Enabling Institutional Innovations: A Critical Examination of Initiatives in Public Service Delivery in India

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 11:45
Location: Hörsaal BIG 1 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Nagalakshmi CHELLURI, University of Hyderabad, India
Public service delivery systems are the most critical components of good governance. However, their efficiency and effectiveness are contested, by the beneficiaries who utilize them and the bureaucracy or bureaucratic structure implementing it. Sociological perspectives on bureaucratic form of organisation, especially the classical notion by Max Weber conceives of it as a rigid structure.  However, there has been some transformation as the State, with its bureaucratic machinery and the society in which it exists are in constant interaction. This interaction is mediated by technology and other socio-political and cultural factors, while bringing about innovations in the public delivery systems. In this context, innovations in the public delivery systems in India are now being institutionally promoted by the State in India. Factors that contribute to these innovations are technology and the human and organisational processes which are oriented towards innovation, in spite of the stringent institutional framework. This paper discusses two innovative initiatives in the health sector, focusing on the complex social, cultural and institutional milieu which contributed towards their continuous and sustainable implementation and replication. Based on primary and secondary data collected, this paper tries to decipher the processes and practices which have evolved successfully despite some limitations of the regulated bureaucratic environment, as well as the social and cultural complexities.