Recept za uspešne reforme

Še ena OECDjevska, tokrat priporočila vladam, kako naj ravnajo, da bodo njihove reforme uspešne in predvsem kolikor toliko mirno sprejete s strani ljudstva. (Če ste bolj revolucionarno nastrojeni, pa lahko besedilo berete tudi tako, kot je Rousseau bral Machiavellijevega Vladarja: "Ko je na videz dajal nauke kraljem, je v resnici delil koristne nauke ljudstvu [na kakšne kraljeve strategije naj bo pripravljeno] :)

Box 1.2. Making reform happen

Going for Growth provides countries with recommendations about the structural reforms that they should consider impleenting. However, the business of actually carrying out reform is complex, and involves a wide range of general political economy and more country-specific considerations. …
The review of OECD evidence suggests that a number of basic principles have often been successful (based on Tompson and Dang, 2010):

Governments need to have an electoral mandate for reform. Reform “by stealth” has severe limits, and major reforms for which governments have not previously sought public approval tend to succeed only when they generate visible benefits very rapidly, which major structural reforms generally do not. While crises can create opportunities for reform surprises, sustainability is essential for real impact.

Effective communication by governments is important. Major reforms have usually been accompanied by consistent coordinated efforts to persuade voters and stakeholders of the need for reform and, in particular, to communicate the costs of not reforming. Where, as is often the case, the costs of the status quo are opportunity costs, they tend to be politically “invisible”, and the challenge is all the greater.

Policy design should be underpinned by solid research and analysis. An evidence-based and analytically sound case for reform serves both to improve the quality of policy and to enhance prospects for reform adoption. Research presented by an authoritative, non-partisan institution that commands trust across the political spectrum appears to have a far greater impact.

Successful structural reforms take considerable time to implement. The more successful reforms in the case studies generally took over two years to prepare and adopt – and this does not include the preparation work done in the many reform episodes in which problems and proposals had been debated and studied for years before the authorities set to work framing specific reforms.

Cohesion of the government is important. If the government undertaking a reform initiative is not united around the policy, it will send out mixed messages, and opponents will exploit its divisions; defeat is usually the result. The case studies suggest that cohesion matters more than such factors as the strength or unity of opposition parties or the government’s parliamentary strength.

Government leadership is essential. Reform progress may sometimes be facilitated by intensive discussions involving the government and the social partners (i.e. unions and business groups) in a formalised process. However, firmness of purpose on the part of the government also seems to be a critical element of success in such situations. A co-operative approach is unlikely to succeed unless the government is in a position to reward co operation by the social partners or can make a credible threat to proceed unilaterally if a concerted approach fails.

The condition of the policy regime to be reformed matters. Successful reforms of established policy regimes often appear to have been preceded by the “erosion” of the status quo through smaller piece-meal reforms or reform attempts; where the existing arrangements are well institutionalised and popular and there appears to be no danger of imminent breakdown, reform is far more difficult.

Successful reform requires persistence. A further important implication of the finding concerning reform ripeness is that blocked, reversed or very limited early reforms need not be seen as failures: they may play a role in illustrating the unsustainability of the status quo and setting the stage for a more successful attempt later on. (*An Overview of Going for Growth Priorities in 2011)