Asian Review of Public Administration, and Asian Journal of Political Science. He has written several books in Thai on administrative reform and public administration. He co-edited a book with John P. Burns on Civil Services Systems in Asia (Edward Elgar, 2001). He also has chapters in recent books such as in Christopher Pollitt and Colin Talbot, eds., Unbundled Government (Taylor and Francis, 2004), Ron Hodges, ed., Governance and the Public Sector (Edward Elgar, 2005), Eric E. Otenyo and Nancy S. Lind, eds., Comparative Public Administration: The Essential Readings (Elsevier, 2006), and Kuno Schedler and Isabella Proeller, eds., Cultural Aspects of Public Management Reform (Elsevier, 2007). He was Chairman of Department of Pubic Administration, Chulalongkorn University. He has served several times as member and secretary of the national administrative reform commissions appointed by Thai governments.
As the 21st century moves ahead, it is increasingly evident that globalization and democratization are strong forces playing crucial roles in shaping public sector transformation around the world. For Asian countries, the key questions are, how should selected reform ideas from other countries be diffused, and which parts of one's traditional government and culture should be retained? A common choice among Asian countries is to replace government with governance. Transforming bureaucracies from government to governance involves the acceptance of certain democratic principles such as accountability, openness, transparency, integrity, corruption-free, and high performance standards (Bowornwathana, 2006, pp. 667–680).