Policy Analysis in Mexico 9781447329169

Part of the International Library of Policy Analysis series, this book provides the first detailed examination of the pr

232 43 3MB

English Pages 336 [313] Year 2017

Report DMCA / Copyright

DOWNLOAD PDF FILE

Table of contents :
POLICY ANALYSIS IN MEXICO
Contents
List of figures and tables
Figures
Tables
Notes on contributors
Editors’ introduction to the series
Preface
1. Policy analysis in Mexico: an introduction
Mexico as a setting for doing policy analysis
Outline of the book
Conclusion
Part One. Policy analysis as a field of study in Mexico
2. Evolution of policy analysis as a field of study in Mexico
Introduction
Defining policy analysis
Policy studies in an authoritarian political system, 1940–1990
The emergence of the public policy field in the transition to democracy, 1990–1999
The expansion of the public policy field in an emerging democracy, 2000–2015
Conclusion
Part Two. Policy analysis within the federal state
3. Policy analysis in the Mexican federal government
Introduction
Public policymaking at the end of the 20th century
Mexico’s democratization
Reducing the scope of policymaking: economic liberalization and decentralization
Creating a new accountability regime and a results-oriented public administration
Making policy analysis under old planning rules
Policy analysis as evaluation
The limits of policy analysis in the federal government
Conclusion
4. Policy analysis and bureaucratic capacity in the federal government
Bureaucratic capacity in the Mexican public sector: characteristics and evolution in recent decades
Overall profile of the federal administration
Policy analysis in the federal administration: characteristics and challenges
Conclusion
5. Policy analysis in advisory councils
Defining “advisory boards”
The universe of “advisory boards” in the Mexican federal government
Advisory boards in social and environmental policies: a comparative analysis
Main findings and conclusion
6. Policy analysis in autonomous agencies
Constitutional autonomous agencies in Mexico
A tale of two constitutional autonomous agencies: policy analysis at INEE and IFT
Brief comparative overview
Conclusion
7. Policy analysis in the Chamber of Deputies
Introduction
The Mexican Congress: institutional features and evolution
Research centers and legislative committees
Types of congressional policy analysis
Obstacles and limitations
Final remarks: the importance of congressional policy analysis
Part Three. Policy analysis in state and local governments
8. Policy analysis in state governments in Mexico
Introduction
The evolution of Mexican federalism or how state governments became relevant actors
The policymaking process in the Mexican states
Governors
Secretariats
Other governmental and non-governmental actors
The case of the Ciudad de México: how policy analysis is performed in a particular Mexican state
Conclusion
9. Policy analysis in local governments: an exploration of an institutional governance model
Introduction
Policy analysis from an institutional governance perspective
Policy analysis model for local governments
Bureaucratic governance mode of policy analysis
Democratic governance mode of policy analysis
Discussion and conclusion
Appendix
Part Four. Policy analysis beyond the state
10. Policy analysis in political parties
Introduction
Politics and parties in Mexico
Parties and policy analysis
A glance of parties’ policy analysis: party manifestos and other material at presidential elections, 2006 and 2012
Conclusion
11. Policy analysis in think tanks
Think tanks in Mexico
Understanding policy analysis in Mexican think tanks: the cases of CIDAC and CEEY
Comparative analysis of CIDAC and CEEY
Conclusion
12. Policy analysis in non-governmental organizations
Defining terms: third sector, NGO, CSO
Recent development of third sector in Mexico
Who conducts policy analysis?
Conditions for policy analysis
Capacities
Type of policy analysis
Limitations
Conclusion: policy analysis in CSOs and their influence on public policy
13. Policy analysis and public policy in the private sector
Introduction
Institutions representing business
Private sector research centers in Mexico
New ways in which businesses negotiate with the state
Conclusion
14. Policy analysis, the political game and institutional change in the labor market
Introduction
The political game, institutional change and union corporatism
Case studies
The Results
15. Policy analysis in the media: the coverage of public issues and the relevance of context
Introduction
Media and politics in Mexico: the “captured-liberal” media system
Media coverage of policy agenda: autonomy and professionalism?
Findings and discussion
Conclusion
sixteen
Conclusion
Index
Recommend Papers

Policy Analysis in Mexico
 9781447329169

  • 0 0 0
  • Like this paper and download? You can publish your own PDF file online for free in a few minutes! Sign Up
File loading please wait...
Citation preview

Vol 9 “This volume offers important insights into policy analysis as a field—not just in Mexico but also more generally. It deserves careful attention.” Martin Lodge, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, LSE

Part of the International Library of Policy Analysis series, this book provides the first detailed examination of the practice of policy analysis in Mexico. Whilst shaped by the legacy of the Mexican state’s colonial history as well as by recent social, economic and political developments, the study of policy analysis within Mexico provides important comparative lessons for other countries. Contributors study the nature of policy analysis at different sectors and levels of government as well as by non-governmental actors, such as unions, business, NGOs and the media, promoting the use of evidence-based policy analysis, leading to better policy results. The book is a vital resource for academics and students of policy studies, public management, political science and comparative policy studies.

• a systematic study of policy analysis systems by government and non-governmental actors • a history of the country’s policy analysis, empirical case studies and a comparative overview • a key reference for research and teaching in comparative policy analysis and policy studies Recent volumes published and forthcoming • Policy analysis in Taiwan, edited by Yu-Ying Kuo (2015) • Policy analysis in Australia, edited by Brian Head and Kate Crowley (2015) • Policy analysis in Israel, edited by Gila Menahem and Amos Zehavi (2016) • Policy analysis in the Czech Republic, edited by Arnošt Veselý, Martin Nekola and Eva M. Hejzlarová (2016) JOSE-LUIS MENDEZ is research professor at the Center for International Studies, El Colegio de Mexico. MAURICIO I. DUSSAUGE-LAGUNA is professor-researcher in the Public Administration Department at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE).

PUBLIC POLICY / SOCIAL STUDIES

www.policypress.co.uk @policypress

PolicyPress

In association with

International Comparative Policy Analysis Forum and Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis

Policy analysis in Mexico [HB] [PRINT].indd 1

ISSN 2059-0326

POLICY ANALYSIS IN MEXICO Edited by Jose-Luis Mendez and Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna

Features of the ILPA series

INTERNATIONAL LIBRARY OF POLICY ANALYSIS IRIS GEVA-MAY & MICHAEL HOWLETT

“An excellent line-up of policy scholars have produced a timely publication of great interest to those studying the relationship between public policy analysis and governance in Mexico and, more widely, in Latin America.” Theo Papadopoulos, University of Bath

INTERNATIONAL LIBRARY OF POLICY ANALYSIS SERIES EDITORS: IRIS GEVA-MAY & MICHAEL HOWLETT

POLICY ANALYSIS IN

Mexico

Edited by Jose-Luis Mendez and Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna

18/11/2016 15:49

POLICY ANALYSIS IN MEXICO

International Library of Policy Analysis Series editors: Iris Geva-May and Michael Howlett, Simon Fraser University, Canada This major new series brings together for the first time a detailed examination of the theory and practice of policy analysis systems at different levels of government and by non-governmental actors in a specific country. It therefore provides a key addition to research and teaching in comparative policy analysis and policy studies more generally.  Each volume includes a history of the country’s policy analysis which offers a broad comparative overview with other countries as well as the country in question. In doing so, the books in the series provide the data and empirical case studies essential for instruction and for further research in the area. They also include expert analysis of different approaches to policy analysis and an assessment of their evolution and operation. Early volumes in the series will cover the following countries: Australia • Brazil • China • Czech Republic • France • Germany • India • Israel • Netherlands • New Zealand • Norway • Russia • South Africa • Taiwan • UK • USA and will build into an essential library of key reference works. The series will be of interest to academics and students in public policy, public administration and management, comparative politics and government, public organisations and individual policy areas. It will also interest people working in the countries in question and internationally. In association with the ICPA-Forum and Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis. See more at http://goo.gl/raJUX

POLICY ANALYSIS IN MEXICO Edited by Jose-Luis Mendez and Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna

International Library of Policy Analysis, Vol 9

First published in Great Britain in 2017 by

Policy Press North America office: University of Bristol Policy Press 1-9 Old Park Hill c/o The University of Chicago Press Bristol BS2 8BB 1427 East 60th Street UK Chicago, IL 60637, USA +44 (0)117 954 5940 t: +1 773 702 7700 [email protected] f: +1 773 702 9756 www.policypress.co.uk [email protected] www.press.uchicago.edu © Policy Press 2017 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested. ISBN 978-1-4473-2915-2 hardcover ISBN 978-1-4473-2916-9 ePdf The right of Jose-Luis Mendez and Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna to be identified as editors of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved: no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission of Policy Press. The statements and opinions contained within this publication are solely those of the editors and contributors and not of the University of Bristol or Policy Press. The University of Bristol and Policy Press disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any material published in this publication. Policy Press works to counter discrimination on grounds of gender, race, disability, age and sexuality. Cover design by Qube Design Associates, Bristol Front cover: image kindly supplied by www.istock.com Printed and bound in Great Britain by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY Policy Press uses environmentally responsible print partners

Contents List of figures and tables Notes on contributors Editors’ introduction to the series Preface

vii x xvi xviii

Policy analysis in Mexico: an introduction Jose-Luis Mendez and Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna

1

Part One: Policy analysis as a field of study in Mexico



One

Two

Evolution of policy analysis as a field of study in Mexico Jose-Luis Mendez

Part Two: Policy analysis within the federal state   Three Four Five Six Seven

Policy analysis in the Mexican federal government Guillermo M. Cejudo Policy analysis and bureaucratic capacity in the federal government Jesus F. Hernández-Galicia and David Arellano-Gault Policy analysis in advisory councils Laura Flamand Policy analysis in autonomous agencies María del Carmen Pardo and Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna Policy analysis in the Chamber of Deputies Rodrigo Velazquez Lopez Velarde

Part Three: Policy analysis in state and local governments Eight Nine

11

29 31 45 69 87 107

125

Policy analysis in state governments in Mexico 127 Juan C. Olmeda Policy analysis in local governments: an exploration of an institutional 147 governance model Oliver D. Meza

Part Four: Policy analysis beyond the state

169

Policy analysis in political parties Irma Mendez de Hoyos Eleven Policy analysis in think tanks Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna and Marcela I.Vazquez

171

Ten

189

v

Policy analysis in Mexico Twelve Policy analysis in non-governmental organizations Ma. Fernanda Somuano Thirteen Policy analysis and public policy in the private sector Carlos Alba Vega Fourteen Policy analysis, the political game and institutional change in the labor market Graciela Bensusan and Ilan Bizberg Fifteen Policy analysis in the media: the coverage of public issues and the relevance of context Manuel Alejandro Guerrero, Monica Luengas Restrepo, Carlos Fuentes Ochoa and Martha Lizbeth Palacios Sixteen Conclusion Jose-Luis Mendez and Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna Index

vi

205 223 239

259

279

285

List of figures and tables Figures 3.1 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 5.1 5.2 5.3 6.1 6.2 7.1 7.2 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 12.1

The Mexican planning and evaluation system Roles of the bureaucratic structure in the secretariats of state Using academic arguments and evidence in the civil service Perceived usefulness of academic products Frequency of activities by unit/directorate Perception of frequency of recommendations made by analysts that are rejected because of political factors Perception of frequency of cases in which analysis and information are crucial for policymaking Relevant factors in the adoption of a public policy Recurrent obstacles to policy analysis units’ activity Construction of the universe of advisory boards in the Mexican federal government Advisory boards in the Mexican federal government: budgetary allocations to each board from total Main defining characteristics of advisory boards in the Mexican federal government Organizational structure of the National Institute of Evaluation for Education Organizational structure of the Federal Telecommunications Institute Standing committees in the Chamber of Deputies (2000–2015) Types of policy analysis by analyst Federal transfers as % of GDP (1993–2013) States’ own revenues as % of total revenues (2012) Power of different actors in defining states’ public policies Employees of governors’ offices, by state (2013) Number of secretariats, by state (2015) Map of actors in the policy process (state executive branch) A four-cage policy analysis model for local governments Type of municipality (percentage) Political parties in local governments (1985–2013) Levels of external support in policy analysis Outreach mechanisms (average, by type of municipality) Number of CSOs in Mexico

39 50 53 54 57 59 59 60 61 72 73 74 92 97 118 122 129 129 131 133 134 138 150 152 153 158 160 209

vii

Policy analysis in Mexico

Tables 4.1 5.1 5.2 A5.1 6.1 6.2 7.1 8.1 8.2 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5

9.6 A9.1 A9.2 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 11.1 11.2 15.1 15.2 15.3

viii

Positions occupied in the centralized federal public administration 51 Advisory boards in the Mexican federal government by ministry 72 Advisory councils in Mexico (selected cases): main characteristics 79 and policy analysis activities Universe of advisory boards in the Mexican federal government (2015) 85 Constitutional autonomous agencies in Mexico 89 Comparison of main features of INEE and IFT 101 Research centers in the Chamber of Deputies 62nd legislature 117 (2012–2015) Agencies with planning responsibilities 137 Offices formally responsible for policy analysis tasks, by secretariat 142 Municipalities with development plans (percentage, by type 154 of municipality) Number of ayuntamiento’s working commissions (year average, by type 156 of municipality) Education level of heads of department (percentage, by type 156 of municipality) Thirteen-year mobile average (2000–2013) expenditure on 157 general services Planning and evaluation, citizen participation and transparency, and 158 information offices in municipal administration (percentage, by type of municipality) Open policies and citizen-led organizations in municipalities 160 (average, by type of municipality) Municipal planning institutes registered at the Asociación 167 Mexicana de Institutos de Planeación Municipal Transfers to local governments (per capita average, by type 168 of municipality) Mexican political parties (2000–2015) 175 Parties and policy analysis centers 180 Budgets allocated to parties’ centers of policy analysis (2013–2015) 181 Experts’ evaluation of policy proposals for presidential elections 183 2006: final results Experts’ evaluation of policy proposals for presidential elections 184 2012: final results Think tanks in Mexico 191 Comparison of main policy analysis features in CIDAC and CEEY 202 Media coverage of education reform (10 December 2012 267 to 8 March 2013) Media coverage of energy reform (12 August to 20 December 2014) 267 Media coverage of telecommunications reform (1 December 2012 268 to 11 June 2013)

List of figures and tables 15.4 15.5 15.6

Media coverage of Apatzingán massacre (6 January to 25 May 2015) Media coverage of Tlatlaya summary execution (30 June to 30 September 2014) Media coverage of President Peña Nieto’s “White House” (9 November 2014 to 24 August 2015)

269 270 272

ix

Policy analysis in Mexico

Notes on contributors Carlos Alba-Vega studied social sciences in the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France. He is a researcher and professor at El Colegio de Mexico and was a member of its board. He has taught and been visiting fellow and professor in several universities in Mexico, France, Germany and the United States. He has been editor of the journal Foro Internacional (Center of International Studies of El Colegio de México) and has been a member of the editorial board of Tempo Social (University of São Paulo, Brazil), Revista Mexicana de Sociología (Institute of Social Studies, National Autonomous University of Mexico [UNAM ]), Perfiles Latinoamericanos (Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales [Latin American Faculty for Social Sciences]) and Sociétés Contemporaines (France). His last book, co-edited with Gordon Mathews and Gustavo Lins Ribeiro, is Globalization from Below: The World’s Other Economy (Routledge, 2012). David Arellano-Gault is professor at the Public Administration Department, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (Center for Research and Teaching in Economics, or CIDE). He is senior editor of the journal Organization Studies and a member of various editorial boards, including those for the journals Governance, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and The American Review of Public Administration. He obtained his PhD from the University of Colorado. His research interests are related to the organizational dynamics triggered by administrative reforms in practice, particularly those reforms ambitious enough to assume they are capable of instrumentally producing farreaching and universal transformations of public officials’ behaviors, such as budgeting by results, evaluation of performance, civil service, transparency, and corruption. Graciela Bensusan is research professor at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco and part-time research professor at FLASCO Mexico. She holds a PhD in political science from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. She has also held research appointments at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Comisión Económica para America Latina y el Caribe, the University of London, University College London and King’s College. Her co-edited book, Trabajo y Trabajadores en el Mexico Contemporaneo, won the Latin American Studies Association Labor Section’s book prize in 2001. Her latest book, with Kevin Middlebrook, is Organized Labour and Politics in Mexico. Changes, continuities and contradictions (University of London, 2012); a Spanish version of this book, Sindicatos y Política en México, was published in 2013 (Mexico, Flacso,Clacso, UAM/X). She has published 130 book chapters and articles in journals such as Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal, Journal of Industrial Relations, and Theoretical Inquiries in Law. Her research interests focus on labor institutions, organizations and public policy in a comparative perspective, among others. x

Notes on contributors

Ilan Bizberg is professor and researcher at the Colegio de México, associate member of the CADIS/EHESS (Centre d’Analyse et d’Intervention Sociologiques/École des hautes études en sciences sociales), Paris, associate member of the International Research Training Group “Zwischen Raumen” of the Latin American Center of the Freie Universität (LAI-Freie), Berlin and a member of the CEIM/UQAM (Centre d’études sur l’intégration et la mondialisation/Université du Québec à Montréal). He has a PhD in social sciences from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. He did his postdoctoral research at the University of Bielefeld under a Humboldt Stiftung scholarship. He has been visiting professor or researcher at various universities: Sciences Po, Paris; IHEAL, Paris; Université d’Amiens; Université de Toulouse; Université de Rennes; UQAM, Montréal; Université de Montréal; Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington; and LAI-Freie Universität, Berlin. His latest book is Variedades de Capitalismo en América Latina( El Colegio de México, 2015). Guillermo M. Cejudo is provost at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics, CIDE, in Mexico City, where he has been professor at the Public Administration Department since 2006. He is the author of several books on Mexican state governments, accountability, public management, transparency, evaluation and public policy analysis. He has published in the International Review of Administrative Sciences, International Public Management Journal, International Public Management Review, Reforma y Democracia and Gestión y Política Pública. He holds a PhD in political science from Boston University. His research interests are quality of government in new democracies, accountability, local governance and policy analysis. Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna is professor-researcher at the Public Administration Department, CIDE. He obtained his Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and his PhD in political science from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has been a public servant in the Mexican federal government, and a Fulbright Fellow in the US Office of Personnel Management. He has written extensively on civil service systems, administrative reforms, corruption control, and policy transfer. His current research focuses on policy reforms, regulation, and non-majoritarian institutions, particularly from a comparative and international perspective. He is a member of the National System of Researchers (Level I). Laura Flamand is research professor in political science at the Center for International Studies, El Colegio de México. She is the co-author of Seguro Popular y Federalismo. Un Análisis de Política Publica (2015) and her work has appeared in Política y Gobierno, Foro Internacional, and Gestión y Política Pública, among other journals and edited volumes. She holds a PhD in political science from the University of Rochester (New York) and a BA in government and public administration from El Colegio de Mexico. Her paper, ‘The new role of xi

Policy analysis in Mexico

subnational governments in the federal policy process: the case of democratic Mexico’ was awarded the New Voices in the Study of Democracy in Latin America fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in 2005 and she has been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation (US), the United Nations Program for Development, the World Bank, and the McArthur, Ford, and Hewlett Foundations. The scholarly work of Professor Flamand explores the effects of democratization on the operation of federal systems with emphasis on both politics and policy. She is an expert in policy analysis and evaluation in Mexico, especially in the environmental, health, and social arenas. Carlos Fuentes Ochoa studied applied mathematics at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and has a Master’s degree in communication from the Universidad Iberoamericana. For the past 10 years he has managed the innovation, research and development department for Eficiencia Informativa, a leading industry in mass media monitoring and analysis in México. Manuel Alejandro Guerrero is director of the Department of Communication and of Ibero 90.9 fm at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. He is a member of the National System of Researchers and the Executive Committee of UNESCO Chairs in Communication, and is academic coordinator of the Professional Electoral Service at the National Electoral Institute in Mexico. He holds a PhD in political and social science from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, and an MPhil in Latin American Studies from the University of Cambridge. His research has been focused on the role that the media plays in new democracies, especially on governmental transparency and political accountability, and on the effects of the media on political attitudes. He has written a number of book chapters, journal articles and books on these topics. Jesus F. Hernandez-Galicia is associate-professor at the Public Administration Department, CIDE. He obtained his Master’s degree in public policy and administration at CIDE. His current research topics are organization theory, regulation, economic competition, maritime transportation and corruption. Monica Luengas Restrepo is a lecturer in the Communications and Literature Departments at Universidad Iberoamericana. She holds  a Master’s degree in communication from Universidad Iberoamericana and a BA in communication from Rafael Landívar University (Guatemala). Her professional work includes cultural and political journalism in Colombia and Guatemala. Her work has been published in El Periódico de Guatemala and El Acordeón, as well as in other newspapers and magazines. She also works as a consultant for a private company that analyzes the image of various levels of government in the media. Her research has focused on the relationship between journalism and literature, digital

xii

Notes on contributors

journalism in Latin America, media systems, and media and violence from a discourse analysis perspective. Irma Mendez de Hoyos is full-time research-professor at FLACSO Mexico and National Coordinator of the Democracy Quality Research Network in Mexico. She holds a PhD in government from Essex University. Her teaching and research interests focus on political parties, elections, electoral behavior and electoral organisms in Mexico and Latin America. She also has been a lecturer at CIDE, UAM and UNAM in Mexico as well as Oxford and Essex Universities in the United Kingdom. Jose-Luis Mendez is researcher-professor at El Colegio de México. He has 82 publications to his name, among them articles in journals such as Governance and the International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, as well as chapters in books published by McGill University Press, Johns Hopkins University Press, the University of Texas Press, Westview Press and Routledge. He was head of the Federal Civil Service, head of the Unit of Analysis of the Office of the Presidency and executive director of the Civil Service of the Federal Electoral Institute. He has been advisor to several secretaries of the Mexican federal government and consultant to the World Bank, the UNDP and US-AID. He has been a Fulbright scholar, teaching fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, Madero visiting scholar and lecturer in government at Harvard University and visiting scholar at the University of California at San Diego. He holds a PhD in political science from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a member of the College of the International Public Policy Association and a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis and of Policy Sciences. His research has focused mainly on policy analysis, industrial policy, civil service and state reform, and political leadership. Oliver D. Meza is research professor of public administration at CIDE. His lines of academic inquiry include topics in local governments and public policy. He has participated in a number of applied research projects with state and municipal policymakers and provided consultancy aid and advice to various national and international organizations. He obtained his PhD in public policy with an emphasis on institutional analysis from CIDE and studied an MPA in public policy and management at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His work has been published in national and international academic journals. Juan C. Olmeda is assistant professor at the Center for International Studies in El Colegio de México. He holds a PhD in political science from Northwestern University and an MA in Ethics, Politics and Public Policy from the University of Essex. His research focuses on the comparative analysis of federal countries in Latin American. He is currently carrying out projects on topics such as the politics of recentralization processes, administrative reforms and policymaking at xiii

Policy analysis in Mexico

the subnational level in Mexico and fiscal powers of Latin American presidents. His work has been published in academic journals and edited books in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Martha Lizbeth Palacios studied for a BA in social communication at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, and a Master’s in communication from Universidad Iberoamericana. She has worked as professor and research assistant at these institutions. Her current research interests include social media, digital cultures, journalism, and media systems. Maria del Carmen Pardo has a PhD in history from the Universidad Iberoamericana, as well as PhD studies at the University of Paris II. Since 2014 she has been an associate professor at the Public Administration Division, CIDE. She is a member of the National System of Researchers (Level III); of the advisory board of Transparencia Mexicana; of the National College of Political Sciences and Public Administration; of the executive board of the National Institute of Public Administration; and of the editorial boards of Gestión y Política Pública and the Economics and Administration section of the Fondo de Cultura Económica. She has authored, compiled, or edited almost a hundred of books, articles, and reviews on topics such as administrative modernization, descentralization, education policy, civil service and local governments. Ma. Fernanda Somuano studied for a PhD in political science at the University of Iowa and an MSc in public administration and public policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research areas are political participation and citizenship in Mexico and Latin America, subnational democratization processes, social movements, civic culture, public opinion and values in new democracies. She has been a full-time associate professor at the Center for International Studies at El Colegio de Mexico since 2001. Her most recent books are Confianza y Cambio Político en México, México, D.F., El Colegio de México, 2015 (with Reynaldo Ortega); Democracy in Mexico. Attitudes and Perceptions of Citizens at National and Local Level (with Salvador Martí I. Puig, Reynaldo Ortega and Claire Wright [eds]), Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, 2014, and Informe País sobre la Calidad de la Ciudadanía en México, México, D.F., Instituto Nacional Electoral, El Colegio de México, 2014. Marcela I. Vazquez studied politics and public administration at El Colegio de México and was Fox International Fellow 2007–2008 at Yale University. She has worked for the Mexican federal government and Mexico City’s local government. She has participated in domestic and international consultancy projects, and has conducted research in public administration topics. Currently, she is associate researcher at CIDE.

xiv

Notes on contributors

Rodrigo Velazquez Lopez Velarde received his PhD in government from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010. He is currently professor-researcher at the Public Administration Department, CIDE. His research has been focused on bureaucratic–legislative relations, democratization and political accountability. Specifically, he is interested on the effects of diverse accountability mechanisms (such as legislative oversight and transparency) on public policies and programs. Professor Velazquez is a member of the National System of Researchers (candidate level) and member of the editorial board of Foro Internacional.

xv

Policy analysis in Mexico

Editors’ introduction to the series Professor Iris Geva-May and Professor Michael Howlett, ILPA series editors Policy analysis is a relatively new area of social scientific inquiry, owing its origins to developments in the US in the early 1960s. Its main rationale is systematic, evidence-based,transparent, efficient, and implementable policymaking. This component of policymaking is deemed key in democratic structures allowing for accountable public policies. From the US, policy analysis has spread to other countries, notably in Europe in the 1980s and 1990s and in Asia in the 1990s and 2000s. It has taken, respectively one to two more decades for programmes of public policy to be established in these regions preparing cadres for policy analysis as a profession. However, this movement has been accompanied by variations in the kinds of analysis undertaken as US-inspired analytical and evaluative techniques have been adapted to local traditions and circumstances, and new techniques shaped in these settings. In the late 1990s this led to the development of the field of comparative policy analysis, pioneered by Iris Geva-May, who initiated and founded the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, and whose mission has been advanced with the support of editorial board members such as Laurence E. Lynn Jr., first coeditor, Peter deLeon, Duncan McRae, David Weimer, Beryl Radin, Frans van Nispen, Yukio Adachi, Claudia Scott, Allan Maslove and others in the US and elsewhere. While current studies have underlined differences and similarities in national approaches to policy analysis, the different national regimes which have developed over the past two to three decades have not been thoroughly explored and systematically evaluated in their entirety, examining both sub-national and non-executive governmental organisations as well as the non-governmental sector; nor have these prior studies allowed for either a longitudinal or a latitudinal comparison of similar policy analysis perceptions, applications, and themes across countries and time periods. The International Library for Policy Analysis (ILPA) series fills this gap in the literature and empirics of the subject. It features edited volumes created by experts in each country, which inventory and analyse their respective policy analysis systems. To a certain extent the series replicates the template of Policy Analysis in Canada edited by Dobuzinskis, Howlett and Laycock (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007). Each ILPA volume surveys the state of the art of policy analysis in governmental and non-governmental organisations in each country using the common template derived from the Canadian collection in order to provide for each volume in the series comparability in terms of coverage and approach. Each volume addresses questions such as: What do policy analysts do? What techniques and approaches do they use? What is their influence on policy-making in that country? Is there a policy analysis deficit? What norms and values guide xvi

Editors’ introduction to the series

the work done by policy analysts working in different institutional settings? Contributors focus on the sociology of policy analysis, demonstrating how analysts working in different organisations tend to have different interests and to utilise different techniques. The central theme of each volume includes historical works on the origins of policy analysis in the jurisdiction concerned, and then proceeds to investigate the nature and types, and quality, of policy analysis conducted by governments (including different levels and orders of government). It then moves on to examine the nature and kinds of policy analytical work and practices found in non-governmental actors such as think tanks, interest groups, business, labour, media, political parties, non-profits and others. Each volume in the series aims to compare and analyse the significance of the different styles and approaches found in each country and organisation studied, and to understand the impact these differences have on the policy process. Together, the volumes included in the ILPA series serve to provide the basic data and empirical case studies required for an international dialogue in the area of policy analysis, and an eye-opener on the nuances of policy analysis applications and implications in national and international jurisdictions. Each volume in the series is leading edge and has the promise to dominate its field and the textbook market for policy analysis in the country concerned, as well as being of broad comparative interest to markets in other countries. The ILPA is published in association with the International Comparative Policy Analysis Forum, and the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, whose mission is to advance international comparative policy analytic studies. The editors of each volume are leading members of this network and are the best-known scholars in each respective country, as are the authors contributing to each volume in their particular domain. The book series as a whole provides learning insights for instruction and for further research in the area and constitutes a major addition to research and pedagogy in the field of comparative policy analysis and policy studies in general. We welcome to the ILPA series Volume 9, Policy Analysis in Mexico, edited by Jose-Luis Mendez and Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna, and thank the editors and the authors for their outstanding contribution to this important encyclopedic database. Iris Geva-May Professor of Policy Studies, Baruch College at the City University of New York, Professor Emerita Simon Fraser University; Founding President and Editor-in-chief, International Comparative Policy Forum and Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis Michael Howlett Burnaby Mountain Professor, Department of Political Science, Simon Fraser University, and Yong Pung How Chair Professor,Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

xvii

Policy analysis in Mexico

Preface This volume on Mexico contributes to the International Library of Policy Analysis series of the Policy Press, edited by Iris Geva-May and Michael Howlett. The editors would like to express their gratitude to both of them for their invitation to coordinate this book. They would also like to thank all contributors for their commitment and enthusiasm in developing the project. Previous versions of all chapters were discussed in three seminars throughout 2015. The first one took place at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económícas (CIDE). The second one was developed as a panel during the Second International Conference on Public Policy (ICPP) in Milan, Italy. The last one took place at El Colegio de México. We would like to thank participants in these seminars for their comments, which were very helpful for refining the chapters. Above all, we thank Professors David Arellano-Gault, head of the Public Administration Division of CIDE, and Professor Ana Covarrubias, head of the Center for International Studies of El Colegio de México, who kindly supported the seminars, the authors’ attendance to the ICPP, and the whole process involved in editing this book from the very beginning. Last but not least, we would like to thank Professors Greta Nasi and Raffaella Saporito, from Bocconi University, who kindly provided comments on the draft papers presented in Milan. Similarly, the constructive criticisms and advice from two anonymous reviewers are gratefully acknowledged. Jose-Luis Mendez and Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna Mexico City June 2016

xviii

ONE

Policy analysis in Mexico: an introduction Jose-Luis Mendez and Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna

This book provides the first detailed examination of the practice of policy analysis in Mexico. It studies how public institutions and other non-state actors gather and review information and ponder options in the process of making (or trying to influence) policy decisions. Its chapters also offer explanations that are helpful for understanding how and why policy analysis activities vary across settings, and why this intellectual activity has made significant progress but is still far from being fully established in the country. While these are questions that have great theoretical and practical relevance, they have remained rather under-researched until now. The book follows a similar structure to that of other volumes in the International Library of Policy Analysis. It thus seeks the double objective of telling the intellectual story of policy analysis in Mexico, as well as of giving a detailed account of policy analysis as a practical endeavor. Moreover, the book describes how policy analysis takes place in a variety of state institutions and a number of non-state organizations that are permanently and directly involved in public affairs. The comprehensive view that results from this effort should thus be of interest to those who are keen to learn more about the Mexican case, and to those who favor comparative policy studies but cannot always access relevant information on developing nations. The volume has been produced by a group of scholars who are well-known experts in their respective fields. Authors were asked to survey their areas of expertise from a policy analysis lens broadly understood. As a result, each chapter presents a rich and detailed account that balances the particular features of the various topics with the general focus of the book. While no single definition of “policy analysis” is used by all authors, the chapters are clearly focused on describing and/or trying to explain how and why actors mix together information, evidence, ideas and interests in devising potential policies. At the same time, all chapters show that policy analysis is an intellectual pursuit that can hardly be separated from a series of constraints, particularly those related to the national setting in which it takes place.

Mexico as a setting for doing policy analysis For various reasons, the case of Mexico is particularly interesting for exploring the subject of policy analysis. It is the 14th largest country in the world and the fifth largest in the Americas. In 2013, it had a population of 118 million people, 1

Policy analysis in Mexico

which made it the world´s 11th most populous nation (above Germany, France, the UK and Canada) as well as the most populous Spanish-speaking country. With a developing but “newly industrialized” economy, Mexico was the first Latin American member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 1994 and according to the World Bank it had the 15th largest nominal gross domestic product in 2014. On the other hand, it has an administrative history that is radically different from that of those Anglo-Saxon and more developed countries in which policy analysis emerged and/or has become a well-established field of studies and practice. Moreover, Mexico has been going through a number of significant economic, administrative and political transformations during the past 30 years. These changes have had important consequences on the size, objectives and instruments employed by the state, and have thus affected the kind of public policies that are designed and implemented. These two factors, historical legacies and recent political changes have had profound effects on the way policy analysis is conducted in Mexico. A central feature of the Mexican administrative system has been the strong presence of the state. Whereas other European and North American societies have evolved in a political environment marked by political pluralism and social activism, in Mexico the state has been the main actor since colonial times. This trend was reinforced after the Mexican Revolution of the early 20th century, which resulted in a strong presidency supported by a then new political party. Therefore, political and administrative developments in Mexico have historically revolved around the state’s decisions, actions and programs. As a consequence, most economic, administrative, political and intellectual resources have historically been controlled by the state, particularly its executive branch at the federal level. The centrality of the state and its leading role in providing public goods and crafting policy decisions, however, has not necessarily guaranteed the quality of these same goods and decisions. Corruption, clientelism and inefficiency have regularly affected administrative processes and overall government performance, also since colonial times. Despite the significant social and political transformations brought about by the revolution, these issues not only continued but were even reinforced by the emergence of an authoritarian regime. Thus, Mexico’s political and administrative conditions throughout most of the 20th century reflected a paradox: a strong state represented by a powerful executive that overshadowed all other political actors, but was also plagued by serious organizational limitations and policy capacity constraints. During the past three decades, a series of significant changes have partly reverted these state-centric, authoritarian features of the Mexican political system. After a period of serious political and economic crises from the 1960s well into the 1990s, the country entered an ongoing era of reforms that have lasted until the present day. In the political sphere, a number of legal reforms have been introduced to broaden political participation, strengthen political competition and guarantee political pluralism and freedom of speech. New electoral 2

An introduction

institutions and regulatory frameworks have been created, punctuating a long but undeniable process of democratization. In the economic sphere, the privatization wave of the 1980s–1990s heavily downsized the state apparatus. Fairly recent “structural reforms” have strengthened regulatory frameworks and established new independent regulatory agencies, thus complementing the transition to an open market economy. In the administrative sphere, decentralization processes initiated back in the 1980s have slowly resulted in the transfer to state and local levels of public funds, public personnel, administrative services provision and policy decisions. As a result of all of these changes, the state has been transformed in political, economic and administrative terms. These transformations of the Mexican state have been accompanied by the (re)emergence of several other political actors. Democratization has not only diminished the power of the executive branch, but has simultaneously meant the rise of the legislative and judiciary branches. It has also opened the door of political participation and policy advocacy to non-governmental organizations, including civic organizations and think tanks. Economic liberalization has not only reduced the size and areas of intervention of the state in the economy, but has also allowed other actors to increase their participation in the market. Similarly, it has transferred regulatory and oversight powers from the executive to new autonomous agencies. Administrative decentralization has not only affected the role and responsibilities of the federal government, but has also given greater authority and financial resources, and thus power, to state governors and local governments. Therefore, after 30 years of changes and reforms, the number, type and variety of relevant actors that can influence policy developments in Mexico has significantly changed. This does not mean of course that historical legacies have been erased. On the contrary, as many chapters in this book will show, the shadow cast by the state as the most important policy player still persists. That is why this book pays so much attention to how policy analysis is conducted by institutions at the federal level. However, the transformations briefly described do underline the need to also consider other political and non-state actors. A good understanding of policy analysis in Mexico will thus require paying attention to both powerful inertias and new patterns of behavior present in policy analysis and policymaking.

Outline of the book Following a similar structure to the other volumes of the series, this book is divided into four sections. The first section reviews the state of policy analysis as a field of studies in Mexico. The second section describes how policy analysis is conducted at the federal level. The third section provides an overview of policy analysis in subnational governments. The fourth section explores how policy analysis is done beyond the state; that is, in other organizations that participate in public affairs but from non-governmental spheres. The book ends with a conclusion. The specific contents of the sections are as follows. 3

Policy analysis in Mexico

After this introductory note, Chapter Two by Jose-Luis Mendez provides a detailed description of how the academic field of policy analysis has evolved in Mexico. He first presents the different approaches to policy analysis, mainly “evaluative policy analysis” and “explanatory analysis”. Then, Mendez discusses three periods of policy analysis in the country. The first one goes from 1940 to 1990, when the subject was studied under an authoritarian political system that cared little about questions such as efficiency, and with no relation to the policy methods or approaches that emerged in the US and other countries. The second one, 1990 to 2000, was a decade during which policy analysis finally emerged as a field, with Mexican scholars producing pioneering works and sponsoring the first academic programs and expert journals, all of this in the middle of important economic and political changes in the country. The third period, from 2000 to the present time, has been characterized by an increasing number of publications, academic programs and commentators, reflecting the growing maturity of the field and the more favorable intellectual conditions provided by an emerging democratic environment. Thus, Mendez concludes that policy analysis as a field of study has surpassed in Mexico its visibility threshold, although it still needs to overcome some other challenges. The second section on policy analysis within the federal state opens with Chapter Three by Guillermo M. Cejudo, dedicated to policy analysis in the federal government. Echoing some of the points previously noted by Mendez regarding Mexico’s recent political development, Cejudo offers a detailed account about the way policymaking took place until recently: rigid control by the executive branch, low interaction with citizens, mass media manipulation and no legislative oversight. Cejudo then carefully explains how these features have been changing during recent decades, resulting in a more open and plural environment, where civil society actors and legislators are no longer subordinate to the executive branch. He also argues that a new monitoring and evaluation system has emerged and is contributing to the creation of a results-oriented and evidence-based approach to policy analysis and policymaking, albeit in competition with an old logic of planning. Chapter Four by Jesus F. Hernández-Galicia and David Arellano-Gault also studies the federal government, but it does so by looking at the bureaucratic capacity of federal agencies and the way it constrains their ability to carry out effective policy analysis. Taking as a basis two recent surveys they conducted, one with all middle and senior-level managers, and the other with units specializing in policy analysis, Hernández-Galicia and Arellano-Gault identify a number of interesting features regarding the patterns of information use, as well as the challenges that federal bureaucracies face in translating policy analysis results into programs. The authors argue that even though some public servants are already performing certain activities to overcome these challenges, their roles should be somehow formalized to increase bureaucratic capacity for policy analysis. In Chapter Five, Laura Flamand offers an exploration of policy analysis in advisory councils. These are highly specialized boards that have been gaining a 4

An introduction

prominent role inside the federal government, providing sound technical policy analysis to their parent ministries. After presenting a careful conceptual discussion, Flamand provides an overview of the advisory boards that currently exist in Mexico. She then goes on to compare two of the most important ones: the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Policy and the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change. The comparison touches on their respective origins, structures and instruments, and most importantly on their policy analysis capabilities and influence on policy design and implementation. Chapter Six by Maria del Carmen Pardo and Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna similarly addresses a group of public institutions that are relatively new in Mexico’s policy landscape: autonomous agencies. As in the case of advisory boards, these are highly specialized agencies, which nonetheless have a different legal status that provide them with formal independence from the executive and legislative branches. Pardo and Dussauge-Laguna set out to describe how policy analysis is developed in two of these new agencies: the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT), and the National Institute for the Evaluation of Education (INEE). They describe how policy analysts gather information, what methods they use for assessing it, how policy proposals are produced, and what challenges IFT and INEE are currently facing. Policy analysis in the Chamber of Deputies is the subject studied in Chapter Seven by Rodrigo Velazquez Lopez Velarde, which also closes the section dedicated to federal institutions. Based on a set of in-depth interviews with congressional staff, Velazquez depicts the various research centers and legislative committees involved in producing policy analysis, including the Public Finance Research Center, the Legal Studies and Parliamentary Research Center, and the Social Studies and Public Opinion Research Center, among others. He also shows the ways in which policy analysis takes place in the legislative power, going from the analysis of information to formal reports and financial assessments. However, Velazquez notes that policy analysis is constrained by the absence of a functioning civil service, politicization, and low salaries among staff. The third section of the book focuses on how policy analysis is done at the subnational and local levels. Chapter Eight by Juan C. Olmeda is dedicated to the state governments, which he notes have become relevant actors thanks to the double process of decentralization and democratization. Olmeda analyzes both the recent changes in Mexico’s federal system and the relationships that exist among the main policymaking actors. He offers rich information regarding budgetary, organizational, and personnel conditions of all 32 state governments. Then Olmeda presents what he calls the “crucial case” of the Distrito Federal, discussing in detail how policy analysis takes place (or not) within its bureaucratic apparatus. Chapter Nine by Oliver Meza offers a complementary perspective to Olmeda’s, as it focuses on local governments. Meza starts his study noting the lack of efforts to understand how policy analysis is done at Mexican municipalities, which is commonly justified by the assumption that local governments have no capacities 5

Policy analysis in Mexico

whatsoever, and therefore do not engage in analytical activities. Using information from the municipal census and a number of selected interviews, Meza provides an “institutional governance” overview. He describes the bureaucratic and democratic governance modes that seem to be present at this level, and argues that depending on which one predominates at different times and places, they will result in a variety of policy analysis forms. The fourth section is dedicated to a number of non-state actors that 20 or even 10 years ago would not have been featured in a book like this. Chapter Ten by Irma Mendez de Hoyos examines whether political parties have tried to build internal capacities for conducting policy analysis. She first presents an overview of Mexican political parties, and then goes on to describe the different policy research centers that have been established by the major national parties. In the final part of her chapter, Mendez de Hoyos also explores the quality of policy analysis in one of the central documents that parties produce: political manifestos. As a result, one gets a comprehensive perspective of the progress and, above all, the limitations that policy analysis faces in these political institutions. Chapter Eleven by Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna and Marcela Vazquez focuses on policy analysis in think tanks. A long-standing feature of other countries’ policy landscapes, think tanks are actually rather new in Mexico. The authors approach the subject by exploring how policy analysis takes place in two well-known organizations: the Center for Research for Development, which is the oldest think tank in the country, and the Center of Studies Espinosa Yglesias. Dussauge-Laguna and Vazquez describe the origins and policy agendas of these organizations, the way in which they research and/or produce policy information, and the various outlets they employ to disseminate their policy recommendations. They also point at the various challenges that Mexican think tanks need to supersede before gaining more and clearer impact on national policy developments. In Chapter Twelve, Ma. Fernanda Somuano addresses how policy analysis is done in non-governmental organizations (NGOs). As in the case of DussaugeLaguna and Vazquez’s chapter, Somuano studies a group of organizations that have gained presence in Mexico only recently. After describing the evolution of NGOs in the country, she analyzes the way in which five leading organizations conduct policy analysis: Alternativas y Capacidades, Amnesty International, Fundar, Gestión Social y Cooperación (GESOC), and Propuesta Cívica. Making use of information obtained through a series of interviews with members of these organizations, Somuano provides an overall view of the conditions under which policy analysis is conducted, the internal capacities of these NGOs, and the limitations that they still face when doing policy analysis as part of their advocacy agendas. Chapter Thirteen by Carlos Alba Vega provides an interesting description of policy analysis in the private sector. The author introduces the topic with an informative description of the organizations that have been historically created to represent businessmen and businesswomen. Thereafter, Alba presents the main research centers that have been established by private actors with the aim of getting 6

An introduction

accurate information about political and economic trends. Alba then explains the various mechanisms that businesses employ in their attempts to negotiate with state actors, and thus to influence policymaking processes. A complementary story is told by Graciela Bensusan and Ilan Bizberg in Chapter Fourteen, which focuses on the trade unions. Departing from the sociology of public action as a theoretical framework, Bensusan and Bizberg analyze how traditional corporatist arrangements constrain policy analysis and, more broadly, policymaking processes in Mexico. They look at two recent reforms, the labor reform and the education reform, and illustrate the roles played by different actors, whose interventions would seem to have been guided solely by their own interests and hardly by policy analysis considerations. Chapter Fifteen is written by Manuel Alejandro Guerrero, Monica Luengas Restrepo, Carlos Fuentes Ochoa and Martha Lizbeth Palacios on the subject of policy analysis in the media. Guerrero and his colleagues try to assess whether Mexican media have become more autonomous in their coverage of public issues and more professional in their use of sources. This is an important question given the traditional role that the media played in authoritarian Mexico until recent times. The authors frame their analysis in contemporary media debates, and use six case studies of media coverage to explore how different media outlets have reacted. By looking at a rich media monitoring database, they are able to determine the extent to which media are actually using (or not) analysis about policy events. While each one of these chapters represents a valuable contribution to their specific subject area, as a whole they offer a quite complete and empirically grounded overview of the state of policy analysis in Mexico. As described, the authors use a variety of research designs and methodologies. Without losing focus on the book’s main objective, some of them have even tried to use the Mexican case to advance broader theoretical discussions in their areas of specialization. Moreover, given the lack of previous research in many of these topics, or at least the absence of studies from a policy analysis perspective, most authors have had to conduct primary source research to produce the information and data required. As a result of all this, the volume contains empirical material that sees the light for the first time and thus may be particularly interesting for scholars, practitioners and citizens alike.

Conclusion The development of policy analysis in Mexico has been limited in both theoretical and practical terms. Despite recent progress, much more needs to be advanced about policy analysis as a practice and established field in the country. From a practical perspective, policy analysis does not constitute a common generalized practice yet, nor does it seem to influence policy decisions on a regular basis. Therefore, we hope this book will not only provide a comprehensive overview of policy analysis in Mexico, but will also contribute to the improvement of policy analysis and policymaking in Mexico and other Latin American nations. 7

Policy analysis in Mexico

Furthermore, we hope the chapters included here will be of use to those interested in researching and teaching about comparative policy analysis and policy studies more generally, either in Mexico or elsewhere.

8

Part One Policy analysis as a field of study in Mexico

9

TWO

Evolution of policy analysis as a field of study in Mexico Jose-Luis Mendez

Introduction The purpose of this chapter is to describe the context and nature of public policy analysis as a field of study in Mexico. For that, first it explains what is to be understood by policy analysis and policy field. Second, it presents the context and nature of the study of public policies in the period 1940 to 1988 in Mexico, which, albeit an area of existing study, lacked an emphasis on the approaches of policy analysis. The third section discusses the emergence of this field in the country in the 1990s, while the fourth one deals with its development from the year 2000 up to 2015. The chapter ends presenting two main conclusions. First, it concludes that in Mexico the policy analysis field has overcome what Heidenheimer (1985) calls the “visibility” threshold. In other words, after its start 25 years ago, it is now a well-established field: it is the subject of around 20 academic programs throughout the country, as well as numerous books and articles, and it sustains many professional groups within academic associations. Second, the chapter concludes that the discipline is still not well received in many quarters in Mexico and has yet to overcome some of the challenges it has faced from its outset (Mendez, 1995), such as achieving greater theoretical coherence, producing more empirical studies and maintaining its contribution to the public good without adopting a technocratic approach.

Defining policy analysis Policy analysis is understood here as the analysis of public policy according to the goals, approaches and objects of study of this field, in two main areas: first, “evaluative policy analysis”, which aims to present policy evaluations and proposals through the use of certain tools (for example, cost-benefit analysis); and, second, “explanatory policy analysis”, which aims to describe and explain policy agenda setting, formulation, implementation and evaluation, using a specific set of theoretical approaches. Some policy analysis methods, approaches and objects of study were originally developed by economists or political scientists, but constitute now the corpus that gives identity to and defines policy analysis as a field of study. Policy analysis thus should be differentiated from the study of public problems or policies using other 11

Policy analysis in Mexico

disciplines’ approaches (something that has been done since before the emergence of the policy field in the US as well as in many other countries). Take, for instance, the analysis of macroeconomic policy from an economics standpoint. Here the analyses of public problems or policies using other disciplines’ approaches and methods would be referred to as sectorial policy studies. Although policy analysis often makes use of sectorial studies and the boundaries between disciplines may be blurred, this chapter will focus on those academic works published in Mexico related to the objects of study and corpus of the policy analysis field, as well as on the Mexican study programs that cover the two abovementioned areas of such field. Thus, it will not refer to all the academic works or programs that use the term “policy” in their titles (as some of them adopt the perspective of other disciplines). As is well known, the policy analysis field (often also called public policy field) was founded by Harold Lasswell in 1951, when his text ‘The policy orientation’ was published in a book edited by himself and Daniel Lerner, entitled The Policy Sciences: Recent Developments in Scope and Method. In that founding text, Lasswell stated that this new field was to be practical (contribute to the public good by helping to solve public problems) but also normative (by taking into consideration human rights and dignity). This meant that it was also to be multidisciplinary, because to understand public problems the field would need to adopt the methods of various social sciences—economics, political science, public administration, history and psychology. In a second key text, Lasswell (1956) studied the policy process, that is, the different “stages” of policies: agenda-setting, formulation, implementation and evaluation. In time, the policy process would become a central object of study and thus a defining feature of the field. Despite the fact that Lasswell wrote these texts in the 1950s, the discipline would not really start to expand until the end of the following decade, to a great extent as a result of the federal programs spawned in the US by the Great Society legislation, coupled with a mandate for evaluation. As the rapid growth of these programs created a strong demand for policy evaluation, the first in-depth works on policy analysis were produced on this latter topic, such as Suchman’s Evaluative Research: Principles and Practice in Public Service and Social Action Programs (1967). From that followed works such as Mishan’s Cost-Benefit Analysis (1971), Weiss’ Evaluative Research: Methods of Assessing Program Effectiveness (1972) and Rossi and colleagues’ Evaluation: A Systematic Approach (1979). In turn, the most important in-depth explanatory studies of policy began to appear in the early 1970s. Several of these works were related to the failure of some of the Great Society programs and dealt mainly with implementation, such as Derthick’s New Towns In-Town: Why a Federal Program Failed (1972) and Pressman and Wildavsky’s Implementation (1973). However, in the 1970s the first in-depth work on agenda setting was also published, that is, Cobb and Elder’s Participation in American Politics: The Dynamics of Agenda-Building (1972), as well as the influential article on that same subject of Downs’ ‘Up and down with ecology—the “issue-attention” cycle’ (1972). In that decade, Lowi’s and Heclo’s 12

Evolution of policy analysis as a field of study in Mexico

seminal articles on policy types and arenas also appeared—‘Four systems of policy, politics and choice’ (1972) and ‘Issue networks and the executive establishment’ (1978) , respectively—along with the first widely used textbooks on public policy, such as Jones’ An Introduction to the Study of Public Policy (1970), Anderson’s Public Policy Making (1975), Quade’s Analysis for Public Decisions (1975), Stokey and Zeckhauser’s A Primer for Policy Analysis (1978) and Wildavsky’s The Art and Craft of Policy Analysis: Speaking Truth to Power (1979). In the next two decades other influential works of both evaluative and explanatory policy analysis were published, for instance Dunn’s Public Policy Analysis (1981), Patton’s Practical Evaluation (1982), Kingdon’s Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies (1984), Peters’ American Public Policy: Promise and Performance (1986), Scriven’s Theory and Practice of Evaluation (1987), Majone’s Evidence, Argument, and Persuasion in the Policy Process (1992), Weimer and Vining’s Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practice (1992), Baumgartner and Jones’ Agendas and Instability in American Politics (1993) and Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith’s Policy Change and Learning: An Advocacy Coalition Framework (1993). To a great extent following the steps set out by Lasswell (1951, 1956), in one way or the other all of these works tried to answer research questions of this field, such as: What is public policy? How does the policy process unfold? How does the agenda-setting process work? How is a policy formulated? How should it be formulated? What are the main factors behind policy implementation? How should a policy be evaluated? Furthermore, such works – and others produced either in those same times or later, in the US and elsewhere – are those to which policy analysts refer when studying a policy and thus constitute the corpus that gives identity to the public policy field and differentiates it from other disciplines such as economics, sociology, demography, and so on.

Policy studies in an authoritarian political system, 1940–1990 As mentioned earlier, the policy field emerged in the 1950s and further developed in the following decades of the 20th century, mainly in the US—by then a nation with a democratic political system and a professional bureaucracy. It could be said that these two features were behind the fact that the federal programs of the 1960s were coupled with a mandate for evaluation, producing thus a demand for policy analysis and academic works. On the other hand, the basis for the supply of such analysis was also present, as by that decade the US already had a wide array of universities and research centers. Furthermore, economics, public administration and political science were all by then consolidated disciplines, related to university departments where graduate programs and research activities were developed across the country (some of these departments had been established as far back as the late 19th century or early 20th century).1 1

I am applying here to the Mexican case a “supply-demand” approach similar to the one used by most studies of policy analysis capacity (Howlett, 2015; Weimer, 2015). 13

Policy analysis in Mexico

In contrast, for the most part of the second half of the 20th century, Mexico was a nation with an authoritarian political system and a bureaucracy organized through a spoils system. Although formally democratic and federal, during most of this century the country had quite a centralized political and administrative system. The president controlled the dominant political party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional [Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI]), which in turn controlled workers and peasants, to a great extent affiliated to that party. Business was organized in non-partisan chambers, but it was also controlled by the state through a variety of regulations and benefits. The third sector was very weak and also closely related to the state. Furthermore, there was no merit-based civil service (formally introduced only in 2003). In a context where the PRI managed to win all the elections and civil servants were accountable to their political bosses rather than to citizens, the demand for evaluating government programs with tools such as cost-benefit analysis, or for explaining their evolution using public policy approaches, just was not there. Although the lack of demand was probably the most important factor, it should also be noted that between the 1950s and the 1980s such evaluations and explanations could not be easily provided in Mexico, for at least two reasons: first, research was still very weak in most academic departments dealing with economics, public administration and political science; and second, Marxism prevailed within many such departments as the preferred approach for economic, governmental and political analysis. Thus, many of the works of economists and political scientists focused on the relations of the state with social classes or capitalism. As Valenti and Flores (2009) have stated, during this time Mexican academia was discussing what development model Mexico should follow, rather than the efficiency of the state within a capitalist model. All of the above being said, there were differences in the level of policy analysis capacity among state levels and sectors. First, the federal government had more capacity overall than state and local governments, which rather followed federal policy initiatives (with a few exceptions, like more developed states such as Nuevo Leon or Jalisco). The federal executive branch concentrated most analytical resources, as the great majority of legislative initiatives were developed there (the PRI held the majority of seats in Congress up to 1997, and until then the latter was what could be termed a rubber-stamp institution). Finally, within the executive branch, policy capabilities were greater in areas related to public finance and economic development, which were among the few with the essential inputs for policy analysis—quality data, up-to-date hardware and software, civil servants with graduate studies, and so on. It should be noted in this sense that since 1946 the Ministry of Finance (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público) was led by experienced economists and in time it would become a highly technocratic and professionalized agency (together with the Bank of Mexico). There were also differences among (and within) the various universities regarding research capacities and the aforementioned influence of Marxism, especially since the 1970s. To mention just one example, in 1964 the Center of Economics and 14

Evolution of policy analysis as a field of study in Mexico

Demography (Centro de Estudios Económicos y Demográficos, or CEED) was founded at El Colegio de México (COLMEX), where some economic and demographic phenomena started to be identified and studied as public problems (although rather implicitly). For instance, in 1970 CEED published the book Dinámica de la Población en Mexico (Population Dynamics in Mexico), which, together with other studies of the early 1970s, was key in identifying “the demographic problem” and changing Mexican public policy in this realm.2 In turn, in 1976, Mario Ojeda, from the Center for International Studies (Centro de Estudios Internacionales, founded in 1960 at the same institution), published the book Alcances y Límites de la Política Exterior de México (Scope and Limits of Foreign Policy in Mexico), which studied the determinants of Mexican foreign policy. However, these and other sectorial studies of public policy produced in the 1970s did not refer to the abovementioned public policy corpus. In fact, at the time it was rather difficult for them to do that, as the first in-depth policy studies had appeared in the US just a few years before in the late 1960s and early 1970s; thus, they were not so well known at that time (even in that country). In the first half of 1970s, several new universities were founded, such as the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, or CIDE) and the Metropolitan Autonomous University (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, or UAM). As mentioned later in the chapter, in the 1980s these universities would provide the basis for the emergence of public policy academic programs later on. The 1970s was also a decade when the country started to suffer repetitive economic crisis, in contrast with the long period of economic growth and stability experienced between 1940 and 1970. Beginning in the latter year, presidents put aside the conservative policies of the finance ministry and started to overspend. There was a first economic crisis in 1976, at the end of Echeverria’s presidency, and an even worse one in 1982, at the end of Lopez Portillo’s administration. This led to the arrival to the presidency that year of Miguel de la Madrid, a civil servant who had worked at the Bank of Mexico and the finance ministry. His administration started to recognize the fiscal and administrative crisis of the “owner state” (Mendez, 1994, 1996a) as well as the waning of the previous “import substitution” economic model. Both of these factors would involve a greater demand for an efficient state, which would in turn promote policy analysis (Aguilar, 1992a, 2010; Mendez, 1995). As can be seen, the 1980s thus provided the basis for the emergence of the policy field in Mexico, which started to develop in the following decade. 2

Previous to this influential work, several individual studies had been published on this theme by researchers such as Victor Urquidi and Gustavo Cabrera at the first of the abovementioned centers of El Colegio de México, as well as by others at the Social Research Institute (Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales) of the Autonomous National University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, or UNAM), such as Raul Benitez Zenteno. For a detailed discussion of the emergence in the 1970s of “the demographic problem” and population policy in general in Mexico see Brachet, 1984. 15

Policy analysis in Mexico

The emergence of the public policy field in the transition to democracy, 1990–1999 The national context After a strongly contested election, in 1988 de la Madrid was succeeded by Carlos Salinas in the Mexican presidency. In the following years, two developments would create a more favourable climate for policy analysis in the country. First, as is well known, during these years the perestroika and glasnost reforms took place in the USSR together with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Secondly, in 1991 in Mexico, the United States and Canada signed the North American Free Trade Agreement. These two events would contribute to a greater openness in Mexican academic centers to theoretical approaches other than Marxism (for instance those developed in the US). Furthermore, Salinas’ economic policies, together with the uprising of the Zapatista movement and the assassination of the PRI presidential candidate in 1994, weakened the economy to such degree that another strong economic crisis would occur at the end of that year, just at the beginning of the following administration of Ernesto Zedillo (Mendez, 1995). It should also be noted that in this decade the country made important advances towards democratization, first through the creation of the Federal Electoral Institute and second by the emergence of stronger opposition parties and the weakening of the PRI, which lost the majority in the Chamber of Representatives in 1997 (Nacif, 2012; Camp, 2013). Social actors like the mass media, business and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also became stronger in these years (Mendez, 1999; Esteinou and Alva, 2009; Somuano, 2011; Hughes, 2012; Thacker, 2012; Trejo, 2014) as well as state and local governments (especially during Zedillo’s administration) (Beer, 2012; Seele, 2012). Thus, in this decade, as a result of repetitive economic crisis and greater democratization, the demands for a more efficient state that had emerged in the 1980s were further strengthened. Although these processes do not necessarily mean that the demand for policy analysis increased significantly in these years, or that the administrative environment within the state was much more favorable to it (Cabrero, 2000), to some extent they promoted a more favorable context for the emergence of the policy field within some Mexican universities, especially with respect to what I have called explanatory policy analysis. Publications It is possible that the first text by a Mexican researcher published in Mexico that refers to an author of the policy field was Brachet’s article ‘El proceso social en la formación de políticas: el caso de la planificación familiar en Mexico’ (1984). This article approaches its object of study from a dependency and corporatist state perspective and does not take into account the extensive academic work that had been already produced within the policy field on agenda setting (for 16

Evolution of policy analysis as a field of study in Mexico

instance, Cobb and Elder, 1972).3 However, it refers to Lowi’s (1972) work on policy types to briefly argue that Mexican population policy could be introduced in the governmental agenda because it was a distributive policy. Most probably, the first text published in Mexico to focus on an author in the policy field was ‘Política pública y gobierno del estado’ (1990), by Aguilar, which, among other things, discusses Lasswell’s contributions and its implications for Mexico.4 This text was followed a couple of years later by Aguilar’s ‘Introductory studies’ to his first two edited collections of translated texts on public policy, namely El Estudio de las Políticas Públicas (1992a) and La Hechura de las Políticas Públicas (1992b). In the first of them, he discussed again the emergence of the policy field and Lasswell’s contributions, while in the second one he discussed the concept of policy and the contributions of several important policy authors. In 1993, Aguilar published introductory studies to his two other collections of policy texts, Problemas Públicos y Agenda de Gobierno (1993a) and La Implementación de las Políticas (1993b), where he discussed the topics of the policy process and agenda setting and policy implementation, respectively. In turn, at the beginning of the 1993 the journal Foro Internacional, of COLMEX, published my article ‘La política pública como variable dependiente: hacia un análisis más integral de las políticas públicas’ (1993a), where I identified the underdevelopment of public policy as a dependent variable within the policy field and, after discussing several policy approaches, I proposed a scale of policy activism as a way for better explaining public policies.5 In two texts that appeared a few years later (Mendez 1996a, 1998), I applied the theoretical framework developed in this article in a comparative study of industrial policy in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Pennsylvania, US, and North Rhine-Westfalia, Germany. In the 1990s, I also published four other texts on the subject, on the public policy field (Mendez, 1995), the federal and subnational small business policy in Mexico (Mendez 1996b; Mendez and Ríos, 1998) or NGOs and industrial policymaking (Mendez, 1996c).6 3

Just as was the case with other studies of public policy published in Mexico in the 1980s, despite the fact that some of them could have mentioned the term policy or public policy (politica publica) (see, for instance, Mendez, 1986).

4

The three authors of these first policy publications in Mexico (Brachet, Aguilar and Mendez) were at the time COLMEX professors who had had study or research stays at US universities in the 1970s and 1980s (Wisconsin, Berkeley and Pittsburgh, respectively). In 1992 a Mexican Academy of Public Policy was founded, having Aguilar as its first president and myself as its first secretary general. I was its second president, followed by Pedro Moreno (Autonomous Metropolitan University at Xochimilco, or UAM-X), Juan Pablo Guerrero (CIDE) and Felix Velez (Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico, or ITAM).

5

This article has been reprinted four times so far, by the National Institute of Public Administration (INAP), COLMEX, UNAM and the School of Public Administration of the Federal District.

6

It is possible that these were the first empirical studies published in Mexico on specific public policies applying approaches from the policy field, as in general the studies of concrete policies published in this decade by Mexican authors still did not refer to the field’s corpus (for instance those studying specific policies published in the 1993 issue of Revista de Administración Pública). For an exception, see Canto, 1997. 17

Policy analysis in Mexico

In mid-1993 the INAP journal Revista de Administración Pública published a special issue on public policy, with three articles on the policy field and its relationship to public governance in Mexico by Moreno, Guerrero, and Bazua and Valenti, respectively, an article on policy alternatives evaluation by Gonzalo Robles, another on policy evaluation by Cardozo and an article by myself (1993b) where I use the policy framework developed in Foro Internacional (1993a) to analyze some specific policies. In turn, Garza published in the same journal the articles ‘Diseño de una política pública para la prevención de desastres naturales’ (1995) and ‘Políticas públicas, etica y seguridad en el marco de la acción del estado. Reflexiones para el próximo siglo’ (1999). In both of these texts, Garza developed policy models that could be applied in disaster prevention. In 1995, Omar Guerrero published in the same journal the article ‘Continuidad y terminación de políticas en la administración pública’ (1995), where he discusses the policy stage of termination. The year before he had published in Gestión y Política Pública—a journal created at CIDE in 1992—the article ‘Los usos del análisis de la implementación de las políticas’ (1994); a few years later, he would publish in the same journal ‘Las políticas públicas antes de las ciencias de las políticas’ (1997). The first article was on the subject of implementation and the second one on theoretical developments for the study of policy before the 20th century. Gestión y Política Pública would publish in this decade two other articles on public policy by Mexican authors, namely Juan Pablo Guerrero’s text ‘La evaluación de políticas públicas: enfoques teóricos y realidades en nueve paises desarrollados’ (1995) and Arellano’s article ‘Política pública, racionalidad imperfecta e irracionalidad. Hacia una perspectiva diferente’ (1996), the first on policy evaluation and the latter on the limits of public policy analysis to understand and change policy processes. Throughout the 1990s, this journal would also publish several articles on public policy by non-Mexican authors. In 1994, Canto and Moreno produced the edited book Reforma del Estado y Políticas Sociales, published by the UAM-X, with contributions by Canto, Varela and others on the subject of social policy. In turn, in 1996, Merino published an edited book on public policy and local management, Política Pública y Gestión Local, which included chapters on various issues of policy analysis by Canto, Mejía and others. The same year Política y Cultura (a journal created at UAM-X in 1992) published a special issue on public policy and NGOs, with contributions on the subject by Moreno, myself (Mendez, 1996c) and other authors. In 1999, Pineda published the edited book Enfoques de Políticas Públicas y Gobernabilidad, where some chapters dealt with the study of policy. Academic programs Although since the 1960s there have been in Mexico graduate programs in public administration (for example, those created in 1967 at UNAM) (Doring 1979), probably the first course on public policy in Mexico was taught on CIDE’s MA 18

Evolution of policy analysis as a field of study in Mexico

in public administration when this program started in 1976. It was not possible to get the syllabus of that first course, but it was possible to look at the syllabus used for the fall semester of 1983, when the course was taught by Roberto Esteso, Pedro Moreno and Myriam Cardozo. In accordance with the academic context at the time, this course was still somewhat influenced by Marxist approaches, as it included a text by Poulantzas in its bibliography. However, there was a second course on public policy right after this one, taught by Pedro Moreno and Myriam Cardozo, which included texts such as the abovementioned A Primer for Policy Analysis, by Stokey and Zeckhauser. In 1995, CIDE’s MA was renamed and started to be called the MA in public administration and public policy. The first graduate program with the term “public policy” in its title was the MA in public policy established in 1987 at ITAM. However, it should be noticed that this was more a MA on applied economics with a focus on economic policy than an MA on public policy proper, as instead of having a truly interdisciplinary approach involving the consideration of the aforesaid areas of study and corpus of the policy field, most of its courses were related to the different aspects of economic policy from an economics standpoint. The program has become more interdisciplinary in time, although it still focuses heavily on economic methods. In this way, the first two academic programs that can properly be considered as public policy programs were those opened in 1994 at UAM-X and at the Latin American Social Sciences Faculty at Mexico (FLACSO México). The first was an MA in public policy, which opened with a cadre of 10 students. Among its founding professors were Myriam Cardozo, Pedro Moreno and Giovanna Valenti, who have since been doing research within the policy field. The second was the MA in government and public affairs, which although it does not mention the term public policy in its title, has had a focus on public policy from an interdisciplinary perspective, including courses dealing with several aspects of the abovementioned policy process. Also in 1994, COLMEX’s BA program in public administration, founded in 1982, was changed to include for the first time three specific courses on public policy: two courses on comparative public policy and one on policy design and evaluation. These courses were taught for the first time in the 1997 January–May semester, the first one by myself and the second one by Leo Zuckerman and Gloria Labastida (Dirección de Asuntos Escolares, 2012). The BA in public administration was changed in 2002, and has since been known as the BA in policy and public administration (política y administración pública). In 1993, this program celebrated its 20th anniversary, with the participation of several national and international professors, such as Guy Peters, Charles Lindblom, Giandomenico Majone and Peter De Leon. In short, in the 1990s a significant number of texts on policy analysis by Mexican authors started to be published, three academic programs were created explicitly addressing the areas of study of this field and at least one more program introduced policy courses. Furthermore, two academic journals were created where policy analysis articles began to be published, namely Gestión y Política Pública and Política 19

Policy analysis in Mexico

y Cultura (to which we have to add those articles published in Foro Internacional and Revista de Administración Pública, created earlier). In this way, it would be fair to argue that the policy analysis field clearly emerged in Mexico in this decade. Next, we will see how in the following two decades it continued to grow, in terms of both publications and study programs.

The expansion of the public policy field in an emerging democracy, 2000–2015 The national context In July 2000, for the first time in 70 years a candidate of a party different from the PRI, Vicente Fox of the National Action Party (Partido Acción Nacional, or PAN), won the presidential election. In 2006, Fox was followed by another president from the same party, Felipe Calderón, who in turn was followed by Enrique Peña, again from the PRI. Although one of the losing candidates in 2006 claimed that that election had been fraudulent, the 2003, 2009, 2012 and 2015 federal elections took place without major problems. To this extent, it can be said that in 2000 Mexico started a new era of a consolidating democracy. Furthermore, during these years reforms were made to promote greater government transparency and accountability and a merit-based civil service was introduced. Several decentralized regulatory agencies and advisory councils, as well as some independent think thanks, were created. Up to now, these reforms have faced a strong resistance from bureaucratic and political elites at both the national and local levels as, despite the regime’s democratization, to a great extent such elites still maintain an authoritarian and clientelistic culture (Grindle, 2012; Camp, 2013; Giraudy, 2015). Even then, the reforms contributed to generate a less politicized policymaking process in certain areas of the Mexican state and involved a greater demand for policy analysis. On the other hand, during this period several universities in Mexico City increased the number of faculty members interested in policy analysis, such as the previously mentioned CIDE, FLACSO México and COLMEX, plus others such as Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), followed by numerous state universities. As it will be shown in other chapters of this book, policy analysis capabilities also increased substantially at several Mexican think thanks. In this way, if we compare cross-nationally the level of policy analysis capacity according to the presence of the demand and supply factors of such analysis, it could be said that by the second decade of the 21th century Mexico was at an intermediate level. This means that policy analysis is not highly demanded by the state but there are good levels of quality information on the features and problems of the country as well as significant policy analysis capabilities in local think tanks and universities, and thus policy analysis can be either done within the state or contracted out whenever needed (Mendez and Dussauge-Laguna, forthcoming).

20

Evolution of policy analysis as a field of study in Mexico

Publications In the first 15 years of the 21th century a wide variety of works on public policy appeared in Mexico.7 On the uses and orientation of the policy analysis field in Mexico and Latin America, Cabrero published the article ‘Usos y costumbres en la hechura de las políticas públicas: limites de las policy sciences en contextos cultural y políticamente diferentes’ (2000), and Valenti and Flores published the article ‘Ciencias sociales y políticas públicas’ (2009). In turn, several texts were published on the relationship between public policy and democracy and participation, such as Rodolfo Canto’s ‘Políticas públicas. Más alla del pluralismo y la participación ciudadana’ (2000). Leon and Mora (2006) along with Cabrero, Uvalle, Garduño and Gutierrez also published chapters on this topic in the book Democracia, Ciudadania y Politicas Publicas while Vidal Garza published ‘La política pública en democracia: retos y oportunidades’ (2009). On the other hand, a group of texts on policy evaluation were published in these years, such as Mejia’s La Evaluación de la Gestión y las Políticas Públicas (2003), and Cardozo’s ‘Evaluación de políticas de desarrollo social’ (2003), La Evaluación de Políticas y Programas Públicos. El Caso de los Programas de Desarrollo Social (2006) and ‘De la evaluación a la reformulación de políticas públicas’ (2013), as well as Salcedo’s Evaluación (2011). If in the 1990s only a couple of authors had studied empirically policies using the approaches of the field (Mendez, 1996a, 1996b, 1996c, 1998; Canto, 1997; Mendez and Ríos, 1998), in the past 15 years several other authors have started to publish studies of this sort, for instance, DeLeon and Hernandez’s ‘El caso del Programa Nacional de Solidaridad en México: estudio comparado de terminación de políticas” (2001) and Rodríguez’s Fundamentos Teóricos de las Políticas Públicas y Estudios de Caso. Programas Públicos en México (2011) and Políticas Públicas: Un Estudio de Caso (2014), as well as Flamand and Moreno’s Seguro Popular y Federalismo en México. Un Análisis de Política Pública (2015). During these years, I published three additional texts of this type: ‘La política industrial en México” (Mendez, 2009), ‘Implementing developed countries’ administrative reforms in developing countries: the case of Mexico’ (Mendez, 2010b) and ‘Los programas de Monitoreo Ciudadano, Lenguaje Ciudadano y Cartas Compromiso de la Secretaria de la Función Pública’ (Mendez, 2012). Among the edited books on public policy that appeared in this time there were Aguilar´s Política Pública (2010) and Merino and Cejudo’s Problemas, Decisiones y Soluciones (2010), as well as Mendez’s Los Grandes Problemas de México. Políticas Públicas (2010a) and Análisis de Políticas Públicas. Teoría y Casos (2015). Finally, among the texts discussing the policy process in general were Arellano and Blanco’s 7

The overview of publications within the policy analysis field presented in this section is only partial, as their number has increased quite considerably in recent years so as to make it impossible to mention them all. In turn, the number of sectorial studies of policies has also increased significantly, although they are not mentioned here for the same reason. 21

Policy analysis in Mexico

Políticas Públicas y Democracia (2013) and Merino’s Políticas Públicas. Ensayo sobre la Intervencion del Estado en la Solución de los Problemas Públicos (2013). Academic programs, journals and associations In the 2000s, several additional public policy academic programs were opened in Mexico City, such as the MA in government and public affairs (in place of the previous Master’s in public administration) at the Facultad de Ciencias Politicas y Sociales at UNAM, the MA and PhD in public policy at ITESM, the PhD in public policy at CIDE and the MA in government and public policy at Universidad Panamericana, among others. During this period, public policy academic programs were also being created at universities in several Mexican states, for instance Universidad de Guadalajara, ITESO-Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara, Benemerita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Escuela Libre de Derecho de Puebla, Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Universidad Autónoma de Sonora and Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo del Estado de Michoacan. Furthermore, in addition to the journal articles CIDE, UAM-X and COLMEX, UNAM started to publish public policy articles in several of its journals (Estudios Políticos, Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales and Revista Mexicana de Sociología). Finally, it is also worth noting that in 2014 a research committee on public policy was created within the Mexican Association of Political Science.

Conclusion After this review of the evolution of public policy in Mexico, it is fair to say that today the country has overcome what Heidenheimer (1985) called the “visibility” threshold in this field. In other words, after 25 years it has now developed into a well-established field with around 20 academic programs throughout the country, continuous publication of works on the subject and various associated professional groups within academic institutions. Of course, despite the relative advancement of democracy and public accountability in the country, policy analysis is still not well received in some quarters, as both clientelism and private interests are still prevalent in Mexican policymaking process today. Furthermore, despite its progress, the field has yet to overcome some of the challenges it has faced from its outset (Mendez, 1995; Arellano, 1996), such as achieving greater theoretical coherence, further evolving from its initial almost exclusively theoretical and normative focus to a more empirical one, and better integrating its orientation towards policy efficacy with citizen participation, so that the field can keep contributing to the public good without adopting an excessively technocratic approach.

22

Evolution of policy analysis as a field of study in Mexico

References Aguilar, L. (1990) ‘Política pública y gobierno del estado’, La Revista de El Colegio, vol 2, no 4, pp 236-56. Aguilar, L. (1992a) El estudio de las Politicas Publicas, Mexico City: Miguel Ángel Porrúa. Aguilar, L. (1992b) La Hechura de las Politicas Publicas, Mexico City: Miguel Ángel Porrúa. Aguilar, L. (1993a) Problemas Publicos y Agenda de Gobierno, Mexico City: Miguel Ángel Porrúa. Aguilar, L. (1993b) La Implementacion de las Políticas, Mexico City: Miguel Ángel Porrúa. Aguilar, L. (2010) Politica Publica, Mexico City: Escuela de Administracion Publica del Distrito Federal-Siglo XXI. Anderson, J. (1975) Public Policy Making, Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. Arellano, D. (1996) ‘Politica Publica, Racionalidad Imperfecta e Irracionalidad. Hacia una Perspectiva Diferente’, Gestion y Politica Publica, vol 5, no 2, pp 319-47. Arellano, D. and Blanco, F. (2013) Políticas Públicas y Democracia, Mexico City : Instituto Federal Electoral. Baumgartner, F. and Jones, B. (1993) Agendas and Instability in American Politics, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Bazua, F. and Valenti, G. (1993) ‘Hacia un enfoque amplio de política pública’, Revista de Administración Pública, No 84, May. Beer, C. (2012) ‘Invigorating federalism: the emergence of governors and state legislatures as powerbrokers and policy innovators’, in R. Camp (ed) Oxford Handbook of Mexican Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 119-142. Brachet, V. (1984) ‘El proceso Social en la Formacion de Politicas: el Caso de la Planificacion Familiar en Mexico’, Estudios Sociologicos, vol 3, no 5, pp 309-33. Cabrero, E. (2000) ‘Usos y Costumbres en la Hechura de las Politicas Publicas, Limites de las Policy Sciences en Contextos Cultural y Politicamente Diferentes’, Gestión y Política Pública, vol 9, no 2, pp 180-229. Camp, R. (2013) Politics in Mexico, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Canto, M. and Moreno, P. (eds) (1994) Reforma del Estado y Políticas Sociales, Mexico City: UAM-X. Canto, R. (1997) ‘Mexico: Los Alcances de la Politica Industrial’, Revista de Ecónomia, vol 14, no 2, pp 101-13. Canto, R. (2000) ‘Políticas públicas. Más alla del pluralismo y la participación ciudadana’, Gestión y Política Pública, vol 9, no 2, pp 231-56. Cardozo, M. (1993) ‘La evaluación de las políticas públicas: problemas, metodologías, aportes y limitaciónes’, Revista de Administración Pública, vol 84, pp 167-97. Cardozo, M. (2003) ‘Evaluación de políticas de desarrollo social’, Política y Cultura, no 20, pp 139-54. Cardozo, M. (2006) La Evaluación de Políticas y Programas Públicos: El Caso de los Programas de Desarrollo Social, Mexico City: Miguel Ángel Porrúa. 23

Policy analysis in Mexico

Cardozo, M. (2013) ‘De la evaluación a la reformulación de políticas públicas, Política y Cultura, no 40, pp 123-49. CEED (1970) Dinámica de la población de México, Mexico, DF: El Colegio de Mexico. Cobb, R. and Elder, C. (1972) Participation in American Politics: The Dynamics of Agenda-Building, Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. De Leon, P. and Hernandez, J. (2001) ‘El Caso del Programa Nacional de Solidaridad en México: estudio comparado de terminación de políticas’, Foro Internacional, vol 41, no 3, pp 451-73. Derthick, M. (1972) New Towns In-Town: Why a Federal Program Failed, Washington, DC: The Urban Institute. Dirección de Asuntos Escolares (2012) Reporte de Materias de la Licenciatura en Política y Administración Pública, 1982-2012, Mexico City: El Colegio de México. Doring, E. (1979) ‘La enseñanza de la administración pública en México’, Revista de Administración Pública, no 40, pp 45-51. Downs, A. (1972) ‘Up and down with ecology—the “issue-attention cycle”’, Public Interest, no 28, pp 38-50. Dunn, W. (1981) Public Policy Analysis, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Esteinou, J. and Alva, A. (eds) (2009) La Ley Televisa y la Lucha por el Poder en México, Mexico City: UAM-Xochimilco. Flamand, L. and Moreno, C. (2015) Seguro Popular y Federalismo en Mexico. Un Análisis de Política Pública, Mexico City: CIDE. Garza, M. (1995) ‘Diseño de una política pública para la prevención de desastres naturales’, Revista de Administración Pública, no 89, 201-12. Garza, M. (1999) ‘Políticas públicas, etica y seguridad en el marco de la acción del estado. Reflexiones para el proximo siglo’, Revista de Administración Pública 100, no 100, pp 233-56. Garza, V. (2009) ‘La política pública en democracia: retos y oportunidades’, in F. Mariñez and V. Garza (eds) Política Pública y Democracia en America Latina: Del Análisis a la Implementación, Mexico City: ITESM-Miguel Ángel Porrúa. Giraudy, A. (2015) Democrats and Autocrats: Pathways of Subnational Undemocratic Regime Continuity Within Democratic Countries, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Grindle, M. (2012) Jobs for the Boys, Patronage and the State in Comparative Perspective, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Guerrero, J. (1995) ‘La evaluación de políticas públicas: enfoques teóricos y realidades en nueve paises desarrollados’, Gestión y Política Pública, vol 4, no 1, pp 47-115. Guerrero, O. (1993) ‘Políticas públicas: interrogantes’, Revista de Administración Pública, vol 84, pp 83-88. Guerrero, O. (1994) ‘Los usos del análisis de la implementación de las políticas’, Gestión y Política Pública, vol 3, no 1, pp 19-43. Guerrero, O. (1995) ‘Continuidad y terminación de políticas en administración pública’, Revista de Administración Pública, no 89, pp 17-48

24

Evolution of policy analysis as a field of study in Mexico

Heclo, H. (1978) ‘Issue networks and the executive establishment’, Public Administration Concepts Cases, vol 413, pp 46-57. Heidenheimer, A. (1985) ‘Comparative public policy at the crossroads’, Journal of Public Policy, vol 5, no 4, pp 441-65. Howlett, M. (2015) ‘Policy analytical capacity: the supply and demand for policy analysis in government’, Policy and Society, vol 34, no 3, pp 173-82. Hughes, S. (2012) ‘Democracy in the newsroom: the evolution of journalism and the news media’, in R. Camp (ed) Oxford Handbook of Mexican Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jones, C. (1970) An Introduction to the Study of Public Policy, Belmont, CA: Duxbury Press Kingdon, J. (1984) Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies, Boston, MA: Little, Brown. Lasswell, H. (1951) ‘The policy orientation’, in H. Lasswell and D. Lerner (eds) The Policy Sciences; Recent Developments in Scope and Method, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Lasswell, H. (1956) The Decision Process: Seven Categories of Functional Analysis, College Park, MD: University of Maryland Press. Leon, J. and Mora, S. (eds) (2006) Democracia, Ciudadania y Políticas Públicas, Mexico City: UNAM. Lowi, T. (1972) ‘Four systems of policy, politics and choice’, Public Administration Review, vol 32, no 4, pp 298-310. Majone, G. (1992) Evidence, Argument, and Persuasion in the Policy Process, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Mejia, J. (1996) ‘Evaluación de políticas públicas’, in M. Merino (ed) Política Pública y Gestión Local, Mexico City: Colegio Nacional de Ciencias Políticas y Administración Pública. Mejia, J. (2003) La Evaluación de la Gestión y las Políticas Públicas, Mexico City: Miguel Ángel Porrúa. Mendez, J. (1986) Modelos de Desarrollo en América Latina, Mexico City: Universidad Iberoamericana. Mendez, J. (1993a) ‘La política pública como variable dependiente: hacia un análisis más integral de las políticas públicas’, Foro Internacional, vol 33, no 1, pp 111-44. Mendez, J. (1993b) ‘Elementos teóricos para un análisis más integral de las políticas públicas’, Revista de Administración Pública, vol 84, pp 107-21. Mendez, J. (1994) ‘Mexico under Salinas: towards a new record for one party domination?’, Governance, vol 7, no 2, pp 182-207. Mendez, J. (1995) ‘El campo de estudio de las políticas públicas: promesas y peligros’, in C. Masse and E. Sandoval (eds) Políticas Públicas y Desarrollo Municipal, Toluca: El Colegio Mexiquense/Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México. Mendez, J. (1996a) ‘Federalismo y política industrial en Nuevo Leon, Mexico y Westfalia del Rhin del Norte, Alemania’, in C. Alba (ed) México y Alemania: Dos Paises en Transición, Mexico City: El Colegio de México. 25

Policy analysis in Mexico

Mendez, J. (1996b) ‘¿Del estado propietario al estado promotor? La política hacia la micro, pequeña y mediana industria en México, 1988-1994’, Foro Internacional, vol 36, no 143, pp 321-71. Mendez, J. (1996c) ‘Reforma del estado, democracia participativa y modelos de decisión’, Política y Cultura, vol 7, pp 7-35. Mendez, J. (1998) ‘Las regiones como actores económicos: el caso de Pennsylvania, Estados Unidos (con referencias generales a los casos de Nuevo Leon, México y Westfalia del Rhin del Norte, Alemania), in C. Alba, I, Bizberg and H, Riviere (eds) Las Regiones Ante la Globalización, Mexico City: El Colegio de México/ CEMCA/ORSTOM. Mendez, J. (1999) ‘Civil organizations in Mexico: recent evolution and prospects’, Voluntas, vol 10, no 1, pp 93-99. Mendez, J. (2009) ‘La política industrial en México’, in L. Meyer and I. Bizberg (eds), Al Filo del Siglo XXI: Cambio y Resistencia (1968-2000), Mexico City: Océano. Mendez, J. (ed) (2010a) Políticas Públicas. Los Grandes Problemas de México, Mexico City: El Colegio de México. Mendez, J. (2010b) ‘Implementing developed countries’ administrative reforms in developing countries: the case of Mexico’, in J. Pierre and P. Ingraham (eds) Public Sector Administrative Reform and the Challenges of Effective Change, Ottawa: McGill University Press. Mendez, J. (2012) ‘Los programas de Monitoreo Ciudadano, Lenguaje Ciudadano y Cartas Compromiso de la Secretaría de la Función Pública’, in M. Valverde and M. Hilderbrand (eds) ¿Transformación, lo Mismo de Siempre, o Progreso Lento y con Tropiezos? Reformas Recientes al Sector Público en México, Mexico City: EGAP, Tecnológico de Monterrey/Harvard Kennedy School/Miguel Ángel Porrúa. Mendez, J. (2015) Análisis de Políticas Públicas. Teória y Casos, Mexico City: El Colegio de México. Mendez, J. and Dussauge-Laguna, M. (forthcoming) ‘Policy analysis and bureaucratic capacity’, in M. Howlett (ed) Handbook of Comparative Policy Analysis, New York: Routledge. Mendez, J. and Ríos, R. (1998) ‘Organizaciónes civiles y política industrial en México: el caso de ADMIC’, in J. Mendez (ed) Organizaciónes Civiles y Políticas Públicas en México y Centroamérica, Mexico City: Miguel Ángel Porrúa/Academia Mexicana de Investigación en Políticas Públicas/International Society for Third Sector Research. Merino, M. (ed) (1996) Política Pública y Gestión Local, Mexico City: Colegio Nacional de Ciencias Políticas y Administración Pública. Merino, M. (2013) Políticas Públicas. Ensayo Sobre la Intervención del Estado en la Solución de los Problemas Públicos, Mexico City: CIDE. Merino, M. and Cejudo, G. (eds) (2010) Problemas, Decisiones y Soluciónes, Mexico City: CIDE. Mishan, E. (1971) Cost-benefit analysis: An informal introduction, London: Allen and Unwin. 26

Evolution of policy analysis as a field of study in Mexico

Moreno, P. (1993) ‘Exposición critica de los enfoques estadounidenses para el análisis de las políticas públicas’, Revista de Administración Pública, vol 84, pp 9-23. Moreno, P. (1996) ‘Organismos civiles y elaboración de políticas públicas’, Política y Cultura, no 7, pp 61-71. Nacif, B. (2012) ‘The fall of the dominant presidency: lawmaking under divided government in Mexico’, in R. Camp (ed) Oxford Handbook of Mexican Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ojeda, M. (1976) Alcances y Límites de la Política Exterior de México, Mexico, DF: El Colegio de Mexico. Patton, M. (1982) Practical evaluation, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Peters, G.B. (1986) American Public Policy: Promise and Performance, Chatham, NJ: Chatham House. Pineda, J. (ed) (1999) Enfoques de Políticas Públicas y Gobernabilidad, Mexico City: Colegio Nacional de Ciencias Políticas y Administración Pública. Pressman, J. and Wildavsky, A. (1973) Implementation, Oakland, CA: University of California Press. Quade, E. (1975) Analysis for Public Decisions, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Robles, G. (1993) ‘La evaluación de alternativas en el análisis de políticas públicas’, Revista de Administración Pública, no 84, pp 89-105. Rodríguez, F. (2011) Fundamentos Teóricos de las Políticas Públicas y Estudios de Caso. Programas Públicos en Mexico, Puebla: Instituto de Administración Pública del Estado de Puebla. Rodríguez, F. (2014) Políticas Públicas, Un Estudio de Casos, Mexico City: Plaza y Valdes. Rossi, P., Freeman, H. and Lipsey, M. (1979) Evaluation: A Systematic Approach, London: Sage. Sabatier, P. and Jenkins-Smith, H. (1993) Policy Change and Learning: An Advocacy Coalition Framework, Boulder, CO: Westview press. Salcedo, R. (ed) (2011) Evaluación, Mexico City: Escuela de Administración Pública del Distrito Federal-Siglo XXI. Scriven, M. (1987) Theory and practice of evaluation, Los Angeles, CA, Edge Press. Seele, A. (2012) ‘Municipalities and policymaking’, in R. Camp (ed) Oxford Handbook of Mexican Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Somuano, F. (2011) Sociedad Civil Organizada y Democracia en Mexico, Mexico City: El Colegio de México. Stokey, E. and Zeckhauser, R. (1978) A primer for policy analysis, New York, NY: WW Norton and Company. Suchman, E. (1967) Evaluative Research: Principles and Practice in Public Service and Social Action Programs, New York, NY: Russell Sage. Thacker, S. (2012) ‘Big business, democracy and the politics of competition’, in R. Camp (ed) Oxford Handbook of Mexican Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Trejo, R. (2014) ‘Televisa: viejas prácticas, nuevo entorno’, Nueva Sociedad, no 249, pp 149-62.

27

Policy analysis in Mexico

Valenti, G. and Flores, U. (2009) ‘Ciencias sociales y políticas públicas’, Revista Mexicana de Sociología, December. Weimer, D. (2015) ‘La evolución del análisis de políticas públicas en Estados Unidos: cuatro fuentes de análisis’, Foro Internacional, vol 55, no 2, pp 540-75. Weimer, D. and Vining, A. (1992) Policy analysis: Concepts and practice, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. Weiss, C. (1972) Evaluative Research: Methods of Assessing Program Effectiveness, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Wildavsky, A. (1979) The art and craft of policy analysis: Speaking Truth to Power, Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company.

28

Part Two Policy analysis within the federal state

29

THREE

Policy analysis in the Mexican federal government Guillermo M. Cejudo

Introduction By the end of the 20th century, policymaking in the Mexican federal government was aligned to the authoritarian, closed and hierarchical logic of the political regime and its bureaucratic apparatus (Cabrero, 2000). Over the span of a few years, pluralism and competition have transformed the political regime and its bureaucracy (Merino, 2003; Cejudo, 2008; Dussauge, 2008). The attributes of a democracy have started to transform the way policy analysis takes place in the federal government. Policy analysis is no longer the exclusive domain of the federal executive; it now takes place in a new context characterized by the activation of checks and balances, the introduction of legislative constraints on the executive’s discretionary authority over the bureaucracy, the alternation of power in subnational governments, and the emergence of a more active civil society. In this chapter, I analyze how policy analysis in the Mexican federal government has been shaped by recent political and administrative developments. After a brief analysis of policymaking under authoritarianism, I look at how policy analysis has changed according to the new nature of the political regime, with a relatively more open policymaking process and more legislative oversight. I analyze the development of a monitoring and evaluation system and show how it has introduced a results-oriented, evidence-based, problem-solving approach to policy analysis. I contrast this new approach with the normative and administrative framework guided by the logic of planning with which it has to compete.

Public policymaking at the end of the 20th century The nature of public policy in any given country depends greatly on the characteristics of its political regime. Since government administrations have an interest in fulfilling specific agendas, they face incentives to modify institutions in order to make them more compatible with their political projects. Their ability to do so will depend on the resources and support they garner, as well as on how drastic their decisions are (Oszlak, 1986). In any case, bureaucratic structures and interrelations will always respond to regime changes, specifically depending on the interactions that follow every attempt to modify the state machinery.

31

Policy analysis in Mexico

Back in 2000, Enrique Cabrero noted that the Mexican government’s policymaking process—shaped by the authoritarian nature of the political system—was essentially statist, since every policy (more governmental than public in nature) was rigidly controlled by the state, rather than serving as a bridge between government and citizens. Given its closed nature, the public arena did not allow for an interaction between a plurality of civil actors and public officials: the state was virtually the only player in the game, and the rest got little to no space in it. As authoritarianism gave way to democracy, agreements were extremely difficult to reach. According to Cabrero, this led to persistent political fragmentation and instability in the context of a still nascent system of checks and balances. These conditions had several pernicious effects on the policymaking process. Even if there were differences among sectors (for instance, health and foreign policy were more specialized than social policy), the authoritarian nature of the regime shaped the way issues reached the government’s agenda, the process in which policies were formulated and the mechanisms devised for their implementation and evaluation. In defining the public agenda, political elites used to forge private agreements and institutions were impervious to civil demands. Mass media were utilized to convince the Mexican population of the adequacy of any decisions reached, and interest groups could only influence policy inasmuch as they were able to negotiate with high-ranking politicians (see Chapter Fifteen). Policy was designed in the midst of little to no public discussion, and once decisions were made public, they could not be altered. Any deliberation was centralized and always took place inside the government—other actors were barred, even from access to information. Implementation was almost exclusively in the hands of government; any concessions made to private actors were made under secret arrangements and came in the form of monopolies. Transparency was practically non-existent. Since there was no professional civil service, camarillas’ interests often clashed. Anything resembling an evaluation of government performance was in the hands of those responsible for policy implementation, while external actors were just observers. Information was not shared with the public, which resulted in low levels of trust towards any assessments of policy impact (see also Grindle, 1977; Pardo, 1991; Centeno, 1994; Aguilar, 1996). In the midst of a hermetic political culture, accountability was uncommon, to say the least. Auditing agencies had little to no information or technical capacity, which rendered accountability a simulation. The legislative and judicial branches of government were not sufficiently autonomous to check on the executive. Since a professional civil service was not even required by law, politicians and bureaucrats constantly jumped from one agency to the other, which in turn led to considerable instability. Finally, instead of being internalized by government officials, Mexican law was always up for negotiation—an eternal bargain which, as one would suspect, did not include civil society.

32

Policy analysis in the Mexican federal government

Cabrero’s analysis sheds light upon the way in which policy analysis and policymaking were inescapably defined by the political and administrative environment. Therefore, it is not surprising that, given the dramatic transformation Mexico has undergone in the past 15 years, many of the attributes of the policymaking process he identified were also transformed. In the following section, I look at the effects that the political transition has had on the policymaking process.

Mexico’s democratization Even if Cabrero’s depiction of policymaking in Mexico is no longer accurate, his argument that policymaking is shaped by the characteristics of the political regime remains true. As a result of the Mexican political transition, significant changes have taken place in almost all dimensions of his analysis. Democratization has transformed the way policies are designed and implemented in the federal government. Mexico’s road to democracy was longer than in other Latin American cases (with liberalization starting in the 1970s and alternation in executive power occurring in 2000). A series of electoral reforms and a gradual increase in the number of local and state elections won by opposition parties led, in 1997, to the first Congress in modern Mexico not dominated by the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). When the PRI lost the majority in the lower chamber, institutional constraints that were enacted in the Constitution but were dormant under the PRI regime became active (Merino, 2003). Congress got involved in public sector reform and introduced legislation that gradually stripped the presidency of the nearly absolute autonomy it had in dealing with the federal bureaucracy: it decentralized social expenditure, restricted discretionary spending by the president and enhanced the monitoring of public money by creating an autonomous Supreme Audit Institution. Subsequently, in 2000, the opposition National Action Party (PAN) won the presidency. During this long process, political participation, electoral competition, press freedom and political constraints gradually increased. The renewed role of congressional oversight has had important implications for the bureaucratic apparatus. Congressional involvement has led to more ambitious reforms than those promoted by presidents before 1997 (Cejudo, 2015). In this century, congressional activism has been evident in legislation that restricts discretionary decision making within the bureaucracy, such as the Freedom of Information and Civil Service Laws (see Méndez, 2010; López Ayllón, 2012). There have also been congressional investigations regarding allegations of corruption and misallocation of funds, and even in micro-managing decisions about the organization of ministries, such as when in the 2004 budget Congress ordered that the administration reduce the number of top and medium-level positions in each ministry. Congress has powerful mechanisms for oversight, including the use of budgetary decision making and the responsibility for 33

Policy analysis in Mexico

reviewing public expenditures. These powers, combined with the self-interest of opposition politicians, have led to the increasing involvement of legislators into the day-to-day activities of the federal bureaucracy (see Chapter Seven of this volume). As a result of a series of congressional decisions, the Mexican president now faces restrictions regarding appointments, access to government information, budgetary procedures, evaluations, and oversight. A series of legal changes and their corresponding institutional adaptations have reduced the discretionary authority of the executive over the federal public bureaucracy, which is more open, and relatively more professional than in the past (see Chapter Four in this volume).

Reducing the scope of policymaking: economic liberalization and decentralization Parallel to the process of democratization, the public sector in Mexico has considerably shrunk. On the one hand, government spending as a percentage of gross domestic product has come down dramatically. On the other hand, and also partly a result of the new priorities set by the rising politicians of the 1980s, the number of public enterprises decreased remarkably by the end of the past century (from over 1,000 in 1982 to less than 200 by the mid-1990s). The previous phenomena have come hand in hand with an increase in the prominence of local governments (see Chapter Nine, this volume). By the beginning of the 1980s, both money and policy responsibilities were still substantially concentrated on the federal government; in 1982, for example, 90.7% of public expenditure was spent at the federal level, while only the remaining 9.3% was spent by states and municipalities. However, in 1983, a reform to the national Constitution gave way to a process of decentralization that granted municipal governments a set of specific attributions and its corresponding monetary resources. In 1992 state governments were tasked with the operation and administration of public education, and in 1996 they were also incorporated into the provision of health services through the transfer of human resources and infrastructure. Thus, by the end of the 20th century, the federal government had significantly reduced its scope of action for policymaking. This does not mean its capacity has been reduced, but rather that it is now more focused and that in many cases it requires coordination with subnational governments. This has also created a need for new instruments for policymaking, such as regulation, coordination and economic incentives, different from the traditional command-and-control or direct ownership.

34

Policy analysis in the Mexican federal government

Creating a new accountability regime and a results-oriented public administration The political changes depicted above have been followed by the evolution of a new accountability regime. Transparency, auditing, and monitoring and evaluation are all notorious areas in which the Mexican federal government has propelled normative changes, which have prompted the creation of new institutions and therefore have started to produce new practices (Pardo, 2010; Morales, 2014). By the end of the Ernesto Zedillo administration in 2000, Congress passed the Federal Superior Auditing Law and created an autonomous institution called the Superior Audit of the Federation. This agency periodically oversees public expenditures and also makes its reviews available to the public. Only two years later, under the Vicente Fox administration, Congress passed the Federal Law of Transparency and Access to Public Government Information. This law has been a useful instrument in limiting discretion in relation to government data and information, and has made citizen access to official documentation much easier. Since its enactment, every federal agency has created an office entirely devoted to citizens’ information requests. Information about the way each office works and their use of public resources was also made available through websites. In 2014 a new constitutional amendment reinforced the transparency regime and created a new, constitutionally autonomous body: the National Institute of Access to Public Information. Additional changes approved by the legislature have further transformed the accountability system and have had even greater impact on policy analysis. In 2004, Congress passed the General Law of Social Development (LGDS). Again, this gave way to the creation of a new institution: the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Coneval). This council is responsible for all evaluations regarding the design, impact and performance of social programs at the federal level (see Chapter Five, this volume). Administrative mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that the findings of said evaluations are considered in decision-making processes. Additionally, in 2006, the Budget and Fiscal Responsibility Law formally established a national Performance Evaluation System. The Ministry of Finance now has the responsibility of making sure that policies are associated with indicators designed to monitor their results. All the information generated by the Performance Evaluation System is now expected to inform budgetary decisions (Castro et al, 2009). In 2008, various constitutional reforms sought a shift in the federal administration by making results the focus of the policy process, establishing an homogenous accounting system, fostering the use of indicators for policy assessment, and requiring technical evaluations for public programs. As a result of all the previous developments, Mexico’s accountability regime is considerably different from what it was 15 years ago and it is increasingly focused on the results of policies. Public policies are now under the scrutiny of an autonomous auditing agency; by law, there must be updated information on their performance and results; and their 35

Policy analysis in Mexico

evaluation is systematic and periodic. As I will explain next, this has had a direct effect on policymaking across all areas and issues.

Making policy analysis under old planning rules Perhaps the most immediate effect of all these changes in the way policy analysis is done in the Mexican federal government is the breaking up of the monopoly over the policymaking process the executive enjoyed before the democratization process. As other chapters in this same volume show, new actors got involved in policy analysis: Congress, political parties, academia, civil society organizations, and so on. Within the federal government, these new voices had to be accommodated and taken into account. The executive is no longer a sole decision maker, but a central player in the policy game, in which the legislature and the judiciary have a say, the former by legislating and allocating budgets, and the latter by expanding the scope of rights and setting new limits to policy instruments. It is also a game in which other political parties have a say, either by competing with alternative policies or bargaining over the details of policymaking. Finally, it is a game in which civil society organizations, academia and think tanks have a say on those problems that must be addressed and the types of solution that must be considered, even during the decision and implementation stages. Without a political monopoly, the executive had to change the way it structured its operation. At least since the 1970s, planning, programming and controlling were done in a centralized logic: based on a central plan, budgets were allocated and programs implemented and evaluated (Torres, 1999). In 1976, given the inefficacy of the three ministries created to guide the central planning system—Ministry of Finance, Ministry of the Presidency and Ministry of Planning—the López Portillo administration championed a major restructuring of the bureaucratic apparatus (Pardo, 1991). The reform created the Ministry of Programming and Budgeting. The new ministry was to be in charge of both expenditure and planning for “development”. It would create a National Development Plan (Plan Nacional de Desarrollo, or PND) from which all government programs and their objectives would emerge (Torres, 1999, pp 70-1). In 1983, planning in this logic was enshrined in the Constitution and the corresponding law was promulgated. Of course, central planning has never really worked, but the normative and administrative framework for its operation remains in place. The logic of central planning was compatible with a context of limited plurality, electoral competition, and checks and balances, although it no longer is with the political system Mexico has today. The PND is always presented as consensual, which is not a problem rooted on the plan itself but on the way the National Democratic Planning System is designed. Mexico repeats the same rite every six years: forums and consultations are held (sometimes even online), and politicians, public servants, specialists and citizens “offer” their opinions in order to construct a document intended to reflect the sum of individual wills, to articulate a national project and to serve as a guiding instrument for public management, 36

Policy analysis in the Mexican federal government

all at once. Still, the logic of the planning system corresponds to a logic that is now anachronistic: pluralism makes evident that there are no national consensuses or shared priorities; checks and balances reduce the capacity of the president to actually articulate all the necessary norms, budgets and administrative forces to fulfill any objectives in the PND; and the reactivation of federalism shows that every objective and strategy requires negotiation and coordination with actors that are no longer under the control of the federal executive. In the context of a rapidly changing society, the actions in the PND soon become outdated. Any unitary national project seeking to guide and give coherence to state activities requires authoritarian control and a stable, closed economy to work. (Aguilar, 1996, p 26). As a result, Mexico’s planning system not only undercuts the attributions of Congress, but also simulates coherence and consensus: the former because it is hardly the case that every expenditure and administrative act is rooted in the PND; the latter because in the context of pluralism and democracy, the contents of the plan will scarcely reflect national agreements on value hierarchies or choices regarding the government’s instruments. As a result of the lack of coherence, the same plan that is meant to guide public policy is actually disconnected from actual government actions and thus does not follow the logic of accountability. Therefore, citizens cannot question government as to whether resources were spent and authority was exercised according to the priorities set by the PND or not. Still, bureaucrats operate as if planning were the starting point of all government actions. Public expenditure is assumed to be linked to PND aims; each program is presented as oriented towards some PND goal, and control, evaluation and auditing mechanisms all seek to determine whether programs, agencies and servants have contributed to any PND objectives. This entails two complications. First, the Planning Law and the PND may help in guiding politicians’ actions, but citizens cannot really demand the fulfillment of their objectives (plus, any failure may be attributed to many reasons). Second, accountability is inevitably incomplete: plans do not associate any concrete promises to any specific servants or any unequivocal, measurable outcomes, and thus monitoring, evaluating, controlling and auditing their fulfillment, improving performance or delivering sanctions is difficult, if not impossible. As a result, there is now a mismatch between the way planning/programming offices in each ministry carry out their work, and the logic of policy analysis fostered by the monitoring and evaluation system. Budgeting and most internal control procedures worked under the old planning paradigm, whereas many decisions are actually made outside this framework. There is, thus, a new logic of policy analysis under old rules for planning.

37

Policy analysis in Mexico

Policy analysis as evaluation Since planning has not served as the initial moment for policy analysis, the development of a relatively sophisticated monitoring and evaluation system in the federal government has filled the void, at least in the social policy sector. This system has two main actors: the Coneval and the Ministry of Finance. Together they have developed monitoring and evaluation mechanisms that have forced many agencies to answer basic policy analysis questions that, for a long time, were not even asked: What is the problem being solved? Who is the target population? What is the expected outcome? There are routine performance evaluations for all public programs, as well as specific evaluations about their design and implementation. There are even questions about the complementarities among policies. In analyzing complementarity among federal programs, specialists are asked to evaluate the objectives, target population, type of goods and geographic coverage defined by each one to determine which coincide or complement each other. This exercise is expected to serve in the assessment of policy coherence. Indeed, in recent years, Coneval has coordinated “integral performance evaluations”, which seek to provide “a strategic perspective on policy instruments related to attention towards social problems” (Coneval, 2012, p 4). Among other things, these evaluations analyze whether programs under the same category are relevant in terms of their design to solve a particular problem, in order to identify any similarities and possible complementarities (Coneval, 2012, p 4). The evaluations entail an analysis of the target population of each of the programs related to each topic area and of their relevance as instruments to solve their corresponding problem. These are one of the tools that Coneval (and the country overall) has to analyze government actions by actually doing policy analysis.1

1

38

Some policy analysis is also carried out across areas, in the interministerial committees. For instance, the Comisión Intersecretarial de Desarrollo Social (CIDS) was created in an effort to foster coherence in policy design and implementation. This commission seeks to coordinate all actions taken by the executive in order to guarantee that the design and execution of the national development policy is integral (see the General Law of Social Development [LGDS], article 51). It is in charge of determining the amount of social expenditure to appear on the first draft of the federal expenditure budget. It is headed by the Minister of Social Development and most of the other ministers have a seat in it (except for those in charge of public security and justice). Still, even though its decisions are mandatory, all agreements tend to only stay on paper and are usually irrelevant to the objectives of social policy (Acosta, 2010, p 176). This is probably because the agreements that matter tend to be forged within the social cabinet, in which the president takes part and whose structure is more vertical and therefore more compatible with the Mexican bureaucracy (Acosta, 2010, p 176).

Policy analysis in the Mexican federal government

We can therefore argue that the planning and evaluation systems both try to guarantee congruence among the Mexican government’s actions since they guide budget allocation (LGDS, article 30). In theory, from a vertical point of view, Mexico’s PND aligns the government’s actions to its strategies and purposes. Simultaneously, programs are supposed to contribute to those goals, strategies and purposes and are evaluated in those terms. What is missing is what is really needed to beget coherence in public policy: the definition of the problem that justifies the form of state intervention (see Figure 3.1).

The limits of policy analysis in the federal government The institutional context in which the Mexican systems for planning, coordination, evaluation and results-based budgeting are immersed confer the illusion that all public policy is based on sound diagnostics and evidence,

Figure 3.1: The Mexican planning and evaluation system

National Development Plan Action Objective Strategy Public problem that justifies the creation of programs that finance productive activities Program A objective

Program B objective

Public Program A

Public Program B

Source: Author’s own elaboration.

39

Policy analysis in Mexico

based on which decision makers define which programs are pertinent and how much money they should be allotted. There is evidence that these instruments (performance evaluations, results-based budgeting) are helpful in the assessment of indicators and their usefulness in measuring results and evaluating programs, which provides agencies in charge of oversight, evaluation and auditing with helpful information for decision making and therefore allows for an effective control over government expenditure. The creation of a Performance Evaluation System, results and management indicators for a great proportion of government programs, and evaluation practices and processes in the federal administration all signal important advancements (González, 2010). However, the evidence is mixed. On the one hand, some government areas exhibit solid evaluations and programs that attend to their recommendations while providing information on their expenditure and their accomplishments. Programs like Prospera (a conditional cash transfer program formerly known as Oportunidades) have been consistently evaluated using a variety of research questions and methodologies, which has shed light on the way they work, the objectives they meet and the impact they have. On the other hand, many other programs are not grounded on solid evidence and, at best, are guided by good intentions, but still lack information on their starting and ending points. Making budgetary decisions based on results and evidence is challenging when programs do not rely on information to justify their design, define a casual mechanism that allows thinking their results are attainable, or assign responsibility to specific actors so that they can be held accountable in the future. In 2015 GESOC—a civil society organization specialized in open government and policy evaluation—found that almost a quarter of the social programs of the federal government have not properly identified their target population (GESOC, 2015, p 10).

Conclusion Policy analysis in the Mexican federal government if markedly different from what it was in the last years of the 20th century. New actors are involved in decision making: legislators have a say in policy analysis through new laws, budgetary allocations and political pressure; media and civil society organizations influence the type of problems being addressed and the options that are on the table for solving them. Analysis is carried out by bureaucracies that are relatively more professional, more transparent and subject to scrutiny (both internal and external). Alternation in power in the federal executive, political pluralism in Congress and the vertical division of power across levels of governments have broken the monopoly over the policy process enjoyed by the president and his party. This is not to say that policy analysis is more effective. Indeed, the set of rules and procedures that shape the way policy analysis takes place in the Mexican federal government has not been enough to make sure that decisions, implementation and controls regarding policy design and implementation are all oriented towards 40

Policy analysis in the Mexican federal government

quality and efficacy. Instead, both the anecdotal evidence gathered by the press and the systematic analysis of the norms that guide the budgetary cycle (López Ayllón and Fierro, 2010), the regressive nature of social policy (Scott, 2011a), the quality of expenditure (Elizondo, 2012), the use of public resources, and the effectiveness of concrete programs (GESOC, 2015) show there is still great room for improvement in the way resources are being put to work. Public debate and political discussion show that quality of expenditure is falling behind in spite of the efforts to control and improve it. One example reveals the dimensions of this problem: as Scott has documented, the amount of regressive social programs is such that it reverses the effect of those programs that are progressive, so that, on average, public expenditure ends up being regressive. Almost twice as many resources are devoted to the richest decile of the population as are invested on the poorest (Scott, 2011b, pp 50-1). In Mexico, the logic of policy analysis still coexists (and competes) with the previous paradigm of central planning. How can we move forward so that policy analysis in the federal government will be more oriented towards solving concrete problems? The answer is not to stop planning, but to move from what Aguilar (1996) called “government by planning”—the logic of one planning system (with its corresponding sectorial, institutional and operational programs)—to the new results-oriented paradigm based on sophisticated policy analysis. Under this new scheme, policy design would respond to clear diagnostics and evidence, define concrete objectives and responsibilities, and establish measurable, enforceable goals. This design would then be the basis of planning (What should be done to implement the policy?), budgeting (Which resources will be used to finance the policy?), evaluation (Which results did the policy get?), and accountability (Who is responsible for the outcomes? Did they follow the established criteria?). But this is not an easy task for the federal government. Decades of laws and regulations still guide decision making under the logic of central planning, by linking programming and budgeting to the National Development Plan, by monitoring and auditing performance (whether by the Ministry of Public Administration or the Supreme Audit Institution) not in terms of results but with emphasis on compliance, and by creating accountability mechanisms geared towards controlling procedures and expenditures rather than outcomes. The newly created institutions and routines of policy evaluation (such as Coneval, or the Performance Evaluation System) promote a different logic: policy analysis oriented toward problem solving, focused on results and with a strong emphasis on policy design. This is a logic that is more in tune to the political dynamics of contemporary Mexico: pluralism, political competitions, checks and balances, federalism. But is it a logic that still requires deliberate interventions to prevail over the previous paradigm of central planning.

41

Policy analysis in Mexico

References Acosta, F. (2010) ‘La evaluación de la política social en México: avances recientes, tareas pendientes y dilemas persistentes’, Papeles de Población, vol 16, no 64, pp 155-88. Aguilar, L. (1996) ‘Estudio introductorio’, in L. Aguilar (ed) El Estudio de las Políticas Públicas, Mexico City: Miguel Ángel Porrúa, pp 15-74. Cabrero, E. (2000) ‘Usos y costumbres en la hechura de políticas públicas en México. Límites de las policy sciences en contextos cultural y políticamente diferentes’, Gestión y Política Pública, vol 9, no 2, pp 180-229. Castro, M.F., López-Acevedo, G., Beker Busjeet, G. and Fernández Ordoñez, X. (2009) Mexico’s M&E System: Scaling up from the Sectoral to the National Level, Evaluation Capacity Development Working Paper Series, No. ECD 20, Washington, DC: World Bank. Cejudo, G. (2008) ‘Explaining change in the Mexican public sector: the limits of New Public Management’, International Review of Administrative Sciences, vol 74, no 1, pp 111-27. Cejudo, G. (2015) ‘Public administration in Latin America: adaptation to a new democratic reality’, in A. Massey and K. Johnston (eds) The International Handbook of Public Administration and Governance, London: Edward Elgar, pp 247-70. Centeno, M.A. (1994) Democracy within Reason: Technocratic Revolution in Mexico, Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Coneval (Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social) (2012) Evaluación Integral del Desempeño de los Programas Federales de Financiamiento de Actividades Productivas 2010, Mexico City: CONEVAL. Dussauge, M. (2008) ‘Paradoxes of public sector reform: the Mexican experience (2000– 2007)’, International Public Management Review, vol 9, no 1, pp 56-75. Elizondo, C. (2012) Con Dinero y sin Dinero: Nuestro Ineficaz Precario e Injusto Equilibrio Fiscal, Mexico City: Debate. GESOC (2015) ‘Índice de desempeño de los programas públicos federales 2015’, www.indep.gesoc.org.mx/files/Resumen_Ejecutivo_INDEP_2015.pdf (accessed 13 December 2015). González, J. (2010) ‘La evaluación de la actividad gubernamental: premisas básicas y algunas anotaciones sobre la experiencia mexicana’, in J.L. Méndez (ed) Los Grandes Problemas de México, Vol. XIII, Mexico City: El Colegio de México, pp 143-76. Grindle, M. (1977) Bureaucrats, Politicians and Peasants in Mexico: A Case Study in Public Policy, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. López Ayllón, S. (2012) ‘El marco normativo de la transparencia y el acceso a la información en México’, in G. Cejudo, S. López Ayllón and A. Ríos-Cázares (eds) La Política de Transparencia en México: Instituciones, Logros y Desafíos, Mexico City: CIDE, ch 1.

42

Policy analysis in the Mexican federal government

López Ayllón, S. and Fierro, A.E. (2010) ‘El ciclo del uso de los recursos públicos en el ordenamiento jurídico mexicano’, in M. Merino, S. López Ayllón and G. Cejudo (eds) La Estructura de la Rendición de Cuentas, Mexico City: CIDE/ UNAM/IIJ, pp 487-522. Mendez, J.L. (2010) ‘El servicio profesional de carrera en la administración pública federal’ in J.L. Méndez (ed) Los Grandes Problemas de México, Vol. XIII, Mexico City: El Colegio de México, pp 179-205. Merino, M. (2003) La Transición Votada. Crítica a la Interpretación del Cambio Político en México, Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica. Morales, L. (ed) (2014) Rendición de Cuentas: Una Propuesta de Normas, Instituciones y Participación Ciudadana, Mexico City: CIDE. Oszlak, O. (1986) ‘Public policies and political regimes in Latin America’, International Social Science Journal, 38, pp 219-36. Pardo, M. (1991) La Modernización Administrativa en México: Propuesta para Explicar los Cambios en la Estructura de la Administración Pública, 1940–1990, Mexico City: INAP/El Colegio de México. Pardo, M. (2010) ‘Los mecanismos de rendición de cuentas en el ámbito ejecutivo de gobierno’, in M. Merino, S. López Ayllón and G. Cejudo (eds) La Estructura de la Rendición de Cuentas, Mexico City: CIDE/UNAM/IIJ, pp 29-86. Rossi, P., Freeman, H. and Lipsey, M. (1979) Evaluation: A systematic approach, London: Sage. Scott, J. (2011a) ‘Gasto público para la equidad: del estado excluyente hacia un estado de bienestar universal’, in Programas, Presupuesto y Gasto Público en México, ¿Gastamos para Mejorar?, Mexico City: México Evalúa. Scott, J. (2011b) ‘Gasto público y desarrollo humano en México: análisis de incidencia y equidad’, in Estudios sobre Desarrollo Humano, México 2011, Mexico City: PNUD. Torres, E. (1999) Bureaucracy and Politics in Mexico: The Case of the Secretariat of Programming and Budgeting, Aldershot: Ashgate.

43

FOUR

Policy analysis and bureaucratic capacity in the federal government Jesus F. Hernández-Galicia and David Arellano-Gault In modern democratic governments, public policies are a way of solving society’s “fundamental problems” (Lasswell, 1971), and to achieve this, policy analysis is a prerequisite. Public policies are a feature that involves interdisciplinary openness, the use of methods for the analysis of key information, risk assessment, the systematic definition of alternatives, and the ability to predict a variety of scenarios with a focus on solutions (Weimer and Vining, 2010). The logic of a government that acts and decides according to a series of mysterious criteria (arcana imperii), a reason of state only understood by and revealed to a few top leaders, has no place in a pluralistic democracy—except in extremely restricted areas such as national security (Rodríguez, 2009). Nowadays, there is even talk of a reliance on evidence-based public policies, which involves, at least partly, groups and actors seeking to influence public policy through various political strategies such as debate, deliberation and discussion of societal problems and solutions. This wave of governing by public policy has had an impact on the world stage, and Mexico has been no exception to the changes it has brought (Cabrero, 2000). The transition to democracy in Mexico opened up the political arena to many actors with diverse interests. Although government bureaucracies are still accustomed to understanding governance as clientelism and patrimonialism— characteristic of the authoritarian regime that dominated the country for so many years—it is striking that, at least at the federal level, governments and their bureaucracies have been swiftly transformed into spheres for the sophisticated management of organizations and policies. All this has taken place within a framework of pluralism and political conflict, in a context where laws such as those on transparency and access to information, or the fight against corruption, are building a far more complex, open and even chaotic political arena. In this context, management skills and the political and administrative handling of bureaucracies are essential. Without bureaucracies with sophisticated management and solid policy analysis, a government is unlikely to be able to stand its ground within a political dynamic of this nature. In this respect, the purpose of this chapter is precisely to understand and study the emerging bureaucratic skills being developed at the federal level to undertake policy analysis in Mexico. These skills are still being built, so it is important to study the process that is beginning to take shape. Indeed, it is essential to study the challenges Mexican bureaucracy is facing in order to advance a strategically planned systematic structure of policy analysis skills. To this end, first, a literature 45

Policy analysis in Mexico

review was undertaken to identify some of the key capacities and skills required for a bureaucracy to be regarded as competent in public policy analysis. Second, two surveys were conducted, one administered to all middle and senior public administration managers—from department heads to general directors—and the other focusing on units specializing in public policy analysis. The current characteristics of Mexican federal bureaucracy were identified, together with the challenges faced by bureaucrats in translating the results of policy analysis into actions and programs for implementation. Later, we discuss how the various activities and skills of civil servants, whose working practices are often ineffectual as a result of political inertia, could be formalized to help the extensive bureaucratic apparatus operate more effectively. The chapter consists of four sections. The first briefly describes the development and structure of the federal bureaucracy in recent decades; the second provides an outline of skills in the federal bureaucracy; the third analyzes and describes the tasks undertaken by civil servants engaged in policy analysis; and the fourth provides some conclusions.

Bureaucratic capacity in the Mexican public sector: characteristics and evolution in recent decades A prerequisite for the proper functioning of policy analysis is the existence of a robust bureaucratic capacity, understood as “the ability of senior members of a bureaucracy to implement desired actions” (Huber and McCarty, 2004, p 482). The difference between designing policies and translating them into reality in a pluralistic world, with scant resources and dense social dynamics and logics, is, undoubtedly, significant in any contemporary political environment. A bureaucratic actor is an actor in every sense of the word, and therefore plays a key role in the actual effects produced by any government action. His political and strategic skill, persuasiveness and technical and operational capacity are, therefore, revealed as substantive, not only for mechanically implementing the processes established in the design, but also for interpreting them, building them in terms of action, viability and concrete possibility according to the circumstances, and coping with the perennial vicissitudes of contingency and uncertainty, characteristic of the reality of government in a democracy. In the case of Mexico, tracking policy analysis is an issue that has only yielded results in recent decades. After a lengthy period of dominance of cliques, caciques and corporatist dynamics—narrow polical networks among the workers’, peasants’ and social sectors (Guerrero, 1990)—used to gain access to senior positions with the backing of the ruling party, the late 20th century saw the strengthening of a new group of more highly trained bureaucrats,1 described by some as technocrats 1

46

Although the terms functionary and civil servant have distinct connotations, in this chapter we use them for the purposes of readability as a synonym for bureaucrat (except in cases where the opposite is explicitly stated).

Policy analysis and bureaucratic capacity in the federal government

(Arnold, 1989; Meyer, 1995). This nomenclature mainly referred to professionals and economists who had graduated from American universities (many of which were Ivy League schools), who began to secure high positions in the central public administration—especially in the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit and the Bank of Mexico (equivalent to the US Federal Reserve Bank)—and the state-run enterprise sector. The Mexican technocrat was defined as an individual with specialized knowledge of “how to optimally manage collective wealth” (Meyer, 1995, p 102). Lindau (1992) identified this change in hiring highlyqualified personnel in the federal government. In 1989, 47.8% of executive branch officials—referred to in the Diccionario Biográfico del Gobierno Mexicano—held graduate degrees, with two out of three of them having obtained these abroad. The statistic is significant, if one considers that in 1990, less than 42.1% of the population over the age of 15 had completed elementary education (Lindau, 1992; Meyer, 1995). According to Ai Camp (1996), the executive branch—particularly in the 1990s— introduced a new profile of top bureaucrats because of its power as a sponsor and the characteristics of its hirers, who preferred to choose officials with the same profiles as their own or the characteristics they considered most valuable. The new hiring patterns facilitated the strengthening of the incipient policy analysis in Mexico. The growing permanence of the most highly-trained bureaucrats in positions of power inevitably led to the use of methods for decision making and analysis based on information and knowledge. The need to optimize the use of scarce resources to provide public goods and services, coupled with liberalization of the economy as a result of Mexico’s entry to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the North American Free Trade Agreement, required the development of more a highly-skilled sector of bureaucrats with better analytical tools for governmental decision making. The complication of managing scarce resources after downsizing the state (Aguilar, 1992), together with power switching in government, led to attempts to institutionalize the process of hiring civil servants. In 2003, the Federal Law of Professional Career Service in Federal Public Administration (LFSPC) was passed. The regulatory framework constituted a step towards strengthening the process of recruitment to the administrative apparatus—the Mexican president’s main management instrument, responsible for designing, implementing and monitoring policies. The law’s sphere of influence would be located within administrative positions, from general directors to liaison officers (so-called enlaces) within each state secretariat (the equivalent of ministries or bureaus in other countries). However, despite the demand for better-trained bureaucrats, results have been limited. The LFSPC originally planned to subject to public tender, and evaluate, 62,000 positions in the federal administration. By 2010, however, only 35,689 such posts out of a total of 1,698,000 public positions had been registered—in other words, only 2.11% of all public posts (Merino, 2012). These figures are alarming, since they may indicate that for the most part government is not working according to a merit-based system of skilled public 47

Policy analysis in Mexico

sector professionals, but instead operates under a spoils system, whereby the governing party dispenses jobs to its supporters. Consequently, bureaucracy, rather than being perceived as an institutional resource for ensuring the stability and continuity of public programs and policies from one administration to the next, continues to function as a system of clientelist employment (Echebarría, 2006), at best professional in some parts yet highly politicized (Arellano, 2008). However, further analysis is required to be able to evaluate the existing capacity of public administration. Bureaucratic structure of Mexico’s public administration In Mexico, the Constitution establishes a presidential regime based on the federal executive. The president is therefore head of state and the chief of public administration. He determines the orientation of public policies, has regulatory powers in the administrative sphere and controls the centralized public administration and administrative process (secretariats of state and administrative departments) and state firms—agencies with legal rights and obligations, and their own assets, that perform an essential function or activity for the public sector. The president has authority over the secretariats of state, which are ranked equally regardless of the activities or sector in which they specialize. Internally, the main components of the formal organizational structure of each secretariat are as follows (source LOAPF, art. 14): • State secretary, responsible for setting, guiding and controlling the policy of the secretariat and the agencies of the sector he heads. He also plans, coordinates, evaluates and approves programs in accordance with the applicable legislation. • Under-secretary and general coordinator, responsible for running the administrative units assigned to them according to the policies and guidelines provided by the state secretary. They may vary in number, according to the sector, and they have the capacity to enter into contracts and agreements concerning the exercise of their functions within the secretariat. This group of senior officials and the state secretary make the most important public policy decisions. These decisions are based on the products, information and analyses developed at the lower levels of the hierarchical structure (Figure 4.1). • Senior officer, responsible for submitting internal studies, projects and agreements to the state secretary for approval. He ensures that administrative units act according to the corresponding regulatory framework. He establishes guidelines for the management of financial, material and human resources. All the roles at these three levels are politically appointed positions. • General director and subordinate administrative unit. This group comprises the bulk of workers in each secretariat. This is the main area where policy analysis takes place, and where specific information for analyzing public intervention alternatives is generated. General directors, deputy directors (homologous to the general director), directors, assistant directors, heads of department and 48

Policy analysis and bureaucratic capacity in the federal government

liaison officials are the main positions comprising the middle and low levels of public administration. Each of these functionaries heads a unit responsible for helping with and collaborating in the activities required for the operation, planning, monitoring, evaluation and design of public policies in each sector. In theory, they are part of the Professional Career Service, which seeks to make this group more meritocratic and place it outside the patterns of the spoils system; however, this is still a rather limited, hit-and-miss process. • Operating personnel. These officials form the largest group and are the administration’s main form of labor in terms of policy implementation. Every public good or service is produced or provided by this group, whose members interact directly with the beneficiaries. They are usually unionized, and are part of an extremely opaque, clientelist, corporate apparatus. This hierarchy represents the formal organic structure of a secretariat of state. Nevertheless, it is important to mention that this bureaucratic structure can also be seen in terms of informal organizational dynamics, whose characteristics can be classified according to the type of roles, responsibilities, decision-making powers, degree of discretionary power and type of recruitment/designation of each official within the administration (Figure 4.1). The existence of a bureaucratic organization, obviously, assumes a division of labor in terms of a complex functional hierarchy—that can be separated into a formal and informal framework, as happens in reality, with flexible spaces and rules that are not necessarily bound by the formal framework—in which each position has specific roles according to a series of technical expertise, routines and procedures for achieving certain objectives (Merino, 2013). In this respect, although it would be possible to draw up a more complex classification of informal functional levels comprising a secretariat of state, in general terms, three levels can be identified—according to Lindquist’s classification (Lindquist and Desveaux, 1998)—in which the administrative units of each sector interact.2 At the highest level of the organic hierarchy are the posts with political characteristics and functions. These posts have the greatest power and authority in every sector of the administration. They are awarded through a designation process in which party, friendship, patronage, sponsorship and cooptation links play a key role given the preeminence of the trust factor between these officials and the clique linked to the president (Ai Camp, 1996). The politician is an “immediate decider” (Lindquist and Desveaux, 1998). The intermediate level consists of a broad range of bureaucrats, “knowledge brokers”, who can perform both political and strictly administrative functions— functions that can range from management and training agreements to complex tasks of analyzing and defining public policy alternatives. This group of bureaucrats 2

The nomenclature proposed is not absolute nor do any of these roles exclude others. On the contrary, they are juxtaposed, dynamic functions in which the same subject can cover another function according to his know-how or accumulated experience at different times. 49

Policy analysis in Mexico

may be appointed or recruited through a meritocratic selection process—according to the Professional Career Service Law— because their knowledge is fundamental to the organization (Vergara, 2010). Within this range, there is also a subset of officials who undertake support and consultancy activities, and are hired for their professional services. This subgroup often engages in cross-sectoral collaboration with hierarchies and has (far-sighted) knowledge about the consequences that may occur as a result of different action alternatives (Dobuzinskis et al, 2007), meaning that they are crucial to the policy analysis process. Lastly, the base of the pyramid consists of street-level bureaucrats, who mainly perform administrative work or implement policies through window service. The operating bureaucrat is an actor with the “administrative activities and skills to perform the actions envisaged” (Dobuzinski et al, 2007). This level is the basis of public administration and constitutes the group with the most interaction with the end user of goods and services. At this level, hiring may occur through designation, merit or outsourcing channels since there is less need for high technical expertise in comparison with positions on the intermediate level of the pyramid. Generally speaking, however, these positions are tied to union structures corporatized in the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) under a clientelist and legal political logic that makes them immovable. Workers in these positions are unlikely to participate in decision making because middle and upper managers have a low degree of confidence in (and control over) them. These three categories—which coincide with Lindquist’s classification and are crucial for policy analysis—are those that, in some way, affect the government’s capacity to identify problems; determine methods of analysis; establish causal theories or theories of damage; define forms of public intervention within a series of clarified rational causal assumptions; and, lastly, implement the decisions made.

Figure 4.1: Roles of the bureaucratic structure in the secretariats of state

Political level

Administrative level

Stree-level-bureaucracy

50

– Secretaries – Under-Secretaries – General coordinators – Director General – Director – Assistant Directors – Head of Department – Liaison – Objective

Policy analysis and bureaucratic capacity in the federal government

The advantage of identifying the relationship between the formal organic structure of a department and its informal functional roles is that it makes it possible to roughly identify the spaces in which policy analysis is developed. In this case, the intermediate sector (administrative) is the most interesting one, both because of the hiring process functionaries undergo, and the diversity of skills and technical knowledge demanded of every administrative unit according to the sector involved. Identifying these roles makes it possible to locate the bureaucracy’s skills and the way it affects state capacity and “the state’s ability to devise and implement public policies even against the will of the leading social actors” (Huber, 1989). This empirical exercise is the subject of the next section.

Overall profile of the federal administration Bureaucracy, in a fundamental sense, is a system of public employment subject to precise standards of hiring (with a quantitative and qualitative dimension). These dimensions can, empirically, help to explain the extent to which it is capable of ensuring the implementation of the policies and values promoted by a democratic society (Echebarría, 2006). From a quantitative approach, in terms of the volume of public employment in Mexico, the human resources of the federal administration are extensive and have grown at an accumulated rate of 1.3% over the past four years (Table 4.1). Of these, approximately 80,000 are regarded as decision-making positions. Table 4.1: Positions occupied in the centralized federal public administration They are the “middle and senior managers” who cannot be unionized (since, to a Year Total number of positions filled certain extent, they form part of the 2011 1,100,951 administration’s management and political 2012 1,100,767 corps). Some of these (approximately 36,000) belong to the Professional Career 2013 1,110,158 Service; the others may be removed from 2014 1,115,548 office if their superior so decides. It is on Source: Authors’ own elaboration, based on Presupuesto de this small, but important, sub-sector of the egresos de la federación [based on budget of federal spending] bureaucracy that we will focus, because of 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Analysis of positions by area. the subject of this chapter. Size is a useful yet insufficient indicator for undertaking a diagnosis of bureaucratic capacity in policy analysis. It is therefore essential to explore some of the qualitative dimensions regarding the technical and training characteristics of what we have identified as the administrative strip in the public sector. In order to explore the dynamics of this sector of Mexican bureaucracy, which already appears to have the capacity for strategic analysis, two surveys were carried out. The first was conducted by sending an electronic survey to the middle and senior managers of the centralized federal public administration and state enterprises (the second survey will be discussed later). The definition of the sample had an element of anonymous self-selection, since the questionnaire was sent to the 51

Policy analysis in Mexico

institutional email accounts of 78,827 functionaries. The response rate was only 3.33% (2,482), meaning that the estimates generated cannot be extrapolated to define the characteristics of the population of interest (Arellano and Hernández, 2014). However, it is possible to provide a sketch of the profile and capacities of the federal bureaucracy at the middle level (Figure 4.1).3 With regard to the respondents’ characteristics, 34.7% declared that their primary function within the public sector consists of “administration, responsibilities and management” tasks; 22.6% undertake “the analysis of information and scenarios”; 8.2% are involved with the “development of programs and policies”; 7.4% focus on implementation stages; and the rest have other activities. Likewise, one out of three (33.8%) claimed to be certified as a member of the Professional Career Service. The remainder declared that they were either not certified or unaware of their status. These latest figures shed light on the ineffectiveness of the Professional Career Service. Regarding the respondents’ educational profile, 93% reported having a university degree (with 37.4% holding a Master’s or graduate degree and 9% a doctorate). There is a striking preponderance of graduates from disciplines with quantitative approaches, since one in three (30.7%) majored in economics, finance, actuarial science or a branch of engineering. The following disciplines, in order of frequency, are management and law. As for the acquisition of the competencies and skills used in their work for the federal government, 46.3% reported that they acquired them through direct work experience; 34.6% attributed them to vocational training; and two out of 10 said that they had achieved them through self-study. On the other hand, the most common sources of information pertinent to respondents’ work in the Mexican public sector were—in order of importance— academic books and journals, reports by non-governmental organizations, newspapers, internet news sites and lastly, radio and television. Likewise, respondents were asked how often they looked for “theories, ideas or academic/ university arguments to support a decision or help solve problems” related to their work in the Mexican government. In this regard, one in four stated that they did so “very often” or “often”; two of every three reported that they did so “rarely”; while 6% said that they only did so as a last resort. Survey participants were asked to what extent the tools and cognitive elements of various disciplines helped them to perform their duties. The fields that were most helpful in dealing with adverse situations were—in order of importance— administration, public policy, economics, law and organizational studies. On a more detailed level, respondents were asked, according to their functions in the public sector, to indicate a category that described how they linked research in administration and public policies to their work in each secretariat. The two most 3

52

This empirical exercise was originally developed for a project seeking to determine whether the academic research on administration and public policies is useful for government decision making. The research is available at www.cide.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Dossier_DAG-JHG. pdf .

Policy analysis and bureaucratic capacity in the federal government

Figure 4.2: Using academic arguments and evidence in the civil service % 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Direct involvement

Provides an intellectual basis for understanding problems

Helps provide a common language

Helps justify the decisions made

None

common replies were as follows (see Figure 4.2): 62% said it only served them as intellectual input for understanding complex problems or making decisions; while 15.5% stated that such content enabled them to justify decisions that had already been made. In the latter case, consulting information and robust studies does not constitute ex ante help in the decision-making process. Instead, it serves as an ancillary exercise, which seeks to give ex post legitimacy and argumentative strength to measures that have already been imposed. Of course, the high frequency of the latter figure is striking, since it contradicts the logic of policy analysis and the basic assumption of generating decisions based on robust information and knowledge. In the cases where administrators do use information and research to identify elements that facilitate the identification of scenarios and alternative solutions to public and administration problems, they were asked how civil servants supported their decisions in the public sector. They were asked what type of analysis or investigations they preferred on the basis of their usefulness. In general, the sample tended to prefer contemporary case studies, policy analyses and quantitative analyses, which they described as “very” or “quite” useful. The least important products were historical case studies, operations research and formal models (see Figure 4.3). Among the complex tasks involved in federal bureaucracy, one issue that often creates tension is the extent to which officials should be trained in, or rely on, advances in methodological and cognitive techniques produced by academia in the field of management and public policy. This, of course, is due to the fact that scientific and technological advances force civil servants to be highly trained to ensure the executive capacity of policy action. This tension arises precisely from the differences in the way the two groups approach the same problem. Researchers 53

Policy analysis in Mexico

Figure 4.3: Perceived usefulness of academic products Quantitative analyses Policy analysis Contemporary case studies Theoretical analyses Formal models Operations research Historical case studies 0 Not at all useful

500

1000 Not very useful

1500 Slightly useful

2000 Very useful

rely heavily on available information to develop proposals, design models and test hypotheses some time after an actual problem has emerged. Conversely, managers/practitioners are actors forced to cope with complex problems that require almost immediate solutions, for which it is impossible to have accurate or sufficient data for making a rational decision. Regarding this tension between academics’ and practitioners’ agendas, 82% of respondents declared that they were aware of this tension and the existence of a gap that affected the cooperation that is, undoubtedly, a precondition of policy analysis. As for the factors that explain the problems of collaboration to improve policies based on knowledge and information, the respondents cited the following: a problem of coordination for setting a common agenda among experts from academia and analysts, advisors and public sector managers with specific needs; little evidence of efforts by academia to immediately improve policy analysis; a perception that top-level officials do not regard as important the need to support their decisions with academic findings; and finally, a belief that seeking solutions to public policy issues in academic publications implies sifting through complex, arcane language that makes it difficult to translate theoretical-technical issues into concrete situations of implementation. Despite the limitations of the sample analyzed, it is possible to surmise that the bureaucracy that plays an administrative role usually has a minimum level of academic training that can provide it with basic skills and abilities for performing certain routine tasks according to a regulatory framework, but does not suffice for 54

Policy analysis and bureaucratic capacity in the federal government

policy analysis. Although there is no requirement to seek accreditation through the Professional Career Service, a minimum standard of professionalization has been established for the managers hired. However, this does not guarantee that bureaucrats possess the necessary qualifications for each position or function. This characteristic significantly compromises the maximum performance that bureaucracy—and the government—could achieve if the hiring process were indeed bound by the existing regulatory framework. Delving into the details of the capacities and skills of bureaucracy is a key issue for focusing on the administrative units that undertake policy analysis, but it is a task that goes far beyond the limits of this study. Nevertheless, in order to create an illustrative sketch, the following section contains a focused empirical exercise, which, with restrictions, provides an overview of how certain policy analysis units operate and the most common challenges of federal organizational dynamics.

Policy analysis in the federal administration: characteristics and challenges The purpose of policy analysis is to improve public management results through the systematic use of methodologies, information and knowledge oriented towards public problems (Lasswell, 1971; Howlett and Lindquist, 2010). For the government to accomplish this, it is essential to have properly trained bureaucrats in terms of education, experience and training—a context that permits the work of analyzing alternative solutions to problems, and receptivity to/consistency between the decisions made and the recommendations issued by the units responsible for policy analysis. The use of complex technical and methodological tools—drawn from law, economics, finance and organizational analysis, among other fields—implies being familiar with their use and having the necessary bureaucratic capacity to adapt them to the specifics of the issues/problems being addressed; the needs of the administrative unit seeking advice; the contingencies of each issue; the characteristics of organizational dynamics that frame the consultancy process; and the timing of the policy process in accordance with the institutions and their functioning. In short, these mixed factors determine a specific policy analysis style that will have a level of effectiveness according to the capacities of the bureaucracy, its institutional strength, the type of organization, and the analysts’ power of advocacy/persuasion in the decision-making process (Cabrero, 2000). Following the categories of Howlett and Lindquist (2010), it is possible to identify three types of policy analysis advisor in federal administration. First, there are the in-house advisors who work full time in the secretariats and whose only client is the public sector (secretaries, under-secretaries, cabinets of advisors and the units responsible for the programs in each subsector). Then there external consultants who work on the basis of a specific contract and only when necessary do they temporarily make use of highly specialized talent. Finally, to a lesser extent, there is the internal policy think tank, which, in practice, arises from the 55

Policy analysis in Mexico

rotation of personnel between the various units and areas of the secretariats. This involves a type of analyst who acquires training on the job and gains expertise and promotion within the bureaucratic apparatus as a result of staff changes. Since the purpose of this section is to outline the bureaucratic capacity for policy analysis, the following is only a description of some of the characteristics of the administrative units within the in-house system. Advisory units and policy analysis: an exploratory empirical exercise of policy analysis capacity Although in-house advisory units incur running costs for the public sector, they provide managers with a minimum level of worker capacity that incrementally adapts and improves. They also reduce the problems of opportunism, uncertainty and information asymmetry inherent in consultancies because they use hierarchical authority as a mechanism for the coordination and internal cohesion of the bureaucratic apparatus (Chibber, 2002). This is the system that predominates in the federal government. Each secretariat has technical units responsible for planning, investigating, discussing and generating alternatives or improvements to policies and programs within its sector. Characteristics, roles and collaboration in policy analysis The remit of the study was restricted in order to focus on the description of policy analysis capacities. A review of the organization manuals of each of the 16 secretariats and their respective organization charts identified 87 areas dedicated to the technical activities linked to policy analysis. In order to gain an overview of each sector, an online survey was distributed (from 27 May to 14 June 2015) with three email reminders to complete the questionnaire. The survey contained questions on the activities of each area, the recruitment process, analysts’ perception of their work, the effects/usefulness of policy analysis and the challenges faced in each sector. One hundred and ninety-six officials, who at the time of the study had an institutional email account and were in a middle or top management position, were invited to participate. There was an element of self-selection among those consulted, and a final response rate of 16.3%. According to respondents, the main activities performed by each secretariat are making recommendations, planning, analysis, evaluation, review, production of evidence and defining paths for action (see Figure 4.4). Most are functions that require specialized expertise in each subsector. Of the total number of officials engaged in policy analysis and covered in this study, 87% described their work as midway between technical analysis and policymaking. Likewise, 55% said that other areas of federal government “always” or “very often” turn to them for advice “in the process of policy definition and analysis”. On the issue of whether their units resort to other government agencies for advice, two out of three (62%) noted that this “never” or “rarely” occurs. 56

Policy analysis and bureaucratic capacity in the federal government

Figure 4.4: Frequency of activities by unit/directorate Read and review recommendations and warnings generated by… Produce evidence and facts to support policy-making Generate new policy initiatives Relationships of support with the bases of the Secretariat Prepare records and policy memos Meet with advisors of other units Plan and evaluate Monitor the implementation of policies Represent senior officials at meetings of the sector Define actions routes Analyze and evaluate policy implementation Generate policy recommendations Convey or clarify the wishes of the secretaries/senior officials Design public policies Meet with bureaucrats from other directions/units Speech writer Negotiate and meet with interest groups Write press releases Meet with political parties

0

20 Very often

40 Often

60 Occasionally

80 Never

57

Policy analysis in Mexico

Similarly, 63%, reported that they “never” or “rarely” sought consultants outside the public sphere to perform their functions. However, since the officials questioned were effectively part of a nucleus skilled in policy analysis activities, they were asked to characterize the type of expertise they perceive in the members of the government unit where they work. One in two (50%) identified it as “specialized scientific and technical expertise”, 23% as “political and managerial expertise”, 20% as “expertise on general topics”, and only 7% as “administrative expertise” (classification based on Page, 2010). On the subject of hiring, the respondents said that admission to the unit where they work depends, in order of importance, on passing the civil service examinations and previous experience (60%); political/party or friendship links (23%); or other factors (17%). Likewise, they were asked about the prospect of promotion in terms of the importance of labor skills. In this regard, 53% said that mobility in their unit/directorate is possible through civil service mechanisms. The incorporation of competent members into these units was corroborated by asking what proportion of senior officials was selected through a formal examination system: one in two said that over 60% joined in this way. In this regard, it is striking that despite the shortcomings in the implementation of the Professional Career Service and the practices characteristic of a spoils system in the federal government, there are apparently encouraging signs in the hiring process of key personnel who will be in key policy analysis units. As for the key role analysts can play within each secretariat, respondents were asked whether they consider that being an expert or having expertise in a particular area gives them (in the decision makers’ eyes) a degree of power in the policymaking process. Ninety-three percent responded affirmatively and 7% negatively. Within this same logic, they were asked, according to their experience, what attribute has the greatest influence or relevance in a public policy decision in their government unit. The responses, in order of importance, were as follows: having expertise/specialized knowledge (48%); the status they occupy within the organization (28%); the closeness they have informally with their hierarchical superiors (21%); and other factors (3%). A crucial stage for analysts in the public sector is the transformation of technical reports into government programs for implementation. The complexity of this transition is due to several variables involved in the translation of technical elements into processes and routines and contingent elements intervening at the time of the decision. The respondents were asked about the frequency with which recommendations produced through rigorous analysis are thwarted by political factors. This perception is disturbingly high, 43% as an aggregate of “always” and “very often” (see Figure 4.5). To delve further into the topic, the survey also asked about the number of times when, according to the respondents, the data or analyses produced in the unit/directorate where they work are crucial to public policymaking. One in two said that in over 60% of cases, they are critical (Figure 4.6). Likewise, they were asked whether they thought that the unit of government in which they worked had the ability to veto a major public policy 58

Policy analysis and bureaucratic capacity in the federal government

decision. One in three (33%) answered affirmatively and the remainder negatively. In the first case, only one in 10 (12%) indicated that this power of veto exists through a formal process.

Figure 4.5: Perception of frequency of recommendations made by analysts that are rejected because of political factors 3% 20%

It always happens 40%

It often happens It rarely happens Never happens

37%

Figure 4.6: Perception of frequency of cases in which analysis and information are crucial for policymaking 17% 27%

In less than 30% of cases In 30 to 60% of cases In 60 to 90% of cases In over 90% of cases

33% 23%

59

Policy analysis in Mexico

Figure 4.7: Relevant factors in the adoption of a public policy

The fact that the project leader/chief gets on with the decision maker

Having stakeholders' political/economic influence in our favor Other 3%

3%

7%

Having a good manager/ negotiator to lobby

13%

41%

The fact that the analysis proposes the best solutions

33%

Having a solid technical team (committee/commission) created especially for this purpose

Lastly, civil servants were asked about relevant factors, barriers to policy analysis and the communication of the latter to decision makers. The civil servants identified three major key factors in making a public policy decision: considering the most efficient option (30%); using committees and consensus (23%); and legitimizing previous negotiations (17%). The remainder placed importance on other factors such as the exchange of “political favors” or the selection of alternatives based on “the one from which civil servants or the party in power can obtain the greatest advantage”. Likewise, on the basis of a pool of answers, they were asked to select the most influential factors for “achieving the adoption of a public policy decision”. The most frequent responses were: the analysis providing the best apparent solution (41%); having a solid technical team (33%); and having a good manager/negotiator to lobby for the proposal (Figure 4.7). Moreover, respondents declared that the obstacles that often hamper the functions of the unit/directorate in which they work are: budget constraints (30%); limitations due to the number of staff (30%); limitations at the level of senior management—communication problems, political sympathy, conflicts of interest (13%); and the division and conflict between units/directorates within the secretariat itself (13%) (see Figure 4.8). The first two factors are a question of budget assignment and depend on the availability of the latter. Conversely, the last two aspects refer to a question of coordination and the primacy of the values 60

Policy analysis and bureaucratic capacity in the federal government

involved in an issue of public interest. These tensions should be able to be resolved by highlighting the importance of deciding on the basis of information. However, the political aspect and the struggle for public power are perennial obstacles, which, at best, can lead to attempts to train individuals capable of fighting in the political, administrative and operational arena. In other words, it involves creating an actor who is fluent in several languages, so to speak; who is capable of acting as a sort of vertical hinge between the three levels of the bureaucratic structure (Figure 4.1). Indeed, one of the problems for policy analysts is that, in the formal bureaucratic structure, they exist within organizations that contain them and restrict the channels of interaction and information sharing (Egeberg, 1999).4 This, undoubtedly, encourages standardized decisions, but also makes the world they see and analyze partial, giving them a sort of tunnel vision that prevents them from having a peripheral view of parallel organizations with different faculties. Their vision is usually holistic, yet self-contained within the organization and the sub-sector they exclusively serve.

Figure 4.8: Recurrent obstacles to policy analysis units’ activity Division and conflict between Units/Directorates OUTSIDE the department Restrictions on staff skills Limitations at the level of chiefs (problems communication, political sympathy, conflicts of interest)

7%

other 3%

0% 13%

Division and conflict between Units/Directorates INSIDE the department

13%

Constraints of the 3% normative framework 31%

Budget constraints

30%

Constraints due to the number of staff

4

“In theory, formal structural designs are expected to ‘route’ information exchange, co-ordination processes and conflict resolution [but … t]he flow of information diminishes across organizational boundaries” (Egeberg, 1999, p 162). 61

Policy analysis in Mexico

Thus, despite the limitations regarding the validity of the sample studied, the perception of in-house expertise does not offer a rosy outlook for the technical units responsible for policy analysis in the federal government. There are, however, positive elements, such as the importance of experience and academic training in the process of hiring staff in units dealing with issues requiring a certain degree of technical knowledge, or the possibility of promotion for a well-trained analyst. The profile of civil servants who form part of policy analysis teams is important, but there are still political components outside their capacities and know-how that continue to prevail in the Mexican government’s work. Although these components cannot be eliminated, it is possible to minimize them—or modify the logic and conflicting interests—in a competent bureaucracy. Interpreting the data, one can assume that many of the public policies and decisions made at the federal level are not always based on robust technical approaches. There is still a tension between a way of governing through public policies and the traditional inertia of acting in accordance to government policies (Cabrero, 2000), a logic in which decision makers make decisions before diagnosing the public problem, or even where the administrative operation ends up swallowing the analytical part. This tension between forms of policymaking leads to problems of consistency between government organizations and even within and between the programs implemented. It is a tension that prevents one from maximizing the uses of policy analysis on the one hand, and inter-agency coordination, on the other. Alternatives for promoting policy analysis The state’s bureaucratic capacity is an indispensable resource that provides the government with the power to act, and with solidity and coherence. However, given the heteronymous composition of individuals and organizations comprising the public sector, it is almost impossible to prevent conflicts and rivalries between secretariats and agencies that are loosely linked and compete for resources. This rivalry, together with the overlapping of certain faculties, often leads to tensions that are difficult to resolve within the bureaucracy or an agency, or between the two. This aspect of competition occurs in scenarios in which the bureaucracy does indeed have the capacity that matches the challenges and problems to be addressed. In the case of Mexico, this dimension exacerbates tensions, since it also incorporates discretionary elements, failures in hiring, the influence of political factors in decision making and surviving corporatist practices that inhibit policy analysis findings, and reduce the bureaucracy’s ability to obtain results close to the production-possibility frontier. These tensions, exogenous and contingent factors that affect the development of policy analysis in federal agencies—and even the influence it could have on political design—could be improved if there were an element capable of linking and coordinating fragmented perspectives and interests. In other words, the formal existence of a coordinating officer could be an alternative for reducing tensions in policymaking and at the same time reconciling politics with policy analysis 62

Policy analysis and bureaucratic capacity in the federal government

where possible. Some schemes of this nature have been put proposed in the past, and their application in the case of Mexico is an area of opportunity. However, their combination could be a powerful formula for coordination and informed evidence-based decision making. Politics and policy are two sides of a coin that are inevitably juxtaposed. But not just any kind of politicization is logical and necessary in a pluralistic democracy. From this perspective, three profiles—that reduce tension—could enhance policy analysis: 1. On the one hand, there is the fixer, who, according to Bardach, is a kind of actor who solves problems by monitoring the effective coherence of the implementation of a public policy with respect to the original design. He is a senior official who, as an intermediary, is able to resolve conflicts; keep an implementation process working; pressure lawmakers to provide more resources, when this is required for a program; and assign tasks to operational bureaucrats according to a predetermined objective and design (Bardach, 1977; Lewis, 2004). 2. The network manager, on the other hand, is a recognized player in the networking literature. He has knowledge and experience of how to manage a network of organizations, he knows how they work and what network members expect of him as a moderator, he activates grids and mobilizes resources according to very specific needs (Meuleman, 2008). The network manager has the ability to unite the fragmented view of the actors who work interdependently (he is a general expert), to such an extent that he is able to regulate and structure the intensity of work (O’Toole, 1997; Hwang and Moo, 2008). Taking advantage of in-house expertise to act transversely in various agencies, his goal is to achieve efficiency through streamlining and resolving conflicts between agencies. He focuses on information processing and management capacities that can be achieved by combining the various government units. The nature of the network manager’s work requires an ability for cross-sectoral/inter-secretarial involvement and a sufficient level of authority to prevent vetoes or obstacles according to the traditional vertical chain of command. 3. Lastly, the policy manager is an officer with expertise in policy analysis and proficient enough in policy issues to be able to predict the needs of the public scenario in the short and long term. With that vision, he can determine what type of skills are/will be necessary for priority issues (Lindquist and Desveaux, 1998, p 130; Page, 2010), sufficiently far ahead to be able to achieve informed, quality work in the service of policymakers. This actor is a mobilizer of technical human resources and a translator and intermediary between, on the one hand, the highest echelon of officials with power and political decision-making capacity, and on the other, the large apparatus of federal government middle management. The policy manager has a client advice focus and is able to link the participation of silent players and create scenarios for policymakers. He is a translator and an intermediary between specialized staff and the decision maker, who is not infrequently unaware of 63

Policy analysis in Mexico

the specific needs of his management or who makes his decisions largely on the basis of prejudice. The policy manager is a consigliere with expertise and specialized training, who helps civil servants to make decisions considering the institutional context—possible critical paths—the style of policy analysis, the perceptions of decision makers and the probable actions of interest groups. This actor juggles and determines the likelihood of these variables in order to prepare the stage for the formulation of informed recommendations with evidence, in order to achieve the greatest expected effect in every public policy and action program. However, these three types of actor that interact and move vertically and transversely within the bureaucratic apparatus are likely to already exist, informally, in the federal government; this helps ensure that policy analysis is increasingly consolidated as an essential condition of a public policy. However, it is important to consider formally, normatively and organizationally incorporating this type of actor whose work is to reduce tensions and conflicts between organizations and government agencies. Formally defining these actors is an area of opportunity that will make it possible to make links and achieve better communication by having translators/intermediaries between sectors and areas of expertise. These actors are not the answer to the weaknesses in federal government’s hiring process, but they could achieve better use of the existing bureaucratic capacity by establishing more structured forms of government actions, thought of “outside the box”, beyond the vision that an organization and the regulatory framework instill in every bureaucrat under the adage “meum ad officium contrahitur lex” (my duty is limited to what the law says).

Conclusion The objective of this chapter was to advance the understanding and study of the development of Mexican federal bureaucratic capacity around policy analysis. The importance has already been noted of the administrative sector as the executive arm—which provides strength and coherence—of the preferred policies and values of a democratic society; and of how, even though there is a Professional Career Service with various shortcomings, a sort of minimum standard of professionalization has been established among public servants—both those with managerial responsibilities and those engaged in policy analysis activities. However, problems of communication, coordination, discretion, corporatist practices, attitudes of political sympathy, conflict of interests and attitudes of divisiveness within units and in federal agencies, have hindered the prevalence of policy analysis in government decision making. Tensions of this kind are inevitable when groups motivated by interests and struggles for public power coexist within an organization with groups based on a profound specialized technical knowledge of administrative and government work. This type of tension is perennial, yet may be reduced—despite being concatenated—to ensure that policy decisions 64

Policy analysis and bureaucratic capacity in the federal government

are based on relevant information and evidence that will provide certainty of a certain degree of effectiveness. Therein lies the importance of studying the status and operation of the federal bureaucracy and its capacities, because insofar as it is feasible to understand it more fully, it will be possible to design better formulas and mechanisms with which to link different spheres and languages—political, administrative and operational. The absence of a genuine civil service in the federal government is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest obstacles to constructing a platform that is politically and technically capable of giving public policies the professional integrity characteristic of policy analysis. Since there is no strategy, much less a system within the federal government to develop this logic, it is therefore reasonable to assume that although the capacity for policy analysis is tentatively emerging, it is also doing so in a disorderly manner and more out of necessity than conviction and logic. Promoting the formal, normative and organizational achievement of a triad of actors who have functionally been created within the inertia of informal dynamics—and given the need to solve problems, communicate information and make decisions—is an alternative (which we think is feasible in the medium term) to advance Mexico’s protracted transition: from governing on the basis of government policies to a government effectively ruled by public policies. Implementing a series of actions to achieve these articulators/translators (fixer, network manager and policy manager) is not an alternative to the weaknesses of the Professional Career Service or the weaknesses of its bureaucracy; but it is an option for increasing the use of what actually can be done with the technical human resources currently available in the country. References Aguilar, L. (1992) El estudio de las políticas públicas, México: Porrúa. Ai Camp, R. (1996) Reclutamiento Político en México, Mexico City: Siglo XXI. Arellano, D. and Hernández, J. (2014) ‘De la torre de marfil a la pertinencia ¿La investigación académica en administración pública es útil para la toma de decisiones gubernamental? Un estudio exploratorio del caso mexicano’, Dossier Académico, 1 (1). Available at www.cide.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/ Dossier_DAG-JHG.pdf. Arellano, D. (2008) ‘La implementación de un servicio civil meritocrático: ¿un asunto técnico? El caso de México’, in Longo, F. and Ramió, C. (eds) La Profesionalización del Empleo Público en América Latina, Barcelona: CIDOB. Arnold, W. (1989) ‘Bureaucratic politics, state capacity and Taiwan´s automobile industrial policy’, Modern China, vol 15, no 2, pp 178-214. Bardach, E. (1997) The Implementation Game: What Happens after a Bill becomes a Law, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Cabrero, E. (2000) ‘Usos y costumbres en la hechura de las políticas públicas en México. Límites de las policy sciences en contextos cultural y políticamente diferentes’, Gestión y Política Pública, vol 9, no 2, pp 189-229.

65

Policy analysis in Mexico

Chibber, V. (2002) ‘Bureaucratic rationality and the developmental state’, American Journal of Sociology, vol 107, no 4, pp 951-89. Dobuzinskis, L., Howlett, M. and Laycock D. (2007) Policy Analysis in Canada, Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Echebarría, K. (2006) ‘Caracterización empírica de las burocracias latinoamericanas: configuraciones y roles en el proceso de elaboración de políticas públicas’, Revista del CLAD Reforma y Democracia, vol 34, no 1, pp 1-11. Egeberg, M. (1999) ‘The impact of bureaucratic structure on policy making’, Public Administration, vol 77, no 1, pp 155-70. Guerrero, O. (1990) ‘Modernización del estado mexicano’, Cuadernos Universitarios. Administración Pública, vol 4, no 1, pp 11-20. Howlett, M. and Lindquist, E. (2010) ‘Policy analysis and governance: analytical and policy styles in Canada’, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, vol 6, no 3, pp 225-49. Huber, J. (1989). ‘Values and partisanship in left-right orientations: measuring ideology’, The European Journal of Political Research, vol. 17, pp 599-621. Huber, J. and McCarty, N. (2004) ‘Bureaucratic capacity, delegation, and political reform’, American Political Science Review, vol 98, no 3, pp 481-94. Hwang, S. and Moo I. (2008) ‘Are we treating networks seriously? The growth of network research in public administration and public policy’, Paper presented at the 2008 International Sunbelt Social Network Conference and the 2008 Harvard Networks in Political Science Conference. Available at www.insna. org/PDF/Connections/v29/2009_I-2_P-4-17.pdf. Lasswell, H. (1971) ‘Orientación hacia las políticas’, in L. F. Aguilar Villanueva, Estudio de las Políticas Públicas, Mexico: Miguel Ángel Porrúa, pp 79-103. Lewis, S. (2004) The Wisdom of the Spotted Owl. Policy Lessons for a New Century. Washington, DC: Island Press. Lindau, J.D. (1992) Los tecnócratas y la elite gobernante mexicana, México city: Cuadernos de Joaquín Mortiz. Lindquist, E.A. and Desveaux, J. (1998) Recruitment and Policy Capacity in Government. An Independient Research Paper on Strengthening Government’s Policy Community, Toronto: Public Policy Forum. Merino, M. (2012) ‘Hacia el nuevo asalto’, Opinión. El Universal, 1 August. Available at www.eluniversalmas.com.mx/editoriales/2012/08/59789.php. Merino, M. (2013) Políticas Públicas. Ensayo sobre la Intervención del Estado en la Solución de Problemas Públicos, Mexico City: CIDE. Meuleman, L. (2008) Public Management and the Metagovernance of Hierarchies, Networks and Markets. The Feasibility of Designing and Managing Governance Style Combinations, Heidelberg: Physica-verlang. Meyer, L. (1995) Liberalismo Autoritario. Las Contradicciones del Sistema Político Mexicano, Mexico City: Océano. O´Toole, L. (1997) “Treating networks seriously: practical and research-based agendas in public administrations”, Public Administration Review, vol 57, no 1, pp 45-52. 66

Policy analysis and bureaucratic capacity in the federal government

Page, E. C. (2010) ‘Bureaucrats and expertise. Elucidating a problematic relationship in three tableaux and six jurisdictions’, Sociologie du Travail, vol 1, no 1, pp 1-19. Rodríguez, J. (2009) Estado y Transparencia: Un Paseo por la Filosofía Política, México: IFAI. Vergara. R. (2010) (comp) Organización e Instituciones, México: Siglo XXIBBAPDF. Weimer, D.L. and Vining, A. (2010) Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practice (5th edn), Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Laws Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión (2006) Ley del Servicio Profesional de Carrera en la Administración Pública Federal (LSPCAPF), 10 April 2003 (last revision January 2006). Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión (2015) Constitución Política de los Estados. Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión (2015) Ley Orgánica de la Administración Pública Federal (LOAPF), 29 December 1976 (last revision April 2015).

67

FIVE

Policy analysis in advisory councils Laura Flamand

Governments require sound advice if they are to solve the problems faced by their populations in the public realm. Given that in complex and heterogeneous settings the expertise of regular public servants may be insufficient or biased, the involvement of highly specialized advisory boards has become the norm. It now plays an important part in decision making, and in policy design and evaluation, particularly in the health, environmental and economic sectors (Applegate, 1998; Dobuzinskis, 2007; Vargas, 2013). This chapter is devoted to exploring the increasing, and rather prominent, role of public advisory boards in the Mexican federal government, with an emphasis on policy analysis instruments and method, conditions for sound analysis, and existing capabilities. The chapter, therefore, is organized in four sections. The first provides a definition of the term “advisory boards”, given its different and at times contradictory uses. The second section describes the construction and criteria used to build a first universe of advisory boards in the Mexican federal government, circa 2015. The third part presents a comparative analysis of two of the most influential advisory boards in Mexico: Coneval, devoted to the evaluation of social policy, and the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, responsible for providing technical and scientific advice to environmental policymakers. The fourth section discusses the main findings and presents conclusions.

Defining “advisory boards” Advisory boards provide both information and analysis for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public policies (Scholten and Nispen, 2015). Their advice is extremely valuable and influential given the scientific or technical expertise of their members, and a certain degree of independence from the bureaucratic structure.1 Members of advisory boards tend to be well-respected experts in their specific policy community; thus, they tend to provide robust information and analysis endowed, in addition, with legitimacy. These characteristics permit

1

There are of course variations in the degrees of independence of different advisory boards; in the third section of the chapter, this point is illustrated with case studies in the environment and social arena. 69

Policy analysis in Mexico

decision makers to base the design and implementation of specific government interventions on such policy analysis.2 In fact, in the United States, Santos has identified four crucial traits of successful citizen advisory boards (Santos and Chess, 2003), that is, those influential in the public policy process: they should include the largest possible number of stakeholders in the decision-making practice, especially minorities or otherwise vulnerable groups who may not be members of an organized group; agencies should provide both current information and the tools for citizens to analyze it (Applegate, 1998); the decision-making process must be as transparent as possible; and the final decision must include the resolutions provided by the advisory council. Advisory boards have become a most important source of information and analysis; they may be characterized as citizen- or community-oriented, and may even be linked to private interests (Applegate, 1998; Green and Mercer, 2001; Santos and Chess, 2003; Stoltzfus, 2010). The most important common trait across advisory boards is that decision makers take advantage of their expertise to develop evidence-based public policies. In Brazil, for example, the advice of several groups from civil society and the pharmaceutical industry was crucial to the government’s response to the AIDS epidemic during the 1990s. It is important to note that these groups became influential especially in matters related to drug regulation (Vargas, 2013). In other areas, given that the most successful policies usually take advantage of the experience of the actors closest to the public problem, the advice of experts becomes crucial for effective design and implementation. This occurs, in particular, when governments decide to use “negotiated regulation” to solve an environmental concern instead of the rigid and costly court resolution alternative. In the health arena, advisory boards are valuable guides for decision makers given that their expertise permits them to develop sounder regulations (Stoltzfus, 2010). The advice of experts is essential, for example, in reforms allowing public–private partnerships in services which have tended to be provided directly by government agencies. These reforms are more likely to gain legitimacy in legislative debates when they are based on relevant, precise and robust evidence. In countries like Brazil, Canada, Holland, Japan and Mexico, advisory boards may have different names, such as planning or evaluation councils, research commissions or national institutes. These bodies provide advice on a wide range of issues: in certain cases they are devised for general policy arenas (economic, environmental, health or education); in others, they are created to advise on particular public problems (for example, the environmental consequences of the construction of a dam or the rapid diffusion of AIDS among married woman in rural communities). 2

70

Public policy analysis entails acquiring and examining information about public problems in order to diagnose them, to construct potential scenarios and to develop policy alternatives (Mendez and Dussauge, see Chapter One).

Policy analysis in advisory councils

To allow for the identification of advisory boards in the Mexican federal government, we adopt the following definition throughout this chapter. Advisory boards are collegial bodies of highly regarded scientific or technical experts in specific policy areas that are, by law, established formally and mandated to produce policy analysis for the federal government. They may develop policy analysis with or without the support of government agencies or structures.3

The universe of “advisory boards” in the Mexican federal government This section provides a general overview of advisory boards in Mexico.4 The first part of this section explains the process of constructing the universe of advisory boards in the federal government. The second presents the dominant and most attractive traits of advisory boards regarding public policy analysis. The universe of advisory boards was constructed as follows. First, an online compilation of federal government by-laws assembled by the Ministry of the Interior (Orden Jurídico Nacional, Secretaría de Gobernación) was consulted. Second, all deconcentrated5 and decentralized organisms (those not part of a specific sector) were selected (162 in all) in order to carefully review their internal regulations. Next, those organizations with the principal mandate of generating policy analysis were identified (a total of 13).6 Finally, it was ascertained, first, whether the boards were collegial (that is, without any hierarchical relationship among the councilors, with the exception of rotating presidencies) and, second, whether they enjoyed technical and financial autonomy (see Figure 5.1) (Hevia et al, 2011). In what follows, we provide a general analysis of advisory boards in the Mexican federal government. To start with, as in other countries, advisory councils are mostly created in rather technical areas. In fact, not all federal ministries have created advisory boards; only 10 out of the 18 ministries had advisory boards in 2015 (Table 5.1). In fact, these ministries do seem to be entrusted with more technical endeavors: Agriculture, Communications and Transportation, Education, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Health, Interior, Office of the Attorney General, Social Development and Tourism. Note, in addition, that 40% of the advisory boards identified are concentrated in the Health and Environment Ministries. 3

The definition has been adapted for the purposes of this chapter; however, it is inspired by Scholten and Nispen (2015), Yamaya (2015) and Tanaka (2015).

4

The complete universe is presented in appendix A including a summary of the main characteristics of each board.

5

Deconcentrated organisms refer to entities hierarchically subordinated to state ministries, which have specific faculties and geographical scope. Decentralized organisms are entities created by law or decree of either the executive or legislative branches, endowed with legal personality and its own budget (DOF, 2016).

6

The by-laws consulted for these organizations were DOF (1986, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 a and b, and 2014 a, b, c, d, e and f). 71

Policy analysis in Mexico

Figure 5.1: Construction of the universe of advisory boards in the Mexican federal government Organizations  deconcentrated  decentralized  decentralized not sectorized

National legislation Ministry of the Interior

162 Offer advice Autonomous Collegiate

Internal Bylaws

13 Advisory Councils

Table 5.1: Advisory boards in the Mexican federal government by ministry Ministry

Number of advisory boards

Name of advisory board

Health

3

National Center for Gender Equity and Reproductive Health National Institute of Geriatrics National Institute of Public Health

Environment and Natural Resources

2

National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change  Mexican Institute of Water Technology

One advisory board (eight ministries)

(1) Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (2) Communications and Transportation (3) Energy (4) Interior (5) Office of the Attorney General (6) Public Education (7) Social Development (8) Tourism

No advisory board (eight ministries)

(1) Agrarian, Land and Urban Development (2) Economy (3) Finance and Public Credit of Mexico,(4) Foreign Affairs (5) Labor and Social Welfare (6) Marine (7) National Defense (8) Public Administration

Note: In this analysis we consider the existing 18 federal ministries in 2015. Source: Compilation of federal government by-laws assembled by the Ministry of the Interior (2015).

After reviewing the internal regulations of each of the advisory boards, it was discovered that in some cases their functions mostly pointed to developing policy analysis and informing decision making (six cases), while in other cases they had been created to inform the public and to disseminate information (seven cases).7

7

72

A brief summary of the functions of each of the advisory boards is presented in the Appendix.

Policy analysis in advisory councils

In fact, most advisory boards perform both functions given that public participation, transparency and accountability have become, at least in public, paramount values for governments in Mexico since the transition to democracy. As discussed in the introduction, in several countries, advisory boards are created to provide guidance on specific policy problems (such as an HIV epidemic, or industrial pollution) or cross-cutting issues (for example, the inclusion of indigenous peoples or transgender individuals). This specificity is not the case in Mexico where boards devote their attention to specific sectors, for example, education, the environment or social development. Even though all the advisory boards identified in the Mexican federal government by 2015 were created to tend general policy arenas, a brief analysis of their budgetary allocations reveals that the operation of the boards also responds to specific social problems, especially the violence associated with organized crime. Figure 5.2 presents the budget of each advisory board as a proportion of the total amount of resources allocated in total to the group. The Center for Investigation and National Security received 59% of the total in 2014, and 77% in 2015. In terms of budget, in 2015, the two advisory boards next in importance were the National Institute for the Evaluation of Education (10.3%) and the National Center for Gender Equity and Reproductive Health (5.3%).

Figure 5.2: Advisory boards in the Mexican federal government: budgetary allocations to each board from total (%) Center for Investigation and National Security (MI) National Institute for the Evaluation of Education (MPE) National Center for Gender and Reproductive Health (MH) Mexican Institute of Water Technology (MENR) National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (MENR) Center for Planning, Analysis and information to Fight Crime (OAG) National Institute of Public Health (MH) 0

60 50 40 20 70 30 10 Percentage of total budget allocated to advisory boards each year Federal budget 2015

Federal budget 2014 73

Policy analysis in Mexico

Out of the 13 organizations identified as advisory boards (whereby one of their main functions is to provide policy advice to the federal government according to its by-laws), there are five that enjoy administrative, technical or financial autonomy, and only three that are collegial, that is they are governed by boards of two or more people (see Figure 5.3).

Figure 5.3: Main defining characteristics of advisory boards in the Mexican federal government (n=13) (A) OFFER ADVICE ●





● ●

● ●

National Center for Gender Equity and Reproductive Health Center for Investigation and National Security National Center for Planning, Analysis and Information to Fight Crime National Fisheries Institute Mexican Institute of Water Technology Mexican Institute of Transport Electric Research Insitiute

(B) AUTONOMOUS ●





National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change National Institute of Geriatrics National Institute of Public Health

(B) COLLEGIAL ●



National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy National Institute for the Evaluation of Education



Center for Advanced Studies in Tourism

In summary, a first analysis of the 13 advisory boards in operation in the Mexican federal government reveals that they were created to support decision making with sound policy analysis but also to inform the general public; they are entrusted with mostly technical matters, especially in the health and environmental arenas; and that even though they advise the federal government on general policy areas, the budget allocations of advisory boards in 2014 and 2015 respond to current public problems, especially to violence related to organized crime.

Advisory boards in social and environmental policies: a comparative analysis Next, we present a comparative analysis of two prominent advisory boards in Mexico. The first part of the section discusses the main characteristics of the boards, while the second delves into their policy analysis activities, emphasizing policy analysis instruments and outputs, the conditions for analysis and their research capabilities. The section closes with an assessment of how influential these advisory boards have been for policymaking at the federal level in Mexico.

74

Policy analysis in advisory councils

Creation, members and activities National Council for the Evaluation of Social Policy The evaluation of social policies, especially conditional cash transfer programs, emerged as an accountability tool in the Ministry of Social Development in the context of the Mexican democratic transition of 2000. The National Council for the Evaluation of Social Policy (Coneval) was created by the Social Development Act (2004), which entrusted the advisory board with two main activities: to develop and calculate periodically a multidimensional poverty measurement, and to evaluate social government interventions, that is programs, strategies, and policies at the federal level. The executive director of Coneval is appointed by the national president, and six academic councilors have governed the activities of the council since its creation, playing a fundamental role in building an autonomous and credible institution (Coneval, 2015b). On the basis of a public call for applications, six advisory councilors are appointed by Coneval, which is composed of representatives of state and municipal governments, as well as the federal Congress and the executive (out of 44 votes, the executive controls only six). To guarantee academic rigor and independence, by law, the advisors must be university professors with expertise in social policy, and preferably members of the National System of Researchers. National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change The original National Institute of Ecology (INE) was affiliated to the Ministry of Social Development (1992), and later to the newly created Ministry of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fishing (1994), mostly for operational and management activities. In 2001, by law, INE was mandated to provide technical and legal advice on matters related to ecology. INE transformed into the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC) in 2012, a more autonomous agency within the federal government, and with three additional objectives related to the analysis of climate change (adaptation, mitigation, and evaluation). Currently, INECC is entrusted with three main activities: to develop environmental research for decision making; to evaluate the national policy of climate change (initiatives for both adaptation and mitigation); and to develop scientific and technical knowledge, and highly qualified human resources for the design, implementation, and evaluation of public policies devoted to protecting the environment, as well as to mitigating and adapting to climate change. The general director is appointed by the national president. With regard to the evaluation of climate change policy, since the beginning of 2015, six social councilors have been developing criteria, guidelines and indicators to guide the national evaluation strategy. The selection process for the social councilors was designed with Coneval, and involves issuing a public call to the members of the scientific, academic and manufacturing communities interested in serving on 75

Policy analysis in Mexico

the board for the evaluation of the national policy on climate change. The six social councilors are selected by the Inter-Ministerial Commission on Climate Change, formed by representatives of 14 federal ministries. To guarantee expertise, independence and neutrality, the advisors must, by legal mandate, be university professors, former collaborators of international organizations, and preferably members of the National System of Researchers with expertise in environmental policy and evaluation (especially in climate change). Policy analysis instruments and outputs Coneval During its 10 years of existence, Coneval has developed a large toolkit for the evaluation of social interventions and an impressive array of evaluation outputs that have become rather influential for policy initiatives both at the state and federal levels of government (Cejudo, 2015; Hernández-Licona and De la Garza, 2015; Castro, et al, 2009). The most recognized achievement of Coneval is the multidimensional poverty measurement. The measure adopts a human rights approach and incorporates indicators for access to education, healthcare, social security, basic domestic services, and food, as well as the per capita current income (Coneval, 2015c). Coneval also constructed the National Inventory of Programs and Actions for Social Development, including federal, state, and municipal actions. Every year, in addition, Coneval contracts out different types of program evaluations for more than 250 federal initiatives (Guzmán, 2015).8 Also, it has recently started to prepare policy and strategic evaluations (for example, social protection, maternal mortality, and the social right to high-quality education) that are considered crucial for fostering coherence and coordination across government interventions for social development in the three orders of government (Cejudo, 2015; De la Garza, 2015). Coneval, furthermore, has devised an annual calendar for the publication and dissemination of results, alternating the multidimensional poverty measure (year one) with the general report on the evaluation of social development policy. Most importantly, all the reports are clearly policy-oriented with specific recommendations, and are available in full text on Coneval’s website. In fact, the website and several of its initiatives have received international and national awards as “best practices” of transparency and accountability in policy evaluation (GPSA, 2015). Another important contribution of Coneval, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, pertains to the use of the recommendations derived from evaluations 8

76

Every year Coneval contracts a large group of external evaluators (academics, private consultants) to prepare a diverse array of evaluations: diagnosis, design, performance, process, results, and impact.

Policy analysis in advisory councils

to improve the design and implementation of social programs. To this effect, after an external evaluation has been delivered to the agency responsible for the program, the managers of each intervention classify the recommendations into four groups: specific, institutional, interinstitutional and intergovernmental. The purpose is for the agency to identify the feasible recommendations, and thus commit to implementing them within an established time frame under the supervision of Coneval (Coneval, 2012). INECC INECC has developed highly technical policy tools such as plans for managing risks associated with climate change (both sectorial and regional), waste management plans, and improved techniques for air pollution monitoring. It has also delivered interesting research products such as general equilibrium models to assess the effects of energy policies, and methodologies to measure the uncertainty of the projections of polluting emissions. Overall, INECC has played a fundamental role in providing solid scientific foundations for the design and implementation of programs such as payments for environmental services. From a review of the institute’s publications, it is clear that a large share of the reports are mostly scientific with the purpose of generating knowledge or informing decision makers; however, there is no clear emphasis on policy recommendations. Conditions and capabilities for policy analysis Coneval Coneval has developed internal capabilities for policy analysis, but the large majority of program evaluations are contracted out to specialists from universities, research centers or private consulting firms. Nevertheless, the multidimensional poverty measure was mostly an in-house project, with a long process of consultation with national and international experts, as well as public officials. It is important to note that except for the heads of the council, most employees are recent graduates in economics and other social sciences. The average age of employees is around 30 years old, and there is high turnover. INECC INECC has developed internal policy analysis capabilities to a large extent, and mostly develops in-house studies, although it also contracts out studies to academics and private consultants. Research and policy analysis are organized around four agendas: green (sustainability); gray (pollution); socioeconomic (environmental accounting); and experimental research and training. Most of the researchers at INECC are trained in the natural sciences (biology, physics, environmental engineering) with a few with economics or public policy degrees. 77

Policy analysis in Mexico

There is a rather high proportion of researchers with postgraduate degrees, especially doctorates. Influence in the design and the implementation of public policies Coneval Coneval created, and periodically publishes, the multidimensional poverty measurement at national, state, and municipal level. A recent book chapter shows that the measurement is now used to design and to adjust social programs in order to diminish the problems of access associated to poverty in the arenas of, for example, education, health, social security; to optimize financial resources; to improve interagency and intergovernmental coordination; and to make more transparent the allocation of fiscal resources (Hernández-Licona and De la Garza, 2015; Castro et al, 2009). The evaluation of government interventions has become a well-established practice in Mexico, and the results of evaluations have transformed and sometimes improved public action. A case in point is the restructuring of the Crusade Against Hunger9 (Cruzada Nacional Contra el Hambre) after a rather strict design evaluation commissioned by Coneval was published in 2014 (Cejudo, 2015; Coneval, 2015a). The evaluations developed or contracted by Coneval, however, are not yet influential in terms of the budgetary allocations of government programs. At the time of writing, Coneval was still in the midst of a convoluted discussion about its autonomy derived from a paramount legal reform on political and electoral matters at the beginning of 2014. The constitutional amendment implies that Coneval maintains its functions, but no longer as part of the executive branch. Coneval is to become an autonomous constitutional organ similar to the National Institute of Elections (see Chapter Six, this volume). Most of the achievements and success of Coneval stem from the technical autonomy of the advisory board governing the council, which in turn derives from the appointment procedure for advisors and the fact that they are not full-time employees of the federal government. With the reform, the councilors would be appointed by the federal chamber of deputies and, thus, there are concerns about the process becoming politicized (Hernández-Licona, 2013). There is agreement that this reform in Coneval would neither improve evaluation practices in the Mexican government, nor help to establish clearer links between evaluation, and planning or budgetary decisions (De la Garza, 2015). 9

78

This has been the flagship program of the government of Peña Nieto since January 2013; it includes 71-72 pre-existing federal social development programs, not in all cases devised originally to fight hunger, a case in point being Seguro Popular. Four hundred municipalities were selected for the initial implementation of the crusade, and two instrumental goals have been given considerable attention: intergovernmental coordination and community involvement.

Policy analysis in advisory councils

Table 5.2: Advisory councils in Mexico (selected cases): main characteristics and policy analysis activities National Council for the Evaluation of Social Policy (Coneval)

National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC)

main characteristics Creation

Members

Activities

The evaluation of conditional cash transfer In 2001, by law, INE was mandated to provide programs emerged as an accountability tool in technical and legal advice on matters related the Ministry of Social Development around 2000. to ecology. The Social Development Act (2004) created Coneval.

INE transformed into INECC in 2012, a more autonomous agency within the federal government.

The executive director is appointed by the president.

The general director is appointed by the president.

Six academic counsellors govern the activities of the council.

On evaluation of climate change policy, six social councilors develop criteria, guidelines, and indicators, and thus guide the national evaluation strategy.

To develop and to calculate periodically a multidimensional poverty measurement

To develop environmental research for decision making

To evaluate social government interventions (programs, strategies, policies)

To evaluate the national policy of climate change (adaptation and mitigation) To develop scientific and technical knowledge, and capable human resources, for public policies devoted to protecting the environment, and to mitigating and adapting to climate change

policy analysis activities How? Policy analysis instruments and outputs

Multidimensional poverty measurement National Inventory of Programs and Actions for Social Development (including federal, state, and municipal actions) Program evaluations (diagnosis, design, performance, process, results, and impact) and policy or strategic evaluations (for example, social protection, maternal mortality) The reports are clearly policy-oriented with specific recommendations.

With which capabilities?

Policy tools such as plans for managing risks associated with climate change (sectoral, regional), waste management plans, and improved techniques for air pollution monitoring Research products such as general equilibrium models to assess the effects of energy policies, methodologies to measure the uncertainty of the projections of polluting emissions Most reports are academically rather than policy-oriented.

Both internal and external, mostly contracting out

Both internal and external, mostly in-house studies

Except for the heads of the council, most employees are recent graduates in economics and other social sciences. The average age is around 25-30 years old, and with high turnover.

Most of the researchers are trained in the natural sciences (biology, physics, environmental engineering) with a very few with economics or public policy degrees.

Beyond the references in the body of the text, for Coneval see Pérez Yarahuán (2008). In the case of INECC see Heredia (2015), Rojas-Bracho (2015) and Romero (2015).

79

Policy analysis in Mexico

INECC INECC has offered specialized advice to the Ministry of the Environment and other agencies both at the federal and state levels. The institute has designed innovative government interventions in the environmental arena, emphasized the lack of “negotiated regulation” for pollution problems, and offered technical support to state and local environmental agencies. Overall, INECC has buttressed environmental decisions and programs with sound scientific research, and also has proved to be influential in international fora dealing with measures to mitigate and to adapt to climate change. The research carried out by INECC has been paramount to the enactment of laws and Mexican Official Standards regarding, for example, the maximum permissible limits of atmospheric particles or fluoride emissions. These studies allow the official standards for air quality to be regularly reviewed and updated to protect the health of the population (INECC, 2015). INECC has also been commissioned to develop specific studies for conflict solving at the state and municipal level. For example, in the state of Sonora, the institute carried out research on the economic costs and environmental risks linked with the dumping of industrial waste in rivers. The study was later used to calculate the compensation payments mandated by civil judges to be paid by the polluting company, Grupo México (Vanguardia, 2013).

Main findings and conclusion In Mexico, advisory boards have become increasingly relevant in the policy cycle at the federal level, especially regarding the definition of public problems, program design and evaluation. Advisory boards are more common in technical areas (health, environment, crime); nevertheless, they have become relatively widespread (10 out of the total of 18 federal ministries have at least one advisory board). In 2015, for the purposes of this study, we identified 13 advisory boards in operation after carefully reviewing the by-laws of 162 federal agencies of the federal government and according to a commonly accepted definition (advisory boards are collegial bodies of highly regarded scientific or technical experts in specific policy areas that are, by law, established formally and mandated to produce policy analysis for the federal government). A general examination of these 13 advisory boards reveals that, even though they were created to disseminate information and generate analysis, there is considerable variation in emphasis: while some clearly produce policy papers with specific recommendations (Coneval), others tend to operate more like in-house think tanks for the federal agencies (INECC). Besides, the budgetary allocations to advisory boards noticeably respond to the public perception of the urgency to solve specific social problems. For example, in the midst of a severe security crisis associated with organized crime and drug trafficking, the board responsible for national security received more than half 80

Policy analysis in advisory councils

of the total financial resources assigned to boards in the federal budget of 2014 and 2015. Finally, there are two interesting emerging traits across advisory boards in the federal government, first, they are transforming into collegial bodies for decision making of the highest level, and, second, they are gaining autonomy in an attempt to acquire legitimacy and to develop policies that are undeniably evidenced-based. The chapter has also developed a comparative analysis of two organizations, Coneval and the INECC. Both have advisory boards that have become fairly influential in policy making at the subnational and national levels. Coneval, in summary, developed the first widely respected measure of multidimensional poverty, and was paramount in implementing the national evaluation system of social policy, which includes incentives for the adoption of the recommendations put forward by evaluators in the actual implementation of programs. In this manner, Coneval has clearly enhanced the accountability of social expenditure in Mexico. INECC, in contrast, has operated mainly as a vigorous and extremely professional in-house think tank for the Ministry of the Environment, including collaborating actively with academic institutions, consulting firms, international organizations, and agencies of cooperation and development. Regarding climate change, INECC has recently created an advisory board, similar to that of Coneval, for the evaluation of national climate change policies (Flamand and Rojas-Bracho, 2015). Thus, INECC seems to be transforming itself from a highly competent technical aid of the Ministry of the Environment to an autonomous institution capable of influencing decision making throughout the complete policy process in the intricate areas of environment and climate change. References Agrawal, A. and Ribot J. (1999) ‘Accountability in Decentralization: A Framework with South Asian and West African Environmental Cases’, The Journal of Developing Areas, vol 33, no 4, 473-502. Applegate, J.S. (1998) ‘Beyond the usual suspects: the use of citizens advisory boards in environmental decisionmaking’, Indiana Law Journal, vol 73, no 3, pp 903-57. Castro, M., López, G., Beker, G. and Fernandez, X. (2009) ‘El sistema de M & E en México: un asalto del nivel sectorial al nacional’, Desarrollo de la capacidad de evaluación, no 20, pp 1-37. Cejudo, Guillermo (2015) Personal communication with the author, 19 October. Coneval (Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social) (2012) Evaluación Estratégica sobre Mortalidad Materna en México 2010: Características Sociodemográficas que Obstaculizan a las Mujeres Embarazadas su Acceso Efectivo a Instituciones de Salud, Mexico City: Coneval. Coneval (2013) Esquema General de Evaluación de la Cruzada Nacional contra el Hambre 2013-2019, Mexico City: Coneval.

81

Policy analysis in Mexico

Coneval (2015a) Resultados Intermedios de la Cruzada Nacional contra el Hambre, Mexico City: Coneval. Coneval (2015b) Reflexiones sobre la Autonomía del Coneval, Mexico City: Coneval. Coneval (2015c) Medición Multidimensional de la Pobreza, Mexico City: Coneval. Convie (2013) Disposiciones para regular la Organización y el Funcionamiento del Consejo de Vinculación con las Entidades Federativa, INEE, Mexico. Crook, R. and Manor, J. (1998) Democracy and Descentralisation in South Asia and West Africa, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. De la Garza, Thania (General Director of Evaluation, Coneval) (2015) Interview with the author, 19 February. Dobuzinskis, L., Howlett, M. and Laycock, D. (2007) Policy Analysis in Canada: The State of the Art, Toronto: University Of Toronto Press. DOF (Diario Oficial de la Federación) (1986) Reglamento de la Comisión Consultiva de Tarifas, Mexico, Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, Diario Oficial de la Federación, 2 January. DOF (2010) Estatuto Orgánico de la Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, Mexico, Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, Diario Oficial de la Federación, 26 July. DOF (2011) Estatuto Orgánico del Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social, Mexico, Secretaría de Desarrollo Social, Diario Oficial de la Federación, 16 May. DOF (2012) Ley de Desarrollo Rural Sustentable, Mexico, Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión, Diario Oficial de la Federación, 12 January. DOF (2013a) Estatuto Orgánico del Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático, Mexico, Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático, Diario Oficial de la Federación, 4 October. DOF (2013b) Ley del Instituto Nacional para la Evaluación de la Educación, Mexico, Disposiciones para regular el funcionamiento del Consejo pedagógico de evaluación educativa, Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión, Diario Oficial de la Federación, 11 September. DOF (2014a) Ley de Aguas Nacionales, Mexico, Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión, Diario Oficial de la Federación, 11 August. DOF (2014b) Ley de la Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores, Mexico, Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión, Diario Oficial de la Federación, 10 January. DOF (2014c) Ley General de Acceso de las Mujeres a una Vida Libre de Violencia, México, Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión, Diario Oficial de la Federación, 2 April. DOF (2014d) Ley General de Pesca y Acuacultura Sustentables, Mexico, Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión, Diario Oficial de la Federación, 23 January. DOF (2014e) Reglamento de la Ley de la Comisión Federal de Electricidad, Mexico, Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión, Diario Oficial de la Federación, 31 October.

82

Policy analysis in advisory councils

DOF (2014f) Reglamento de la Ley General de Salud en Materia de Trasplantes, Mexico, Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión, Diario Oficial de la Federación, 26 March. DOF (2016) Ley Orgánica de la Administración Pública Federal, México, Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión, Diario Oficial de la Federación, 18 July. Flamand, L. and Rojas-Bracho, L. (2015) ¿Cómo se Gobierna la Contaminación en México? Alternativas de Política Pública Ambiental, Mexico City: El Colegio de México. GPSA (Global Partnership for Social Accountability) (2015) The GPSA Award for Leadership in Social Accountability, Washington, DC: World Bank. Green, W.L. and Mercer L.S. (2001) ‘Can public health researchers and agencies reconcile the push from funding bodies and the pull from communities?’, American Journal of Public Health, vol 91, no 12, pp 1926-38. Guzmán, S. (2015) Los Programas Sociales en México: El Inventario de CONEVAL, 2014-2015 (Primera Parte: Los Programas Federales), Mexico City: CEDISPAN. Heredia, Marco (General Coordinator, INECC) (2015) Interview with the author, Mexico City, 25 February. Hernández-Licona, G. (2013) ‘Construyendo un Sistema de Evaluación del Desempeño para el Desarrollo Social’, in Maldonado, C., and Galíndez, C., Monitoreo, Evaluación y Gestión por Resultados. Aprendizaje y Cooperación Sur-Sur para la Innovación: El Papel de los Actores Subnacionales, Mexico City: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas AC. Hernández Licona, G. and De la Garza, T. (eds) (2015) ‘Hacia un modelo de evaluación del ejercicio de derechos sociales en México’, in Pobreza y Derechos Sociales en México, Mexico City: Coneval/UNAM. Hevia, F., Vergara-Lope, S, Ávila Landa, H, (2011) ‘Participación ciudadana en México: consejos consultivos e instancias públicas de deliberación en el gobierno federal’, Perfiles Latinoamericanos, 38, pp 65-88. INECC (Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático) (2015) Misión, Visión y Estructura del INECC, Mexico City: INECC. Ministy of Finance and Public Credit (2014) Presupuesto de Egresos de la Federación para el Ejercicio Fiscal 2014, www.apartados.hacienda.gob.mx/presupuesto/ temas/pef/2014/. Ministy of Finance and Public Credit (2015) Presupuesto de Egresos de la Federación para el Ejercicio Fiscal 2015, Mexico. Ministry of the Interior (2015) Orden Jurídico Nacional, www.ordenjuridico.gob. mx/. Pérez-Yarahuan, Gabriela (former General Director of Evaluation, Coneval) (2008) Interview with the author, Mexico City, 15 August. Rojas-Bracho, Leonora (former General Director of Urban Pollution, INECC) (2015) Interview with the author, Mexico City, 20 and 26 February. Romero, Teresita (Area Director, INECC) (2015) Interview with the author, Mexico City, 24 February.

83

Policy analysis in Mexico

Santos, S.L. and Chess, C. (2003) ‘Evaluating citizen advisory boards: the importance of theory and participant-based criteria and practical implications’, Risk Analysis, vol 23, no 2, pp 269-79. Sayer, J., Elliott, C., Barrow, E., Gretzinger, S., Maginnis, S., McShane, T. and Shepherd, G. (2005) ‘Implications for biodiversity conservation of decentralized forest resource management’, in C.J.P. Colfer and D. Capistrano (eds) The Politics of Decentralization: Forests, Power and People, London: Earthscan. Scholten, P. and Nispen, V.F. (2015) ‘Advisory boards and planning bureaus in the Netherlands’, in F.V. Nispen and P. Scholten (eds) Policy Analysis in The Netherlands, Bristol: Policy Press. Stoltzfus, T.J. D. (2010) ‘The Independent Payment Advisory Board’, New England Journal of Medicine, no 363, p 103-5. Tanaka, H. (2015) ‘In-house think tanks of ministries: their functions and limitations in policy formulation’, in Y. Adachi, S. Hosono and J. Lio (eds) Policy Analysis in Japan, Bristol: Policy Press. Vanguardia (2013) ‘El INECC deberá entregar estudios sobre derrame tóxico en ríos de Sonora’, Mexico, 26 April. Vargas, C.S. (2013) ‘National Council for Social Assistance and the Policy Community supporting social assistance as a right’, in J. Vaitsman, J.R. Mendes, J.M. Ribeiro and L. Lobato (eds) Policy Analysis in Brazil, Bristol: Policy Press. Yamaya, K. (2015) ‘Councils, policy analysis and policy evaluation’, in Y. Adachi, S. Hosono and J. Lio (eds) Policy Analysis in Japan, Bristol: Policy Press.

84

Policy analysis in advisory councils

Appendix Table A5.1: Universe of advisory boards in the Mexican federal government (2015) Advisory board

Ministry

Deconcentrated or decentralized?

Activities

Center for Advanced Studies in Tourism

Ministry of Tourism

Deconcentrated

To carry out sound research to support the policies designed by the federal Ministry of Tourism. Also, to develop studies on tourism capable of nurturing the decision-making process in the public, social and private sectors.

Center for Investigation and National Security

Ministry of the Interior

Deconcentrated

To produce strategic intelligence for decision makers, in order to preserve national security, governance and the rule of law.

Electric Research Institute

Ministry of Energy

Decentralized

To advise the Federal Commission for Electricity as well as industrial, electronics, manufacturing, and engineering companies in matters related to the production and consumption of electricity. It also promotes and conducts scientific, experimental and technological research to improve the electricity industry.

Mexican Institute of Transport

Ministry of Deconcentrated Communications and Transportation

To carry out research for the development and adaptation of technologies to improve public and private transportation. The by-laws entrust the insitute with providing analysis capable of supporting public decisions and programs related to transportation.

Mexican Institute of Water Technology

Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources

Decentralized

To conduct research to develop, adapt and transfer technology, to provide technological services and to train personnel in the management, conservation and rehabilitation of water to foster sustainable development.

National Center for Gender Equity and Reproductive Health

Ministry of Health

Deconcentrated

To assess and suggest improvements to the national public policies on reproductive health (family planning, maternal and perinatal health, gender equality, family health, sexual violence and violence against women).

National Center for Planning, Analysis and Information to Fight  Crime 

Office of the Attorney General

Deconcentrated

The center is designed the national plan to dismantle organized crime. It prepares diagnostics, classifies types of criminal activity, and assembles related statistical databases. The center gathers information and develops intelligence both for policy development and for public prosecutors.

National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy

Ministry of Social Development

Decentralized

Responsible for regulating and coordinating the evaluation of the National Social Development Policy and the policies, programs and actions executed by public agencies. It also establishes guidelines and criteria for the definition, identification and measurement of poverty.

National Fisheries Institute

Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food

Deconcentrated

To investigate the natural, economic and social processes of fishing. The institute offers professional, scientific and technological research, opinions and consultancy services in fishing to related government agencies.

85

Policy analysis in Mexico Advisory board

Ministry

Deconcentrated or decentralized?

Activities

National Institute for the Evaluation of Education

Ministry of Public Education

Decentralized

The institute provides federal and local educational authorities, as well as the private sector, with the soundest possible toolkit for evaluating educational systems.

National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change 

Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources

Deconcentrated

To produce and integrate scientific and technical knowledge to develop, implement and evaluate public policies leading to the protection of the environment, as well as mitigation of the effects of, and adaptation to, climate change.

National Institute of Geriatrics

Ministry of Health

Deconcentrated

To provide expert advice on issues related to the health of the geriatric community. To support the Ministry of Health in developing and promoting research in the field of geriatrics. The institute supports the development and implementation of annual, sectoral, special and regional health programs.

National Institute of Public Health

Ministry of Health

Decentralized

To contribute to social equity and the full realization of the constitutional right to health protection through the generation and dissemination of knowledge, the training of human resources, and multidisciplinary research to develop evidence-based public policies.

Note: Decentralisation generally refers to the transfer of decision authority from the national to the subnational orders of government (Crook and Manor, 1998; Agrawal and Ribot, 1999); however, in this case, it points to the creation of a new agency within the purview of a federal ministry, although relatively autonomous in legal and financial terms. Deconcentration signals a process by which the agents controlled by the central ministries are relocated or geographically dispersed (Sayer et al, 2005). In general, a decentralized agency is more autonomous than a deconcentrated body Source: Compilation of federal government bylaws assembled by the Ministry of the interior (2015), DOF (1986, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 a and b, 2014 a, b, c, d, e and f) and Convie (2013).

86

SIX

Policy analysis in autonomous agencies1 María del Carmen Pardo and Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna

This chapter provides an overview on how policy analysis is done in constitutional autonomous agencies (organismos constitucionales autónomos, or CAAs) in Mexico, with a particular focus on the Instituto Nacional de Evaluación para la Educación (National Institute of Evaluation for Education, or INEE) and the Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Federal Telecommunications Institute, or IFT). The CAAs represent a new kind of public agency for the Mexican politicoadministrative system. From an international perspective, CAAs are similar to non-majoritarian institutions existing in other jurisdictions: they are formally independent; their heads are neither elected nor hierarchically accountable to the executive power; and their internal life is not tied to political cycles (Majone, 1994, 1997; Thatcher and Stone-Sweet, 2002). The study departs from an understanding of policy analysis as the set of activities that policymakers develop while considering future policies (Dobuzinkis et al, 2007; Adachi, 2015). Among other things, these activities include: gathering and assessing information; considering and comparing potential courses of action; making decisions about specific policies; and taking into account (or not) potential implementation and evaluation factors. We do not expect that this kind of “textbook” approach will necessarily exist in practice. However, we do think it provides a useful starting point for conducting our research, and we thus use it as an analytical and not as a prescriptive framework. The chapter is based mainly on fresh empirical research conducted by the authors. In particular, we use information collected through a series of semistructured interviews with senior officials and policy experts from the two institutions mentioned above.2 We describe each case, and then compare them to produce broader insights regarding the nature of policy analysis in CAAs. While we cannot expect our findings to be representative of all nine CAAs that currently are in place, we do think our methodological approach to the subject is appropriate for the purposes of this study. First, it allows for collecting original information about policy analysis in CAAs, in line with the book’s broader objectives. Second, because 1

The authors gratefully acknowledge the research assistance provided by Miguel Ángel Berber.

2

We also conducted one interview with a senior official of the Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica (Federal Economic Competition Commission [COFECE]). However, we could not arrange more meetings with officials from that organization and we have thus not included it here. 87

Policy analysis in Mexico

of the very limited amount of previous research on the subject, this qualitative exploration will allow us to generate some theoretical statements that might be tested or refined at a later stage. Third, by comparing two CAAs that are rather different in all respects other than their non-majoritarian status, we may be able to find some commonalities, and thus produce some statements that might apply to other CAAs to some extent. The remainder of the chapter is structured as follows. The first section briefly describes the rise of CAAs in Mexico. The second section introduces the two CAAs under study, and then presents our main findings for each of them. The third section compares them, pointing at their main differences in terms of policy analysis, but also at their similarities. The final section concludes the chapter.

Constitutional autonomous agencies in Mexico During the past two decades, a new kind of public organization emerged in Mexico: the CAAs. Semi-autonomous agencies have been a feature of Mexico’s public administration at least since 1976. The Ley Orgánica de la Administración Pública Federal (General Statute of the Federal Public Administration) introduced the organismos descentralizados (decentralized organizations), and the organismos desconcentrados (decentered organizations). However, the new CAAs are significantly different from these organizations in legal and administrative terms. As it is implied in their name, the legal status of CAAs is established in the Mexican constitution, not in a law or administrative rule. Second, they are not part of the executive power, which is the case for the decentralized and decentered agencies. In fact, CAAs are state institutions set apart from the classic institutional scheme of division of powers (executive, legislative, and judiciary). Third, because of the previous two conditions, CAAs are formally autonomous, and thus may make their decisions and design their policies according to their own criteria and priorities. Lastly, while the members of their executive boards are appointed after political negotiation between the executive and legislative powers, they may only be removed from office for cause (for example, serious faults). Therefore, their leadership structure is neither elected nor subject to change depending on political parties’ priorities. All in all, it could be said that CAAs are the Mexican version of the non-majoritarian institutions that exist elsewhere (DussaugeLaguna, forthcoming). There currently are nine CAAs in Mexico at the federal level.3

3

88

Another one will be established in 2018: the Fiscalía General de la República, which will replace the current Procuraduría General de la República (PGR), as the General Attorney’s Office. Also, recent transparency reforms have mandated the creation of non-majoritarian institutions at the state level, to oversee and enforce new freedom of information and privacy regulations.

Policy analysis in autonomous agencies

As Table 6.1 shows, CAAs participate in a wide variety of policy areas: central banking and monetary policy; management of federal elections; freedom of information and privacy; evaluation of social policy; evaluation of education policy; human rights protection; economic competition; telecommunications regulations; and the production of national statistics. The first CAA was established in 1994, when the Bank of Mexico was given formal independence. The latest CAAs are the Instituto Nacional de Transparencia, Acceso a la Información y Protección de Datos Personales (National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information, and Personal Data Protection), and the Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política Social (Coneval, or National Council for the Evaluation of Social Policy), both of which were granted a similar status in 2014.

Table 6.1: Constitutional autonomous agencies in Mexico Name

Policy field

Year of creation

Year in which Ministry with which agency was formerly legally agency became associated a CAA

Bank of Mexico

Monetary policy

1925

1994

Ministry of Finance

National Electoral Institute

Elections management

1990

1996

Ministry of the Interior

National Human Rights Commission

Human rights

1990

1999

Ministry of the Interior

National Institute of Statistics and Geography

Statistics

1983

2008

Ministry of Finance

Federal Commission for Economic Competition

Competition policy

1993

2013

Ministry of Economy

Federal Institute of Telecommunications

Telecommunications policy

1996

2013

Ministry of Telecommunications and Transportation

National Institute for the Evaluation of Education

Education policy

2002

2013

Ministry of Public Education

National Institute of Access to Public Information and Personal Data Protection

Accountability policy

2002

2014

Ministry of Public Administration

National Council for the Evaluation of Social Policy

Social policy

2004

2014

Ministry of Social Policy

Source: Authors’ own elaboration.

With the exception of the Bank of Mexico, all CAAs have been defined as such just recently. This is partly related to the process of democratization that has taken place in the country since the 1980s, which has stressed the need to properly guarantee 89

Policy analysis in Mexico

certain principles (such as free elections, access to information, human rights, quality of education, and economic competition; see Ackerman, 2007; Chapter Three in this volume). The reforms have been further associated with broader international trends, such as the establishment of non-majoritarian institutions and, more specifically, independent regulatory agencies in several countries (Elgie, 2006; Jordana et al, 2011; OECD, 2012). Thus, national political dynamics seem to have opened a juncture in which political actors and policymakers have introduced institutional innovations informed by foreign models and examples. As Table 6.1 also shows, all CAAs were first created as part of the federal executive power. They were only granted constitutional autonomy at a later stage, many of them in fairly recent years. A thorough analysis regarding this pattern of administrative autonomization and delegation of authorities would go beyond the purpose of this chapter. However, it is important to note it because it triggered certain organizational dynamics, which in turn has affected the way policy analysis has been performed in these institutions both before and since gaining autonomous status.

A tale of two constitutional autonomous agencies: policy analysis at INEE and IFT This section presents the main findings from our research. We briefly introduce each CAA in terms of its origins, mission, and organizational structure. We then present information regarding how they do policy analysis in their respective fields. In order to produce a comparative analysis of the two cases, we employ a similar structure for each along the following lines: information gathering and assessment; formulation of policy options; decision-making procedures; analysis of implementation and evaluation considerations; and identification of the factors that may condition how policy analysis takes place. Broader comparative insights are discussed in the following section. Because the chapter is mainly exploratory and seeks to generate some preliminary hypotheses about how policy analyisis is carried out in this new type of agency, we followed a qualitative research approach. More specifically, we conducted three semi-structured, non-attributable interviews at IFT and two at INEE, all of which were based on a similar questionnaire. We interviewed senior officials whose work is directly related to generating policies in line with their agencies’ core mission, and/or who have a position of authority that allows them to participate at the highest level of decision-making processes. Interviews lasted between 40 and 120 minutes, and thus allowed us to get a rather comprehensive perspective on how these practices take place in each institution. Without claiming these findings are representative of all nine CAAs, we do think these two cases offer very interesting insights. This is particularly so given that we found important commonalities between the agencies, despite their huge differences in terms of date of creation, policy fields, and core missions.

90

Policy analysis in autonomous agencies

The National Institute of Education Evaluation (INEE) INEE was created in 2002 as a decentralized institution, under the remit of the Ministry of Public Education. Since 25 February 2013, INEE has been a CAA, and thus formally independent from the executive power, with full autonomy to manage its own budget. INEE’s main responsibility is to “evaluate the quality, the performance, and the results of the National Education System in preschool, primary school, secondary school, and high school” (www.inee.edu.mx). In order to do so, the agency is in charge of the following: • designing and implementing measurements that address the components, processes or results of the system; • enacting guidelines to which federal and local education authorities should adhere in order to perform the evaluation activities under their responsibility; • generating and disseminating information that allows it to produce relevant guidelines that contribute to the decisions that help improve the quality and equity of education as essential factors in the search for social equality; and • coordinating the National Education System. INEE was created as a result of both national and international changes in education policy and management. At least since the 1970s, the Mexican government had been generating various census systems about the National Education System. Moreover, during the 1990s, as part of federalization efforts in the public education field, the government established the National System for the Evaluation of Education. It also started to apply tests, such as the “Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study”, and those related to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) initiative. In terms of its organizational structure, INEE is headed by a board of directors (junta de gobierno) with five councilors (consejeros), including a councilor president. Councilors are expected to serve for seven years, and can only be removed from office for cause. Councilors are appointed by the Senate (from a list of candidates proposed by the president), and appointments are staggered as follows: one councilor is in office for seven years; two serve six years; and two serve five years. The bureaucratic part of the agency is divided into five units, three of which focus on core mission activities (the other two develop other administrative and support activities). The Unit for Education Policy Rules has responsibility for preparing regulations for the Teachers Civil Service (Servicio Profesional Docente); the producing guidelines for improving evaluations; and designing policy for evaluating the quality of education policy. The Unit of Evaluation of the National Education System is basically the former INEE. It is in charge of evaluating scholarly learning, teachers, and students. Lastly, the Unit of Information and Evaluation Culture Advancement has responsibility both for producing relevant information for other INEE areas, and for publicizing evaluation results among relevant actors and society in general. 91

Policy analysis in Mexico

Figure 6.1: Organizational structure of the National Institute of Evaluation for Education Board of Counselors Counselor President

Unit for Education Policy Rules

Unit of Evaluation of the National Education System

Unit of Information and Evaluation Culture Advancement

Unit for Planning, Coordination and Communication

Unit for Management

Office of Inspector General

The current structure of INEE reflects significant changes in terms of mission and, above all, legal authorities and policy activities with regard to the institutional features it had up to 2012 (Bracho, 2015). According to one interviewee: “The institute used to be a technical agency focused on evaluating scholarly learning and that was pretty well done. Nowadays, it still has to evaluate scholarly learning, but it also has to conduct evaluations of other components of the National Education System: teachers, schools, study programs, education policy and programs. Its mandate has been expanded in terms of evaluation, which is very important because its tasks go beyond its original orientation, with a higher degree of complexity.” Other new institutional responsibilities are those related to the publication of guidelines (directrices), which have to be followed by both federal and state-level education authorities. Previously, INEE produced “recommendations”, which could be either followed or not by those public institutions to whom they were addressed. However, guidelines are different because governments have to either implement them, or explain why not, and then justify what they will do instead. This has very significant technical and political implications. As one interviewee put it, “it is not easy to tell the Ministry of Public Education or state education authorities what is it that they have to do”. Information gathering, analysis, and design of policy alternatives Because of its new and broader responsibilities, INEE uses a variety of information sources, as well as different methodologies to gather data and analyze potential policy alternatives. According to one interviewee, “We do try to gather as much information of the best quality possible, because we really need to have it as a basis for our policy proposals. In some cases it is even mandated by the legal framework. For instance, in the case of guidelines (which are not mere recommendations), the law states we need to find the evaluations and research that support them. We sometimes even commission some ad hoc evaluations 92

Policy analysis in autonomous agencies

before producing the draft of a guideline. We do not look out only for available research, but also look into data bases, studies, and even best practice experiences in Mexico, Latin America or the world.” According to interviewees, INEE is also trying to reach out more systematically to its various stakeholders, such as teachers, school directors, and parents. This is being done to broaden the sources and types of information used for making policy proposals. Officials sometimes use Delphi methods, rapid surveys, and focus groups with key external actors. However, many of these activities are being used for the first time, and thus are far from being organizational routines. These exchanges with external actors are also being used to prepare the implementation field. Officials seem to be increasingly aware that they have to produce courses of action that are not only good from a technical standpoint, but also feasible; otherwise, the realities of the Mexican political environment (lack of resources, inadequate local infrastructure, or contradictions among state regulations) might make it impossible to implement new policies and guidelines. The concept of “feasibility” is thus being incorporated into INEE’s discussions, even though one interviewee said that “we are finding difficult to introduce it in the institution’s discourse and institutional routines because no one has been used to thinking about this”. In terms of its broader analytical capacity, INEE does seem to count with highly qualified experts. First, there is the group of people that worked in the “old INEE” (prior to constitutional autonomy). These are pedagogues and experts in developing psychometric and other learning tests. Second, there is a growing number of sociologists, political scientists, and public policy experts, many of whom have joined INEE after the constitutional reform. Last but not least, most senior officials have completed postgraduate studies, and all five councilors have a PhD, plus extensive experience in the field of education. However, interviewees also mentioned that more evaluation experts and lawyers will be needed, given the new responsibilities of the institution, and the recurrence of litigation against its guidelines or directives. Decision-making processes INEE’s decision-making procedures seem to be well organized and are becoming increasingly routinized, even though significant challenges remain. As a general rule, the units in charge of producing regulations, guidelines, and other policy proposals submit their drafts to the board at two different, albeit complementary, stages. Heads of unit meet with councilors every other week to present their preliminary ideas and documents. These meetings are not focused on approving the proposals, but on debating them very openly. Then there are ordinary and extraordinary board meetings, in which formal decisions are made, mainly on the basis of what has been previously discussed in regular meetings. According to an interviewee: 93

Policy analysis in Mexico

“When the units bring topics up to the board, they are obliged to present technical info, no matter what the topic is, not only in terms of evaluation, but also of political analysis and education management. Studies about the potential relevance of the topic are sent in advance to the councilors. On the basis of this information, a decision is made regarding the best course of action. There is always a cost-benefit analysis even if minimal, and on that basis alternatives are discussed. Some feasibility analyses are also produced, and from that the best option from a technical point of view is chosen. However, there have been times when adjustments have been made, so that equilibrium is reached between technical validity and relevance.” Because INEE has been working under its new constitutional status for a very short time, decision-making processes are still maturating and have often become rather conflictual in some areas. For instance, the topic of scholarly learning evaluation (the central concern of INEE since its origins) has been difficult to deal with because of contrasting perspectives among councilors, with some advocating the use of census measurements and others the use of samples. While the latter is said to suffice in order to make high-level policy decisions, the former is said to be much more useful for schoolteachers, parents, and school communities in general, who require more fine-grained information to make decisions on a daily basis. The topic of guidelines implementation has been similarly complicated. According to one interview, some actors state that “it does not matter whether we cause a reaction from other authorities”. Nonetheless, others think that guidelines seen as problematic by those actors that will be eventually affected will face difficulties during the implementation stage. A third contested issue has been whether scholarly evaluations should be used as a learning tool or as an accountability tool, with different sides suggesting it has be one or the other, but not both at the same time. Despite these complications, interviewees suggest that INEE has been capable of making good decisions in general. According to one interviewee: “There has been some self-restriction from all councilors, who seem to think, ‘Well, one thing is what I think and want, and another is what the INEE has to do in constitutional terms.’ And it is best to try and reach basic agreements because otherwise the institution will be negatively affected.” While these internal negotiations seem to have been difficult for all councilors, all of whom are experts in the education field, in the end they also seem to have understood the need to produce decisions as a unified body. Moreover, both councilors and senior officials are well aware that some kind of agreement has to be reached on every subject. This is because of the multiple deadlines that were

94

Policy analysis in autonomous agencies

established as part of the education reform; otherwise, they are aware they would be damaging INEE’s reputation. Constraining factors and challenges INEE has faced some important constraints both because of its new responsibilities, and because of its broader political environment. For instance, while INEE is now responsible for establishing general criteria and guidelines for evaluating members of the new Teachers Civil Service (Servicio Profesional Docente), “there are some public servants who do not want to get involved in this topic”. This seems to be particularly the case with scholarly evaluation experts, who are not willing to “get their hands dirty”. Similarly, INEE is not used to regulating open competition procedures for teaching positions, which require not only good-quality hiring tools, but also transparent mechanisms for announcing posts and recruiting candidates. INEE’s activities have been further affected by broader national conditions. While the institute can now manage its own budget, countrywide austerity policies have had an impact on subjects such as census-like assessments, which are very costly. Another issue has been the lack of evaluation capacity at the subnational level. Most evaluation experts live in Mexico City and/or are already working for INEE or other evaluation institutions, thus complicating technical exchanges between INEE and other public education institutions. More recently, the Ministry of Public Education’s decision to “suspend” teachers’ evaluation procedures without first consulting INEE put the latter in a very difficult position. This situation also showed that reaching a proper balance between INEE’s broadened regulatory authorities and the ministry’s responsibility (and discretion) over implementation will not be an easy endeavor. Last but not least, INEE’s transition from being part of the executive power and subordinate to the Ministry of Public Education, to becoming a CAA has completely altered its political circumstances. It now has to negotiate peer-topeer with its former parent ministry, as well as directly with several other actors around the country on a variety of topics. According to one interviewee, “the evaluation arena has become a political arena”. Thus, INEE’s policies have to take into account the demands of many different actors, and its decisions need to produce coherent policies that are as technically robust as possible, and as feasible as necessary. The Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) IFT was created in 1996 under the name of Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Federal Telecommunications Commission, or Cofetel). It was a semiautonomous agency (órgano desconcentrado), under the remit of the Ministry of Telecommunications and Transports (Secretaría de Telecomunicaciones y Transportes, or SCT) until 11 June 2013, when it became a CAA. IFT’s main 95

Policy analysis in Mexico

responsibility is to “promote and regulate competition and efficient development of telecommunications and broadcasting in Mexico”. In order to do so, IFT regulates and oversees broadcasting spectrum, orbital resources, satellite services, and telecommunications public networks. It is also the economic competition authority in the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors (www.ift.org.mx). In terms of its organizational structure, IFT is headed by a board of commissioners (pleno) with seven commissioners (comisionados), including a commissioner president. Commissioners are appointed by the Senate (from a list of candidates proposed by the president), and appointments are staggered so that one commissioner is in office for three years; one for four years; one for five years; one for six years; one for seven years; one for eight years; and one for nine years. The bureaucratic part of the agency is divided into eight units, seven of which are focused on core mission activities, with the remaining one focused on legal affairs. The Unit for Regulatory Policy is responsible for setting general regulations to promote the growth and competitiveness of the telcommunications and broadcasting sectors. The Unit of Radioelectric Spectrum regulates radioelectric spectrum and orbital resources. The Unit for Concessions and Services is in charge of managing tendering processes for band frequencies part of the radioelectric spectrum. The Unit for Media and Audiovisual Contents establishes policies to guarantee free access to plural and timely information, diversity, and freedom of expression, and is also responsible for diffusion in all media outlets. The Unit for Enforcement ensures that telecommunication and broadcasting concessionaries and operators comply with existing legal and administrative standards and regulations. The Unit for Economic Competition initiates and follows up on boards’ decisions on market concentration. Lastly, the new Investigation Authority (Autoridad Investigadora) is in charge of researching telecommunications and broadcasting competition issues, as well as of representing IFT in related judicial processes. According to one interviewee, “IFT performs a variety of activities which none other CAA has”, including regulatory, administrative, and jurisdictional duties. This includes ex post intervention in terms of economic competition in the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors. The same interviewee suggests that the IFT has been given a mandate that is extremely detailed, and for some topics has even become a “straitjacket”. For instance, the constitutional reform established regulatory requirements and conditions that would be usually set in secondary regulations. This was the case with the need to declare a dominant actor (actor preponderante) for each telecommunications “sector”. While this might have seemed logical from a political point of view, it may not make much sense in terms of economic analysis (see the following section).

96

Policy analysis in autonomous agencies

Figure 6.2: Organizational structure of the Federal Telecommunications Institute Board of Commissioners Technical Secretariat

Unit for Regulatory Policy

Unit for Radioelectric Spectre

Unit for Concessions and Services

Coordinating Office for Communication

Coordinating Office for Institutional Vinculation

Executive Coordinating Office

Unit for Management

Coordinating Office for Strategic Planning

Coordinating Office for Improving Regulatory Enforcement

Unit for Media and Audiovisual Contents

Unit for Enforcement

Unit for Economic Competition

Unit for Legal Affairs

Coordinating Office for International Affairs

Coordinating Office for Consumer Protection

Study Center

Investigation Authority

As in the case of INEE, IFT inherited its bureaucratic personnel structure. This has brought with it some issues discussed below. However, one interviewee states: “The IFT is going through a clear moment of renovation. Public officials are talented and with experience, but they are coming from an organizational culture in which the boss was always right. And then the boss was not the head of Cofetel, but the Secretary of Communications and Transports, who sometimes would say, ‘I don’t care how you do it, but you will have to do this.’” Information gathering, analysis, and design of policy alternatives IFT has aimed to improve its information-gathering capacities. There have been some efforts to develop new methodologies and a partnership with the National Institute of Geography and Statistics to produce better indicators and statistics. Moreover, IFT analysts and decision makers regularly use a number of information sources. They review international benchmarks, best practices, and other relevant international evidence. They share information with other Latin American regulatory agencies (for example, through the Foro Latinoamericano de Entes Reguladores de Telecomunicaciones, or Regulatel), and European organizations (through the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications). They employ the Herfindahl-Hirschman index to measure market concentration and the number of actors that take part in it. They also collect information from the Mexican Stock Exchange. Depending on the issue at hand, telecommunications incumbents might be invited to provide information. Similarly, reports from private consultancies such as Cullen International are sometimes commissioned for particularly delicate cases for which IFT lacks detailed information regarding all private parties involved. IFT also organizes working groups and forums with private actors, regulators, and regulatees. Participants are free to express their opinions about regulatory projects. All comments are recorded and included in the meetings’ dossiers. Discussions seem to be valuable for IFT because they provide first-hand 97

Policy analysis in Mexico

information about participants’ concerns. Public consultation is also employed before final regulations are enacted. According to one interviewee: “There are always valuable comments which might help improve regulation. Comments may not be neutral, but that does not matter, private actors know their sector very well and we need to value their contributions. It’s their business and no one will know the subject better than them.” IFT also employs a variety of methodologies to guide its analyses. Cost-benefit calculations are commonly employed when considering options. Since the time of Cofetel, a specialized unit has also carried out regulatory impact assessments. Market share analysis is commonly used to map out the strength of different actors. A type of decision tree or scenario mapping also seems to be used, as described by the following interviewee: We are now preparing a regulatory project, and we have tried to visualize the different scenarios, which could be generated by each regulation on market conditions. The aim is to know how successful each regulation would be and how the market would react, so that we can make the best decision knowing the probability that something may happen. We do this in a subjective way, not in a completely scientific way, but trying to envisage the various potential scenarios. And we do this not only by thinking in terms of the regulation, but also the competitive environment, so that we can somehow predict whether a given enterprise will react in this or the other way.” In terms of relevant criteria, economic aspects (such as market share) are clearly the main point of departure for any analysis. However, these seem to be increasingly supplemented by legal and implementation feasibility considerations. According to an interviewee, more attention is being given to ensuring that decisions “are not impossible to comply with, because no one is obliged to do impossible things. Otherwise, judges may determine resolutions or decisions illegal.” Thus, options that may imply huge costs, or a very long term before they are fully implemented, are considered as non-viable a priori. Decision-making processes IFT’s decision-making processes may vary according to what is being discussed by the board. In some cases commissioners have to produce general or sectorspecific regulations. In other cases they have to arbitrate over disagreements among providers. However, decisions are initially based on the information provided by the units that introduce the policy proposals. In some cases additional information might be required in the form of comments from other units within the same IFT. 98

Policy analysis in autonomous agencies

As a general rule, decision projects are submitted to the board’s secretariat. The former include the complete file, with all supporting documents, the relevant analyses (cost-benefit, for example), and, in the words of one interviewee, “various alternative courses of action, supported by pros and cons for each proposed solution, so that commissioners may decide which alternative is the one that fits best IFT’s objectives and vision”. These files are available on an intranet and can be read by all commissioners. However, these procedures are currently under revision because the quality of the submissions seems to vary a lot. While some units produce very good files, others “seem to be stuck in their own vision, and tend to ignore the big picture, including the issue of how decisions may have broader impacts in the future”. There may be cases in which commissioners disagree on a course of action, or do not think proposals submitted by the units are appropriate. OIn these occasions, regulatory projects go back to the working groups in which they were prepared, and changes are introduced. A new proposal is then presented to the board, which has make a decision on the issue. This is then published for public consultation. Once all public comments have been considered, the revised proposal is resubmitted to the board, which approves it following a majority rule. Guidelines, standards, technical criteria, and regulations are then enacted in the official journal of the federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación). There are other issues related to IFT’s decision-making processes. For some topics, the board’s margin for maneuver has been constrained because of IFT’s legal mandate. For example, in terms of declaring dominant actors by sector, economic analysis may suggest that different actors are dominant in different parts of the country (for example, northern states versus southern states). However, IFT may only declare one dominant actor, even if this is not the most adequate course of action. Another complex topic relates to how units prepare their policy proposals. Currently, every commissioner may understand the same topic in different ways, and units cannot pay attention to all points of view. According to one interviewee, “units need the board to better clarify its criteria for similar policy subjects. It is not easy to please seven people who think they possess the absolute truth.” Constraining factors and challenges There are a number of factors that have affected IFT’s activities, and may constrain its future performance. As suggested earlier, some important limitations have come from legal definitions that were established at the constitutional level, instead of being left open for secondary regulations. Furthermore, the telecommunications reform set a number of very short deadlines for highly complex technical decisions, all of which has put a lot of pressure on the agency. The inherited organizational structure from Cofetel has also affected IFT’s activities. According to one interviewee, “there still is a traditional culture because 90% of the staff was part of the Cofetel. When people have worked in the same 99

Policy analysis in Mexico

way it is not easy to change their culture. There exists a legal bias, as people think we need to blindly follow the law, particularly in the case of things that are set in the Constitution.” However, the same person argues that for some topics even legal definitions might be approached from different perspectives. Related to the former point, another challenge faced by IFT is that of how to actually regulate modern telecommunications. There are new providers (Skype, Google, Whatsapp, Facebook) that are radically different from older telephone concessionaries, and whose market influence may not be investigated in the same way. In other cases, the legal framework refers to concepts such as convergence, which makes sense for traditional telecommunications sectors. However, they may not be as relevant in world where children use tablets for downloading TV content. As one interviewee put it, “there is a tendency to continue regulating as in the 1990s”. Policy analysis capacity constraints are also related to a shortage of technical experts for all of IFT’s regulatory areas. According to one interviewee: “The IFT grew from 600 to almost 1,000 public servants, but they face a huge variety of tasks. We need experts on children’s content, interconnections, networks, etc. We also need to develop a deeper analysis on what enforcement means, because we may produce regulations and prohibitions, but that needs to be supported by the capacity to monitor that they are been complied with.” While the constitutional reform broke up the main source of conflict between Cofetel and SCT (the so called “double window”), it still left some legal lacunae, which may undermine IFT’s future regulatory leadership in the sector. For instance, the Ministry of the Interior was given formal authority to regulate TV and radio content. Similarly, SCT kept its authority to conduct international relations with telecommunications institutions from other regions, with IFT only providing a “support role”. On the other hand, the constitutional reform that created IFT also brought with it some institutional changes that have contributed to strengthening the agency’s decisions. First, new specialized tribunals have been established. This was done to ensure that regulatory issues are promptly reviewed by judges with relevant expertise. Previously, regular tribunals reviewed these topics, generally in a very slow fashion, and often in favor of private actors. Second, while private actors obviously can dispute regulatory decisions that might affect them, legal procedures do not put on hold decisions or sanctions. This is in sharp constrast with previous legal practice, which allowed private agents to seek judicial suspension of Cofetel’s decisions, which lasted until the courts clarified its position on the issue (something that could take years; see Pardo, 2010).

100

Policy analysis in autonomous agencies

Brief comparative overview The previous sections have described how policy analysis is conducted at both INEE and IFT. This section briefly compares the major features of these two CAAs, which are summarized in Table 6.2. The aim is to find some commonalities between the two agencies, despite their obvious differences in terms of history, organizational structure, and policy sector.

Table 6.2: Comparison of main features of INEE and IFT Topic

INEE

IFT

Policy area

Education policy evaluation

Telecommunications policy

Policy tools

Standards Guidelines Directives

Regulations Sanctions

Information gathering, analysis, and design of policy alternatives

Different information sources used, including external studies, international best practice, external data bases Focus groups and Delphi techniques used to gather opinions from stakeholders Some kind of cost-benefit analysis sometimes used Growing concern regarding feasibility of policy proposals

Different information sources used, including benchmarking, information from international networks, international indexes, private consultancies, Mexican Stock Exchange Public consultation Decision trees and cost-benefit analysis regularly used Growing concern about feasibility of regulations

Decision-making structures

Board with five councilors, including a councilor president Staggered appointments

Board with seven commissioners, including a commissioner president Staggered appointments

Decision-making processes

Relatively well organized, following a two-step process: units present policy proposals and board makes a decision Some strong disagreements within the board regarding contentious topics

Slight variations depending on the kind of policy tool to be decided, but generally organized around four-step processes: units present policy proposals, board approves, decision is made public for consultation, unit incorporates relevant comments and resubmits proposal to the board, and the latter makes the final decision Some disagreements within the boar

Contraining factors and challenges

Inherited organizational culture (former INE) Bias towards educational learning evaluations, instead of broader evaluation approaches Complex relationships with Ministry of Education and Teachers Civil Service Union Capacity building for policy evaluation and legal affairs

Inherited organizational culture (former Cofetel) Legalistic bias Tendency to regulate in terms of older telecommunications frameworks Potential overlaps with Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Telecommunications and Transportation Capacity building for new regulatory issues and approaches

Source: Authors’ own elaboration.

In terms of information gathering, both agencies use a variety of sources to produce their analyses. Their own internal areas generate studies and data. At the same time, this is complemented by insights, benchmarks, and best 101

Policy analysis in Mexico

practices obtained from private consultancies, international expert networks, and stakeholders. Similarly, both agencies are trying to use a variety of methodological tools to gather information, analyse it, and devise policy alternatives. Focus groups, Delphi techniques, decision trees, and cost-benefit analyses are among the tools used by agency analysts and senior officials to better support their decisions. Moreover, apart from the tendency to ensure the technical and legal quality of the policies produced, there seems to be a growing concern about policy feasibility. In both agencies, experts seem to be aware that it is not good enough to have excellent guidelines, directives, or regulations. They also need to make sure that policies will be implemented. Thus, both policy analysts and decision makers are putting more emphasis on this issue. In terms of decision-making processes, the two agencies are struggling to deal with both timely decisions and strong disagreements. Because multi-person boards head their organizational structures, decisions are not easy to make. All councilors/commissioners in both agencies are experts, but they obviously come from a variety of professional and academic backgrounds. They thus put more or less emphasis on different policy values or aspects. While all positions may be defensible, they are not necessarily compatible. On the other hand, because of the very strict deadlines both institutions were given at the time of their creation, key institutional policies have been enacted on time. Furthermore, while internal procedures for preparing policy proposals and supporting data are still under development, they seem to have become relatively routinized and professionalized. Lastly, while policy analysis in both agencies seems to be achieving increased technical sophistication, it is clear that important challenges remain. These relate to their inherited institutional structures; the problems of adapting to new authorities and responsibilities, without necessarily having the policy capacity (for example, the staff) to do so; and the political environment in which they are immersed. These topics are discussed in more detail in the concluding section.

Conclusion This chapter has offered an exploration on how policy analysis is carried out in Mexico´s CAAs. The focus has been on two agencies: INEE, which regulates education evaluation policies; and IFT, which is responsible for regulating the telecommunications sector. Because of this narrow sample, we cannot expect the findings to be representative of all CAAs. However, we do think that they provide a good general idea on how policy analysis activities are being done in these new organizations. Despite their significant differences in terms of structure, policy fields, and institutional environments, we did find a number of common topics and issues faced by both INEE and IFT. This would seem to point to particular policy analysis patterns that are characteristic of this new kind of public organization. At the same time, the way they perform policy analysis is similar to the practices of other non-majoritarian institutions (Thatcher, 2002).

102

Policy analysis in autonomous agencies

The analysis of these two organizations has also provided us with broader insights, which help us better understand how and why policy analysis is carried out at INEE and IFT the way it is. The first issue relates to the implications of their formal independence, which was recently established in the Mexican Constitution. This legal feature does seem to provide both agencies with a higher status within the public sector, which in turn provides them with a broader margin for maneuver in terms of their regulatory and standards-setting activities. On the other hand, interviewees were well aware that formal independence was not enough and that they faced significant organizational and policy challenges that went beyond this point. This was particularly so because of the dynamism and level of political contestation of the policy sectors in which they are embedded. A second issue relates to the internal challenges CAAs are facing. On the one hand, both agencies are new in the sense that their constitutional autonomy was granted just recently. Moreover, the reform processes that preceded this change of legal status also significantly broadened their mandates. This has provided them with new authorities, as well as with the freedom to define their own organizational and budgetary structures. On the other hand, both agencies have inherited routines, organizational cultures, and regulatory approaches developed throughout the years, since their creation back in 1996 (Cofetel, now IFT) or 2002 (INEE). Therefore, both agencies are struggling to develop new policy analysis approaches, criteria, and decision-making processes because of their own institutional inertia, particularly coming from some staff used to the way things worked before the reforms. A third issue is that of how decision making takes place in an organizational setting in which a board, and not an individual, has to approve institutional policies and regulations. The variety of academic and professional backgrounds of each institution’s board members seems to have positively contributed to internal debates. Different understandings and values come to fore each time a decision is made, thus broadening the terms of the discussions, and enriching policy contents. Yet this same plurality of perspectives has become a challenge because board members approach topics from various standpoints. They thus defend their positions and negotiate with their colleagues over both the big questions and the small print of each of their agencies’ decisions. As a result, decision-making processes are often more conflictual and slower than ideal. Last but not least, there is the issue of how political interests affect policy analysis and institutional decision making. From the information we gathered, it does seem as though CAAs analytical capacities have improved as time goes by, particularly under their new legal status. Both INEE and IFT are trying to build their reputation on the basis of good analysis, as well as producing regulations that are quite solid from a technical point of view. However, they still very powerful counterparts (strong businesses, huge trade unions, and big ministries), which in the past have been able to resist regulatory efforts. To sum up, policy analysis in Mexico’s CAAs does seem to follow some of the patterns that would be expected from a “textbook” approach. Moreover, the 103

Policy analysis in Mexico

way policy analysis works inside INEE and IFT would also seem to resemble the features of non-majoritarian institutions elsewhere: highly expert, strongly technical, politically impartial, and oriented towards building reputation. At the same time, these two CAAs seem to be struggling with how to fulfill their “new mandates” with their partially renewed but mostly “old capacities”; how to process internal disagreements while making decisions under a multi-person board framework; and how to secure both the technical quality and political feasibility of their policies in a rather hostile environment. Given these conditions, both IFT’s and INEE’s policy analysis capacities will continue to put under stress; yet strengthening these same capacities may well be the way to secure both institutions’ long-term policy success. References Ackerman, J. (2007) Organismos Autónomos y Democracia: El Caso de México, Mexico City: Siglo XXI-IIJ. Adachi, Y. (2015) ‘Policy analysis in Japan: the state of the art’, in Y. Adachi, S. Hosono and J. Iio (eds) Policy Analysis in Japan, Bristol: Policy Press, pp 1-11. Bracho, T. (2015) ‘Nuevas reglas de la evaluación: responsabilidades con nuevos tiempos y espacios de poder’, Nexos en línea, available at http://educacion. nexos.com.mx/?p=29. Dobuzinkis, L., Howlett, M. and Laycock, D. (2007) ‘Policy analysis in Canada: the state of the art’, in L. Dobuzinkis, M. Howlett, and D. Laycock (eds) Policy Analysis in Canada, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp 3-17. Dussauge-Laguna, M. (forthcoming) ‘Organismos constitucionales autónomos y reforma administrativa en México”, in M.C. Pardo and G. Cejudo (eds) Trayectorias de Reformas Administrativas en México: Legados y Conexiones, Mexico City: El Colegio de México/CIDE. Elgie, R. (2006) ‘Why do governments delegate authority to quasi-autonomous agencies? The case of independent administrative authorities in France’, Governance, vol 19, no 2, pp 207-27. Jordana, J., Levi-Faur, D. and Fernández-i-Marín, X. (2011) ‘Global diffusion of regulatory agencies: channels of transfer and stages of diffusion’, Comparative Political Studies, vol 44, no 10, pp 1343-69. Majone, G. (1994) ‘The rise of the regulatory state in Europe’, West European Politics, vol 17, no 3, pp 77-101. Majone, G. (1997) ‘From the positive to the regulatory state: causes and consequences of changes in the mode of governance’, Journal of Public Policy, vol 17, no 2, pp 139-67. OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) (2012) Revisiones de la OCDE sobre Reforma Regulatoria México. Hacia una Perspectiva de Gobierno Entero para la Mejora Regulatoria, Paris: OECD. Pardo, M.C. (2010) ‘El estado mexicano: ¿de la intervención a la regulación?’, in S. Loaeza and J.-F. Prud’homme (eds) Instituciones y Procesos Políticos, Mexico City: El Colegio de México, pp 71-119. 104

Policy analysis in autonomous agencies

Thatcher, M. (2002) ‘Delegation to independent regulatory agencies: pressures, functions and contextual mediation’, West European Politics, vol 25, no 1, pp 125-47. Thatcher, M. and Stone-Sweet, A. (2002) ‘Theory and practice of delegation to non-majoritarian institutions’, West European Politics, vol 25, no 1, pp 1-22.

105

SEVEN

Policy analysis in the Chamber of Deputies Rodrigo Velazquez Lopez Velarde

Introduction Until the late 1990s, the Mexican Congress functioned as a rubber-stamp institution whose main function was the endorsement of the presidential agenda. The dominance of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in the electoral arena, which allowed it to manage ample majorities in Congress, along with the subordination of legislators to the executive branch, hindered the development of legislative institutional capacities to elaborate and amend bills and to supervise federal public policies. The executive branch, supported by the bureaucracy, designed and implemented almost all federal programs with scarce legislative input. Since PRI presidents and the federal government agencies had control over the policy process, it was not necessary for legislators either to become policy specialists or to invest resources and time in the development of professional staff that could carry out policy analysis in diverse social and economic areas. Although certain internal bargaining and compromise between PRI legislators and the president took place in order to approve certain laws, members of Congress only had to maintain party discipline and support the presidential agenda in order to advance their political careers. Therefore, policy analysis was not a capacity required to perform legislative functions. However, as the process of democratization advanced and opposition parties began to win seats in Congress, the legislative branch started to become an important player in the policy making process. A decisive moment in the democratization process was in 1997 when the PRI lost the absolute majority in the Chamber of Deputies. This electoral defeat forced the president and PRI legislators to negotiate the passing of all laws with the opposition parties for the first time since 1929. The new political scenario brought important changes to this house of Congress: legislative internal rules were modified and new internal congressional institutions were created. Among the institutional innovations was the foundation of congressional research centers—specialised in diverse policy areas—and the hiring of permanent advisors and external consultancies to support the legislative work. Another action aimed at professionalizing congressional staff was the establishment of a civil service system in 2000. Despite these efforts to

107

Policy analysis in Mexico

professionalize Congress, it is unclear what its capacities are and what type of policy analysis is carried out by research centers, legislative staff and external consultants. The main purpose of this chapter is to provide an assessment of the congressional policy analysis carried out in Mexico by focusing on the lower chamber (Chamber of Deputies) of the federal Congress.1 Based on in-depth interviews and the examination of reports and other policy products, this chapter argues that research centers and legislative committees perform three types of policy analysis: collection and analysis of information; analysis of bill initiatives and writing of dictámenes (committee reports); and budgetary and financial assessments.2 The limited functioning of the civil service system, the politicization of legislative staff, and low salaries are the main factors that undermine the quality of policy analysis in the Chamber of Deputies. The chapter is in four sections. The first section provides a brief background of the Mexican Congress and the impact of democratization on congressional bodies and internal rules. The next section examines the institutional features and capacities of the research centers and legislative committees that assist legislative work. The third section analytically describes the types of policy analysis done by deputies’ advisors and research centers. The fourth section underscores the obstacles and limitations faced by the research centers, committees and advisors in developing a higher quality of policy analysis. Finally, the chapter ends by putting forward some actions needed to improve the quality of congressional policy analysis.

The Mexican Congress: institutional features and evolution In order to contextualize the examination of congressional policy analysis in Mexico, this section describes the main institutional features of the Mexican Congress. In addition to describing institutional characteristics, this section also presents a succinct narrative of how the process of democratization fostered the entrance of opposition parties to the lower chamber and how the PRI’s loss of the absolute majority allowed the creation of new congressional institutions and the modification of internal rules and practices. The legislative branch of power is organised in a bicameral system: the Senate (upper chamber) and the Chamber of Deputies. The Senate comprises 128 legislators: 66 senators are elected by plurality rule (two seats are allocated to the winning political party in each state); 32 seats are allotted to the first minority

1

Due to space constraints, policy analysis in the Senate is not examined in this chapter.

2

Twelve legislative staff were extensively interviewed between April and May 2015. All the interviewees asked for anonymity.

108

Policy analysis in the Chamber of Deputies

(that is, one seat for the party with the second largest vote share in each state), and 32 seats are allocated by proportional representation in a single national district.3 In the Chamber of Deputies, 300 seats are allocated by plurality rule in singlemember districts and 200 seats are allotted by proportional representation in five multiple-member districts.4 The bicameral system of the Mexican Congress is asymmetrical, given that the both chambers do not have exactly the same legislative powers (Lijphart, 2012). The main difference between these legislative bodies is that only the Chamber of Deputies is allowed to modify and approve the federal budget while the Senate is in charge of legislating in matters of foreign affairs.5 The legislative terms are six and three years for senators and deputies, respectively. Between 1933 and 2014, the Constitution prohibited the consecutive legislative re-election. This restriction meant that only around 20% of deputies in each legislature had previous experience of serving in the lower chamber (Nacif, 2002, p 259).6 From the late 1920s until 1988, the PRI had an almost complete dominion of both chambers of Congress. As a result of economic and political crises, multiple electoral reforms were carried out between 1970s and the mid-1990s. These reforms gradually opened up the political system allowing the advancement of opposition parties in the political arena at the national and subnational levels. The 1988 election was an important step in the democratization process for the legislative branch since it was the first time that the hegemonic party lost the capacity to pass constitutional reforms by itself in the Chamber of Deputies. Nine years later, the opposition made another decisive step by winning the absolute majority of seats in this chamber. Since 1997, not a single political party has had control over the Chamber of Deputies, initiating in this way the era of divided governments in Mexico.7

3

Political parties run slates of two candidates in each state for plurality seats. In addition, each party presents a 32-candidate list for the proportional representation seats. For more details, see Weldon (2001).

4

Forty seats are allocated in each multiple-member district. Parties submit five lists of candidates (one per multiple-member district). Since proportional representation seats in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies operate under a system of closed lists, voters cannot alter the position of candidates within the party slates. Voters cast only one vote to determine plurality and proportional representation seats. For additional details, see Nacif (2002, pp 257-8).

5

However, the Mexican bicameralism is not as asymmetrical as that in other countries due to the fact that all constitutional and secondary bills must be approved by both chambers of Congress in order to be enacted as laws.

6

During the 63rd legislature (2012–2015), 81% of the members of the Chamber of Deputies and 51% of senators did not have previous legislative experience (Integralia, 2015b, p 10). The 2014 political reform established that legislators could be re-elected for a consecutive term in 2021 in the case of deputies and in 2024 for senators.

7

In 2000, the PRI lost the majority in the Senate. 109

Policy analysis in Mexico

The absence of a single-party majority in the Chamber of Deputies during the 57th legislature (1997–2000) obliged legislators to modify congressional bodies and internal rules. Before the PRI lost the absolute majority in the lower chamber, internal institutions and rules were designed to regulate legislative and administrative activities in the context of a unified government with a majority party with a very large share of the seats. The Gran Comisión (High Committee) was the most important legislative institution within this chamber. This legislative body was formed only by members of the majority party (that is, PRI deputies) and functioned as a committee on committees. It controlled all administrative decisions and law-making procedures including the allocation of committee chairs. As the partisan balance of power started to change in the 1990s, opposition deputies pushed to transform institutions within Chamber of Deputies. Among the most important changes were the disappearance of the Gran Comisión and the consequent creation of the Comisión de Régimen Interno y Concertación Política (Committee on Agenda Control and Political Concertation), which reduced the leverage of the PRI since it included party leaders from all parliamentary factions with representation in the lower chamber (Nacif, 2002). In 1999, this legislative body changed its name to Junta de Coordinación Política (Political Coordination Board, or JCP) and was formally established in the new 1999 Congressional Organic Law. Since then, the JCP is formed by all party leaders in the Chamber of Deputies and makes all the important administrative and political decisions (including the setting of the legislative agenda and the distribution of committee chairs) according to a system of weighted voting based on the parties’ seat share. In the absence of an absolute majority, the three parties with the largest vote share in the lower chamber alternate the chair of the JCP. Another important change during these years was the creation of the Conferencia para la Dirección y Programación de los Trabajos Legislativos (Conference for Steering and Scheduling Legislation). This congressional body is comprised of the members of the JCP and the chair of Mesa Directiva (Chamber’s Executive Committee, to be discussed later). It is responsible for approving the general and daily legislative program and calendar of the Chamber of Deputies. Last but not least important, the new partisan balance of power fostered the autonomy and professionalization of the Mesa Directiva of the Chamber of Deputies, which is the executive committee that conducts floor debates and votes. Before the 57 legislature (1997–2000) the Mesa Directiva was a subordinated body of the Gran Comisión whose term lasted only one month. The new Congressional Organic Law extended the Mesa Directiva term to one year and established a two-thirds majority vote of the floor to elect its chair and secretaries (Nacif, 2002; Weldon, 2004). The PRI’s loss of the absolute majority also led to the approval of new democratic internal rules. As mentioned earlier, the 1979 Congressional Organic Law, which was designed for majoritarian internal government, was replaced by a new law in 1999. The latter considered the new context of pluralism and

110

Policy analysis in the Chamber of Deputies

established dispositions that allowed a more equal distribution of resources and positions among parties within the Chamber of Deputies. In the same vein, pluralism in the Chamber of Deputies promoted an administrative reform and to some extent the professionalization of the legislative staff. The new Congressional Organic Law set up a complete administrative reorganization of the lower chamber. One of the main purposes of this reform was to professionalise administrative and advisory staff and stop the allocation of positions within the chamber on the basis of political criteria (Paoli, 2000). Accordingly, a new administrative office, the Secretaría General (General Secretariat) was created to direct all the administrative, financial and legislative services of the lower chamber. The director of this office is nominated by the Conferencia and elected by a two-thirds majority vote of the floor. Another important innovation designed to professionalize legislative staff during the 57th legislature was the establishment of a civil service system in 2000. The system was aimed to recruit and train objective and professional officials to carry out administrative and advisory tasks to assist deputies’ daily activities. In addition, three research centers specializing in diverse policy areas were founded to provide technical assistance to committees and legislators. In sum, pluralism in the Chamber of Deputies not only provided opposition legislators with more bargaining power to pass the legislative agenda but it also resulted in significant modifications to its internal bodies and rulings. The majority of these changes were aimed at modernizing the operation of the lower chamber to make legislative work more professional and efficient. As mentioned previously, one of the main actions to achieve this objective was the creation of research centers to provide technical assistance to deputies’ and legislative committees’ activities. The next section analytically describes the functions of these research centers and legislative committees and the characteristics of their staff.

Research centers and legislative committees Two types of legislative body are charged with providing advice and technical support to deputies: research centers and standing committees.8 This section provides a description of the objectives and functions of the five research centers and the legislative committees in the Chamber of Deputies. Special attention is given to the Public Finance Research Center, which is the most professionalized research institution within the Chamber of Deputies. Moreover, this section examines the institutional capacities and particular characteristics (number of advisors, education background, and professional profiles) of staff. In addition, the section presents a general overview of the internal structure of standing committees in terms of their advisory function. 8

Legislators also frequently rely on external consultants to carry out policy analysis. Due to a lack of reliable information, this chapter focuses mainly on research centers and legislative committees. 111

Policy analysis in Mexico

Research centers As the process of democratization advanced during the 1990s and the legislative branch started to have an important role in policymaking, members of the lower chamber realised the necessity for professional assistance in order to carry out their daily activities. In principle, the existence of a professional staff that provided technical support to deputies could help to reduce the asymmetry of information and expertise between executive agencies and the legislative branch. Accordingly, the professionalization of the lower chamber personnel could improve the quality of the legislators’ bills, the monitoring and oversight of public policies and programs, and the representation of citizens’ interests. Currently, there are five research centers (centros de estudios) in the Chamber of Deputies. As stated in the previous section, three research centers were founded during the 57th legislature (1997–2000), mainly as a result of the new partisan balance of power. The other two research centers were created between 2004 and 2005. Research centers are part of the Parliamentary Services Office (Secretaría de Servicios Parlamentarios), which is one of the main administrative offices within the Secretaría General. All research centers are headed by a committee comprising deputies from all parliamentary factions. This committee establishes the guidelines for each research center and approves its annual program. Therefore, these institutions are not autonomous and cannot decide by themselves any administrative changes within them or their research agenda. The internal rulings of the lower chamber establish that the main objective of the research centers is to provide objective technical support and analytic information to deputies, committees and other internal institutions within the Chamber of Deputies. However, according to one internal ruling, research centers are not allowed to make policy recommendations on the information they generate (article 37, EOTASCCD 2000). In principle, research center personnel are members of the lower chamber’s civil service system and experts on social and economic problems. The next paragraphs describe the main functions, institutional capacities and characteristics of each research center. Public Finance Research Center The first research center was the Centro de Estudios de las Finanzas Públicas (CEFP). It was founded in 1998 with the approval of all political parties in the Chamber of Deputies. One of the main motivations behind its creation was the committees’ necessity to have a specialized office that provided technical support in financial and budgetary issues. During the decades of PRI, unified governments’ deputies did not need technical support in financial and economic issues given that this kind of legislation was proposed by officials of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público [SHCP]). PRI majorities in Congress passed this kind of legislation almost immediately. This political context allowed presidents 112

Policy analysis in the Chamber of Deputies

to pass the federal budget and other financial legislation without negotiating substantial modifications with opposition parties. Although opposition legislators would have the expertise and willingness to pass and modify diverse financial bills, they would have failed given the lack of majority to do it. But the new partisan balance of power that occurred in the 57th legislature changed this and gave the opposition parties for the first time the opportunity to have a major role in the initiation and approval of financial bills and the modification of budget bills.9 However, although the opposition parties had the necessary number of votes to pass financial legislation by themselves and counterbalance the president’s power, they lacked the experience and expertise to carry out this task efficiently. Evidence of this is the fact that opposition deputies did not modify the 1998 and 1999 budgets unilaterally: they reached an agreement with the SHCP for every change made (Weldon, 2004, p 147). Deputies’ poor expertise to analyse and propose modifications to the budget encouraged legislators to create the CEFP in 1998. At the moment of its foundation, legislators provided limited functions and resources to this technical body. In fact, it was envisaged as an office of financial studies with few objectives and resources and not as a research center. It was not until the enactment of the 1999 Congressional Organic Law that this office was transformed into a research center with more functions and specialized personnel (CEFP, 2014, p 2). Currently, the CEFP is the most professionalised research center within the Chamber of Deputies. Sixty-two officials work in it; 49 of them are full-time researchers with accounting, economic, and financial educational backgrounds. Fifty percent of the researchers have a Master’s or PhD degree, including its current director. Recruitment of new researchers is done through a meritocratic exam and all personnel regularly attend training courses and workshops in diverse topics such as public policies, finance, econometrics, and legislative techniques. The CEFP’s recently approved internal organization and operations manuals regulate the steps and procedures for carrying out financial and economic analysis. Regarding its internal organization, the CEFP has five directorates specializing in diverse economic and financial areas: budget and public spending studies; macroeconomics and sector studies; fiscal studies; economic information analysis; and institutional relations and diffusion. Among the CEFP’s main functions are to examine and produce an analysis of the SHCP’s quarterly financial reports; to assess the financial section of the National Development Plan and the tax and budgetary bills; to provide financial information and advice to committees, parliamentary fractions and deputies; to elaborate economic and financial studies; and to make budgetary assessments (cost-benefit analysis) of the legislative bills. This research center also sponsors a national contest on public finances. The CEFP’s main research products and activities include: financial and economic reports; analyses of fiscal and economic bills (including the diverse bills 9

The president has the exclusive initiation power over the budget bill. Deputies can only make modifications to the president’s proposal. 113

Policy analysis in Mexico

of the annual budget); research notes; bulletins; budgetary assessments; financial and economic advice to committees and individual deputies; collection and analysis of economic data; and analysis of federal agencies’ financial reports. The CEFP also publishes a bimonthly financial and economic magazine. According to interviewees,10 the CEFP produces around 700 research outputs a year. Its research agenda is established by its committee and the CEFP director. Officials spend most of their time creating the research products mentioned earlier and only about 10% of their work time is invested in producing analyses requested by deputies, committees, the Junta de Coordinación, and, occasionally, senators.11 Many of the financial and economic topics that the CEPF examines in its analyses concern particular issues relating to the current economic situation (such as inflation, currency rates, and gas prices). The CEFP does not generate its own information but utilizes data from external institutions (both domestic and foreign, such as the Ministry of Finance, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Bank) to carry out their analyses. However, according to interviewees, analysts give aggregated value to the data from other institutions. Regarding content and the procedures governing the production of reports, CEPF analysts write their reports according to an internal methods manual. As part of their analyses, they establish policy scenarios but do not provide specific policy recommendations. Legal Studies and Parliamentary Research Center In the late 1990s, opposition deputies realised that in order to increase the chances of approving their legislative agenda and achieving other goals they required legal support, as well as economic and financial assistance, in their daily congressional activities. Professional legal assistance is important for members of Congress because it helps them understand the legal framework, provides justification for their law proposals, prevents duplication and contradiction among laws, and allows them to challenge the executive branch and agencies’ decisions, among other objectives. In order to meet these goals, deputies founded the Centro de Estudios de Derecho e Investigaciones Parlamentarias (CEDIP) in 1999. Its main objective is to provide technical legal assistance to committees, parliamentary factions and individual deputies. Specifically, this research center carries out historical and comparative analysis on any subject related to law. Moreover, the CEDIP also provides information, statistical data and legal opinions to all members and committees of the Chamber of Deputies. In addition, the CEDIP is responsible for organizing training courses for the lower chamber staff, and academic events such as seminars and conferences, and publishing diverse legal reports and magazines. 10

Five officials from the CEFP were extensively interviewed on April 22, 2015.

11

The hacienda, budgetary, energy and constitutional issues committees are the ones that request more analyses.

114

Policy analysis in the Chamber of Deputies

The CEDIP comprises 15 officials,12 60% of whom have graduate degrees. Its internal structure is organized around four research offices: legislative studies, parliamentary studies, legal studies and constitutional studies. The CEDIP’s main activities are legal counselling, juridical analysis, collection and analysis of legal information, and the production of bulletins and publications (reports, opinion articles and books). Social Studies and Public Opinion Research Center Similar to the two cases already described, deputies of the 57th legislature (1997–2000) considered it necessary to create an additional research center to supply them with professional expertise on public opinion and social studies. The main objective of the Centro de Estudios Sociales y de Opinión Pública (CESOP), founded in 1999, is to provide analytic information and technical support on social subjects and public opinion to individual deputies, committees and other legislative bodies within the Chamber of Deputies. Its main functions are to conduct investigations on social and public opinion, specifically on social policy, economic competitiveness, regional development, federalism, domestic policy, public security and international affairs. Other CESOP objectives are: to build databases on the same topics; to collect and systematize data from other research centers and universities; to publicise legislative work; and to connect the Chamber of Deputies with other academic institutions (CESOP, 2014). The CESOP also publishes an academic journal, and organizes training courses for legislative staff as well as a national contest that recognizes outstanding research on public opinion and social studies. Regarding its internal structure, the CESOP has three research units: regional development studies, public opinion studies, and social studies. Its personnel are recruited through a meritocratic system. Currently, this research center comprises 37 officials, 18 of whom work as full-time researchers or research assistants. It has an internal ruling that regulates the functioning of the research center. Its main products are working papers, reports, one academic journal, databases, surveys, books, and research notes. Research Centre for the Advancement of Gender and Women Equity The Centro de Estudios para el Adelanto de las Mujeres y la Equidad de Género (CEAMEG) was founded in 2005 during the 59th legislature (2003–2006). The legislative committee on equity and gender proposed the creation of CEAMEG in order to improve the socioeconomic and political conditions of Mexican women and promote equality between men and women in terms of opportunities and resources. Its main objective is to support legislative work by providing impartial information and technical support to further the advancement of women and gender equity. 12

This figure does not include administrative personnel. 115

Policy analysis in Mexico

CEAMEG’s main functions are to supply women with human rights and health information, organize training courses for the Chamber of Deputies personnel, sponsor events that promote gender equity, provide legal counselling, conduct research on women’s issues and gender equity, produce diagnoses and indicators on gender, collect and systematize information from external sources, and build information systems and databases. Another important activity of this research center is to provide advice to deputies on the design of public policies and budgets that seek to promote gender equity. In terms of personnel, CEAMEG comprises 24 officials, 16 of whom conduct research and analysis. CEAMEG has four research units: analytic information, legal studies, social studies and sociodemographic studies. CEAMEG’s products are reports, surveys, bulletins, and a magazine. Research Centre for Sustainable Development and Food Sovereignty The Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo Sustentable y la Soberanía Alimentaria (CEDRSSA) was founded in 2004 as a response to two bill initiatives from PRI and the Party of the Democratic Revolution’s legislators, and an agreement between the federal government and peasants’ organizations. These organizations demanded the creation of a legislative body to carry out objective evaluations on rural development policies and provide technical assistance to legislators writing policies on agricultural production. CEDRSSA’s main objective is to provide professional and objective information to deputies focused on the formulation and amendment of rural and food policies. In addition to helping legislators and committees to prepare bill initiatives, CEDRSSA also has the function of analysing federal rural policies and examining the executive’s branch program on rural development. Furthermore, this research center assesses the president’s income, budgets annual bills for the rural sector and provides advice to legislative committees. Similar to the other research centers, CEDRSSA organizes events that promote the development of rural policies, trains legislative staff, and builds databases on rural issues. Forty officials work in CEDRSSA, 22 of whom are full-time researchers or research assistants. Almost 24% of personnel have a Master’s or a PhD degree. CEDRSSA’s internal structure is organized around four research units focusing on the evaluation of rural public policies, strategic proposals, sector competitiveness and the food sector. The main products of this research center are reports related to the development of the food sector and agricultural production. Table 7.1 details the main features of the research centers in the Chamber of Deputies. As can be seen, the Public Finances Research Center is the most professionalized institution within the lower chamber since it has highly qualified staff recruited through a meritocratic system according to prescribed internal rules and more research units than the other centers. Probably, the second most professionalized research center is the Social Studies and Public Opinion Research Center, which also operates a meritocratic system following prescribed internal 116

Policy analysis in the Chamber of Deputies

rules. The rest of the research centers lack some of these important features and therefore their level of professionalization is lower than the CEFP and the CESOP.

Table 7.1: Research centers in the Chamber of Deputies 62nd legislature (2012–2015) Research center

Legislative staff

Percentage of Master’s and PhD degrees

Meritocratic recruitment

Internal organization and operation manuals

Research units

Public Finances

62

50

Yes

Yes

5

15 Legal Studies and Parliamentary Research

60

No

No

4

Social Studies and Public Opinion

37

NA

Yes

Yes

3

Advancement of Gender and Women Equity

24

NA

No

No

4

Sustainable Development and Food Policy

40

24

No

No

4

Legislative committees Besides research centers, committees are the other legislative bodies that carry out policy analysis. Standing committees are internal legislative bodies with jurisdiction over specific policy areas. They aim to distribute and reduce the transaction costs of legislative work (Weingast and Marshall, 1988). The committees’ main function is to receive bill initiatives from the floor, analyze them, write approval or rejection dictámenes or committee reports within 30 days, and take them back to the floor. Committees, through deputies and their legislative staff, collect information and diverse opinions through hearings and meetings with public officials, members of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), policy experts, academics and other societal actors. These legislative bodies have the power to make modifications to bill initiatives before sending them back to the floor for a vote. Other important committee functions are to monitor and oversee public policies and programs under their jurisdiction; to provide opinions on certain policy issues to other committees; and to analyse and approve or reject non-binding resolutions (puntos de acuerdo). An additional informal function of committee members is to serve as brokers between interest groups—or constituents—and federal or local agencies. Deputies frequently ask governmental agencies for benefits or favous for their constituents and the interest groups that support them.

117

Policy analysis in Mexico

The number of standing committees in the Chamber of Deputies has increased during the past two decades, particularly since pluralism permeated the lower chamber (see Figure 7.1).13 The great majority of standing committees are permanent bodies comprising a maximum of 30 deputies from all political parties with representation in the lower chamber.14 A chair and between seven and 11 secretariats preside over each committee. At the beginning of every legislative term the JCP proposes to the floor a list of members of all committees.15According to the Congressional Organic Law and other internal rulings, deputies from the JCP should allocate committee slots (chairs and secretaries) based on to the number of seats of each party (Nacif, 2002, p 273).

Figure 7.1: Standing committees in the Chamber of Deputies (2000–2015) 62th (2012-2015)

61th (2009-2012)

60th (2006-2009)

59th (2003-2006)

58th (2000-2003) 0

10

20

30

40

50

60

Standing Committees

In terms of legislative staff, all committees have aides to support their activities. In principle, the administration committee16 provides resources to all chairs and secretaries to hire legislative aides for assisting with the standing committee’s activities. Therefore, since the minimum number of secretaries per committee is seven and all these legislative bodies are overseen by a chair, there should be a minimum of eight advisors per committee. However, in practice secretaries do 13

The 63rd legislature (2015-18) has 56 standing committees. There are also special and investigative committees. The former were created to study and analyze particular problems while the latter were created to investigate the wrongdoings done by decentralized federal agencies.

14

The hacienda and budget committees have more members.

15

Standing committees have to be formed during the first 30 days of the first legislative term.

16

This committee supports the administrative tasks of the JCP.

118

Policy analysis in the Chamber of Deputies

not use their advisors for committee work. Only the technical secretary (secretario técnico) and the chairs’ advisors carry out committee functions and activities. The number of chairs’ advisors varies significantly depending on the committee’s workload and the relevance of the policy area under the committee’s jurisdiction. The budget committee’s staff, for instance, has more than 30 advisors and is organized internally into three areas (legislative process, technical area, and chair’s assistance), while other committees, such as the sports committee, has only one formal advisor. The educational profiles of the committee advisors are diverse, with law, political science and economics being the most frequent disciplines. During the 63rd legislature (2012–2015), only about 20 committee advisors were recruited and trained under the civil service system. The rest are personally hired by committee chairs and have a high level of loyalty to them. In principle, committee staff should assist deputies with their legislative duties, that is, advisors should support committee members with the preparation and analysis of bills and non-binding resolutions; help them carry out oversight activities (including the analysis of federal agencies’ reports); and help prepare statements and opinions on diverse aspects of the committee’s policy area. However, in practice, advisors’ duties and functions vary depending on the jurisdiction of the committee and its workload. For instance, staff from the hacienda and budget committees carry out all the activities described, since these committees have great relevance within the Chamber of Deputies due to the fact that they approve the fiscal, appropriations and budget bills. In contrast, advisors from committees with less policy importance (such as the youth committee) have fewer bills and non-binding resolutions to review.17 In these committees, advisors tend to invest less time in policy analysis and more in assisting deputies’ individual activities.

Types of congressional policy analysis Congressional policy analysis in Mexico is practical analysis. It may include all the steps in the policy process: research, analysis, optional scenarios, consultation, proposals, and decisions (Wilson, 2006). However, as in Wilson’s description of practice in the United Kingdom, policy analysis in government agencies does not usually follow a precise sequence and “the steps [of the policy process] may come in the wrong order and some may be omitted” (2006, p 153). In the Chamber of Deputies, policy analysis is done in various ways with different emphases and by diverse type of actors. Information from interviews and report assessments reveals that committee advisors, consultants and officials from research centers carry out three main activities directly related to the policy process: collection and analysis of information, analysis of bill initiatives, and budgetary and financial assessments 17

For instance, during the 62nd legislature, the hacienda committee reviewed 506 bills whereas the youth committee reviewed only 21 (Integralia, 2015b, pp 43-4). 119

Policy analysis in Mexico

of bill initiatives. Deputies may request any of these activities when they are preparing bills, speeches or statements; when they are revising and amending bills introduced by other deputies, senators, local congresses or the president; or when they are carrying out control functions such as summoning public officials in committees. Each of these activities is described in the following paragraphs. • Collection and analysis of information. In order to prepare bill initiatives, nonbinding resolutions or statements, legislators request either research centers or congressional staff to gather specific information on diverse policy areas. The information and data collected are used to justify the need for a new law, or the necessity of a change in one or several dispositions of existing legislation, to make comments or criticise other bill initiatives, to take a position on a public issue, to write a speech or to ask parliamentary questions to public officials in congressional hearings. In the case of bill initiatives, the analysis of information is included at the first stage of preparation: preamble or exposition of motives.18 At this stage, legislators usually utilize the data and information analysed by advisors to underscore the relevance of the public issue they want to address and to support the proposed modifications with data and arguments. • Analysis of bill initiatives and writing of dictámenes. Advisors and external consultants also carry out policy analysis to examine the policy content of the president’s bills, or the other parties’ proposals, once they have been directed to the legislative committees. Each legislative bill introduced in the floor of the Chamber of Deputies is addressed to one or more committees depending on the policy area involved. As mentioned earlier, committees receive bills and prepare a dictamen or review approving or rejecting the proposal. Article 85 of the reglamento (internal ruling) of the lower chamber establishes 14 requirements that each dictamen should fulfil. Among the most important are the justification for the bill, the analysis carried out by the committee members (meetings, events, interviews and public hearings with diverse actors such as public officials, NGO members, academics and unions to discuss the bill proposal), a cost-benefit analysis, an assessment of the arguments proposed, and the bill’s legal basis. Although according to the reglamento all dictámenes should include these and other requirements, in practice committees do not strictly adhere to them. According to interviewees, the main reason for not following this directive is that not all the dictámenes require all the points established in the reglamento. Some committees, especially those with a heavy workload (such as the hacienda, budget, and governance committees), have developed a special format and a particular methodology to review bill initiatives.

18

120

Article 78 of the reglamento of the Chamber of Deputies requires that each bill initiative includes an explanation of the problem that the bill aims to solve; a section with arguments that justify the content of the bill; and the legal basis to carry out the modifications proposed.

Policy analysis in the Chamber of Deputies

The main task of the committee’s staff is to examine the bill’s legal basis and financial viability. In terms of the legal basis, the staff checks two points: first, they ascertain that the content of the bill proposal is not included in another law. This step is necessary to avoid the duplication of programs and public policies.19 Second, advisors ensures that the bill initiative does not contravene the Constitution or other secondary laws. This second step is almost always done by legal advisors. Regarding financial viability, advisors have to check that the costs described in the bill are accurate and that the proposal has specified the financial sources required to fund the proposed policies. Once all the legal and financial analyses have been done and included in the dictamen, the document is evaluated by deputies who approve or reject the bill proposal. • Budgetary and financial assessments. The budget law and internal congressional rules requires each bill initiative involving the appropriation of funds to be accompanied by a cost-benefit analysis. In fact, article 18 of the budget law mandates committees to include a budgetary impact assessment with the guidance of the Public Finance Research Center of the Chamber of Deputies. The budgetary assessment pursues two objectives: to prevent the approval of bills that do not include a source of funding for the public policy or program proposed; and to provide a financial evaluation of the policy alternatives available and a justification of the bill proposed. Information from interviewees reveals that committees follow the budgetary law strictly and include the impact assessment done by the CEFP in every bill initiative’s dictamen. However, legislators frequently doubt or are not satisfied with this analysis and hire external consultants to make an additional analysis. Figure 7.2 shows the three types of policy analysis made in the Chamber of Deputies by analyst. As can be seen, all types of policy analysis are done by two analysts.

Obstacles and limitations This section examines three drawbacks in the development of congressional policy analysis. The first problem is the lack of professionalization of legislative staff. Although a civil service system was established in the Chamber of Deputies in 2000, only a small number of advisors belong to it. The other legislative aides are freely appointed by deputies. These staff members are not obliged to take training courses or pass exams to keep their jobs. There are at least two related reasons that explain the limited functioning of the civil service system. First, there are no clear rules for the recruitment and promotion of congressional staff. The lack of well-defined rules hampers the hiring and professionalization of advisors. Second, legislators are not willing to make the civil service more efficient given since this is not politically convenient 19

According to interviewees, about 80% of the bill initiatives are rejected in committees because the modifications or content they are proposing contradicts, or already exists in, other laws. 121

Policy analysis in Mexico

for them. Were all the aides recruited through the civil service system, deputies would not be able to allocate their cronies to positions within the lower chamber. This impediment would diminish their political leverage.

Figure 7.2: Types of policy analysis by analyst

Because the Chamber of Deputies’ civil service system does not work efficiently, advisors from this system are frequently moved from one committee to another. The lack of continuity of personnel in committees and research centers hinders the professionalization of legislative staff and ultimately the quality of the policy analysis provided to legislators: aides never become policy experts in a specific area. Information from interviewees reveals that deputies are responsible for replacements and changes of advisors. At the beginning of each legislative term, committee chairs must decide either to keep the civil service staff who are working in that committee or replace them with their own aides. The latter is usually the case. Similarly, at least some officials in certain research centers (including the directors) are replaced every legislative term. Second, although legislative committees and research centers were created to provide objective technical legislative support to all deputies, these congressional institutions are not free of political influence. Committee staff are supposed to provide assistance to all committee members. However, information from key interviewees reveals that committee chairs have influence over the selection of 122

Policy analysis in the Chamber of Deputies

personnel. Advisors and assistants consider chairs as their bosses and consequently, they respond to their political interests. This hierarchical relationship between chairs and their staff may bias the policy analysis performed by committees. Similarly, as mentioned previously, each research center is headed by a committee comprised of deputies. Although legislators from diverse parties are part of this committee, interviewees stated that the committee chair has great influence over the annual working program and over the appointment of advisors and research assistants. Furthermore, given that a deputy heads the research center committee, legislators from other parties do no always trust the information and analysis provided by the institution. An instance of this distrust is that deputies do not rely only on the financial assessments provided by the Public Finance Research Center and often request others from external consultants. Similarly, deputies do not ask for help from research centers in preparing bills or non-binding resolutions or making statements when the deputy chairing the research center committee is from a different party: legislators do not consider it good political strategy to let opposition legislators know their ideas and bill proposals. Consequently, even when research centers provide professional and objective policy analysis, legislators do not take full advantage of this because of political reasons. Finally, another obstacle to improving the quality of congressional analysis is the lack of sufficient numbers of professional advisors and legislative aides. In addition to the problems of the congressional civil service system, many advisors are badly paid. The low salaries available to legislative aids inhibit the hiring of professional policy analysts.

Final remarks: the importance of congressional policy analysis The process of democratization in Mexico and its Congress has fostered the professionalization of the staff who assist legislators in their daily activities. The bargaining power gained by opposition parties has allowed legislators to invest resources and time in the professionalization of legislative assistance. To some extent, members of Congress have taken advantage of their staff to develop expertise in different policy areas. Congressional policy analysis has been of great importance for legislators since they have used it to improve the quality of legislation initiated or amended and to some degree to monitor the implementation of certain policy programs. However, there is huge variation in the quality of policy analysis done within the Chamber of Deputies. There are some research centers and committees with professional and experienced staff who follow established manuals and methodologies to carry out policy analysis. In contrast, other research centers and committees have advisors with scarce or no professional training. In order to improve the quality of congressional policy analysis, deputies should strengthen the civil service system by establishing clear rules and recommending that more legislative aides be part of it. Also, legislators should ensure continuity of advisors in committees and research centers so they can become policy experts in one 123

Policy analysis in Mexico

area. Finally, in order to take advantage of the policy analysis done, legislative staff and research centers need to be depoliticized. References Centro de Estudios de las Finanzas Públicas (2014) Centro de Estudios de las Finanzas Públicas 15 Años de Apoyo Técnico al Trabajo Legislativo, Mexico City: Cámara de Diputados LXII Legislatura. CESOP (Centro de Estudios Sociales y de Opinión Pública) (2014) Organización, Mexico City: Cámara de Diputados LXII Legislatura. EOTASCCD (Estatuto de la Organización Técnica y Administrativa y del Servicio Civil de Carrrera de la Cámara de Diputados) (2000) Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión. Integralia (2015a) Reporte Legislativo Número Cuatro LXXI Legislatura (Septiembre– Diciembre 2012), Mexico City: Integralia. Integralia (2015b) Reporte Legislativo Número Seis LXII Legislatura (2012–2015), Mexico City: Integralia. Lijphart, A. (2012) Patterns of Democracy (2nd edn), New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Nacif, B. (2002) ‘Understanding party discipline in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies: the centralized model’, in S. Morgenstern and B. Nacif (eds) Legislative Politics in Latin America, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, pp 254-84. Paoli, J.F. (2000) ‘La historia reciente de la Cámara de Diputados’, Crónica Legislativa, no 15, pp 2-6. Weingast, B.R. and Marshall J.M. (1988) ‘The industrial organization of Congress: or, why legislatures, like firms, are not organized as markets’, Journal of Political Economy, vol 96, no 1, pp 132-63. Weldon, J.A. (2001) ‘The consequences of Mexico’s mixed-member electoral system, 1988–1997’, in M.S. Shugart and M.P. Wattenberg (eds) Mixed-Member Electoral Systems, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, pp 447-76. Weldon, J.A. (2004) ‘Changing patterns of executive-legislative relations in Mexico’, in K.J. Middlebrook (ed) Dilemmas of Political Change in Mexico, London: Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, pp 133-67. Wilson, R. (2006) ‘Policy analysis as policy advice’, in M. Moran, M. Rein and R.E. Goodin (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, pp 152-68.

124

Part Three Policy analysis in state and local governments

125

EIGHT

Policy analysis in state governments in Mexico Juan C. Olmeda

Introduction State governments have become relevant actors in the policymaking process in Mexico during recent decades because of both decentralization and democratization processes. As a consequence of the former, subnational authorities have gained responsibilities and prerogatives in the provision and delivery of public services, while as a result of the latter, governors have emerged as political actors with their own legitimacy. Unlike the years of hegemony under the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI), governors no longer owe their positions to decisions made at the center but to votes in their own constituencies. These changes have redefined the way in which public policies are proposed and implemented in the country and have forced subnational units to develop their own capacities to fulfil their new responsibilities. However, we still know little about how policymaking takes place in the Mexican states and to what extent policy analysis has become a factor in the design and implementation of better governmental programs. This chapter attempts to fill this gap by providing an overview of how policies are crafted at the subnational level in Mexico, the main actors taking place in the process and the way in which professional knowledge and advice influence policymakers. In order to achieve this goal, the chapter is organized as follow. The first section analyzes the recent evolution of Mexican federalism in order to make clear the responsibilities of state governments. The second section identifies the main actors that contribute to the policymaking process at the state level, portrays the relationships between them and describes the type of policy analysis that informs main decisions. The third section builds on this conceptual framework to analyze how a particular subnational government, the Ciudad de México, operates in concrete terms. The chapter ends with a conclusion.

The evolution of Mexican federalism or how state governments became relevant actors Mexico is a federal republic, composed of 32 subnational units (31 states and the Ciudad de México [Mexico City, formerly Distrito Federal], where the capital 127

Policy analysis in Mexico

of the country is located), and even though Mexican governors are still less influential than their peers in other Latin American federations, such as Argentina and Brazil, they have progressively gained power since the mid-1990s as a result of extensive decentralization and democratization (Rodríguez, 1999; Flamand and Olmeda, 2008; Falleti, 2010). The modern Mexican state that emerged after the Mexican Revolution in the mid-1930s was characterized by the concentration of fiscal, administrative and political prerogatives in the hands of national authorities (Ward and Rodriguez, 1999). In the years that followed, the sustainability of this centralized model rested on the hegemonic role of the PRI, which for decades controlled the presidency, all governorships and both chambers at the national Congress. This scenario began to change at the end of the 1980s, with the progressive openness of the political system. Opposition parties became more competitive and started to win seats in Congress and positions at the subnational level (municipalities and governorships) (Ochoa-Reza, 2004). In 1989 for the first time a non-Priista candidate was elected governor (in the state of Baja California). In 1997 the PRI lost the majority that it had enjoyed for decades in the Chamber of Deputies. Transformations in the political landscape reached a peak in 2000 when Vicente Fox of the Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party) was elected president after 70 years of continuous Priista rule. Significant reforms took place in the 1990s when, first, subnational governments were assigned new responsibilities for the provision of public services such as education and healthcare and national authorities decided to decentralize an important portion of expenditure by creating a new type of federal transfer (aportaciones—earmarked federal transfers—to be channeled through the ramo 33—budgetary item 33), making subnational authorities responsible for a considerable portion of social spending (Rodriguez, 1999; Falleti, 2010). With regard to the political aspect, it was determined that local authorities previously appointed by the president would be now elected by the population (for example, Mexico City’s chief of government), subnational opposition leaders were given the guarantee that their electoral victories would be recognized, and local electoral commissions in charge of assuring clean and fair local elections were created. The combination of these trends at the administrative, fiscal and political levels empowered governors and made them more active players at the national level. The decentralizing trend continued once the PRI lost the presidency in 2000 and was encouraged by horizontal and vertical divisions in government during the Panista presidencies of Fox (2000–2006) and Calderón (2006–2012) (Flamand, 2008; Olmeda, 2013). Despite these decentralizing trends, state governments continue to be highly dependent on federal transfers, which have significantly increased during the past two decades (see Figure 8.1), a situation that severely limits the extent to which Mexican subnational authorities can exercise their autonomy. Mexican states receive two main types of transfer: unconditional transfers or participaciones, resources generated in the framework of the revenue-sharing system; and 128

Policy analysis in state governments

conditional transfers or aportaciones, earmarked resources to be used for funding specific activities and policies (Diaz-Cayeros, 2006). As seen in Figure 8.2, only eight out of 32 Mexican states collect more than 10% of their total revenues through local taxes.

Figure 8.1: Federal transfers as % of GDP (1993–2013) 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Non-earnmarked federal transfers as % of GDP PIB

Earnmarked federal transfers as % of GDP

Decentralization agreements transfers as % of GDP

Source: Author’s own elaboration based on data by Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público (SHCP).

Figure 8.2: States’ own revenues as % of total revenues (2012) 50.00 45.00 40.00 35.00 30.00 25.00 20.00 15.00 10.00 5.00 Distrito Federal Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave Chihuahua Tlaxcala Coahuila de Zaragoza Querétaro Nuevo León México Campeche Oaxaca Jalisco Baja California Puebla Guanajuato Colima Quintana Roo Aguascalientes Michoacán de Ocampo Sinaloa Yucatán Tamaulipas Sonora Durango Baja California Sur Tabasco San Luis Potosí Zacatecas Chiapas Morelos Nayarit Hidalgo Guerrero

0.00

Source: Author’s own elaboration based on data by Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), Sistema Estatal y Municipal de Bases de Datos (SIMBAD).

129

Policy analysis in Mexico

In recent decades, three main waves of reform have affected the way in which policymaking is carried out at the state level. Paradoxically, they were all encouraged by the national government, which “forced” subnational authorities to adopt the proposed changes. The first wave took place during the second half of the 1970s as a result of central government’s efforts to promote administrative reforms and rationalize the policymaking process. The main result was a central role assigned to planning agencies in the design and implementation of public policies and in guiding governmental actions. One of the consequences was the creation of the Secretaría de Programación y Presupuesto (Secretariat of Programing and Budgeting) at the national level. This new scheme permeated to the subnational level and state governments adopted the emerging paradigm. Special agencies in charge of planning, the Comites Estatales para la Planeación del Desarrollo (State Committees for the Planning of Development), were created in most states from the beginning of the 1980s and were assigned responsibility for elaborating development plans that would act as general framework for governmental activities and for the design of more specific public (see Narváez López, 1985). The second important wave took place during the 1990s and was the result of the decentralizing policies already described. Decentralization produced a significant redefinition of responsibilities and forced state governments to develop institutional and administrative capacities to deliver public services previously in charge of the national government (Rodríguez, 1999; Falleti, 2010,). The final wave occurred in the first decade of 20th century and coincided with the emergence of the Management for Results (MfR) paradigm. Even when MfR reforms began to be adopted at the national level in the mid-1990s, it was not until the second half of the 2000s that gained momentum at the subnational level. This was the result of pressures from the federal government in a move to increase national authorities’ capacities to better audit the way in which federal transfers were spent by state governments. As a result, important changes were observed in budgeting and evaluation (Olmeda, 2015; Olmeda, forthcoming).

The policymaking process in the Mexican states For the purposes of this chapter, I understand the policymaking process as one through which policies are decided, designed and implemented by government in collaboration with non-governmental actors. This process can be addressed from different perspectives. I adopt the “politics of public policy” conceptual framework advanced by different authors and institutions arguing that policymaking processes should be studied by underscoring the political factors that shape public policies.1 In other words, governmental programs are the result of the interaction between (governmental and non-governmental) actors with particular incentives and acting within the framework provided by institutional settings. Identifying the main 1

130

See Stein et al (2006).

Policy analysis in state governments

actors that take part in the process at the subnational level and characterizing the types of relationship that link them is necessary to determine where policy analysis should be and is actually performed.2 The 2014 encuesta a expertos en política estatal en México (Eepemex) study (survey of experts on state politics in Mexico), carried out by the Mexican branch of the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), interviewed 242 experts on subnational politics (from the 32 Mexican states) and shows that the policymaking process at the state level is very centralized. Indeed, governors are identified as the ones with the most power in the development of public policies. They are described as twice as influential as any other actor taking part in the process. For example, the state legislature appears to play a secondary role, being less influential than actors such as the party of the governor, business organizations and private firms, the Catholic Church, and the mayor of the capital city (see Figure 8.3).

Figure 8.3: Power of different actors in defining states’ public policies 4 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5

chu

dia

Cat

hol

ic

Me

rch

s rm e fi vat

Pri

mb

ess sin

Ma

Bu

in

opp

osi

tio

cha

np

’s p

art

ers

y

y art

ns Go ver

nor

nio

s

eu

Tra d

fM to Res

ec

our

ayo r

t

nor

rem

sup

Go ver

te Sta

lc cap

the

Ma yor

of

Sta

te

leg

ita

isla

tur

e

ity

0

Reference: 0 – None / 4 – Very high

Source: Author’s own elaboration with information from Eepemex.

Governors The finding that governors are the central players in the public policy game is certainly in line with most analysis in recent years that identifies them as the ones with most power at the state level. It is not surprising that many political

2

While this approach has been extensively used to characterize the quality of policymaking at the national level in several Latin American countries, to my knowledge there has been no analysis focusing on the subnational level. Indeed, in the case of Mexico few works have been produced in general to systematically address the functioning of state public administrations from a comparative perspective (for some exceptions, see Martínez Vilchis, 2007 and Mexico Estatal, 2011; Almada 1982 is an important precedent). 131

Policy analysis in Mexico

analyst have described Mexican governors as modern “viceroys” (see, for example, Zuckerman, 2003). In Mexico, governors are popularly elected by the inhabitants of their states and remain in office for six years, without re-election. In public policy terms, the influence of governors is the result of their control over legal, financial and partisan instruments. Governors are the maximum legal authorities at state level and control the political and legislative agenda in their districts. In addition, they enjoy significant levels of discretion in the allocation of the public budget and exercise extensive influence over the local bureaucracy, facilitated by the fact that Mexican states have not developed professional civil services and most appointments are the result of political and personal connections. Besides, local branches of national parties respond directly to governors, who often use public resources to solidify clientelistic networks and build electoral machines. Governors also exercise extensive influence over the appointment of candidates who run for positions at the state (mayors, state deputies) and even at the federal level (deputies, senators). Even when governors may not be involved in the day-to-day functioning of the public administration, they have the final word when important public policy decisions are made. In addition, new governmental programs must be endorsed by governors in order to be viable. The way in which governors exercise their role as policymakers tends to vary and depends on their style of political leadership3 and their previous experience.4 In some cases, governors delegate important decisions to their subordinates (the secretaries) while in others no significant steps can be taken without governors’ approval. In order to make decisions, governors need policy analysis, which is acquired from different sources. It is important to notice that the power of governors in the policymaking process is inversely proportional to the time they have to spend considering particular pieces of information and analysis. This fact defines the types of document that governors consider when making decisions, which in most cases are summaries of most extensive studies or reports in the relevant field.5 The channels through which governors receive information vary. On the one hand, most governors have close advisors, who produce reports and collect information on demand. These advisors have a formal position in the administrative structure and are appointed by governors. On the other hand, governors rely on private secretariats. Such agencies are usually responsible for more logistic issues (such as coordinating governors’ schedules, organizing 3

For an extensive discussion on political leadership, see Mendez (2013).

4

An external consultant pointed out that there is a significant difference between governors who have previously occupied more technical positions in the state bureaucracy (such as Secretary of Finance or Administration) and those with a more political profile (interview with an external consultant and former official at the Secretary of Finance of a large Mexican state, Mexico City, 10 June 2015).

5

Interview with a top official at the Distrito Federal government, Mexico City, 8 June 2015.

132

Policy analysis in state governments

events attended by governors, and so on), but in some cases they also produce policy analysis material. Finally, a “governor’s executive office” exists in most states and functions as a sort of “chief of staff” office. In contrast to the private secretariat, these offices are formally in charge of public policy affairs and one of their main tasks is to generate policy analysis material that could be used in the decision-making process. In addition, they organize the interactions between the governor and the different secretaries, intervening in the planning of governmental activities, monitoring the day-to-day evolution of public affairs and coordinating the actions of the different agencies that are part the state administration. While in formal terms the activities of the different structures around governors are differentiated, in reality they tend to overlap and tensions usually arise between them. For example, disputes can emerge between the private secretariat and the executive office about who should act as a facilitator in fostering the relationship between the governor and the secretaries. In some cases, states have developed technological mechanisms to allow governors to receive direct information via the internet about the functioning of different aspects of the public administration (such as levels of tax collection and expenditure, the degree of completion of public works, and so on). However, this is the exception, not the rule.6 The size of the agencies that work directly with the governor varies significantly across Mexican states when measured in terms of the number of people they employ, as can be seen in Figure 8.4.

Figure 8.4: Employees of governors’ offices, by state (2013) 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 Aguascalientes Baja California Baja California Sur Campeche Coahuila Colima Chiapas Chihuahua Distrito Federal Durango Guanajuato Guerrero Hidalgo Jalisco Estado de México Michoacán Morelos Nayarit Nuevo León Oaxaca Puebla Querétaro Quintana Roo San Luis Potosí Sinaloa Sonora Tabasco Tamaulipas Tlaxcala Veracruz Yucatán Zacatecas

0

Source: Author’s own elaboration with information from Censo Nacional de Gobierno, Seguridad Pública y Sistema Penitenciario Estatales 2014-INEGI..

Another source of policy analysis for governors are the secretaries. The type of relationship forged between governors and secretaries and the context in which 6

Interview with an external consultant and former official at the Secretariat of Finance of a large Mexican state, Mexico City, 10 June 2015. 133

Policy analysis in Mexico

it takes place varies between states. Interactions between governors and heads of the secretariats range from formal meetings that take place on a regular basis to more occasional demands for information or analysis. Regarding the former, in some cases different secretariats converge in “thematic cabinets” (security affairs, economic issues, and so on) in which given topics are discussed by agencies in a particular sector and the governor.

Secretariats The second most important actors within the state executive branch are the secretariats and other agencies that comprise the central administration, in charge of particular policy areas and the daily management of programs. The number of secretariats and agencies vary dramatically among Mexican states, ranging from 22 in Chiapas to 11 in Tlaxcala (see Figure 8.5). The number of agencies is not necessarily correlated with the size of the state. The state with the highest number (Chiapas) is a significantly smaller state than the state of Mexico or Mexico City, whose administrations are smaller. The same dispersion is observed in terms of the number of employees who are part of the administration and the amount of money spent on salaries (Farfán Mares, 2012; Olmeda and Armesto, forthcoming). The role that secretariats play in the policy process depends on a series of factors, including the extent of the prerogatives that state governments have to implement policies in a particular area. For example, in security, prerogatives of state governments have been limited until recently and municipalities have assumed a more active role. In the case of education, the federal government

Figure 8.5: Number of secretariats, by state (2015) 25 22

20

21

18 16

15

15

17 14

12

21

20 17

15

18 16

15

14

14

14

13

12

16 13

12

16

15

17

14

13

12

16

11

10 5

134

la Yuc atá n

co

xca Tla

loa

Tab as

o Ro

Sin a

a

ana

ebl

int Qu

n

Source: Author’s own elaboration based on information from state governments’ websites.

Pu

Leó

os

Ne

uvo

rel

o

Mo

Me xic

alg o

Hid

ur Chi apa s Coa hu Dis trit ila oF ede Gu ral ana nu ato

aS

orn i

Cal if

Ba

ja

Agu

asc alie

nte s

0

16

Policy analysis in state governments

still has important responsibilities in terms of the design of the curriculum and, more recently, the hiring and evaluation of teachers. In other areas, however, such as social policy (internal affairs [gobierno] or infrastructure), state secretaries have more room for maneuver. Governors tend to exercise significant influence in the operation of the state administration since they appoint secretariat heads directly, in many cases as a result of personal or partisan links. However, the secretariat heads are not completely ignorant of the functioning of the state administration since in most cases they have occupied positions within the state government. For example, according to the Censo Nacional de Gobierno, Seguridad Pública y Sistema Penitenciario Estatales 2014 (National Census on State Governments, Public Security and Penitentiary Systems) carried out by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (National Institute of Statistics and Geography, or INEGI), almost 40% of those occupying the highest positions at secretariats and agencies of the central administration have previously held a position in the state administration.7 A division can be also established between more “technical” (finance, administration, comptrollership) and more “political” secretariats (internal affairs, social policy and so on). A certain level of expertise in the relevant policy area is indispensable for occupying top positions in the former secretariats, albeit not in the latter.8 Secretariats usually operate along very hierarchical lines, with the head of the secretariat being the person who has the final word in most important decisions. The heads of secretariats tend to have close advisors in charge of producing policy analysis material. In addition, most of the offices that are part of the secretariats employ technical staff who generate analysis used to support policy decisions and who eventually produce material requested directly by the governor or governor’s assistants. Even when there are no clear data about the number of employees directly involved in policy analysis at this level it is possible to assume variation between states and between secretariats within the same state. None of the Mexican states has established professional public services based on merit. Legal norms in that direction have been approved by local legislatures in some cases but never implemented.9 Most administrative employees are recruited on an ad hoc basis and do not have their stability guaranteed. This rule also applies to those who are part of the 7

Available at www.inegi.org.mx/est/contenidos/proyectos/censosgobierno/cngspspe2014/ default.aspx.

8

There is no clear line separating the two types of secretariat. Some interviewees even challenged the idea that secretariats can avoid political considerations in their functioning (interview with an external consultant and former official at the Secretariat of Finance of a large Mexican state, Mexico City, 15 June 2015).

9

For example, Ley del Servicio Civil de Carrera para el Estado de Aguascalientes, Ley del Servicio Público de Carrera de la Administración Pública del Distrito Federal; Ley del Servicio Público de Carrera del Estado de Quintana Roo; Ley del Servicio Público de Carrera en la Administración Pública Centralizada; Ley de Servicio Público de Carrera del Estado de Veracruz de Ignacio De La Llave; Ley del Servicio Civil del Estado de Zacatecas. 135

Policy analysis in Mexico

technical staff of the secretariats. As a result, high levels of turnover are observed in state administrative personnel, a situation that affects the quality of the policy analysis produced.10 As well as relying on their own staff, secretariats also refer to external sources of policy analysis, among them individual scholars and academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and private consulting firms, which in most cases are hired to work on particular projects. In some cases, secretariats also use policy analysis data produced at the national level. The information about poverty levels generated on an periodical basis by the Consejo de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social (Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy) is an example of this. Among secretariats, the Secretariat of Finance tends to act as a “primus inter pares”. Being responsible for administering the state budget, the Secretariat of Finance usually shapes the way in which policies are designed and adopted by other secretariats. An analysis performed by the author in a representative sample of 17 (out of 32) Mexican states reveals that in concrete terms Secretariats of Finance concentrate functions in three significant phases of the policy process: planning, budgeting and evaluation. As a result of this prominent role, the Secretariat of Finance usually has more specialized personnel and less staff turnover within the whole state apparatus. In addition, as one interviewee pointed out, the Secretariat of Finance has a direct relationship with personnel in charge of budgeting issues in the rest of the secretariats, a situation that increases its level of influence.11 Secretariats of Planning exist in a third of Mexican states and, in formal terms, are responsible for producing analysis to support policy decisions. However, in most cases governors do not consider these studies to be significant and assign more importance to political considerations and/or pressures from particular interest groups (for example, public work contractors, real estate developers, and so on).12 In other cases, the Secretariats of Planning and Finance are merged, or planning responsibilities are directly absorbed by the Secretariat of Finance (see Table 8.1). Apart from secretariats, particular agencies have been created within state administrations to produce certain type of information that can be used for designing public policies. For example, institutes or offices that produce local

10

Low salaries are also a factor in preventing states from hiring well-qualified professionals (interview with an external consultant and former official at the Secretariat of Finance of a large Mexican state, Mexico City, 10 June 2015).

11

Interview with an external consultant and former official at the Secretariat of Finance of a large Mexican state, Mexico City, 10 June 2015.

12

Interview with a current external consultant and former head of the Secretariat of Planning of a large Mexican state, State of México, 4 September 2015. Interview with an external consultant and former official at the Secretary of Finance of a large Mexican state, Mexico City, 15 June 2015.

136

Policy analysis in state governments

Table 8.1: Agencies with planning responsibilities There is a separate Secretariat of Planning

Aguascalientes Baja California Baja California Sur Campeche Chiapas Chihuahua Coahuila Colima Distrito Federal Durango Guanajuato Guerrero Hidalgo Jalisco México Michoacán Morelos Nayarit Nuevo León Oaxaca Puebla Querétaro Quintana Roo San Luis Potosí Sinaloa Sonora Tabasco Tamaulipas Tlaxcala Veracruz Yucatán Zacatecas Total

Secretariats of Finance and Planning are merged

Planning responsibilities absorbed by the Secretariat of Finance

X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 11

7

X 14

Source: Author’s elaboration with information from state governments’ websites.

137

Policy analysis in Mexico

statistics exist in most states.13 Other agencies take responsibility for the evaluation or the monitoring of public policies, such as the Consejo de Evaluación del Desarrollo Social del Distrito Federal (Council for the Evaluation of Social Development of the Distrito Federal, or Evalúa DF) in Mexico City (to be discussed in more detail later), the MIDE in Jalisco, the Sistema de Seguimiento y Evaluación del Estado de Yucatán (System for Monitoring and Evaluation of the State of Yucatán) in Yucatán, and the Consejo de Investigación y Evalución de la Política Social (Council of Research and Evaluation of Social Policy) in the state of Mexico (Barreto Villanueva, 2013; Carrillo Huerta and Cerón Vargas, 2013; Paz Pineda et al, 2013). In general, even when these agencies enjoy some level of autonomy they are not entirely immune to political conflicts and influence. In addition it is not clear to what extent the information and analysis they produce are taken into account by public officials in their day-to-day work. Figure 8.6 outlines the relationships within the executive branch. The arrows indicate the flux of policy analysis.

Figure 8.6: Map of actors in the policy process (state executive branch) Direct advisers

Governors Particular secretariat/ Office of the governor

External advisers: NGOs, experts, universities, private consulting firms

Secretariaties

Secretary of Finance

Agencies in charge of analysis: state institutes of statistics, Evalúa DF, Mide, etc.

Other governmental and non-governmental actors Other actors besides the state executive branch take part in the policymaking process. State legislatures have significant prerogatives in normative terms but tend to adopt a secondary role in practice, assuming a reactive rather than a proactive position. This is even clearer in states where horizontal unified government is the rule. Only in the case of a divided government would legislatures have powers

13

138

However, an analysis performed by the author in 17 (out of 32) states revealed that in most cases these statistics were only an adaptation of the ones produced at the national level by the INEGI.

Policy analysis in state governments

of veto, potentially opposing governors’ initiatives. However, even in these circumstances it would be rare for them to produce their own policy initiatives. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have recently begun to assume a more prominent role in state politics and their influence on the development of public policies has increased. The importance of these organizations varies from state to state, being most significant in cases where there is a lively civil society, as in the Ciudad de México, Jalisco, the state of Mexico or Nuevo León, to mention but a few. In many cases, NGOs collaborate with public officials, producing information to support advocacy activities and even being hired to generate analysis on particular projects. It is also necessary to mention private consultants and firms, not as main characters in the public policy game but as supporting actors and providers of policy analysis to public officials. External consultants are regularly commissioned to carry out research for particular projects to be implemented by state governments. Finally, in recent years the collective experiences of different state governments have become another source of policy analysis useful for subnational authorities. One such example is the committees formed within Conferencia Nacional de Gobernadores (National Conference of Governors, or CONAGO) with a focus on different policy areas (there are currently 37 committees on topics ranging from economic development and tourism to water and infrastructure).14 A similar role is played by formal collective councils where public officials regularly meet with their peers from other states and exchange information on policy initiatives. In some cases, these bodies generate their own research to provide input to policymakers, as in the case, for example, of the Comision Permanente de Funcionarios Fiscales (Permanent Commission of Finance Officials), formed by the Secretariats of Finance of the 32 subnational units and a representative of the Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público (Federal Secretariat of Finance).

The case of the Ciudad de México: how policy analysis is performed in a particular Mexican state This section focuses on one particular Mexican state (the Ciudad de México, Mexico City) to explain with greater detail the place occupied by policy analysis within the policymaking process. Ciudad de México has been chosen because of its significant weight in economic, social and political terms. In a sense, it is a “crucial case” to study this issue. The Ciudad de México is the capital of the country, and is where the most important firms, universities, and federal institutions, as well as the main newspapers and TV and radio stations, are located. This explains the economic relevance of this subnational unit in the context of the Mexican economy: while the Ciudad de México represents only the 0.1% of Mexican territory and its population accounts for 7.9% of the country’s 14

See www.conago.org.mx. 139

Policy analysis in Mexico

inhabitants, its economy produces 16.2% of Mexican total gross domestic product. (Esquivel, 2012). The chief of government (jefe de gobierno) is the highest executive authority, with a status similar to governor, and is elected for six years without re-election. The relevance of the Ciudad de México and the exposure of its chiefs of government to the media automatically transforms them into national political actors and natural candidates for the presidency.15 In political terms, the Ciudad de México was the last of the Mexican states to be allowed to elect its own authorities (the chief of government was popularly elected in 1997 for the first time). Before that, the Ciudad de México depended directly on the federal executive and its mayor (regente) was appointed by the president. Since its transition to this new status, the state has been governed by the same political party (the Partido de la Revolución Democratica [Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD]). During PRD governments, the city has become a place where many innovations in the public policy area have been promoted, in particular in the area of social policy and in the promotion of individual rights.16 The rest of this section considers how policy analysis is produced within the executive branch. In particular, it analyzes three main points: how the chief of government receives information in order to make decisions; policy analysis at the level of the secretariats; and those institutions created with the explicit task of performing policy analysis. As stated in the previous section, governors are the main players in the policymaking game, and the Ciudad de México is no exception. Four elected chiefs of government have ruled in the city since 1997: Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas (1997–1999; Rosario Robles replaced him during the period 1999–2000 when Cárdenas resigned to run for the presidency); Andrés Manuel López Obrador (2000–2005; Alejandro Encinas replaced him during the period 2005–2006 when López Obrador resigned to run for the presidency); Marcelo Ebrard (2006–2012); and Miguel Ángel Mancera (in office since December 2012). According to interviewees, the ways in which the chief of government receives information on which to base decisions about policies vary in line with the incumbent’s style and tendency whether or not to use formal structures as channels.17 During his administration, Cárdenas tended to cultivate a direct relationship with secretariats, which were his main source of information. López Obrador created a council of advisors, who on some occasions were required to perform special analysis on issues that concerned him. Those on the council also used to take part of the meetings he held with his main secretariats on a daily basis 15

Two out of the four chiefs of government who ruled in the Distrito Federal since 1997 have run for the presidency (Cárdenas in 2000 and López Obrador in 2006 and 2012). Marcelo Ebrard tried to follow the same path but could not get a nomination.

16

For example, the Distrito Federal was the first subnational unit in Mexico where same-sex marriage and abortion were legally allowed.

17

Interview with a top official at the Distrito Federal government, Mexico City, 5 June 2015.

140

Policy analysis in state governments

to discuss information regarding crime and security issues in the city. Marcelo Ebrard created and gave power to the Office of the Chief of Government, which acquired a central role during his administration along with a team of formal advisors. The office acted as a channel of communication between the chief of government and the secretariats and generated reports and information to support decision making. Ebrard also relied on thematic cabinets where secretariats of particular sectors converged in order to present information about their areas of expertise and discuss policy alternatives. In a sense, Ebrard worked for the institutionalization of the channels through which the chief of government received information and analysis. This situation changed when Mancera took office and began to rely on more informal channels. Thematic cabinets were deactivated and no longer meet on a regular basis, except for the cabinet on security affairs.18 During his administration, Cárdenas tended to cultivate a direct relationship with The Office of the Chief of Government has also lost its prominent role and most interactions with the secretaries are channeled through the private secretariat. Reports and analysis are demanded from secretariats on an ad hoc basis. The formal advisory team is also less important and some of its positions remain vacant. Mancera cultivates personal relationships with the secretaries who were previously members of his team when he was general attorney during the Ebrard administration, and who in fact act as his informal advisors. The rest of the executive branch comprises 21 secretariats that report directly to the chief of government. This structure has experienced a significant expansion during recent decades, in particular since the time when the regente was designated by the president and the secretariats were fewer.19 The heads of secretariat are appointed by the chief of government without consultation with the state legislature, except for the head of the Secretariat of Security and the general attorney, who (before 2016) were appointed by the president. An analysis of the structure of each of the secretariats provides an initial understanding of the institutional significance given to policy analysis. As seen in Table 8.2, only 11 out of the 21 secretariats have offices formally responsible for tasks related to policy analysis (planning, evaluation, collection of information) and these offices occupy different position within secretariats’ structures. This finding does not necessarily imply that the rest of the secretariats do not produce policy analysis but shows that in those cases there are no specific offices with that responsibility. As Table 8.2 shows, the Secretariat of Finance is the agency with most offices devoted to policy analysis, a fact that reveals the prominent role it plays in policymaking terms in the state.

18

According to one interviewee, the rest of the cabinets meet seven or eight times in two years (interview with a top official at the Distrito Federal government, Mexico City, 5 June 2015.

19

Interview with a top official at the Distrito Federal government, Mexico City, 5 June 2015. 141

Policy analysis in Mexico

Table 8.2: Offices formally responsible for policy analysis tasks, by secretariat Secretariat Secretariat of Urban Development and Housing Secretariat of Health

Office (names in Spanish) Dirección Ejecutiva de Información y Sistemas Dirección General de Planeación y Coordinación Sectorial Dirección de Análisis Presupuestal Dirección de Análisis Programático Dirección de Integración e Información presupuestal del sectoral central del GDF Dirección de Integración e Información presupuestal del sectoral paraestatal GDF Dirección de Análisis sectorial Subdirección de Estudios fiscales

Secretariat of Finance

Dirección de Análisis y estudios de Ingresos

Secretariat of Transportation (SEMOVI)

Secretariat of Tourism

Dirección General de Planeación y Vialidad Subsecretaría de Información e Inteligencia Policial Dirección General de Planeación y Desarrollo Turístico

Office of the General Attorney

Dirección General de Planeación y Coordinación

Secretariat of Labor Secretariat of Education

Dirección de Estudios y Estadísticas del Trabajo Dirección Ejecutiva de Planeación, Monitoreo y Evaluación Educativa

Secretariat of Science and Technology Secretariat of Economic Development

Dirección General de Gestión, Planeación y Políticas en Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Coordinación General de Regulación y Planeación Económica

Secretariat of Security

Source: Author’s elaboration with information from Mexico City government’s websites.

142

Policy analysis in state governments

All secretariats have their own technical staff, but the absence of a professional civil service generates a lack of stability and high levels of turnover.20 Changes at the top level (secretaries, coordinators, general directors, and so on) are generally followed by the replacement of the technical teams. This is maybe one reason why most secretariats tend to rely on external sources of policy analysis, working with NGOs, academic experts and private consultants. This is facilitated by the high concentration of civil society organizations in Mexico City, and the fact that most important private and public academic institutions are located in the city (UNAM, UAM, El Colegio de México, CIDE, ITAM, Tec de Monterrey, UPN, IPN, to mention but a few).21 Even where there is incomplete information about the type of policy analysis that secretariats usually perform, it seems to be the case that they do not produce ex-ante evaluations, studies of financial or material feasibility, or evaluations of impact on a regular basis.22 Most work is in fact related to the day-to-day operation of programs. As one interviewee stated, “As a government we collect a lot of information, but we do not process it in order for this data to be an input for decision making.”23 Two agencies have been created in recent years with the explicit purpose of generating policy analysis: the Evalúa DF and the Escuela de Administración Pública del Distrito Federal [School of Public Administration of the Distrito Federal], both during Marcelo Ebrard’s administration. Evalúa DF was born in 2007 with the goals of performing regular evaluations of social policy programs and measuring the level of poverty and social development in the state, among others. A council of academic advisors had a prominent role in the organization, defining most of the courses of action adopted. A significant portion of evaluations are commissioned from external consultants (consulting firms, academic institutions, NGOs) on the basis of a list defined every year by Evalúa DF while the rest are internal evaluations performed by the different institutions in charge of programs with the support of Evalúa DF team. A total of 38 external evaluations were carried out during the period 2008–2014, along with 40 internal evaluations. These evaluations also generate recommendations for program improvements. 20

It is interesting to notice that a law that enacted a professional civil service was approved in 2011 but was never implemented.

21

UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México [Autonomous National University of Mexico]); UAM (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana [Autonomous Metropolitan University]); CIDE (El Colegio de México; Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas [Center for Research and Teaching in Economics]); ITAM (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México [Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico]); UPN (Tec de Monterrey; Universidad Pedagógica Nacional [Pedagogical National University]); IPN (Instituto Politécnico Nacional [Politecnical National Institute]).

22

Interview with a top official at the Distrito Federal government, Mexico City, 25 May 2015.

23

Interview with a top official at the Distrito Federal government, Mexico City, 7 July 2015. 143

Policy analysis in Mexico

As well as evaluations, Evalúa DF produces reports resulting from in-house research, policy briefs, and working papers that discuss different aspects of Ciudad de México social policy. The institution also regularly measures poverty and development levels with a methodology developed on its own with the support of its academic advisors. While it formally reports to the Secretariat of Social Development, during its early years Evalúa DF enjoyed a significant level of autonomy that helped the institution to forge a national reputation. However, this seems to have changed since the beginning of Mancera administration and Evalúa DF has lost its technical prestige.24 The School of Public Administration (EAPDF) was created in 2009 to evaluate and train Distrito Federal public officials, following the model of the French École National d’Administration (ENA). In the long term, the EAPDF was supposed to become one of the pillars in the implementation of a professional civil service, administering merit-based exams to those eager to become public officials and a one- or two-year process of instruction to successful candidates. Furthermore, the EAPDF was thought to act as a sort of in-house think tank, providing the chief of government and the secretariats of the Distrito Federal with information and analysis. This is why an Executive Director of Research and Archives occupies a prominent position in the structure of the institution. The EAPDF has its own research team, but many research projects are commissioned from external experts and consultants. The institution also works directly with scholars, NGOs and public officials from other agencies, trying to build bridges between academia and the public administration. During the Ebrard administration, the EAPDF became a source of constant consultation for the chief of government, providing him directly with information and analysis. Even when the institution survived the change of government despite the fact that the professional public service project was abandoned, it lost the direct relationship that it had built with Mancera’s predecessor. Nowadays the EAPDF has reoriented its focus and works with other secretariats, providing support for the development of research and policy alternatives to tackle the main problems in that area.25 This was to some extent facilitated by the fact that the institution was part of the team that coordinated the elaboration of the Plan General de Gobierno (General Plan of Government) 2013–2018, which defines the main policies to be implemented by the current government and the sectorial and institutional programs that are derived from it.26

24

Interview with a top official at the Distrito Federal government, Mexico City, 25 May 2015.

25

Among the documents produced by the EAPDF for the consumption of given secretaries are policy briefs, reports on diagnosis of public problems and discussion of policy alternatives (interview 25 May 2015).

26

Interview with a top official of Distrito Federal government, 25 May 2015.

144

Policy analysis in state governments

Conclusion This chapter has been devoted to understanding the way in which the policy process has evolved in Mexican states and identifying the role that policy analysis plays in that context. As discussed, the state executive is the prominent actor in this process and the governors the ones with the most power in terms of decision making (formal and informal). However, the executive branch is not monolithic. Other actors also play important roles, like the secretariats and special agencies created to produce studies and evaluations. As has been shown, policy analysis is difficult to perform at the state level. The absence of a professional public service imposes significant limitations on the technical capacities that are necessary to produce good-quality policy analysis. This explains why external consultants have become a significant source of policy analysis for state governments. In any case, even when policy analysis is produced, it is not necessarily taken into account in important decisions. Indeed, political considerations usually have prominence over more technical analysis. The second part of chapter has illustrated in more detail how policy analysis is carried out in a particular Mexican state, the Ciudad de México. It shows that even in the most developed Mexican state policy analysis is still not well organized or produced. Given the central role played by the chief of government in the policy process, personal style has a direct impact on the way in which policy analysis is generated. Even agencies created with policy analysis in mind can lose relevance if the head of the executive branch does not consider them to be important. References Almada, C. (1982) La Administración Estatal en México, Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Administración Pública. Barreto Villanueva, A. (2013) ‘Institucionalización de la política de desarrollo social en el estado de México: retos y perspectivas’, in C. Maldonado Trujillo and C. Galíndez Hernández (eds) Monitoreo, Evaluación y Gestión por Resultados, Mexico City: Clear/CIDE. Carrillo Huerta, M. and A. Cerón Vargas (2013) ‘Avances en materia de Monitoreo y evaluación de los programas sociales educativos del Distrito Federal’, in C. Maldonado Trujillo and C. Galíndez Hernández (eds) Monitoreo, Evaluación y Gestión por Resultados, Mexico City: Clear/CIDE. Diaz-Cayeros, A. (2006) Federalism, Fiscal Authority, and Centralization in Latin America, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Esquivel, G. (2012) “Relatoría” in G. Esquivel (ed) Desarrollo Económico y Finanzas, Mexico City: EAPDF. Falleti, T. (2010) Decentralization and Subnational Politics in Latin America, Cambridge/New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Farfán Mares, G. (2012) La Economía Política del Empleo en el Sector Público. Una Radiografía Descriptiva y Analítica del Gobierno Federal, Estatal y Municipal, Mexico City: México Evalúa. 145

Policy analysis in Mexico

Flamand, L. and Olmeda, J.C. (2008) ‘Un análisis comparado de las relaciones intergubernamentales en Argentina y México’, in I. Bitzberg (ed) Agenda Inconclusa: La Situación del México en la Postransición. Una Perspectiva Comparada, Mexico City: FCE. Martínez Vilchis, J. (2007) Nueva Gerencia Pública. Un Análisis Comparativo de la Administración Estatal en México, Mexico City: Miguel Ángel Porrúa. Mendez, J.L. (2013) ‘El liderazgo político como acción estratégica’, in J.L. Méndez (ed) Liderazgo Político, Mexico City: EAPDF/Siglo XXI. México Estatal (2011) Diagnósticos Estatales, Mexico City: CIDE. Narváez López (1985) ‘Los comités de planeación del desarrollo, estatales y municipales’, in Gaceta Mexicana de Administración Pública Estatal y Municipal. Ochoa-Reza, E. (2004) ‘Multiple arenas of struggle: federalism and Mexico’s transition to democracy’, in E.L. Gibson (ed) Federalism and Democracy in Latin America, Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press. Olmeda, J. (2013) ‘(Dis)united they stand? The politics of governors’ coalition building in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico’, Doctoral dissertation, Northwestern University. Olmeda, J. (2015) ‘Patterns of administrative reform in Mexican States: insights from the implementation of results-based budgeting’, Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, 16-19 April. Olmeda, J. (forthcoming) ‘Patrones de reforma administrativa en el federalismo mexicano: el caso de las políticas de monitoreo y evaluación’, in M.C. Pardo and G. Cejudo (eds) Trayectorias Administrativas en México, Mexico City: El Colegio de México/CIDE. Olmeda, J. and Armesto, A. (forthcoming) ‘Estrategias de interacción ejecutivolegislativo y patronazgo político subnacional en México’, in N. Loza (ed) Instituciones y Actores Políticos en los Estados Mexicanos, Mexico City: FLASCO. Paz Pineda, A., Espadas, J.O., Candila Flores, C., Suárez Solis, W. and Jiménez Rodríguez, S. (2013) ‘Diseño del sistema de seguimiento y evaluación del estado de Yucatán’, in C. Maldonado Trujillo and C. Galíndez Hernández (eds) Monitoreo, Evaluación y Gestión por Resultados, Mexico City: Clear/CIDE. Rodríguez, V. (1999) La Descentralización en México. De la Reforma Municipal a Solidaridad y el Nuevo Federalismo, Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica. Stein, E., Tommasi, M., Echevarría, K., Lora, E. and Payne, M. (eds) (2006) La Política de las Políticas Públicas. Progreso Económico y Social en América Latina, Washington, DC/Cambridge/Mexico, DF: Inter-American Development Bank/David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University/Editorial Planeta. Ward, P. and V. Rodriguez (1999) ‘New federalism, inter-governmental relations and co-governance in Mexico’, Journal of Latin American Studies, vol 31, no 3, pp 673-710. Zuckerman, L. (2003) ‘Los nuevos virreyes’, Revista Proceso, no 1993, www. proceso.com.mx/?p=233027

146

NINE

Policy analysis in local governments: an exploration of an institutional governance model Oliver D. Meza

Introduction There is a clear bias in the study of policy affairs with regard to local governments in Mexico. The existing literature places greater emphasis on the policy process than on what is known about local governments undertaking policy analysis. The purpose of this research is to go beyond the policy process research agenda to acknowledge the policy analysis in local governments. The underlying question is to what extent local governments’ institutional setting supports policy analysis activities. There is limited research on this topic in local governments in Mexico, and this chapter propose a theoretical model to understand how these tasks are done and to foster further investigations. Current literature suggests that municipalities may not have the appropriate institutional capacity, in terms of time, money or human talent to perform policy analysis. Local governments, authors have said, have insufficient capacity to manage human resources (Merino, 2006), and their fiscal configuration hinders their policy autonomy even after experiencing two waves of decentralization (Cabrero, 2013). Furthermore, despite local democratic transitions, municipal administrations have usually been unable to open up the decision-making process to citizens (Guillén-López, 1996; Moreno-Jaimes, 2008, p 73), and, with regard to institutional capacity, municipalities score even worse now than when their development was assessed using the Human Development Index alone (Flamand and Martínez, 2010, p 156). Local governments’ policy agendas are expanding towards policy domains beyond their traditional attributions (Meza, 2015a, p 29) and this expansion is taking place within a time-limited policy cycle against the backdrop of a fragile, volatile set of policy networks in a fragile, volatile set of policy networks (Cabrero, 2007b, p 30). However, an alternative view suggests that recent decentralization and democratization trends experienced in Mexico have led municipal governments to embark on some form of policy analysis. This chapter uses data from the municipal census as the main source for exploring the idea of policy analysis. The findings are complemented with strategically selected interviews to illustrate the stories behind them. 147

Policy analysis in Mexico

A four-cage model of local policy analysis is constructed in this chapter. The model is derived from the institutional implications of two macro-trends: decentralization and democratization. These two macro-trends have made local governments function in two governance modes: bureaucratic and democratic, respectively. These are not exclusive and the impact of these governance modes are reflected in local governments’ policy analysis activities. I argue that the form taken by local policy analysis depends on the governance mode in place. In line with other chapters in this book, this chapter assumes that Mexican policy analysis is conducted within the frame of the governmental planning paradigm. The research in this chapter is designed to provide a broader policy analysis revealed through the planning activities of local governments. The findings show how two governance modes (bureaucratic and democratic governance modes) affect municipalities’ policy analysis actions and how the main differences between types of municipality help explain the challenges faced by localities both now and in the future. The chapter is organized as follows. First, there is a brief discussion about the meaning of policy analysis. This is followed by a discussion of bureaucratic and democratic governance. The next section provides a general description of local government (LG) in Mexico, preceded by a four-cage analytical policy analysis model. The chapter then presents evidence of each type of policy analysis in LGs, and ends with a discussion of the findings and an overall assessment of local governments’ policy analysis, as well as suggestions for further research.

Policy analysis from an institutional governance perspective Policy analysis is a distinct aspect of the study of policy affairs. Policy study is used to refer to the study of policy, and implies knowledge about the process of a policy. The stage-based approach is a widely used framework in this approach, answering questions such as which groups participate in the agenda-making process, what affects the design and implementation of policies, and whether policies are evaluated. These are the kinds of questions students of policies will normally try to answer. Policy analysis, on the other hand, is a trend of thought known as study for policy. It explores practical forms of knowledge pursued by agents for the purpose of designing, implementing and evaluating elements of existing or future policies (Howlett and Lindquist, 2004, p 225). It examines how agents inform their policy decisions, what instruments are used, what sources are followed, how information is gathered and what data policy decision rely on.

148

Policy analysis in local governments

From an institutional governance perspective (Pierre, 1999), I explore how local organizations conduct policy analysis. Governance is a key concept used in many ways, flexible enough to address a variety of phenomena (Stoker, 1998; Pierre, 2014). In a broader sense, governance refers to the ways power is organized in complex societies to ensure outcomes in keeping with particular interests. Local institutions, then, are framed not only by history and paths in general but by actors “creating informal networks through which direction over formal institutions resources, and capacities is then exercised” (Stoker, 2009, p 1). The institutional governance perspective acknowledges that governance transcends formal institutions ( Pierre, 1999, 2005; DiGaetano and Strom, 2003; Stoker, 2009). However, formal institutions represent the values, beliefs and general norms of prevailing actors (in this case local governments) in the general governance structure (March et al, 1984). By tracing these changes over a series of years, it is possible to understand the effect of the institutional milieu (DiGaetano and Strom, 2003) over local policy analysis actions. Governance, defined as a way of organizing power beyond formal institutions, makes a series of predictions about an organization’s capacity to undertake policy analysis. For example, decentralization has brought new resources to municipalities and has redistributed power across levels of government. It is associated with a bureaucratic mode of governance characterized by a dominant network, composed mainly of local and supralocal bureaucratic actors such as municipal, state and federal officials. A bureaucratic governance is also associated with greater agencification of governmental bodies (Guarneros-Meza, 2009, p 465) and the use of command-and-control mechanisms (Milward and Provan, 2000) to enable efficient implementation, which of course assumes sufficient technical capacity on the part of the directors of administrative management units. Further assumptions are that local policy analysis will improve by means of enhancing managerial practices and human resources, and that governments are able to solve collective needs on their own (Pierre, 1999, p 378). Democratization, on the other hand, is associated with local electoral competition; some authors say it has produced bureaucratic and management changes and innovations in local policymaking as more effective parties participate in local elections (Grindle, 2006). A democratic governance mode is therefore characterized by the relationship between local public administration and other non-governmental entities. The two basic assumptions are first, that even with the greatest technical capacity, local public administrations are not able to solve the numerous public problems they face on their own (Stoker, 1998; Aguilar, 2006). Second, the relationship between statist and non-statist actors is assumed to be governed by a minimum number of democratic rules that enable accountability and citizen representativeness in local decision-making processes (Uvalle-Berrones, 2012). An organization embedded in this mode of governance modifies its institutions to allow outsiders to participate. It also develops new techniques and mechanisms to engage with citizens and to reach non-government entities and obtain non-official insights on policy. 149

Policy analysis in Mexico

Policy analysis model for local governments Sources of information come from different spheres. A simple model based on the policy advisory system in Craft and Howlett (2012) reveals key sources of information for policy analysis. These are organized in two dimensions: a locational dimension and a governance mode dimension. The two identify the available sources of policy analysis in government. The main assumption in this model is that the different forms of policy analysis in local governments in Mexico are explained by both the location of their production and the governance mode behind their design, and while it is not possible to infer the content of the policy analysis exclusively from the location of its production (see Craft and Howlett 2012, p 92), for the case presented here, it reflects basic modes of policy analysis. The governance mode dimension is the most distinct. According to Figure 9.1, it is distinguished by two modes: a bureaucratic and a democratic governance mode. A bureaucratic governance mode of policy analysis theoretically relies on public administration resources, be they human, economic or organizational. The same organization implements policies, makes policy decisions, defines problems in the government agenda, designs and assesses the instruments utilized, gathers and explores information to perform further analysis and therefore produces knowledge to enhance the policymaking process. An internal version of the bureaucratic governance mode of policy analysis is one performed within the confines of the organizational structure while an external version relies on a client-base relationship aided by an external entity; it constitutes an extension-aid form of analysis where the client, the local government, defines the topic and scope of the job, and frequently provides financial resources.

Figure 9.1: A four-cage policy analysis model for local governments External Consultancy projects

Public-private associations

In-house policy analysis

Outreach mechanisms

Internal Bureaucratic Governance

150

Democratic Governance

Policy analysis in local governments

A democratic governance mode of policy analysis is one reflecting changes in policy analysis by connecting with other non-government entities. Theoretically, some policy analysis tasks are performed in collaboration with other non-governmental organizations; they rely on mechanisms to open up the administration to citizen insights and foster appropriate forums for contacting non-governmental interest groups or civic associations. These other organizations help define the policy agenda and may also participate in instrumental and policy evaluation or even in a co-production scheme of implementation, while civic engagement may provide informational input for policy analysis. An internal version of this mode relies on the creation of mechanisms with LG having control of the forum and the type of informational input. Conversely, in an external democratic governance mode of policy analysis, the government shares tasks with other entities in forums where LG may not have control over the information or the final outcomes of policy discussions. The third-tier government This section is aimed to provide contextual information about the federal and political system in Mexico, before tackling the empirical analysis of the model. Local governments in Mexico have a federalist arrangement. There are 32 states and 2,441 municipalities.1 In 1999, a three-tier constitutional federation was established in Mexico (Cabrero, 2007a), but unlike the federal and state tiers, municipalities make no distinction between executive and legislative powers and there is no local judiciary power. Mexico’s federal system is midway between the US and Brazilian systems. The former is a dual system where, according to Dillon’s rule, local authorities are creatures of the states (Richardson, 2011), while the latter has complete autonomous local governments with executive powers working separately from a legislative municipal congress. In Mexico the municipalities are governed by a collegiate body known as ayuntamiento (article 115, Mexican Constitution). This body comprises the executive and legislative powers. It is composed of one municipal president and a number of council members called regidores. Members of the ayuntamiento are chosen using a closed-blocked listed ballot where the top position is for municipal president and the rest of the seats are allocated to regidores (aldermen). The regidores occupy a seat in the ayuntamiento depending on the share of votes their party receives on election day. All states apply a mixed rule to allocate party candidates in the ayuntamiento: a portion of seats is taken by the winner, the remainder being proportionally distributed between party candidates (Acedo, 2000; Meza, 2015b).

1

The federal district became the 32nd state under the name of Mexico City State. The constitutional reform was approved in the first half of 2016. At the time of writing, Mexico City State’s constitution and legal composition was still under process. 151

Policy analysis in Mexico

Municipalities share a number of common institutional features, although there is an enormous degree of heterogeneity. Figure 9.2 presents a classification later used for further analysis. It shows that large (>500,000 inhabitants) and medium (>100,000) urban municipalities are less numerous than their counterparts, but account for the majority of the population in Mexico. They are followed by small urban (>15,000), mixed (>2,500) and rural (=>2,500) municipalities. The municipal presidents hold most of the power, largely controlling the local bureaucracy and legislative actions. According to the National Institute of Federalism (INAFED), presidents execute and propose initiatives while regidores deliberate, accept or reject executive initiatives (INAFED, undated). In fact, while presidents are the heads of public administration, they also exercise enormous control over the ayuntamiento, the decision-making body. The internal local governance of municipalities is extremely vertical, with presidents exerting a significant degree of control over the remaining local institutions. However, decentralization and democratization have cut across these internal political and managerial practices. Decentralization alone, some claim, has served to empower the presidential figure more than the local citizen, contrary to what decentralization theorists would otherwise assume. More resources and greater policy assignments increase local bureaucracy capacity, and while presidents serve also as chiefs of staff, this helps to increase their power and bargaining capacity in relation to other tiers of government and other members of the ayuntamiento.

Figure 9.2: Type of municipality (percentage) % 45.00 40.00 35.00 30.00 25.00 20.00 15.00 10.00 5.00 0.00

39.46%

37.37% 33.32% 29.77%

30.02%

14.92% 6.46%

6.52% 1.73%

0.43%

Rural

Mixed Municipalities

Small urban

Median urban

Big urban

Inhabitants

Moreover, decentralization contains features of bureaucratic governance not only because it empowers the local bureaucracy but because local bureaucratic governance relies heavily on upper-tier resources in the form of legal mandates, financial resources or political capital to produce results (Meza, 2015a, p 58). 152

Policy analysis in local governments

While in 1990 the average value of unconditional transfers to municipalities was approximately 54 pesos per capita (US$ 3.6),2 by 2010, this amount had increased by a factor of approximately 30 (1,482 pesos or US$ 98.8), a tendency that can be seen in various types of municipalities (see Appendix, Table A9.2). A dominant party system gave way to one with a greater number of parties governing localities (see Figure 9.3). To a certain extent, democratization reduces bureaucratic empowerment so as to be more in keeping with citizen preferences and needs. But more importantly, democratization has permitted a less corporatist way of governing the polity, requiring institutionally prepared administrations capable of engaging with non-government entities and establishing relationships in which the public interest prevails rather than that of elitist or interest groups.

Figure 9.3: Political parties in local governments (1985–2013)* % 100.00 80.00 60.00 40.00 20.00 0.00 1985-1987 -20.00

MMH-PRI

1988-1990

1991-1993

1994-1996

CSG-PRI

PRI *

1997-1999

2000-2002

EZPL-PRI

PAN

2003-2005

VFQ-PAN

PRD

2006-2008

2009-2011

FCH-PAN

2012-2013 EPN-PRI

Coalitions

Acronyms along the time axis correspond to the name of the incumbent president and the party in power: Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado (MMH-PRI), Carlos Salinas de Gortari (CSGPRI), Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León (EZPL-PRI), Vicente Fox Quezada (VFQ-PAN), Felipe Calderón Hinojosa (FCH-PAN), Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN-PRI).

Planning and policy analysis In 1983, a constitutional reform mandated all levels of government to participate in the production of development plans. Ever since, planning has become the main arena in which LGs conduct policy analysis. As one interviewee explained, “[the municipal development plan] is the guiding axis of the public policies generated in the ayuntamiento” (interview E). However, as each local government’s term of office lasts for only three years, currently with no possibility of re-election,3 municipal development plans (MDPs) are changed with every incoming 2

Taking the US dollar-Mexican peso exchange rate to be 1:15.

3

A reform in 2009 introduced the possibility of re-election, but only from 2018. 153

Policy analysis in Mexico

administration within the first few months of the new term. To date, MDPs are the most important official public policy document in LGs. The latest 2013 LG census registered all municipalities with a MDP (see Table 9.1). Local governments nowadays successfully incorporate MDPs into their activities.

Table 9.1: Municipalities with development plans (percentage, by type of municipality) Year

Rural

Mixed

Small urban

Median urban

Big urban

2000

74

73

70

70

65

2002

81

87

92

89

84

2004

56

73

79

63

63

2009

58

57

65

66

77

2011

90

91

91

91

95

2013

100

100

100

100

100

Source: Author’s own elaboration using data from the following government surveys: INDESOL, 2000; SEDESOL, 2002, 2004; INEGI, 2009, 2011, 2013)..

MDPs vary within states and their design assumes some form of policy analysis following the basic components of the strategic planning paradigm within which most of them are framed. These are a diagnosis of the overall situation of the municipality; the stated vision and mission of government aims; a series of objectives and goals, grouped into macro-topics such as the economy, social development, security, and so on; a strategic program to achieve goals; and the use of indicators and monitoring systems (a recent innovation).

Bureaucratic governance mode of policy analysis How do institutions in municipalities reflect bureaucratic and democratic governance and what can we say about policy analysis in the institutional milieu? The following two subsections describe the overall changes in the formal institutions according to each mode of governance. The data, together with insights from interviews, will shed some light on how policy analysis is conducted in local governments in Mexico. In-house policy analysis As a result of greater decentralization, the bureaucratic governance mode is now characterized by increased human, organizational and economic resources. Within this mode of governance, policy analysis improves, the assumption being that policy capacity grows as bureaucratic resources increase.

154

Policy analysis in local governments

Organizational changes in the past few decades support the hypothesis of greater capacity in terms of policy analysis. Local governments have increased the number of agencies within local administration. In 2000, municipalities registered an average of seven different agencies, mostly responsible for basic urban services and back-end office administration activities. Thirteen years later, agencies had tripled, embracing a wide range of policy areas. These agenda amplifications, however, appear to have no impact on MDPs in terms of strategic programs or areas of acute policy need. For example, the chief advisor in Zapopan, a large urban municipality, commented that after a public consultation stage, the president chose “… three flagship programs in the administration, all of which have to do with topics of security and youth …” (interview E). The chief advisor also said that the three flagship programs were supported by further policy research in their design and one of them was about undergo an impact evaluation by an overseas educational institution (interview E). Institutional changes in local governments suggest that the ayuntamiento are better prepared to participate in policy decisions. They meet every two or three weeks but more importantly is the fact that working commissions have increased considerably. Working commissions are political venues where specific policy topics are discussed (see Table 9.2). However, this capacity has not yielded benefits, judging by the interviews in Zapopan, which reveal a paradox at least in terms of regidores’ willingness to participate in policy decisions. The following responses were given in answer to the interviewer’s question about whether regidores were invited to participate in policy decisions, or showed any interest in them: “Zero, no participation [by the regidores], they didn’t care … they were invited to participate but generally sent someone else [in representation] it was decided to halt their participation in part because their contribution was null and focused on politics.” (Interview E) “[Regidores] where not involved until the plan was finalized and presented to them … they did not participate in its design.” (Interview C) At an organizational level, bureaucratic capacity can be assessed according to the educational attainment of the heads of agencies. The trend observed between 2000 and 2013 supports the idea of an increase in bureaucratic capacity, albeit at different rates between types of municipality. Local heads of department are more able to perform policy analysis, as these techniques are associated with formal levels of educations. The interviewees in Zapopan partly confirmed this argument by mentioning how human capital is one of the key factors behind the promotion and use of policy analysis because of a critical mass of specialized people in the administration demanding policy analysis coupled with a sufficient number of people able to use techniques such as policy analysis.

155

Policy analysis in Mexico

Table 9.2: Number of ayuntamiento’s working commissions (year average, by type of municipality) Year

Rural

Mixed

Small urban

Median urban

Big urban

Working commissions 2008

3.31

6.07

8.00

7.90

8.84

2012

5.69

9.22

11.88

12.29

12.74

Source: Author’s own elaboration with data from INEGI government surveys..

Table 9.3: Education level of heads of department (percentage, by type of municipality) Year

Rural

Mixed

Small urban

Median urban

Big urban

Percentage up to elementary and technical education 2000

88.71

62.91

38.15

15.61

4.33

2002

86.11

59.90

34.34

13.61

3.32

2004

84.06

57.67

35.96

17.35

10.43

2013

79.08

60.31

35.43

16.88

8.72

 

Percentage with undergraduate and graduates levels

2000

11.29

37.09

61.85

84.39

95.67

2002

13.89

40.10

65.66

86.39

96.68

2004

15.94

42.33

64.04

82.65

89.57

2013

20.92

39.69

64.57

83.13

91.28

Source: Author’s own elaboration using data from INDESOL (2000), SEDESOL (2002, 2004) and INEGI (2009, 2013)..

“We need people who are more technical than political, with greater experience and knowledge of the terrain.” (Interview E) “The areas [within the public administrations] are filled with operators, there is no critical mass interested in demanding policy analysis which goes hand in hand with the lack of information.” (Interview C) Consultancy projects Consultancy projects are regarded as a bureaucratic mode because they rely on LG financial resources to establish a client-base relationship to foster policy analysis on behalf of the administration. In the case of Zapopan, consultants were hired to provide support at different policy stages, sometimes at the program design or implementation stages and sometimes to help with the elaboration of municipal development plans. An interview with a local consultant suggests that municipalities rely heavily on external consultations partly because they need to comply with laws in undertaking specialized diagnoses on several policy themes:

156

Policy analysis in local governments

“The Federal Act of Social Development obliges municipalities to have their own municipal plan of social development” (interview C). A thirteen-year average shows that between 10% and 20% of municipal budget is available to finance external consultations (see Table 9.4). Consultancy services are financed through the general services budget.

Table 9.4: Thirteen-year mobile average (2000–2013) expenditure on general services (average percentage, by type of municipality) Type of municipality

General services (percentage from total budget)

Rural

18.50

Mixed

12.13

Small urban

10.76

Medium urban

11.81

Big urban

13.34

Source: Author’s own elaboration using data from INEGI administrative records of municipal governments’ finances..

Further accounts suggest that LGs receive aid from national and international organizations in terms of information or policy analysis, as in the case of the flagship programs mentioned by the chief advisor in Zapopan. “Stanford University is conducting an evaluation, it is a longitudinal analysis with 600 people [participants of the program] and there is a follow-up every semester. [In the design of other programs] we have had help from the National Center for Crime Prevention and the Federal Ministry of the Interior.” (Interview E) External support is provided in a variety of forms, and although the details are difficult to discern, the available information reveals how policy analysis tasks in LG are supported by other organizations through consultancy, technical or training projects. It is possible that as LGs rely more on external consultants as their internal capacity decreases. That is suggested at least in Table 9.5, where a downward trend is observed in three key areas: planning and evaluation, citizen participation, and transparency and information. This situation applies to all types of municipality, although the trend has not been homogenous. Planning and evaluation offices, citizen participation offices and transparency and information agencies increase according to the type of municipality; rural and mixed LGs have lower numbers of these agencies compared with medium and large urban municipalities, although they all decrease over time. This trend confirms LGs’ unwillingness to finance these kinds of agencies, whose basic aim is to produce and analyze policy relevant data. 157

Policy analysis in Mexico

Figure 9.4: Levels of external support in policy analysis (Affirmative answers to the question)

% 25.0

Q: Besides other governmental entities, have your administration received information from other national or international organizations that offers consultancy, technical or training assistance?

20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0

Rural

Mixed 2000

Small Urban Medium urban 2002 2004

Big urban

Table 9.5: Planning and evaluation, citizen participation and transparency, and information offices in municipal administration (percentage, by type of municipality) Rural

Mixed

Small urban

Median urban

Big urban

Planning and evaluation offices 2002

4.05

15.17

35.02

62.50

67.44

2009

4.86

13.83

32.93

55.00

60.47

2013

3.24

8.46

26.02

43.75

65.12

Citizen participation 2002

10.00

18.89

36.77

58.75

60.47

2009

45.41

57.89

63.34

58.13

48.84

2013

1.62

9.18

18.66

41.88

34.88

Transparency and information offices 2009

4.86

13.83

32.93

55.00

60.47

2013

6.22

19.61

28.43

41.88

30.23

Source: Author’s own elaboration using data from SEDESOL (2002) and INEGI (2009, 2013)..

Interviewees were asked whether the Municipal Development Planning Committee (COPLADEMUN)4 another key area for policy analysis, actively participated in either the design of MDPs or the analysis of any of the flagship 4

158

Comité de Planeación para el Desarrollo Municipal.

Policy analysis in local governments

programs. One interviewee replied: “I don’t remember, good question, I don’t recall … I would say no” (interview C). Conversely, a chief advisor answered: “It did participate, especially in the last part, in the presentation [of the plan and programs] but not entirely in the design of the policy” (interview E). The COPLADEMUN is an arms-length local body legally in charge of developing MDPs. Its importance has decreased over time in part because there is a general notion that these forums are “… handpicked [the participants by the presidents] and it is not a space for citizen where policy decisions are validated” (interview G).

Democratic governance mode of policy analysis So far, the evidence suggests that localities are subject to a bureaucratic mode of governance that drives policy analysis activities, but alternative sources of information indicate a democratic mode of governance. The next two subsections shed some light on this. Outreach mechanisms One interviewee in the study suggested that localities made efforts to reach out to citizens prior to the design of MDPs: “… a series of phone calls were made with a questionnaire about the most important public affairs according to citizens … a mailbox campaign was installed in about 20 different places … a discussion forum where civil society was invited, together with academics, regidores, heads of departments ...” (interview E). Practice in LGs confirms this view as institutional changes reflect a democratic governance mode through mechanisms that involve greater citizen participation. These mechanisms include open policy consultations, popular petitions, surveys, public works supervisions, town hall meetings, meetings with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), authority visits, email in-boxes, website in-boxes and citizen phone lines. The number of outreach mechanisms created and financed by municipalities reflects a certain willingness to open the policy box. Figure 9.5 shows the number of outreach mechanisms by type of municipality. Rural and mixed municipalities show a reluctance to establish outreach mechanisms despite having access, in per capita terms, to more resources compared with other types of municipality. Small urban localities maintained the same level while medium and large urban municipalities increased the number of outreach mechanisms over a period of around 10 years. The evidence suggests that smaller LGs are less prepared to open up their affairs or seek citizen insights (see Table 9.6, which shows levels of open policies and citizen-led organizations across different types of municipality). Larger

159

Policy analysis in Mexico

Figure 9.5: Outreach mechanisms (average, by type of municipality) 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 2004

2009

Rural

Mixed

Median urban

Big urban

2013 Small urban

municipalities, again, seem to be able to afford a more democratic governance mode. Table 9.6 shows that larger localities are more likely to involve more citizenled organizations (namely NGOs, workers’ unions and neighborhood councils) in government decisions. A similar trend is observed in the number of policies and services in which citizens are invited to collaborate. Larger LGs are able to cope and finance collaborations with non-governmental groups that ultimately provide key feedback on policy activities.

Table 9.6: Open policies and citizen-led organizations in municipalities (average, by type of municipality) Rural

Mixed

Small urban

Median urban

Big urban

Citizen-led organizations recognized by the municipality 2000

1.1

2.0

2.7

3.3

3.3

2002

0.9

1.6

2.4

2.9

2.6

2004

1.3

1.6

1.8

1.9

2.7

2009

1.9

2.3

2.5

2.6

2.7

2013

1.7

1.8

2.8

4.0

5.4

Policies and services open to public participation 2002

1.5

1.6

1.8

1.8

2.0

2004

1.3

1.4

1.5

1.6

1.6

2009

2.3

2.5

2.7

2.7

2.8

2013

2.7

3.0

4.5

7.1

8.0

Source: Author’s own compilation using data from the following government surveys: INDESOL, 2000; SEDESOL, 2002, 2004; INEGI, 2009, 2011, 2013..

160

Policy analysis in local governments

Public–private partnerships As government institutions become more innovative, local organizations have moved away from a hierarchical government approach towards a horizontal and open governance mode. This change has driven public administrations to govern in forums with the participation of a greater array of extra-governmental entities, some of which have strong local roots or a broader range of interests. This reveals an external and participatory locus of policy analysis. The examples seen in municipal planning institutes (MPIs) constitute a case of public–private partnerships where policy analysis activities are procured under an external democratic governance mode. Experiences in the municipalities of Guanajuato and Mérida illustrate this institutional approach. Substantial efforts to include technical criteria in policymaking through planning institutes are being made across localities in Mexico. These institutes put local governments in contact with other local organizations. Their general aim is to produce information to aid the decision-making processes in the ayuntamiento and local public administration. As stated by the former director of the MPI in Guanajuato, “Our work is divided into four … generic functions as in any MPI … strategic planning, urban and territorial development, investment projects and an area of geoestatistics … one of the objectives is to transcend periods of local administrations” (interview G). According to the Mexican Association of Planning Institutes, Mexico has around 50 municipal institutes registered (see Table A9.1 in the Appendix). This number underestimates the actual total because affiliation is not compulsory. Their history, obtained from their websites, suggests that these institutes were adopted from models in Canada, Brazil and Spain. Although their origins are diverse, their organization is fairly similar. A general model of MPIs constitutes three main elements: • a governing body (junta de gobierno), mostly composed of representative heads of sectors from the local polity, usually the municipal president and a selected set of local representatives; • an advisory board (consejo consultivo), composed of a wider set of local representatives from economic sectors, workers’ unions, universities and other non-government organizations; • a technical bureaucratic corpus, headed by the institute director who is frequently assigned as the secretary of the governing body and the advisory board. Institutes’ bureaucratic corpuses are not numerous in terms of their human resources. Variations between MPIs are associated with the power struggle between governmental entities and private interests. Some of these planning institutes are fully financed by local government, meaning that the municipal president ends up having power over the MPIs’ activities. This was the case with the MPI in Guanajuato, the Instituto Municipal de Planeación, back in 2012. As stated by 161

Policy analysis in Mexico

its director, the institute was dependent on the current administration, but was looking for additional funding: “… currently we only have a municipal subsidy. We are looking for resources from SEDESOL [federal agency]” (interview G). On the other hand, in Mérida, the MPI initiative known as Plan Estratégico was financed by the local government together with local private sectors. Other projects were implemented with state government funding. Financial diversity empowered the Plan Estratégico, and increased the influence it had over local government decisions: “Another instrument we often use in planning is the Mérida Strategic Plan. It is an organism in which the University of Yucatán and different chambers participate. My administration provided about three millions pesos in financing that year [2004]. We conducted several studies on transportation, ambulances, etc [with them].” (interview M) The MPIs’ capacity is also explained by economic and political factors in the region. For example, Guanajuato’s MPI was created in March 2012 based on the model provided in neighboring municipalities such as León. The importance of the MPI in León dates back several years and so far Guanajuato’s MPI has not achieved much prestige despite being the capital of the state of Guanajuato. León’s importance, in terms of the size of its population and economy, has attracted major economic players, a situation that Guanajuato does not share. This is similar to what happened in Mérida. The Plan Estratégico has attracted important economic and political players in part because Mérida represents, in relative terms, 65% of the state’s gross domestic product and 44% of the voting franchise (Meza 2015a, p 171). In short, since Mérida is a key geopolitical site in the state of Yucatán (as is León for Guanajuato state), it was able, through its Plan Estratégico, to attract non-governmental political and economic resources, and balance the power previously held by the municipal president, to undertake policy analysis.

Discussion and conclusion Policy analysis is a very new subject of study as applied to local governments in Mexico. Although there is strong bias among researchers towards knowing more about the policy process, this chapter makes a modest attempt to explore issues in the study for policy within LG. The chapter has proposed a four-cage institutional governance model of policy analysis based on a two-by-two dimension grid. It argues that local governments in Mexico have experienced a decentralization and a democratization trend, and that both phenomena coincide in time and are not exclusive to each other. Most importantly, it argues that policy analysis in Mexican municipalities is shaped by either or both of these political forces.

162

Policy analysis in local governments

The analysis shows how organization and institutions have changed in LG over a period of two decades. These changes support the idea of four types of policy analysis being implemented in LG and within the planning paradigm under which municipalities produce information for policy decisions. Bureaucratic and democratic governance modes help explain different paths in policy analysis. Each reflects institutional changes affecting core elements associated with policy activities. The main assumption here is that with the analysis, I have been able to pinpoint different types of policy analysis in the context of the main sources of input and the governance trends in local governments over a period of decades. A bureaucratic mode of governance favors an in-house and consultancyreliant type of policy analysis, as LGs expand in relation to their policy agencies or departments, the economic resources they handle, the formal education of their heads of departments, the political venues available for discussing policy issues and the frequency of external projects in a client-base relationship. At the same time, a democratic governance mode of policy analysis is associated with the procurement of mechanisms to foster citizen participation and insights and the institutionalization of public–private venues to discuss policy decisions, and is designed to produce data, information, studies, and policy analysis for local governments. The main findings are as follows: • In-house policy analysis accounts for a significant portion of such activity in Mexican municipalities. Human capital is said to be an important factor in demanding and providing policy analysis. However, lack of data, short-term government administrations and current restrictions on re-election constrain these practices. Despite ayuntamientos’ or presidents’ willingness to discuss policy topics, policy analysis remains in the hands of the latter [ie, presidents] and their closest collaborators. Tensions created by party politics make it difficult for these two internal entities to collaborate on policy activities. • Interviewees suggest that local governments rely on external consultants in policy analysis tasks far more than the current literature admits. Administrative records show that LGs allocate between 10% and 20% of their budget to a chapter where consultancy may be purchased. Records also show a heterogeneous path between types of municipality. Smaller municipalities rely more heavily on external consultations, confirmed in part by budget allocations, but in general the evidence suggests that this is an important source of policy analysis neglected by the existing literature. • New mechanisms designed to gather information from citizenry support the idea that a democratic governance mode exists. Citizen access to policies and the participation of non-government groups in government decision making confirms this finding. Nevertheless, further evidence suggests that LGs differ in their capacity to establish outreach mechanisms. Although democratic governance mode affects smaller localities to a lesser extent, the analysis makes it difficult to reject any alternative hypothesis such as small localities not needing these institutions precisely because of their size. The trend might also 163

Policy analysis in Mexico

be explained by the lack of citizen pressure seen in small localities. But because per capita economic transfers are higher in smaller localities, the lack of an open government could be associated with low levels of political dynamism in rural, mixed and small municipalities. • Finally, the external incarnation of the democratic governance mode is embodied in public–private partnerships called MPIs. Common features and aims encourage the production of useful policy information for local decision making. Despite the quality of the policy analysis provided by MPIs, the economic and political features surrounding them affect the capacity of the public–private partnerships to influence local governments’ decision making. These findings, along with an analysis of how planning is actually done in municipalities, represent a lens through which to understand policy analysis in Mexican local government. This work intends to offer some insight around the topic, although a number of questions still remain unanswered: To what extent can textbook policy analysis be reconciled with local public administrations’ planning efforts? What are the institutional limitations that a planning paradigm imposes over LG in producing more sophisticated policy analysis? How will policy analysis be affected after reelection becomes possible? Furthermore, politics raises additional questions with respect to policy analysis. Evidence suggests that policy decisions are made by the executive branch with little participation of the local legislative branch. To what extent is this advisable and what reforms are needed to establish the appropriate connections? Finally, municipalities work in an institutional milieu provided by state and federal rulemaking. How can these two tiers aid and influence policy analysis in local governments? These and other related questions arise from this exploratory analysis. References Acedo, B. (2000) ‘Representación politica y sistemas electorales municipales’, Cuaderno de Debate para la Reforma del Estado, Mexico City: Centro de Estudios para la Reforma del Estado. Aguilar, L. (2006) Gobernanza y Gestión Pública, Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica. Cabrero, E. (2007a) Para Entender el Federalismo en los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, Mexico City: Ediciones Nostra. Cabrero, E. (2007b) Políticas Públicas: Una Agenda en Construcción, Mexico City: CIDE/Miguel Ángel Porrúa. Cabrero, E. (2013) ‘Fiscal federalism in Mexico: distortions and structural traps’, Urban Public Economics Review, no 18, pp 12-36. Cabrero, E. and Arellano, D. (2011) Los Gobiernos Municipals a Debate: Un Análisis de la Institución Municipal a Través de la Encuesta INEGI 2009, Mexico City: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económica. CIDAC Electoral information, www.cidac.org

164

Policy analysis in local governments

Craft, J. and Howlett, M. (2012) ‘Policy formulation, governance shifts and policy influence: location and content in policy advisory systems’, Journal of Public Policy, vol 32, no 2, pp 79-98. DiGaetano, A. and Strom, E. (2003) ‘Comparative urban governance: an integrated approach’, Urban Affairs Review, vol 38, no 3, pp 356-95. Flamand, L. and Martinez, S. (2010) Instituciones Locales y Desarrollo en México. Un Análisis a partir de la dimension institutional del Índice de Desarrollo Municipal Básico, in D. Gómez-Álvarez (ed) Capacidades Institucionales para el Desarrollo Humano: Conceptos, Indices y Políticas Públicas, México City: Cámara de Diputadoes LXI Legislatura/UDG/PNUD/Miguel Ángel Porrúa. Grindle, M.S. (2006) ‘Modernising town hall: capacity building with a political twist’, Public Administration and Development, vol 26, no 1, pp 55-69. Guarneros-Meza, V. (2009) ‘Mexican urban governance: how old and new institutions coexist and interact’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol 33, no 2, pp 463-82. Guillén-López, T. (1996) Gobiernos Municipales en México: Entre la Modernización y la Tradición Política, México City: Colegio de la Frontera Norte/Miguel Ángel Porrúa. Howlett, M. and Lindquist, E. (2004) ‘Policy analysis and governance: analytical and policy styles in Canada’, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, vol 6, no 3, pp 225-49. INAFED (National Institute of Federalism) (undated) ‘Guía Técnica 3 Administración Pública Municipal’, www.inafed.gob.mx/work/models/inafed/ Resource/335/1/images/guia03_administracion_publica.pdf INDESOL (2000) Encuesta Nacional Sobre Desarrollo Institucional Municipal (ENDESMUN) National Survey of Municipal Institutional Development, http:// bdsocial.inmujeres.gob.mx/bdsocial/index.php INEGI (2009) Municipal government surveys, www.inegi.org.mx INEGI (2011, 2013) Municipal government census, www.inegi.org.mx INEGI Population census, www.inegi.org.mx INEGI State and municipal finance account registries, www.inegi.org.mx Interview C (Consultant for the Municipality of Zapopan in the elaboration of the municipal development plan) (2015) Interview with the author, 18 August. Interview E (Chief Advisor of the local government administration 2012-2015, Municipality of Zapopan in Jalisco state) (2015) Interview with the author, 19 August. Interview G (Former director of the Municipal Planning Institute, Municipality of Guanajuato in Guanajuato state) (2012) Interview with the author, 26 July. Interview M (Former municipal president of Mérida, Yucatán state) (2012) Interview with the author, 8 August. March, J.G., Olsen, J.P. and March, G. (1984) ‘The New Institutionalism: organizational factors in political life’, American Political Science Review, vol 78, no 3, pp 734-49.

165

Policy analysis in Mexico

Merino, M. (2006) La Gestión Profesional de los Municipios en México: Diagnóstico, Oportunidades y Desafíos, Mexico City: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económica. Meza, O. (2015a) Agenda Local: El Entorno Institucional Detrás de las Políticas Públicas, Mexico City: INAP/ITESO. Meza, O. (2015b) ‘Why does more pluralism reduce expenditure? The case of how Mexico’s old institutions affect waves of democratic reform’, Politics & Policy, vol 43, no 5, pp 723-53. Milward, H.B. and Provan, K.G. (2000) ‘Governing the hollow state’, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, vol 10, no 2, pp 359-80. Moreno-Jaimes, C. (2008) Democrácia Electoral y Calidad de Gubernativa: El Desempeño de los Gobiernos Municipals en México, Guadalajara, Jalisco México: ITESO-U, Iberoamericana de Puebla y Torreón. Pierre, J. (1999) ‘Models of urban governance: the institutional dimension of urban politics’, Urban Affairs Review, vol 34, no 3, pp 372-96. Pierre, J. (2005) ‘Comparative urban governance: uncovering complex causalities’, Urban Affairs Review, vol 40, no 4, pp 446-62. Pierre, J. (2014) ‘Can urban regimes travel in time and space? Urban regime theory, urban governance theory, and comparative urban politics’, Urban Affairs Review, vol 50, no 6, pp 864-89. Richardson, J.J. (2011) ‘Dillon’s rule is from Mars, home rule is from Venus: local government autonomy and the rules of statutory construction’, Publius: The Journal of Federealism, vol 41, no 4, pp 662-85. SEDESOL (2002) Encuesta Nacional a Presidentes Municipales Sobre Desarrollo Social (ENAPREN) National Survey of Municipal Presidents on Development, http://bdsocial.inmujeres.gob.mx/bdsocial/index.php SEDESOL (2004) Encuesta Nacional de Gobiernos Municipales (ENGM) National Survey of Municipal Governments, http://bdsocial.inmujeres.gob.mx/ bdsocial/index.php Stoker, G. (1998) ‘Governance as theory: five propositions’, International Social Science Journal, vol 50, no 155, pp 17-28. Stoker, G. (2009) ‘Comparative local governance’, in S.A. Binder, R.A.W. Rhodes and B.A. Rockman (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Political Institutions, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Uvalle-Berrones, R. (2012) ‘La administración pública en los imperativos de la gobernanza democrática’, Convergencia. Revista de Ciencias Sociales, vol 19, no 60, pp 111-44.

166

Policy analysis in local governments

Appendix Table A9.1: Municipal planning institutes registered at the Asociación Mexicana de Institutos de Planeación Municipal State

No.

Municipality

Institute

State

No.

Municipality

Institute

Aguascalientes

1

Aguascalientes

IMPLAN

25

Toluca

IMPLAN

Baja California

2

Mexicali

IMIP

26

Morelia

IMPLAN

3

Ensenada

IMIP

Estado de México Michoacán de Ocampo Nuevo León

27

IMPLAN

4

Tijuana

IMPLAN

Baja California Sur

5

La Paz

IMPLAN

29

San Pedro Garza García San Nicolás de los Garza Monterrey

6

Los Cabos

IMPLAN

Puebla

30

Puebla

IMPLAN

Campeche

7

Ciudad del Carmen

IMPLAN

Querétaro

31

IMPLAN

Coahuila de Zaragoza

8

Torreón

IMPyC

32

Santiago de Querétaro Corregidora

9

Saltillo

IMPLAN

Quintana Roo

33

Cancún

IMPLAN

Colima

10

Colima

IPCo

San Luis Potosí 34

San Luís Potosí

IMPLAN

11

Manzanillo

IMPLAN

Sinaloa

35

Mazatlán

IMPLAN

12

Tuxtla Gutierrez

ICIPLAM

36

Culiacán

IMPLAN

13

Comitán de Domínguez

IMPLAN

37

Guasave

IMPLAN

14

Tapachula

IMPLAN

38

Los Mochis

IMPLAN

15

Chihuahua

IMPLAN

39

Empalme

IMPLAN

16

Ciudad Juárez

IMIP

40

Hermosillo

IMPLAN

17

León

IMPLAN

41

Cajeme

IMIP

18

Irapuato

IMPLAN

42

Nogales

IMIP

19

Silao

IMPLUS

Tabasco

43

Villahermosa

IMPLAN

20

Celaya

IMIPE

Tamaulipas

44

Tampico

IMEPLAN

21

San Francisco del Rincón IMPLAN

45

Ciudad Victoria

IMPLAN

Guerrero

22

Acapulco

IMPLAN

46

Matamoros

IMPLAN

Hidalgo

23

Pachuca de Soto

IMIP

47

Raynosa

IMPLAN

Jalisco

24

Tepatitlan de Morelos

IMPLAN

Chiapas

Chihuahua Guanajuato

28

Sonora

INPLADEM IMPLANc

IMPLASCO

48

Nuevo Laredo

IMPLADU

Veracruz

49

Coatzacoalcos

IMPLAN

Yucatán

50

Yucatán

Name not available

Source: Author’s own elaboration using data from Amimp.org.mx (Asociación Mexicana de Institutos Municipales de Planeación [AMIMP]). Abbreviations as follows: IMPLAN (Instituto Municipal de Planeación), IMIP (Instituto Municipal de Investigación y Planeación), IMPyC (Instituto Municipal de Planeación y Competitividad), IPCo (Instituto de Planeación de Colima), ICIPLAM (Instituto Ciudadano de Planeación Municipal), IMPLUS (Instituto de Planeación Urbana de Silao), IMIPE (Instituto Municipal de Investigación, Planeación y Estadística,) INPLADEM (Instituto de Planeación y Desarrollo Municipal), IMPLANc (Instituto de planeación Urbana y convivencia), IMPLASCO (Instituto Municipal de Planeación y Sustentabilidad de Corregidora), IMEPLAN (Instituo Metropolitano de Planeación), IMPLADU (Instituto Municipal de Investigación, Planeación y Desarrollo Urbano), PE (Plan Estratégico).

167

Policy analysis in Mexico

Table A9.2: Transfers to local governments (per capita average, by type of municipality) Rural

Mixed

Small urban

Median urban

Big urban

Unconditional transfers 1990

71.80

56.11

42.54

53.24

52.00

1994

225.13

146.82

99.61

110.30

102.87

1998

945.97

447.01

304.12

301.19

290.82

2002

1405.50

740.42

502.90

451.45

424.32

2006

2989.79

1347.74

796.54

729.32

695.14

2010

3021.09

1674.61

1134.68

921.06

857.51

Conditional transfers 1990

5.61

7.06

7.59

8.97

4.30

1994

68.72

26.06

11.97

13.03

11.71

1998

300.27

182.41

171.00

136.18

71.68

2002

872.72

741.11

604.31

410.90

332.98

2006

1066.35

959.26

801.23

533.04

420.77

2010

1824.71

1686.55

1272.54

859.15

822.81

Source: Author’s own elaboration using data from INEGI government administrative accounts..

168

Part Four Policy analysis beyond the state

169

TEN

Policy analysis in political parties Irma Mendez de Hoyos

Introduction One of the most heated debates around the policy process has been centered on the role of politics and political parties in the policymaking process. One school of thought argues that such process is driven less by parties, policies and ideas than by environmental or demographic forces. On the contrary, those who say politics does matter argue that parties exert a strong and even determining influence on government decision making (Parsons, 1995, pp 214-18). One way of reconciliation is considering that the environment does matter, and political parties might be more important in contexts where other structures of mediation are weak, as is the case of most Latin American countries. In the particular case of Mexico, political parties have been key protagonists of the transition to democracy and have become crucial actors in the policymaking process, as politics here is basically structured by political parties (Moreno, 2010). Additionally, the type of parties also matters in terms of policy. According to Jones (2005), institutionalized party systems tend to be programmatic, which means that parties compete and obtain political support on the basis of their differences in terms of public policy. They are then responsible for developing policy research and policy choices, which are presented and discussed during campaigns. However, institutionalized parties can also be clientelistic, which means that they compete on the basis of selective distribution of benefits among voters (like jobs in the public sector, economic resources or food) and are judged by citizens based on their capacity to deliver them (Jones, 2005, pp 33-4). The policymaking process in clientelistic systems is then shaped by parties’ necessity to maintain the system of political support. The contemporary political landscape in Mexico is shaped by an institutionalized multiparty system and democratic elections in principle, a presidential system with a federal Congress with no majority party since 1997, and 10 political parties officially recognized at national level. At the local level, political power is also distributed among different parties and coalitions. Due to numerous electoral reforms, Mexican political parties are generously financed and have free and permanent access to media, especially

171

Policy analysis in Mexico

during elections. Despite changes, Mexico has a strong clientelistic structure that is particularly effective during elections.1 As different parties govern various municipalities and states throughout the country, they have implemented their own way to benefit their clienteles in exchange for political support. One common way is to use social programs to exert coercion over beneficiaries to vote for a particular party or candidate. Alternatively, candidates offer services and goods only during campaigns. In any case, Mexican political parties are seldom accountable and transparent, and it is not clear what the incentives are for developing policy analysis and research capabilities to compete on the basis of policy choices. This chapter examines the extent to which Mexican political parties have evolved and developed competence for policy analysis, offer policy options to party candidates during campaigns and carry out research on public policy to support the decision-making process once in government. The questions that drive this chapter are the following. Have parties developed policy analysis capacities? Who, within parties, analyzes public problems, carries out policy research and generates policy proposals to address public problems according to the party’s doctrine, ideological position or agenda? To what extent do parties provide advice for policy decision making when they are in government? To address these questions, the chapter is divided into three sections. The first section presents an overview of the Mexican party system and the role played by political parties in the process of transition to democracy. The second section analyzes the extent to which parties have created policy analysis centers (think tanks), as well as their composition and products. The third section presents an evaluation of party manifestos and other materials for the 2006 and 2012 presidential elections, as a proxy of their policy proposals. The final section attempts to arrive at some conclusions regarding parties’ policy analysis skills.

Politics and parties in Mexico During the authoritarian era, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI) dominated the federal and state executives, the federal and local congresses and the judiciary at all levels, and despite the existence of other parties, the so-called official party used to win elections with more than 80% of the vote (Cosio Villegas, 1972). The Mexican transition to democracy from 1990 to 2000 was a process centered on electoral 1

172

According to LAPOP (Latin American Public Opinion Project), clientelism in Mexico is especially relevant. In 2012, LAPOP reported that 7.56% of the population had often received favors at election time, such as food or other benefits in exchange for voting for a specific candidate or party. Of these, 13.5% accepted that such favors or goods made them feel more inclined to vote for the candidate or party they were asked to vote for. In 2015, LAPOP asked again if the respondents were offered a benefit for their vote in the last general election, and the results indicated a sharp increase to 22.7% of adults who received such benefits; 77.23% answered in the negative.

Policy analysis in political parties

reforms that advanced changes from manipulated elections and close competition to free and fair elections and multiparty competition (Mendez de Hoyos, 2006). Reforms were the product of a long bargaining process among political parties. They left aside the transformation of many other crucial institutions for democratic governance. This is the case for the structure and performance of federal and local governments and their relationship with diverse actors, political, economic and non-governmental. Thus, despite democratic changes in the electoral arena, the development of policy choices and government delivery in general do not seem to have been at the center of all political parties’ concerns. It is largely agreed that a strong presidency—with exceptionally wide powers— and an official predominant party constituted the two main institutions of the authoritarian Mexican system (González, 1965, pp 16-21; Cosio Villegas, 1972, pp 22-35). The official party was created in 1929 and reorganized in 1938 along corporatist lines. In 1946, the ruling party was renamed the PRI, which strengthened the corporations created in the 1930s and placed itself in the center of the ideological spectrum. For several decades, this corporatist structure effectively guaranteed control over the political participation of broad sectors of civil society (workers, peasants and bureaucrats), who played a key role in the process of legitimizing the official party and the Mexican political system as a whole. Along with corporatism, clientelistic relationships with members of those corporations and with society in general are considered the two major features of the traditional Mexican political system, which have survived despite democratization. The most important opposition party in Mexico, the Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party, or PAN), was founded in 1939 as a reaction to president Cárdenas’ left-wing public policies and has been placed on the right of the ideological spectrum. The PAN first presented candidates at the local level and supported its own presidential candidate after 1958. The PAN has certainly represented the only truly long-term adversary of the PRI. In 2000, the PAN won the presidential election, with a very popular candidate, Vicente Fox, after a highly competitive election. Six years later, the PAN remained in power for another sexenio (six-year term). This major change of a party in power, the socalled alternation, has been considered the ultimate sign of democratic change in Mexico. On the left of the spectrum, the old Communist party founded in 1919 became the Partido Socialista Unificado de México (Unified Socialist Party of Mexico, or PSUM) in 1982. It was reorganized in 1987 and after the fusion of some small parties and organizations it was renamed as Partido Mexicano Socialista (Mexican Socialist Party, or PMS) and most recently, in 1989, Partido de la Revolución Democrática (Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD). In more recent years, new parties have emerged despite the increasing number of requirements relating to registration. The current electoral law establishes a threshold of 3% of the total votes to obtain seats in the Chamber of Deputies, obtain registration and public funds. As can be seen in Table 10.1, the list of political parties that have competed in elections since 2000 is not short. Most of them were created before that year but not all of them have been able to 173

Policy analysis in Mexico

survive. New parties include the Partido Verde Ecologista de México (Green Ecologist Party of Mexico, or PVEM), Partido Nueva Alianza (New Alliance Party), Partido de los Trabajadores (Workers’ Party), and, more recently, a party named Encuentro Social (Social Encounter). Another relevant thing to notice is that only the biggest parties—the PRI and the PAN—have participated in several presidential elections with their own candidates. By contrast, rather than being driven by public policy and policy proposals, electoral coalitions are usually formed by one big party and a group of small ones that unite in order to survive in a competitive electoral context. Finally, it can also be seen in Table 10.1 that most parties legally registered present their electoral manifestos online, which is part a requirement of the General Law of Political Parties. Despite the numerous electoral reforms that were the basis of the transition to democracy and the strengthening process of the party system, there are still areas of limited change, such as parties’ accountability and responsibilities. In the period 1990–1996, the electoral law granted parties several benefits and few obligations. First, public funds increased dramatically particularly after 1996 when a political reform incorporated a new public party finance scheme. Second, changes regarding parties’ access to media also represented a significant advantage, since a model where parties did not have to pay for advertising was approved. Responsibilities established by the electoral law included an obligation on parties to present a full report of campaign spending and public funds used for their daily institutional life. Additionally, political parties are obliged to make public their full list of employees and officials salaries, as part of the new General Law on Transparency and Access to Information (LGAIT), approved in 2014. They also have to make public their list of research centers and training institutes, as well as the amount of public funds allocated for that purpose (LGAIT, article 76). Nevertheless, this information is not yet available to the public and one has to make a special inquiry in order to gain access to it. Overall there is a general consensus on the positive correlation between the increasing amount of public funding given to parties and their gradual institutionalization in the electoral arena. Since 1996 political parties have clearly grown into strong political institutions that manage to compete in every federal election and for almost all positions, from president of the Republic to deputies and senators. Parties also postulate candidates for most positions at the local level, from governor and local deputy to head of most municipalities in the country. Alternation in power at all levels is now an everyday part of election results in most places. However the basis on which parties compete during elections— programmatic or clientelistic—is a crucial part of the responsiveness chain. To what extent do they carry out research to support their campaign promises and their decisions as a governing party? The next section analyzes the policy capacities of Mexican parties.

174

Policy analysis in political parties

Table 10.1: Mexican political parties (2000–2015) Party name

Year of creation

No. of elections with own presidential candidate (not in coalition)

Electoral platform available online (yes/no)

Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI)

1929

12

Yes

Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party, PAN)

1939

8

Yes

Partido de la Revolución Democrática (Democratic Revolution Party, PRD)

1989

One

Yes

Partido Verde Ecologista de México (Green Ecologist Mexican Party, PVEM)

1986

One

Yes

Partido del Trabajo (Workers’ Party, PT)

1990

One

Yes

Movimiento Ciudadano (Citizen Movement)

1998

None

Yes

Nueva Alianza (New Alliance Party, PNA)

2005

One

Yes

Morena

2014

None

Yes

Partido Humanista (Humanist Party)

2014

None

Yes

Encuentro Social (Social Encounter)

2014

None

Yes

Partido de la Sociedad Nacionalista (National Society Party) (lost registry in 2003)

1999

None

No

Partido Alianza Social (Social Alliance Party) (lost registry in 2003)

1999

None

No

México Posible (Possible Mexico) (lost registry in 2003)

2002

None

No

Partido Liberal Mexicano (Mexican Liberal Party) (lost registry in 2003)

2002

None

No

Fuerza Ciudadana (Citizen Force) (lost registry in 2003)

2002

None

No

Partido Social Demócrata (Social Democrat Party) (lost registry in 2009)

2005

One

No

Democracia Social (Social Democracy) (lost registry in 2000)

1999

One

No

Partido del Centro Democrático (Center Democratic Party) (lost registry in 2000)

1999

One

No

Source: Adapted from National Electoral Institute (INE) website, www2.ine.mx/archivos3/portal/historico/contenido/Transparencia_Historico_sobre_ perdida_de_registro_PP..

Parties and policy analysis Competing political parties in different democratic countries have found a way to develop policy analysis and policy propositions, as they are—as Dunleavy (1991) argues—in the business of shaping the preferences of voters using different strategies depending on their position (in or out power). According to Wayne Parsons, one of the most important developments regarding the link between 175

Policy analysis in Mexico

knowledge and the policy process has been the emergence of think tanks and research bodies that aim to influence the policy agenda through the publication of research and policy advocacy (Parsons, 1995, p 161). British political parties started to create their own think tanks in the mid-1970s to assist them in the development of new left or right policies. Later it was in America that think tanks were most developed in their modern form (Smith, 1990; Parsons, 1995). In any case, whether parties are driven by their interest in shaping citizens’ preferences and political agendas (Parsons, 1995, p 220) or looking to develop new ideas based on policy research evidence, they need to develop policy capacities and policy analysis in order to produce policy choices. There is no exact definition of a think tank as they vary in size and in the extent to which they are politicized. They may be academic or highly ideological, and may be internal or external, but in any case they all provide advice, policy choice and research (Parsons, 1995, p 162). From the literature it is possible to find at least three basic conditions that must be present at some point for a center or think tank to develop policy analysis and policy choices: first, highly qualified human resources, including researchers—as experts on policy research and the development of new ideas—and practitioners—as experts in different areas of government and governance; second, good products, based on high-class information—from primary sources—to develop policy-based evidence as well as good quality data; and third, good communication skills and the capacity to provide advice to party governments in order to support the decision-making process. To what extent have Mexican parties developed research centers that full fill these basic conditions? To what extent they have developed policy capacities or carry out socioeconomic and political research? The most recent electoral reform approved in 2014 included a new General Law of Political Parties (LGPP), which maintains a party obligation directly related to its capacity to develop policy analysis. It concerns the creation of an internal body or center to carry out political training and civic education, but also socioeconomic and political research (LGPP, articles 30 and 43). Additionally, parties have to publish and distribute information regarding their interests and objectives as well as information concerning their members and supporters. Table 10.2 presents the Mexican parties’ main internal centers responsible for training, researching and publishing. They represent the closest bodies to partisan think tanks, although they are apparently far from providing advice, new ideas and policy choices to party and governments in general. As can be seen in Table 10.2, the oldest party in Mexico, the PRI, created an internal center 24 years ago—the Fundación Colosio (Colosio Foundation). Now it is chaired by Adrian Gallardo Landeros, who holds an MA degree in public policy from Columbia University. According to its official documents, Colosio Foundation’s main functions are not related to public policy directly but are to “conduct, promote and disseminate research related to national and international issues; also to contribute raising the level of political discussion in Mexico, through research and analysis of politics and democracy; and to disseminate, through the 176

Policy analysis in political parties

media, studies, research and messages that tend to modernize and foster political and democratic culture in the country”.2 One thing to notice is that its main publications are dedicated to presenting and explaining what the federal government does or promotes. Additionally, most of its articles and book chapters are written by public servants or prominent politicians rather than the Colosio Foundation researchers. This is the case with a series of booklets about structural reforms promoted by Enrique Peña Nieto, president of the Republic since 2012, and a book collection of different reforms approved in the context of the Pactopor México (Pact for Mexico), an agreement promoted by President Enrique Peña Nieto in 2013 and signed by all main political parties. There are some other recent publications that reveal an increasing interest on governance, such as Rule to Transform: Memories of the Seminar of Strategic Alignment and Effective Government, but this is another collection of different authors’ texts. It is important to mention that most staff members of the Colosio Foundation have a competitive academic background in the field of public policy, so it is clear that they have—as individuals—the policy capabilities or competence to develop policy analysis and policy choices. However, they are not actually developing policy research by themselves but rather they are editing public servants’ and other authors’ works. As the interviewee Adrian Gallardo suggested, Colosio Foundation is actually a “bridge” between knowledge produced by external experts, intellectuals and academics, on the one hand, and key party officers and party government officials on the other. He recognizes the center’s limited action in developing advice, research, and ideas in his assertion that “it could be difficult to provide advice to a governor, or to a high-rank public officer. It would not be well received.”3 The PAN is the second largest party in Mexico. It was the main opposition party for decades until it won the presidency in 2000 and 2006, ruling the country for 12 years up to 2012. It founded the Rafael Preciado Foundation in 1993, which is the PAN’s main foundation. According to its official documents, the Rafael Preciado Foundation is an agency mainly focused on developing public policy. It is described as “an academic institution whose main objective is to generate ideas and proposals that help in solving the problems of society in economic, political and social fields. The values underlying the objectives and activities of the Foundation are inspired by the philosophical and social principles of humanism.”4 Until recently, the Rafael Preciado Foundation was chaired by Juan Molinar Horcasitas, who had a unique profile as a prominent academic and problemsolving politician, and a Master’s degree in political science from El Colegio de 2

Colosio Foundation statutes, available at http://fundacioncolosio.mx; http://fundacioncolosio. mx/content/media/2015/01/ESTATUTOS.pdf.

3

Interview with Adrian Gallardo, general director, Colosio Foundation, Mexico City, September 2015.

4

Rafael Preciado Foundation statutes, available at http://frph.org.mx/fundacion/http://frph. org.mx/fundacion/acerca-de-la-frph/estatutos. 177

Policy analysis in Mexico

México and a PhD in the same discipline from the University of California, San Diego.5 There is also an academic director, Jorge Alonso, who holds a Master’s degree in regional development. The rest of the staff members of the organization have diverse academic backgrounds, apparently not directly related to public policy. However, regarding publications, the Rafael Preciado Foundation has an academic journal with articles and essays directly addressing and analyzing public problems. They also discuss the federal government’s macroeconomic performance and evaluate different methodologies to address relevant issues, such as corruption. The list of publications directly related to public policy is rather long, covering almost all major areas of public policy, from public health and poverty to macroeconomics and security. Thus it is relevant to note that regardless of the lack of academic credentials of some of the Rafael Preciado staff, they have advanced an important number of publications dealing directly with all areas of public policy, most of them using good-quality data and analysis. Now, to what extent do the Colosio Foundation and the Rafael Preciado Foundation contribute to the PAN and the PRI electoral manifestos’ content, or to the policymaking process in those municipalities and states where they are the governing party? As can be seen in Table 10.2, only the Rafael Preciado Foundation is truly committed to producing policy analysis and policy research, whereas the Colosio Foundation promotes policy analysis to a lesser extent. However, in both cases there are no institutional channels that support a stronger link between the parties’ foundations and their party governments. As the interviewee Carlos Castillo López commented, “we provide candidates and particularly governments with policy analysis only by demand”.6 The situation of what up to now has been the biggest party on the left, the Partido de la Revolución Democratica (Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD) is quite different. Despite the creation of an institute that directly appeals to public policy—Instituto Nacional de Investigación, Formación y Capacitación en Políticas Públicas y Gobierno A.C. (National Institute for Research, Training and Public Policies)—there is no clear evidence that it are actually developing policy analysis or policy choices. According to its official documents, the institute’s mission is the promotion and systematic dissemination of political culture and democratic values through the development of research, studies and analysis of political, social and economic issues pertaining to governance and democratic development of Mexico; as well as training and the diffusion of democratic culture.7 Thus there is no clear commitment to the development of policy analysis. Moreover, none of the staff members, not even its director, has 5

Juan Molinar Horcasitas died in September 2015. The Fundacion Rafael Preciado had not replaced him at the time of writing.

6

Interview with Carlos Castillo Lopez, general director of institutional cooperation, Rafael Preciado Foundation, Mexico City, October 2015.

7

http://formacion.prd.org.mx/.

178

Policy analysis in political parties

an academic background in public policy. Regarding publications, its journal, Coyuntura, publishes opinion articles driven basically by ideology. The party at the left-center of the ideological spectrum is Movimiento Ciudadano (Citizen Movement). It created the Lázaro Cárdenas Foundation only three years ago, when the party was reformed and changed its name. The foundation is chaired by Alejandro Chanona, who holds a Master’s degree in European political studies and a PhD in government from the University of Essex, in the UK. There is very little information regarding its publications and research and again the extent to which this foundation is actually supporting the party with policy choices is not at all clear.8 As Table 10.2 also shows, three officially registered Mexican parties have no affiliated center or foundation carrying out studies and training. Some parties have only recently been established, such as the Partido Encuentro Social (Social Encounter Party) and Partido Morena, which participated in the 2015 federal election for the first time. But this is not the case with Partido Nueva Alianza, the usual partner of the PRI at federal and local elections along with the Partido Verde Ecologista de México (Green Ecologist Mexican Party). On its website, this party mentions the name of its partner foundation, the Instituto de Investigaciones Ecológicas (Institute of Ecological Research), but there is no information at all about its aims, chair and staff members or publications. There are five parties from a total of eight that do not make publications available online, a serious oversight, considering the amount of public funding they receive. Thus, overall there are few partisan think tanks and centers able to advance parties’ policy agenda, or to promote new ideas or contribute to the development of policy-based evidence and policy choices. Two of the oldest parties—the PRI and the PAN—created centers more than two decades ago—the Colosio Foundation and the Rafael Preciado Foundation, respectively. But these centers still they have not fully evolved into genuine think tanks able to provide advice and research or improve decision making at the local and federal level. Although they both have well-trained staff members, and have produced basic studies on public policy in different areas—particularly the Rafael Preciado Foundation— they have apparently very limited contact with their ‘natural clients’, that is, their own decision makers, governors, deputies, senators, mayors and federal and local public servants. This is particularly surprising since there is an urgent need for new ideas and ways of tackling public problems. Now, to what extent does parties’ limited development of policy research, studies and advice affect the actual size of the foundations and the budget they receive? Table 10.3 shows the total budget formally assigned to foundations for education and training activities, as well as editorial tasks, by their sponsoring parties. It is important to mention that although this information is formally public, it is not available in the parties’ websites. The budget information included in Table 10.3 corresponds only to those parties that responded to our formal request for information. 8

Movimiento Ciudadano, available at http://movimientociudadano.mx/fundaciones. 179

180

Fundación Rafael Preciado Hernandez (Rafael Preciado Hernandez Foundation)

Instituto Nacional de Investigación Formación y Capacitación en Políticas Públicas y Gobierno A.C. (National Institute of Research, Training and Public Policies)

No center registered

Fundación Lázaro Cárdenas (Lázaro Cárdenas Foundation)

Instituto de Investigaciones Ecológicas A.C. (Institute of Ecological Research)

No center registered

No center registered

PAN

PRD

Morena

Movimiento Ciudadano

PVEM

Partido Nueva Alianza

Partido Encuentro Social

Note: NA = not applicable. Source: Author’s own elaboration using online information from each foundation..

Fundación Colosio (Colosio Foundation)

Center responsible for training and research

PRI

Party

Table 10.2: Parties and policy analysis centers

3

22

24

NA

NA

NA

Executive director Staff

Staff

Executive director

Staff

Executive director

Staff

Executive director

Chair and staff’s academic background

NA

NA

NA

Yes No

NA

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Postgraduate studies on public policy or related disciplines

No publications available online

No publications available online

No publications available online

No publications available online

No publications available online

Articles and books on democratization, neoliberalism, consumer welfare, and education, written primarily by members of the party.

Academic journal: Coyuntura

Academic journal: Bien Común Several articles directly addressing policy problems in different areas: health, security, education, among others. Books with articles addressing current public problems and the corresponding policy, written primarily by members of Rafael Preciado Foundation.

A series of books collecting papers on structural reforms promoted by the executive and written by public servants on the following topics: financial reform energetic reform fiscal reform social security reform education reform political and electoral reform telecommunications sector.

Types of publication related to public policy

Policy analysis in Mexico

Policy analysis in political parties

Table 10.3: Budgets allocated to parties’ centers of policy analysis (2013–2015)* Party

Policy analysis center

Budget

Fiscal year

Number of employees

PRI

Fundación Colosio (Colosio Foundation)

1.035%

2013

27

0.9757%

2014

33

0.264%

2015

26

0.269%

2013

Unreported

2014

Unreported

0.147%

2015

Unreported

1.60%

2013

Unreported

1.10%

Fiscal year 2014

Unreported

0.70%

Fiscal year 2015

Unreported

0.21%

Fiscal year 2013

Unreported

0.20%

Fiscal year 2014

Unreported

4.91%

Fiscal year 2013

Unreported

4.06%

Fiscal year 2014

Unreported

2.02%

Fiscal year 2013

20

1.5%

Fiscal year 2014

20

PRI

Fundación Movimiento Territorial (Territorial Movement Foundation)

0.266% PRI

PRI

PAN

PRD

Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Populares (National Confederation of Popular Organizations)

Central Campesina Independiente (Independent Peasant Central) Fundación Rafael Preciado Hernandez (Rafael Preciado Hernandez Foundation) Fundación Instituto de Formación Política y Capacitacion en Políticas Públicas y Gobierno (National Public Policies and Government Research Training Institute)

PT

Fundación Estudios Sociopolíticos y Económicos 2.066% (Socioeconomic and Political Studies Foundation)

Fiscal year 2013

Unreported

2.039%

Fiscal year 2014

Unreported

PVEM

Instituto de Investigaciones Ecológicas A.C. (Ecological Research Institute)

0.998%

Fiscal year 2013

Eight

0.48%

Fiscal year 2014

Eight

Nueva Alianza (New Alliance)

Instituto de Desarrollo Educativo Alianza A.C. (Educative Alliance Development Institute)

0.00037%

Fiscal year 2013

Unreported

0.0067%

Fiscal year 2014

Unreported

0.0074%

Fiscal year 2013

Unreported

0.169%

Fiscal year 2014

Unreported

1.377%

Fiscal year 2013

24

1.28%

Fiscal year 2014

11

Centro de Capacitacion Civica y Política A.C. (Civic and Political Training Center) Movimiento Ciudadano (Citizen Movement)

Fundación Lázaro Cárdenas (Lázaro Cárdenas Foundation)

181

Policy analysis in Mexico Party

Policy analysis center

Fundación Mexico con Valores (Mexico with Values Foundation)

Budget

Fiscal year

Number of employees

0.7%

Fiscal year 2015 (January to August)

17

0.124%

Fiscal year 2013

Three

0.22%

Fiscal year 2014

Four

0.11%

Fiscal year 2015 (January to August)

Six

*Percentages are estimated from the overall public budget allocated to the political parties by the electoral management body at national level, the INE. Source: Information provided by parties’ foundations on the basis of a specific request by the author.

As can be seen in Table 10.3, the percentage of the total budget that parties granted to their foundations is in general very small. Some parties grant between 1% and 2%, but others grant less than 1% of their public funds to their affiliated centers. This is the case for the PRI (Colosio Foundation), the PVEM (Institute of Ecological Research), New Alliance (Educative Alliance Development Institute) and Citizen Movement (Lázaro Cárdenas Foundation). Only the PAN grants its main center, the Rafael Preciado Foundation, around 4% of its budget, which is by far the biggest amount granted to a partisan think tank in Mexico. In this sense, there is a sharp contrast between the scarce funds given to the Colosio Foundation in 2013 and 2014, and those given by the PAN to the Rafael Preciado Hernandez Foundation in those same years. Regarding human resources, it is evident that most foundations tend to misreport the number of people they employ—which is quite small—not to mention their salaries, information for which was also requested. The biggest foundation is the PRI’s Colosio Foundation, with 28 employees on average, whereas the smallest is the Partido Verde’s (Green Party’s) Institute of Ecological Research, with only eight employees. It is clear that the parties have limited professional structures for developing the policy analysis and policy research they need to support the decision-making process at governmental level. In any case, this information (or the lack of it) provides additional evidence that the development of internal centers or foundations to carry out policy research, and develop new ideas and policy choices, is not a priority for parties.

A glance of parties’ policy analysis: party manifestos and other material at presidential elections, 2006 and 2012 Party manifestos usually express the principles and values of the party, but above all they describe parties’ perspective on public problems and the policy choices they wish to consider both in the present and the future. Party manifestos also 182

Policy analysis in political parties

tell the public where in the ideological spectrum the party fits. As mentioned earlier, Mexican electoral law requires all political parties wishing to participate in elections to produce an electoral party manifesto and submit it to the electoral management body. To what extent do Mexican parties’ electoral manifestos show their conception of public problems? To what extent do parties’ manifestos represent the outcome of policy analysis, and a range of acceptable policy choices according to their ideological position? The Center of Studies Espinosa Iglesias (CEEY), a liberal non-partisan think tank devoted to policy analysis and policy research, created the project Evalúa y Decide (Assess and Decide), which aimed to produce useful information regarding candidates’ perspectives on public problems based on experts’ evaluations of parties’ electoral manifestos and other material for the 2006 and 2012 presidential elections. As a non-partisan research center, the CEEY elaborated an ad hoc methodology to evaluate candidates’ or parties’ public policy proposals. The experts comprised a select group of academics, members of non-governmental organizations and independent consultants well respected in their areas of expertise. Their selection was based on the following criteria: professional career, intellectual honesty, non-partisan links, institutional and ideological independence and impartial judgment.9 The evaluation criteria considered the following dimensions: design (35%); viability (35%); and implementation (30%). The assessment was conducted by the CEEY, and the experts did not receive any personal remuneration. Table 10.4 presents the final results of the 2006 experts’ evaluation.

Table 10.4: Experts’ evaluation of policy proposals for presidential elections 2006: final results Policy area

Calderón

Madrazo

López Obrador

Rule of law

2.0

2.0

1.7

Politics

2.3

2.4

1.0

International

2.5

2.8

1.1

Economics

2.6

2.3

2.1

Social

2.1

2.0

1.3

Average

2.3

2.3

1.4

Note: Scale from 0 to 4: 4 = very good; 3 = good; 2 = regular; 1 = bad; 0 = very bad. Source: Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias (CEEY, 2006). Available at http://www.ceey.org.mx/evaluacion/evaluacion-viabilidad-propuestasroberto-madrazo-felipe-calderon-andres-manuel-lopez www.ceey.org.mx.

As can be seen in Table 10.4, party manifestos and other material were analyzed by area of public policy or government: rule of law, politics, international relations, economics, and social policy. It is significant that López Obrador’s scores in 9

It should be mentioned that the author was one of the 40 experts who participated in the analysis of party manifestos presented by the presidential candidates of the three most important parties (PRI, PAN and PRD) in both elections, 2006 and 2012. 183

Policy analysis in Mexico

almost all areas are substantially lower than those of the PAN and PRIs candidates. This was particularly the case in the area of politics, where candidates described their policy proposals for improving crucial areas such as government efficiency, efficacy, transparency and accountability at the federal and local level. They were supposed to describe also their policy proposals regarding the institutional design of the political system, and in particular their ideas for improving the collaboration between the legislative branch and the executive, since no party has had a majority at the federal Chamber of Deputies since 1997. Table 10.4 also shows Cálderon and Madrazo as equal according to the overall average of experts’ evaluation of policy proposals. Despite expectations, the best social policies were not proposed by the left-wing candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but by the right-wing candidate, Felipe Cálderon. In general, and despite small differences, it is clear that the quality of policy proposals of all three presidential candidates were extremely poor indeed, that is, badly designed, with a clear gap between the definition of the public problem and the policy solution. They also showed poor consideration in terms of viability, particularly financial viability, as almost none of them mentioned the financial dimension of their ‘solution’. The team of experts concluded that “recurrent weaknesses of the proposals remained: they are too declarative (they propose as a policy the achievement of a moral or political principle). These proposals are general and preliminary, as they do not identify financial and political resources to support them, and rarely consider the implementation difficulties” (CEEY, 2006). In the 2012 presidential election, the evaluation process considered four presidential candidates: Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), from the leftwing coalition (formed by PRD, PT and Movimiento Ciudadano); Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) from the PRI-PVEM coalition; Josefina Vazquez Mota (JVM) from the PAN; and Gabriel Quadri de la Torre (GQ) from the Partido Nueva Alianza (PANAL). Final results are presented in Table 10.5.

Table 10.5: Experts’ evaluation of policy proposals for presidential elections 2012: final results Policy area

AMLO (PRD-PT-Movimiento Ciudadano)

EPN (PRI- PVEM)

JVM (PAN) GQT (PANAL)

Rule of law

3.5

3.5

3.3

2.4

Politics

1.8

3.7

4.2

1.0

Macroeconomics

3.7

4.9

4.9

3.5

Microeconomics

1.1

4.6

4.9

6.4

Social policy

4.2

4.6

4.9

3.5

Sustainable development science and technology

2.5

2.7

4.9

4.4

Foreign affairs

3.3

3.6

4.9

1.9

Overall average

2.8

3.9

4.5

3.3

Note: Scale from 0 to 10, where 0 = very bad and 10 = very good. Source: Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias (CEEY, 2012).

184

Policy analysis in political parties

As can be seen in Table 10.5, all candidates’ policy proposals failed to meet the minimum standard for approval, as they obtained less than five points on a scale from 0 to 10, where 10 represented very good and 0 very bad. Within this context, the relatively best policy proposals according to the experts’ evaluation were presented by Josefina Vazquez Mota, the PAN candidate, followed by Enrique Peña Nieto, the PRI candidate. The areas where JVM had comparatively good scores were micro and macroeconomic policies, social policy, foreign policy and science and technology policy, though they were all scored as bad policy proposals in terms of design, viability and implementation. Peña Nieto gained good scores for micro and macroeconomic policy and social policy but scored badly in science and technology, followed by rule of law and foreign affairs. In third place in terms of the overall average for policy proposals was Gabriel Quadri, a non-politician nominated by a new party, the PANAL, generally linked to the teachers’ union. His macroeconomic policy was scored as good and obtained the highest score given by the experts. However, at the same time Quadri obtained the worst score for his proposals in the political area. In last place was AMLO, with a relatively good score in social policy and very low scores in macroeconomics and politics. Overall, it is evident that the experts’ conclusions regarding the quality of the presidential candidates’ policy proposals were negative. Panelists agreed on the poor quality of almost all areas considered in the evaluation process. They claimed that policy proposals looked as if candidates either did not have an explicit and clear diagnosis of public problems, or they simply did not care about them. The experts also found that candidates’ policy proposals lacked financial and political viability, as well as arguments justifying the need for government intervention. One possible reason for the poor quality of policy proposals for campaigning and parties’ apparently limited policy capacities concerns the type of political competition that prevails in the country. Mexican parties tend to compete on the basis of selective distribution of benefits among voters and make extraordinary efforts to maintain such a system of political support rather than competing on the basis of policy proposals and policy choices. Clientelistic linkages tend to limit the incentives for parties to engage in programmatic politics. The gradual consolidation of democracy, involving increasingly sophisticated voters demanding better policy choices and more capable governing parties, may exert a pressure to move towards programmatic politics and programmatic parties.

Conclusion Since the transition to democracy, Mexican political parties have extended their area of influence and consolidated their position in the political system. From being weak and relatively small political organizations with few members and limited financial support, they have evolved into organizations with strong internal structures, growing numbers of members, and large amounts of public funding. As a result, political parties have become much more competitive, and 185

Policy analysis in Mexico

have acquired much more power, becoming crucial actors in many different arenas and, in particular, in the policymaking process in Mexico. They exert their influence through the legislative branch, where party representatives intervene in the policy design, and through the executive branch, as governors, mayors or president of the Republic. Nevertheless, there are reasonable doubts as how well prepared they are in terms of their policy capacities to support activities related to the policy agenda and the policymaking process. As part of their responsibilities, political parties are obliged to create internal centers or foundations responsible for training and research in critical areas. Evidence presented in this chapter show that almost all parties have effectively created their own centers or foundations. The oldest parties, PRI, PAN and PRD, have well-established foundations with relatively small organizational structures considering they are national parties (no more than 25 members) and very limited funds. Their employees are professionals with a basic academic background, but not always reflecting the capacity to develop policy. An exception is the Colosio Foundation, which has a very professional staff with postgraduate qualifications mainly in public policy and is chaired by an expert on public policy. However, despite this policy capacity, they do not develop policy analysis or policy research themselves. The Colosio Foundation’s main publications are collections of articles written by experts on public policy, academics and top officials linked to the PRI. In PAN’s Rafael Preciado Foundation, by contrast, professional staff are in the habit of developing policy analysis in various areas, despite not necessarily having an academic background in public policy. Relatively young parties and those that have emerged recently have either created foundations that have not yet developed any particular activity or have not made their foundation’s activities public. In sum, the evidence shows that parties’ foundations in Mexico are primarily responsible for training party members and top party officials, publishing books and other materials, and coordinating research projects (rather than doing research themselves). They apparently do not provide advice to parties, candidates and governments; neither do they develop new ideas and policy choices during campaigns or in the policy process from legislative branch to government. Thus they are clearly far from resembling think tanks, which are usually devoted to the generation of new ides around public problems. The chapter has also presented an analysis of the electoral manifestos of the main Mexican political parties during presidential elections in 2006 and 2012, considering that parties are supposed to campaign according to the policy proposals contained in their manifestos. Based on an expert evaluation coordinated by the non-partisan think tank Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias, candidates’ policy proposals were analysed according to their design, namely the extent to which they identify and clearly define the public problem they seek to tackle; their viability in terms of legal, financial and political resources; and their implementation. The results showed that the quality of candidates’ and parties’ policy proposals in almost all policy areas (rule of law, politics, international affairs, economics and social policy) is very poor, as they usually do not identify the public problem clearly 186

Policy analysis in political parties

and above all they do not produce a diagnosis of the size, type and nature of the problem. Proposals also tend to avoid referring to their viability, that is, the way in which public policies are supposed to be financed, or accepted by other political parties. Finally, almost no policy proposal included an argument in support of its implementation. In sum, policy proposals contained in party manifestos reveal very basic knowledge of public problems, public policy and policy alternatives. Overall, the evidence presented in this chapter suggests that so far the expected democratic link between political parties that generate public policy solutions to public problems, the dissemination of suggested solutions during elections and their implementation when parties are elected is missing in Mexico. A second transition from clientelistic parties to programmatic parties and politics is pending. References CEEY (Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias) (2006) Evaluación de las Propuestas de los Candidatos a la Presidencia 2006, Mexico: Mexico City. Available at http:// evaluaydecide2006.mx/evaluacion-global. CEEY (2012) Evaluación de las Propuestas de los Candidatos a la Presidencia 2012, Mexico: Mexico City. Available at http://evaluaydecide2012.mx/evaluacionglobal. Colosio Foundation statutes, available at http://fundacioncolosio.mx/content/ media/2015/01/ESTATUTOS.pdf. Cosio Villegas, D. (1972) El Sistema Político Mexicano, Mexico City: Joaquín Mortiz. Dunleavy, P. (1991) Democracy, Bureaucracy and Public Choice, London: Harvester Wheatsheaf. Flores, Carlos, Fundación Rafael Preciado, PAN. Interviewed by Irma Mendez, September, 2015. Gallardo, Adrian, Presidente de la Fundación Colosio PRI. Interviewed by Irma Mendez, September, 2015. González, C.P. (1965) La Democracia en México, Mexico City: Era. Jones, M. (2005) ‘The role of parties and party systems in the policymaking process’, Paper presented at the Workshop on State Reform, Public Policies and Policymaking Processes, Inter American Development Bank, Washington, DC, 28 February to 2 March. Lasswell, H.D. (1970) ‘The emerging conception of the policy sciences’, Policy Sciences, 1, pp 3-14. Mendez de Hoyos, I. (2006) Transición a la Democracia en México. Competencia Partidista y Reformas Electorales 1977-2003, Mexico City: Fontamara. Moreno, A. (2010) La Decisión Electoral: Votantes, Partidos y Democracia en México, Mexico City: Miguel Ángel Porrúa. Movimiento Ciudadano, available at http://movimientociudadano.mx/ fundaciones.

187

Policy analysis in Mexico

National Electoral Institute Transparency (INE) website, available at www2.ine. mx/archivos3/portal/historico/contenido/Transparencia_Historico_sobre_ perdida_de_registro_PP. Parsons, W. (1995) Public Policies: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. Rafael Preciado Foundation statutes, available at http://frph.org.mx/fundacion/ acerca-de-la-frph/estatutos. Smith, J.A. (1990) The Idea Brokers: Think Tanks and the Rise of the New Elite, New York, NY: Free Press.

188

ELEVEN

Policy analysis in think tanks Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna and Marcela I.Vazquez

This chapter provides an overview of how policy analysis takes place in Mexican think tanks. We focus on two of the few organizations of this kind that currently exist in the country: the Centro de Investigación para el Desarrollo (Centre for Research for Development, or CIDAC) and the Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias (Centre of Studies Espinosa Yglesias, or CEEY). We define think tanks as non-governmental research-oriented institutions, which aim to influence the policymaking process with the analyses and policy recommendations that they regularly produce on one or more policy areas. While think tanks have long existed in several countries, they are relatively new in the Mexican politico-administrative environment (the oldest, CIDAC, has been round for about 30 years). As a point of departure, the chapter considers policy analysis as the various intellectual activities related to evaluating future policy options (Bardach, 1998; Dobuzinkis et al, 2007; Adachi, 2015). In the case of experts based at think tanks, these activities are mainly related to gathering and assessing information about options to tackle a public problem or advance a public objective; producing detailed analysis and assessment of these options’ potential consequences; and drafting policy recommendations in various formats.1 These are then used by think tanks to either influence broader policy debates, or persuade government officials or politicians that participate in a given policy area of the merits of these policy proposals. The chapter is based on original empirical information gathered by the authors. We carried out a set of semi-structured interviews with think tank leaders and policy experts from the two institutions mentioned.2 We first describe each case and then compare them. It would be difficult to suggest that our findings are representative of how Mexican think tanks conduct policy analysis. In fact, our interviewees noted that there are many important things that vary among those organizations that could have been included. However, because of the lack of previous research on this subject, we believe that the insights obtained from these two organizations are at least illustrative. Also, the experiences described here are 1

Thus, overall we use a similar approach (as well as a similar structure) to that used in Chapter Six of this volume.

2

We also developed an interview with an expert from the Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad (Mexican Institute for Competition, or IMCO). However, we were not able to arrange other meetings with officials from IMCO. Because of that, we did not include it here as a third case. 189

Policy analysis in Mexico

probably as good as any others in terms of beginning to get an understanding of how policy analysis works in this kind of Mexican organization. The chapter is divided into four sections. In the first one, we briefly discuss the main features of think tanks, with a particular focus on those found in Mexican. In the second one, we present how CIDAC and CEEY conduct policy analysis. In the third one, we offer a comparative discussion. Lastly, we summarize our findings and offer some concluding remarks.

Think tanks in Mexico Think tanks are organizations focused on conducting research and public policy analysis, with a specific focus on one or a limited number of policy areas, with the aim of influencing public decision making. There is, of course, a wide variety of think tanks, in terms of size, purpose, ideology, resources, and type of policy products (Stone, 2007). Some tend to be more academic in their work; some are rather ideological, even politically biased. Some think tanks are exclusively dedicated to conducting analysis and research, but others (“think and do tanks”) are more oriented towards activism, training, and technical assistance. Moreover, in some countries certain semi-autonomous government agencies and research institutes affiliated to political parties would be considered think tanks, whereas in other jurisdictions a basic criterion for defining the latter would be independence (both political and financial) from government, political parties, and interest groups (Dickson, 1971). Because of all of this, it is difficult to clearly define what think tanks are, and what they really do (Ricci, 1993). Think tanks are commonly seen as both “bridges” between government and civil society, and “knowledge brokers” between academics and policymakers (Ricci, 1993; McGann, 2014). This is because they produce plain-language documents, so that their policy positions may be understood by citizens, politicians, and public servants alike. Furthermore, they seek to translate the very relevant but highly technical information produced by academic experts to more accessible formats, so that decision makers can understand and use this knowledge when formulating policy options. In Mexico, there are a number of organizations that, in principle, could be labelled think tanks. However, for the purposes of this chapter, we focus on independent civil society organizations (in other words not linked to government, political, or private sector groups), which are mainly dedicated to researching, analyzing, and proposing public policy options. We thus left aside some organizations with a more advocacy-oriented agenda, many of which are sometimes included under the think tank category in national discussions.3 Similarly, we did not consider organizations that are usually ranked in the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go

3

190

This is the case, for instance, of FUNDAR, an organization analyzed in Chapter Twelve in this volume.

Policy analysis in think tanks

To Think Tank Index Report (McGann, 2014), but which in fact have a different nature.4 Table 11.1 includes some of the most well-known Mexican think tanks.

Table 11.1: Think tanks in Mexico Name

Policy subjects

Year of creation

Centro de Investigación para el Desarrollo (Centre for Research in Development, CIDAC)

Rule of law and economic promotion

1984

Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad (Mexican Institute for Competitiviness, IMCO)

Competitiveness and economic development

2004

Centro Mario Molina (Mario Molina Centre)

Energy and environment

2004

Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias (Centre of Studies Espinosa Yglesias, CEEY)

Social mobility

2005

Fundación Idea (Idea Foundation)

Social and economic development, education

2005

México Evalúa (Mexico Evaluates)

Education, security and justice, public expenditure, accountability

2009

Source: Authors’ own elaboration.

Table 11.1 shows that most Mexican think tanks have been established recently. Their origins are strongly related to the country’s process of democratization, which triggered civil society activism, and created an environment conducive to the plural analysis and debate of public affairs. With the exception of CIDAC, which is not only the oldest but has also been the place from which other think tanks have originated (for example, IMCO and México Evalúa), these organizations are still in their early years. While they have been gaining an important place in public debates and the policy proposals market, they are going through a consolidation process, facing important challenges that will be described in more detail in the following sections.

Understanding policy analysis in Mexican think tanks: the cases of CIDAC and CEEY This section presents a qualitative analysis of two think tanks: CIDAC and CEEY. We first present a synthesis of their origins and objectives. Then we describe their policy analysis activities, particularly questions related to how they define their topics of interest, how they gather information, what kind of policy products they generate, what kind of communication channels they use, and how they 4

For instance, the report includes academic institutions such as El Colegio de México or CIDE, as well as organizations like the Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales A.C. (Mexican Council for International Affairs, or COMEXI), which is very close to private sector groups and therefore has a strong entrepreneurial orientation. 191

Policy analysis in Mexico

assess the impact that their analyses may have had. Thereafter, we present some information regarding their human and financial resources. Lastly, we discuss the challenges they are facing. We conducted some semi-structured interviews with each organization’s leaders, as well as with senior researchers (three for CIDAC and two for CEEY). The interviews lasted between 40 to 70 minutes, and thus allowed to get a good sense of the various questions we wanted to cover. We obviously cannot claim that our findings are representative of how think tanks in Mexico conduct their policy analysis work. However, given the lack of studies on this subject, we consider the information provided to be not only interesting in itself, but also a starting point for exploring this subject in more detail. Centro de Investigación para el Desarrollo (CIDAC) CIDAC was founded in 1984, at a time when there were several profound political and economic changes taking place in Mexico, but old corporatist practices, limited freedom of speech, and poor levels of political competition and public participation were still in place. According to its institutional website, CIDAC emerged as an institution formed by professionals who would produce high quality studies, with the aim of developing a support basis for the reforms [that were taking place], and in the immediate future for the economic changes that would be required for the country’s recovery. The emphasis on development was included in the organization’s name in order to cover all topics that could be relevant for the change process of the Mexican society.5 CIDAC’s explicit objective is to produce rigorous analysis and policy proposals that may contribute to developing an environment for citizens to enjoy freedom, participate in social decisions, overcome poverty, and thus engage in a competitive manner in the global economy. CIDAC also follows certain principles, such as achieving the country’s development aims within a framework that fully respects civic liberties; increasing plural social participation in societal decisions; improving the population’s quality-of-life levels; increasing the level of productive employment; increasing the country’s efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness levels; and achieving all of this within a market economy. More broadly, CIDAC’s activities are developed around two main pillars: strengthening the rule of law, and promoting economic development. CIDAC has a board that “guarantees the operation and performance of the institution’s funds, and delineates its general worklines. However, the contents and conclusions of the studies are the sole responsibility of the research staff. In 5

192

This information, as well as that related to its goals and principles, was obtained from http:// cidac.org/acerca-de.

Policy analysis in think tanks

this way, researchers’ independence is guaranteed, as well as that of their work’s results.”6 The board meets twice a year and carefully reviews the financial sheets of the organization. It also makes decisions regarding general aspects of CIDAC’s agenda, and supports the work and research of the staff, but does not get involved in seeking funding. The latter is a responsibility of the director general, as well as of senior researchers who constantly monitor calls for projects. How policy analysis is conducted at CIDAC According to interviewees, CIDAC’s policy research agenda is heavily constrained by its two central pillars. The rule of law pillar includes topics such as justice and security, where CIDAC has accumulated considerable experience. The economic development pillar mainly includes competition and regulation (but also energy, human capital, and climate change, among others). Within these margins, researchers may propose different specific topics to be considered, but they always need to bear in mind three criteria: topics that are relevant (sometimes part of a critical juncture) for Mexico; topics for which CIDAC has a comparative advantage; and topics where funding may be available. Decisions about new topics to be researched are generally reached after the board and the director general take into account opportunities, junctures, political conditions, and inputs from project leaders and the research area. The kind of information, and the ways of gathering it, depend on the type of project, the product that is expected, and the target audience. The first step research teams take is to decide whether they want to generate new knowledge, replicate an existing project, or raise awareness. Then they start working on research products that “are aligned with free market values, democracy, and the rule of law”. The products in turn are usually designed having a specific public or target audience in mind. When the product is aimed at a highly specialized public, research is very technical, conducted by subject-matter experts. This may result in a book published by a prestigious editorial house. If the product is addressed to a decision maker, the focus is on challenges and opportunities regarding a particular issue. Finally, if the product is for the general public, topics are presented from a broader perspective, with topics being revised more generally and discussed in a less technical language, using a variety of outlets (such as handbooks, videos, websites, or CIDAC’s social media). CIDAC researchers have access to government information (such as surveys and databases) thanks to a memorandum of understanding with the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (National Institute of Statistics and Geography, INEGI). However, not all required information is available through this means: sometimes it does not exist, or it is not available because of legal reasons that prevent its public dissemination. In these cases, CIDAC approaches the relevant public institution directly. Otherwise, it tries to generate its own databases, sometimes with the help 6

http://cidac.org/acerca-de. 193

Policy analysis in Mexico

of its allies. Freedom of information requests have also become an important tool, particularly for justice-related topics, even though getting information through this means is complicated because of its nature. Policy analysis is carried out through teams of researchers who work under the supervision of project leaders. Members of these teams interact often, particularly during weekly meetings. Team leaders are usually senior researchers, and thus have a well-defined idea of both their topics and CIDAC’s mission. Therefore, according to an interviewee, “when we take a project we usually know what we want to say from the start, and the challenge is to define how we will develop it, what particular narrative we will use”. CIDAC also has a communications team that is in charge, among other things, of disseminating project results through different specific means. Depending on the type of project and the budget available, this team may use different media channels to spread CIDAC’s diagnoses and policy recommendations. In some cases, it organizes conferences or public forums, to which it invites key actors and specialists (national and international academics, politicians, and policy experts). In other cases, it sets up press conferences for a more restricted audience. Sometimes it organizes working breakfasts for actors interested in a given topic. If the team wants to “spread the word”, it publishes bulletins, working papers, articles, or books. If, on the contrary, it wants to generate debate, it sponsors public debates and invites antagonists to discuss particular topics. CIDAC’s website and social media are also used frequently to announce public events and relevant news. According to one interviewee, the use of social networks is fundamental “in order to get younger generations in love with public policy”. Having impact is a crucial aspect of CIDAC’s work. During our interviews, we got assertions such as the following: “We work with ideas but we try to translate them into products that can have an impact” or “Being a centre for applied research, what we care about is research projects that have an impact, that is the main thing.” Measuring the impact of research activities is not, however, an easy task. CIDAC researchers measure things such as the number of visits to its website, or the number of times a piece has been read. In a more qualitative way, it analyzes comments from people who have said that CIDAC’s research has been useful to them. Researchers also think that a significant, even if rather indirect, indicator of CIDAC’s impact is the fact that some of their former colleagues have become key actors in other think tanks or government institutions. CIDAC researchers have also tried to measure the impact that their products have by looking at potential changes in policy proposals, which may result from meetings they have held with relevant policymakers or legislators. For instance, there have been cases in which CIDAC’s policy ideas have allegedly been inserted in legal texts or government briefings, which allows researchers to assume that “someone is paying attention to what we are doing”. While it is difficult to assert exactly how much CIDAC’s policy analyses determine a given policy decision, one interviewee suggested that in some instances “it is possible to identify with some clarity that the details of policy closely resemble the policy recommendations 194

Policy analysis in think tanks

[we previously produced] on the subject, something that for us suffices to say we did have an impact on it”. Another interviewee did say, however, that “we still have to learn how to evaluate and monitor the effects of our projects”. Organizational features of CIDAC CIDAC does not get funding from political parties or government institutions. Rather, the institution has an endowment. According to one interviewee, “this provides CIDAC with the opportunity to be independent, and at the same time it allows us to focus on topics such as competition, a topic that has been disregarded by other institutions because it is not in the interest of certain important donors”. Endowment funds are used, however, according to very strict rules. Moreover, they are not sufficient to pay for all activities and projects. Therefore, researchers are constantly looking for external funding. Many projects are supported by funds from international foundations, private agencies, or government-sponsored scientific institutions. External funding is thus very important, but it is also a permanent “source of terror”, according to one interviewee. This is partly because the work done by think tanks is still mostly unknown to the public. The term does not even have a proper translation to Spanish. The same interviewee stated that: “In the US, congressmen always give credit to think tanks and their contributions. In Mexico that is not the case. Here, a wonderful proposal may be drafted, and there comes the senator who likes to steal the credit for it. That’s OK, as long as the proposal is implemented. Yet that attitude does not help promote the work done by think tanks, nor the interest in funding them.” While CIDAC can act with a significant degree of independence in terms of selecting its topics, there have been some instances in which it has also been affected by issues commonly related to external funding. For example, one interviewee expressed a complaint regarding donor changing priorities and their implications on research capacity building: “How can they [any given think tank] lead an independent agenda that touches on substantial topics when donor priorities are constantly changing? It is a continuous challenge to look for external funding while at the same time you are working on the topics that are your main concern. Sometimes both things coincide, sometimes you end up doing projects that are not that interesting but that will give you resources to pay for a stable team, and sometimes you just have to bet, invest your own resources to explore topics that you think are interesting and no one will fund them for you.”

195

Policy analysis in Mexico

Another risk posed by external funding is that related to private enterprises. While CIDAC has done some research projects with this kind of funding, they have been limited. This is because, according to an interviewee, “we tell them results will report what we find and not what they want us to say”. This discourages private actors who are looking for information that may support their preferred policies, and not just for objective policy analysis for the sake of it. In terms of human resources, CIDAC is formed by about 30 people, including administrative staff. Most analysts are young, with a Master’s degree, and are generalists rather than specialists because they are expected to be able to learn quickly about different policy topics. There are only a few researchers with a PhD, generally at senior levels, who also have to keep an open approach to several topics instead of focusing on a specific research agenda. When there are special projects that require a very specific type of technical expertise, CIDAC hires external consultants but only on a temporary basis. Leaving aside formal qualifications, interviewees stressed that CIDAC gives significant attention to hiring very capable people with a good attitude and team-working disposition. Salary levels are a complex topic for CIDAC. As in the case of other think tanks, it can hardly compete with remunerations offered by government institutions or the private sector. CIDAC tries to compensate for this with other non-pecuniary incentives. According to an interviewee, “you need people that are aware they will be sacrificing their income level in the present time but will be in a position to build a reputation, will be appearing in the media, their work will be published, and it will have some impact”. Moreover, CIDAC aims to provide a working environment in which professional and personal lives may be better balanced. Current challenges and opportunities CIDAC interviewees also pointed to several challenges that they face, all of which have a significant impact on the quality of their policy analysis work, and the impact it may eventually have on government policies. First, they noted that Mexican think tanks do not enjoy the same recognition that they have in countries such as the US, where their analyses and policy recommendations are widely used by government institutions. Another challenge is that whereas some public institutions could ask think tanks to produce policy research on particular topics, they prefer to hire international consultants that may be willing to “cook their results” to support a given point. Moreover, public tendering processes and regulations allow government agencies to fast-track research contracts to public universities or research centers. This is something that one interviewee said “leaves us out of the game”, because think tanks have to follow competitive tendering procedures. Relationships between think tanks and the government of the day may also be a source of problems. Some of CIDAC’s criticisms regarding policy decisions may not be welcome by government agencies, further complicating funding opportunities or access to information. Personnel turnover is also very high and 196

Policy analysis in think tanks

costly. Young researchers sometimes use CIDAC as a “trampoline” for getting a position in other public or private institutions, a problem that is aggravated because the organization is small and career plans are limited. Lastly, while CIDAC interviewees suggested that being located in Mexico City was advantageous in terms of access to information and personal safety, they also suggested that Mexican think tanks are all focused on very similar topics and policy areas, and on federal-level questions. Despite these challenges, interviewees noted some positive developments. First, the number of think tanks in the country is growing, “which is good because we need more organizations that are capable of structuring ideas and contributing to public debate and knowledge about public affairs”. Second, some private actors are beginning to notice “that they can work with think tanks to promote ideas and reach more ambitious social goals in their economic sector”. Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias (CEEY) The mission of CEEY is to produce and disseminate specialized knowledge, in order to promote policies and actions that may facilitate social mobility and economic welfare in Mexico. It aims to produce high-quality research that may inform and influence public opinion and public officials, so that they can make better decisions.7 CEEY was created by the Espinosa Rugarcía Foundation in September 2005, in memory of Manuel Espinosa Yglesias, entrepreneur and philanthropist who thought the welfare of Mexican people would be improved by generating employment, which in turn required productive investment. CEEY places itself within the liberal ideology but with social commitment. Its founders considered it should aim to influence public opinion and public policy design and implementation. Therefore, it covers social, economic, and political subjects. Furthermore, it seeks to increase the participation of civil society in order to promote progress and maturation in the Mexican state.8 CEEY’s policy research activities are developed following its ideology, including9 the value of respect, tolerance and free discussion of ideas, freedom of speech, and the social responsibility of providing opinions and of promoting those policies which contribute to development; the rule of law, balanced division of powers and democracy as the best government system and as the essential means for economic, political, and social development; the market system as the ideal tool for contributing to economic development, even if there is awareness of its limitations and of intervening publicly in some exceptional cases; and education, gender equity and economic prosperity as the forces that promote social mobility, among others. CEEY also has an executive board, which, according to an 7

www.ceey.org.mx/site/que-es-ceey.

8 www.ceey.org.mx/site/historia-ceey and www.ceey.org.mx/site/semblanza-biografica-manuel-

espinosa-yglesias. 9 www.ceey.org.mx/site/ideario-ceey.

197

Policy analysis in Mexico

interviewee, “fulfills its supervision functions without being intrusive, and at the same time is very respectful and committed towards the activities and policy proposals of the center”. How policy analysis is conducted at CEEY CEEY has three main research areas: social mobility, economic and banking analysis, and public policy analysis. The social mobility area is mainly focused on a national survey on the subject, which so far has been applied twice, but which is one of its kind and a distinctive feature of CEEY’s work. The economic and banking analysis area has focused on understanding the recent history of banking nationalization in Mexico, and several books and documents have been produced on this topic. Until recently, the public policy area focused on a variety of topics that were considered of general public interest, and where it was thought CEEY could have a significant impact. CEEY relied a lot on external experts and was thus able to address topics as diverse as transparency and accountability, energy, telecommunications, labor, public security, and fiscal policy among others. However, such proliferation of topics was eventually seen as a weakness rather than a strength. Recently, CEEY passed through a strategic redefinition, which mainly focused on reducing the number of research topics to gain depth. It was decided that the main focus of the center would be social mobility, understood as a result of several factors. This would allow CEEY researchers to build on previous expertise in subjects such as education, health, and pensions. Furthermore, it was considered that CEEY was particularly well positioned for this because it is the main producer of information on the subject (because of the national survey it has conducted). According to an interviewee, this process has allowed CEEY to gain in reputation and external presence. In terms of internal organization, the process also made explicit the need to refine three main activities: research, production of policy initiatives and social actions, and information dissemination. One of CEEY’s distinguishing features vis-a-vis other Mexican think tanks, an interviewee said, is that it cares about social actions because: “We aim to impact society through mechanisms other than public policies, because we think the latter help to provide frameworks but cannot necessarily do everything, particularly in topics such as social mobility we have observed that many things are dependent upon the individual, her family environment, attitudes …” Since its creation, CEEY has tried to develop particular methodologies to fulfill its policy activities. One example is its policy assessment methodology, first used to compare and rank policy proposals published in political manifestos during the 2006 federal election. A panel of external experts was invited to discuss and grade 198

Policy analysis in think tanks

parties’ proposals, resulting in a document that included the panel main conclusions and a list of quantitative grades (CEEY, 2006). Before its publication, the report was shared among participants for their comments, so that everyone “could feel comfortable with the results to be published”. Whereas group discussions followed “Chatham House” rules (that is, everything may be publicly shared, but without attribution), the final report did include the list of all participants in the assessment. According to one interviewee, “the objective was to reach a consensus that could aim for the common good”. This methodology has since been used for other policy subjects and for assessing legislative work, with the participation of several external experts. On all occasions, the rule has been that once consensus is reached by participants, CEEY takes the report results as its own. Alternative methodologies have been designed for other purposes. For instance, to study Mexico’s banking nationalization experience, CEEY developed an oral history approach. This consisted of several rounds of interviews with key actors, which were turned into first-person narratives. An editor then added information (such as dates and statistics) to better frame the story that had been told. Interviewees had a chance to review the draft, and the final version was published under their name. Interviewees were aware of who was taking part in the exercise, but did not have accesses to others’ narratives until publication. The result was interesting for CEEY researchers because the findings were consistent, and no major contradictions were found. For the study of access to public information or the performance of local congresses, CEEY has developed other quantitative methodologies based on indicators. CEEY also makes use of government information to analyze social mobility topics. For instance, it revises public data on education policy to look for factors that affect social mobility. Similarly, it studies social policy data in order to find potential policy design weaknesses and then produces policy recommendations to the relevant ministry. Other policy decisions on the subject are analyzed from a variety of perspectives and methods, which include international best-practice comparisons, or cost-benefit analyses regarding policy choices. Work is carried out by interdisciplinary teams depending on the topic to be addressed. When analysis produces different policy options, CEEY evaluates their potential contribution to social mobility and their political feasibility (considering political actors’ preferences and political circumstances) before recommending one course of action. CEEY then produces draft law (or legal reform) proposals, specific policy designs, public announcements on certain topics, and newspaper articles. Usually CEEY staff prepare a draft version of these products, which is then shared with external experts to improve its quality. Sometimes CEEY staff also meet with legislators and policymakers to share their analyses in order to influence policy decisions. Interviewees at CEEY know, however, that tracing the actual impact of their work on policy decisions is a rather difficult thing to do. Many of the topics on which they work take several years to make progress from the public agenda to actual implementation. Moreover, when a law or a reform is approved, they can 199

Policy analysis in Mexico

only infer whether their proposals have contributed in some extent to policy changes: “We can see what parts of what we proposed were taken up, but of course you can never assume that was because of the work we developed.” Organizational features of CEEY CEEY’s funding comes from the Espinosa Rugarcía Foundation. This allows it to conduct its activities without the need to look for other external funding sources, and thus provides it with independence. According to an interviewee, “we are very privileged because we know of several think tanks and organizations that are dependent upon donations, and donors do try to push for changes in their agenda, whereas we do not have to face that issue”. External donations are welcomed as long as there are no strings attached.10 CEEY has a staff of 18 people, including 10 researchers (political scientists, economists, and lawyers). There are some researchers with a PhD, who are expected to develop a more practical approach, focused on finding ways to influence public policies. There are some junior researchers who are still completing their undergraduate dissertations, “who bring a very fresh perspective”. Flexi-time and teleworking are frequent practices, which compensate for the relatively low salary levels. One researcher said that, “one sacrifices payment in exchange for quality of life and professional development”. While there are no formal career plans, researchers do have access to different remuneration levels depending on their academic degrees, duration of employment, and performance. Current challenges and opportunities Interviewees pointed to challenges that both CEEY and other think tanks currently face. In its case, CEEY is not yet well known by the public in comparison to other think tanks. More broadly, interviewees suggested that some think tanks continually face two issues: the danger of crossing the thin line that exists between just doing policy analysis and advocacy, as opposed to doing social activism; and the permanent pressure exerted by external donors, which sometimes forces think tanks to jump between topics for the sake of guaranteeing funding. On the other hand, one interviewee underlined that civil society in Mexico is becoming more active and critical, which has been conducive for the proliferation of new organizations such as think tanks: “they have multiplied, have gained strength, and are being more listened to because of good reasons”. The interviewee also suggested that Mexican think tanks may contribute valuable ideas, and thus should not be competing among themselves, but should work on building alliances. Moreover, as in the case of CIDAC researchers, it was suggested that there should be more organizations of the kind at the state level because “in general there is no really policy analysis done there”. 10

200

www.ceey.org.mx/site/ideario-ceey.

Policy analysis in think tanks

Comparative analysis of CIDAC and CEEY This section presents a brief comparative overview of the two organizations, putting special emphasis on their commonalities in terms of policy analysis. Some other comments are offered regarding their organizational features, particularly those related to financial and human resources. As Table 11.2 shows, both think tanks focus their attention on clearly defined agendas, even if there may be some variation in particular cases due to specific junctures or funding opportunities (in the case of CIDAC). But overall, there is a clear expectation in terms of which topics from the public agenda will be researched and discussed by each organization. In terms of information used, a primary and frequent source of data is government information (surveys, statistics, manifestos). This is because both organizations frequently aim to analyze ongoing policies, or assess the potential impacts of policy changes or initiatives that are being discussed. However, when government information is not available, or does not serve as a means for their specific projects, CIDAC and CEEY researchers produce their own data either internally or with the support of external experts. There are further commonalities about how these think tanks frame and disseminate their analyses. In both cases, they tailor their message and type of product to the target audience. This may go from the general public to very specific groups of policymakers. Products may vary: books, newspaper articles, public conferences or announcements, meetings. CIDAC seems to pay more attention to the communication and design of the research output, whereas CEEY tries to focus on the kind of influence it wants to have. But these are two sides of the same coin, in that both organizations are trying to find ways of increasing the policy impact of their analyses. That is also why both organizations have communications offices. With regard to how CIDAC and CEEY arrive at their research products, there are commonalities but also some differences between the two. On the one hand, they mainly rely on their own research staff. On the other hand, while CIDAC looks to external experts only for some projects, CEEY would seem to rely more often on subject-matter experts. This is related to the kind of research methodologies it has developed, which requires the involvement of several actors in task groups responsible for conducting assessments or discussing specific policies. The two organizations’ decision structures are also similar. There is a board at the top of each think tank, which oversees financial and other general aspects of organizational management. Yet these boards do not intervene in daily decisions made by the general/executive directors; nor do they have an influence on the type of subjects that are addressed by researchers, the findings of the various analyses that are produced, or the policy recommendations that are published. From a financial perspective, the two organizations also have something in common, even though this may not be at all representative of the realities faced by other think tanks in the country. CIDAC relies on resources coming from its 201

Policy analysis in Mexico

Table 11.2: Comparison of main policy analysis features in CIDAC and CEEY Criteria for defining their policy research agenda

CIDAC

CEEY

Alignment with organizational vision and principles Critical junctures where organization may have competitive advantage Funding opportunities

Topics associated with social mobility

Specific policy topics in their agendas Rule of law (justice and public security) Economic development (competition, regulation, energy, human capital, climate change)

Social mobility Public policy (education and social development) Economic and banking analysis

Information sources

Official information, surveys, freedom of information requests, own databases

Subject-matter experts’ opinions, official documents, own social mobility survey

Factors that may influence the kind of analysis conducted

Type of project, target audience, product wanted

Project objectives, target audience, type of influence wanted

Products

Books, newspaper articles, videos, conferences, studies

Draft laws, legal reform proposals, policy proposals, newspaper articles

Analysts

Senior and junior researchers; external experts hired for specific projects

Internal staff and external subject-matter experts (depending on the project)

Methodologies used

Quantitative or qualitative depending on project (indexes, surveys)

CEEY’s own methodologies, ad hoc for each topic

Decision-making structures

Executive board, director general, project leaders

Board, executive director, area directors

Funding sources

CIDAC’s endowment Funding from international donors and other public and private institutions

Espinosa Rugarcía Foundation

Human resources features

Generalists, many with a Master’s degree, a few PhDs Salary levels compensated by nonpecuniary incentives

A few PhDs, people with practical orientation Salary levels compensated by flexible working conditions

Source: Authors’ own elaboration..

endowment, even if it also constantly seeks external funding sources. CEEY is completely dependent on the Espinosa Rugarcía Foundation, which secures a stable budget every year. Lastly, both CIDAC and CEEY share certain features in terms of human resources policies. While the two organizations stress the need to have qualified experts, they do not necessarily consider hiring PhD graduates as a priority. In fact, they are not keen on having people researching for the sake of it, but underline the need to count on experts capable of approaching a variety of topics from a practical perspective. Moreover, because both organizations are aware they cannot offer salary levels equal to those in the public or private sectors, they have developed other means to motivate and retain staff, such as media exposure and flexible working schedules.

202

Policy analysis in think tanks

Conclusion This chapter has presented an overview of how policy analysis takes place in Mexican think tanks. It has departed from a qualitative comparative approach and has looked at two well-known organizations of this kind: CIDAC and CEEY. We so not suggest that our description and analysis are representative of all think tanks in the country. However, given the lack of previous studies on this subject, we hope this chapter provides some relevant insights, as well as a useful point of departure for developing future studies in this area. On the basis of our research, we have found some interesting commonalities in the way policy analysis is carried at CIDAC and CEEY. Despite their different agendas and origins, both think tanks are focused on producing relevant policy ideas and recommendations to influence public decisions. In order to do so, they research in depth their areas of interest, with the support of qualified internal staff and external subject-matter experts when needed. They then use a menu of mechanisms (books, articles, public announcements) to communicate their research findings and tailor them to different public audiences. In the process of conducting and disseminating their analysis, they access a wide variety of information sources, and employ different methodologies, some designed by themselves. Both cases are good examples of how non-governmental organizations are becoming more professionalized and capable of conducting analytical tasks. The cases of CIDAC and CEEY are also useful, however, for understanding the current challenges of think tanks in Mexico. First, while they have a huge interest in influencing public decisions, their researchers have not been able to clearly determine the extent to which their ideas and proposals have had an impact on the country’s public policies. Second, these two organizations enjoy a good degree of financial stability, and are thus able to freely perform their activities. Yet their researchers are well aware that other Mexican think tanks are still struggling to secure funding, and actually face constant pressure from external donors to adapt their policy research agendas. Lastly, despite their relative success in attracting highly qualified and committed personnel, think tanks also have to deal with constant staff turnover within their ranks. This is because they are not in a position to compete with public or private sector salary levels, an issue for which it partially compensates with the use of non-pecuniary incentives. Therefore, while Mexican think tanks are gaining relevance in the national policy environment, they face significant challenges that will need to be better addressed before they are able to reach a status equal to the one enjoyed by similar organizations in other jurisdictions. References Adachi, Y. (2015) ‘Policy analysis in Japan: the state of the art”, in Y. Adachi, S. Hosono and J. Lio (eds.) Policy Analysis in Japan, Bristol: Policy Press, pp 1-11. Bardach, E. (1998) Los Ocho Pasos para el Análisis de Políticas Públicas, Mexico City: CIDE/Miguel Ángel Porrúa. 203

Policy analysis in Mexico

CEEY (Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias) (2006) Evalúa y Decide. Evaluación de las propuestas de los candidatos a la Presidencia 2006; propuestas de campañas coincidentes: puntos de acuerdo relevantes entre las fuerzas políticas, Mexico City: Centro de Estudio Espinosa Yglesias. Código Civil para el Distrito Federal, published in Diario Oficial de la Federación, 26 May 1928. Latest reform published on 5 February 2015. Dickson, P. (1971) Think Tanks, New York, NY: Kingsport Press. Dobuzinkis, L., Howlett, M. and Laycock, D. (2007) ‘Policy analysis in Canada: the state of the art’, in L. Dobuzinkis, M. Howlett and D. Laycock (eds) Policy Analysis in Canada, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp 3-17. McGann, J.G. (2014) 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, Philadelphia, PA: Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania. Ricci, D.M. (1993) The Transformation of American Politics. The New Washington and the Rise of Think Tanks, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Stone, D. (2007) ‘Public policy analysis and think tanks’, in F. Fisher, G.J. Miller and M.S. Sidney (eds) Handbook of Public Policy Analysis: Theory, Politics and Methods, Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis, pp 149-57.

204

TWELVE

Policy analysis in non-governmental organizations Ma. Fernanda Somuano1 According to Weimer and Vining, policy analysis is a “client-oriented advice relevant to public decisions and informed by social values” (2005, p 24). As they state, their definition emphasizes the idea of providing useful advice to clients and the importance of social values, since good policy analysis adopts a comprehensive view of a policy’s consequences, even beyond those that affect the client. So, policy analysis or advice ideally will be united in one smooth continuous process: research, analysis, options, consultation, proposals, and decisions all guided and informed by advice. This simple sequential model is one that many policy advisers have in mind when setting out on the path leading to a decision (Wilson, 2006). Since policy analysis is related to public decisions, the majority of policy analysis is to be found in government. However, in non-governmental and non-profit organizations daily operations intrinsically involve public decisions. It is unquestionable that during recent decades civil society organizations (CSOs)2 all over the world have acquired an important role in policymaking. CSOs increasingly have consolidated themselves institutionally and some have professionalized their work, becoming an important alternative for growing sectors of activists and technicians who offer concrete support services to grassroots development initiatives. Moreover, CSOs no longer focus on developmental projects but have moved to a more political arena, where they carry out other functions such as monitoring elections, protecting human rights, designing and implementing social and developmental projects, and giving a voice to excluded minorities. The goal of this chapter is twofold: on the one hand, it will examine to what extent some CSOs in Mexico conduct policy analysis, as well as the sources of the growing demand for policy research by the third sector. On the other, it will analyze whether they use policy analysis to exert influence in policymaking, and the factors promoting and constraining their impact in shaping Mexican public policy. 1

The author is very grateful to all members of the organizations included in this chapter for sharing their experiences and knowledge, and to Daniel Cortés for helping with the editing of this text.

2

According to the World Bank, CSOs refer to a wide of array of organizations: community groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), labor unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, and foundations. 205

Policy analysis in Mexico

Defining terms: third sector, NGO, CSO “Third sector organizations” is a term used to describe the range of organizations that are neither from the public sector nor from the private sector. It includes voluntary and community organizations (both registered charities and other organizations such as associations, self-help groups, and community groups), social enterprises, and cooperatives. The term “non-governmental organization” (NGO) appeared first in policy discussions and political science around the time of the formation of the United Nations (UN), when citizens’ associations, particularly from the United States, expressed their support for creating the new organization and their interest in collaborating in its activities. The term was used to distinguish these organized groups from the governments and their agencies that were the most important agents involved. These associations achieved public and political support for the new international organization. In response, the UN Assembly created mechanisms for them to register and participate in limited ways (Cromwell White, 1993). In Latin America, during the 1960s and 1970s, indigenous NGOs were involved in political resistance, social welfare and grassroots action (Fesler, 1965; Flanigan and Fogelman, 1971; Clark, 1974; Elkin, 1975). However, it was not until the late 1980s that they came of age and into vogue, and the term became popular. A new usage of the term then appeared. It referred to local organizations in developing countries that provided services to disadvantaged populations as a means to promote a better form of economic development. Donors, faced with the crises and inefficiencies of their traditional governmental counterparts, now wanted to work with these organizations in programs of poverty alleviation, good government and sustainable development. Moreover, social scientists, faced with the crisis of their former models of social development, latched on to the work of NGOs for theoretical inspiration and political hope (Clark, 1991; Carroll, 1992; Hulme and Edwards, 1997). By the mid-1980s, international agencies such as the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), bilateral foreign assistance agencies, private international foundations and some scholars were using the term as shorthand in internal documents. By the late 1980s, all of these agencies and some scholars had begun to identify and study these NGOs as promising agents of development (Cernea, 1988). In fact, in the Latin-American context NGOs were understood as non-profit organizations that were publicly registered (that is, have legal status) and received financial support, and whose principal function was to implement development projects favoring the popular sectors (Padrón, 1987). The sources of financial support were usually non-governmental organizations themselves, based in industrialized countries, operating in the framework of international development cooperation.

206

Policy analysis in non-governmental organizations

In Mexico, although the term NGO was commonly used in the 1970s and 1980s, this changed in the 1990s. It was during this decade that these organizations started to get close to governmental agencies in order to collaborate with them on different projects, access public funds, and push for a regulatory framework to work with. Therefore, they did not want to keep defining themselves in opposition to government. Yet a new term to refer to non-governmental and non-profit organizations appeared in the 90s: CSOs. Since 2004, Mexican law defines them as follows: Mexican entities, legally constituted, non-profit and non-partisan, with no political-electoral or religious goals, whose main activities are social development, alimentary support to poor communities, promotion of citizen participation in public affairs, legal advice, support to indigenous groups, advancement of gender equity, defense of human rights, encouragement of exercise and recreation, provision of health services, protection of environment and promotion of sustainable development, civil protection, advancement of cultural and educational activities (Ley de Fomento de las Actividades Realizadas por las Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil, articles 3 and 5). For the purposes of this chapter, I use CSO as it is defined in Mexican law.

Recent development of third sector in Mexico Although NGOs and CSOs in Mexico can be traced to the 19th century in the form of charities or voluntary organizations, it was not until the 1970s that many foundations and centers inspired by the spread of liberation theology 3 were set up to accompany and finance efforts at concientización (consciousness raising), developed as part of the progressive church doctrine of the “preferential option for the poor”. In the discourse of the time, the prevailing goal called for the poor to discover their oppression and find a path to liberation. CSOs appeared in communities in several different Mexican states such as Morelos, Veracruz, and Jalisco (Hernández and Fox, 1995). It was not much later—the early 80s—when more secular, technical, and politically oriented professionals began to set up CSOs in large numbers. Since then, CSOs have been making important advances at the sectorial level. In some cases, they have formed important networks among sectors (for example, housing, community health), and in many cases, among social movements, grassroots 3

Liberation theology originated in Latin America around the 1960s, as a movement committed to identifying and ameliorating the sources of spiritual and physical oppression of the poor. The movement takes its name from the title of a book by Gustavo Gutiérrez, which was published in Spanish in 1971 and in English two years later. Gutiérrez cited one among the several approaches that was to be central to the future development of liberation theology—the literacy programs of the Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire, involving a process of concientización, by which the oppressed person becomes aware of her situation and is encouraged to find a language that makes her “less dependent and more free as she commits herself to the transformation and building up of society”. See Levine (1985), Rubenstein and Roth (1988), and Burdick (1994). 207

Policy analysis in Mexico

economic-development support work, and alternative public policy at the local and national level (Lopezllera, 1990).4 It was also during the 1980s that some crucial events took place and had an important effect on the development of Mexican CSOs. The first one was the arrival of large waves of political refugees fleeing military violence in El Salvador and Guatemala. Several human rights organizations established diverse support and lobbying mechanisms to influence the initial policy of the Mexican government, which decided to close its borders to the Central American refugees. The experience of these CSOs proved that collaboration among Christians, academics, and activists was possible. Another relevant event that spurred a qualitative leap in NGO development, both in their linkages to social movements and in their networking with each other, was the earthquake that shook Mexico City in 1985. Foreign relief and development funding skyrocketed, although it was overshadowed by the magnitude of the devastation and the massive display of volunteer citizen action. Dozens of new CSOs appeared alongside the more established agencies, while new social organizations emerged independently to face the challenge of reconstruction (Hernández and Fox, 1995, p 194). In August 1990, 75 CSOs formed this first major national network, known as the Convergence of Civic Organizations for Democracy. Their documentation of fraud in the contested governor’s race in the state of San Luis Potosí in August 1991 played a key role in legitimating the opposition candidate’s dramatic peaceful protest march in Mexico City, which convinced the president to reverse his decision to support the official results and contributed to the fall of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate (Hernández and Fox, 1995). As seen in Figure 12.1 and according to Centro Mexicano de la Filantropía (Mexican Center of Philanthropy, or CEMEFI) figures, the number of CSOs in Mexico has increased substantially in a period of 15 years. In the period from 1994 to 2009, the number of CSOs multiplied by five. More recent figures (2014) from the Federal Registry of Civil Society Organizations show the existence of 27,018 organizations. This increase has several explanations. According to Leonardo Avritzer (2001), in Mexico, as in other Latin-American countries, it occurred because of an important breakdown of the historical model of collective action—characterized by the great influence of syndicalism and its incorporation in the structure of the state through corporatism. This collapse was provoked by three significant elements: urban social movements that sought the constitution of identities independent from the state, generated basically by the economic crisis of 1983 and the earthquake in Mexico City of 1985; an increase in the participation of the middle classes, which created the pluralization of public space; and the formation of a coordinated network of civic associations that modified the control of the relationship between state and political society. 4

208

The networks’ members worked in 19 states, and its leaders estimated they identified with and provided services or support to as many as one in 10 low-income Mexicans.

Policy analysis in non-governmental organizations

Figure 12.1: Number of CSOs in Mexico 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 1994

1997

2000

2009

Along with this substantial increase in the number of CSOs, a slow set of changes in the administrative paradigm also opened spaces for a more active actor, able to influence public policy. The idea of “good governance” describes a system in which citizens participate democratically in government planning and decisionmaking processes, while those in office exercise responsiveness to citizen needs through accountability and transparency. This notion has promoted the interest of CSOs in various related issues. In summary, since the late 1980s many grassroots support organizations have become more politically flexible, shifting from consciousness raising among the unorganized poor to providing important technical assistance to self-managed development projects embedded in social movements that are autonomous from CSOs as well as from the federal government. CSOs have become more institutionally consolidated and some have professionalized their work, becoming an important alternative for growing sectors of activists and technicians that offer concrete support services to grassroots development initiatives. Moreover, as stated before, NGOs are no longer focused on developmental projects but have moved to a more political arena, where they are carrying out other functions such as monitoring elections, protecting human rights, defending consumer rights, and sometimes even policy analysis.

Who conducts policy analysis? One of the main facts to underline is that the vast majority of CSOs in Mexico are charities and welfare organizations. These types of organization rarely carry out policy analysis. Organizations with an empowerment orientation, though 209

Policy analysis in Mexico

few, tend to conduct much more policy analysis than their counterparts. In this type of organization, policy analysis is decisive since generally the idea of advocacy—understood as the remedying of unequal relations and the promotion of social change—is among its main objectives. The act of advocacy to empower vulnerable sectors of society is not limited to helping people access information or giving them tools to reach out to decision makers. The underlying function of advocacy is often to enhance the self-respect of weaker communities, to improve their self-confidence, constitute integrity and promote mutual trust: all essential ingredients in developing a healthy community. Usually, CSOs that are actually involved in conserving natural ecosystems, promoting human rights, or contributing a vision of development different from the official vision are both operationally and advocacy-oriented. Moreover, since being involved in advocacy clearly implies an attempt to have an impact on policymaking, policy analysis is undoubtedly necessary if one wants to increase the probability of success. Besides policy analysis, lobbying, development education, and campaigning aimed at strategically articulating information are all important variables that may potentially enhance CSOs’ influence in policymaking. It is very important to stress the heterogeneity of the CSO sector in the world and particularly in Mexico. CSOs differ extensively in their purpose, membership, means of funding, resources, inner structure, relationship with government, and networking capacity, among others. Therefore, it is impossible to obtain general conclusions with a small non-random and non-representative sample. However, the evidence from the interviews I carried out with members of five organizations can shed some light on who does policy analysis, the conditions they face when they do it, and the capacities and the limitations they confront in doing so. In the following section I present a brief description of five Mexican CSOs, as well as their main goals and activities. Second, I use the interviews with members of these organizations to delve deeper and present how these organizations do policy analysis. Alternativas y Capacidades Alternativas y Capacidades (Alternatives and Capacities) is a civil society organization whose main activity is to support social actors to promote social development. It offers training and empowerment of citizens, consulting services and applied research to strengthen organized civil society’s skills to influence public decisions. It promotes strategic social investment and work for a suitable environment for participation in the public sphere, with the aim of contributing to social development. The organization created the Citizen Academy of Public Policy, which is a plural space that offers capabilities and innovative tools to CSOs and individuals, so that they can influence public policy through education and research processes backed by a proven record. Through sound policy analysis and research, this

210

Policy analysis in non-governmental organizations

organization proposes improvements in development policies to public officials and congressmen. Alternativas y Capacidades had an important role in the proposal and approval of the Ley Federal de Fomento a las Actividades de las Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil (Federal Law to Promote Activities of Civil Society Organizations) and has written a very influential manual on how to build an organization in 16 steps.5 Amnesty International Amnesty International is a worldwide campaigning movement that works to promote internationally recognized human rights. It was founded by Peter Benenson in 1961. Amnesty International’s mission is “to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of our work to promote all human rights”. According to its own statements, Amnesty International has more than a million members and supporters in over 140 countries and territories. The organization is impartial and independent of any political persuasion or religious creed. Subscriptions and donations from its worldwide membership finance most of its work. Among its main activities, Amnesty International systematically collects and distributes information about human rights abuse. It lobbies governments and non-governmental organizations, and induces them to adopt constitutions, programs, and measures that guarantee the rights contemplated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It also campaigns to attain legislative, procedural, and institutional changes that may have a positive impact on the respect and promotion of human rights. Finally, it provides support to prisoners and torture victims, protects human rights activists and assists refugees. Particularly in Mexico, Amnesty International has 22 groups of collaboration in charge of different subjects such as human rights in Latin America and Colombia, as well as the human rights of children, indigenous people, homosexuals, women, and refugees. The groups are located in seven cities around the country.6 Fundar Fundar was created in 1999 to identify innovative ways of fortifying civic participation and democracy. Fundar is a plural and independent civil society organization—based in Mexico—governed by the principles of horizontality and transparency. It seeks to promote the advancement of substantive democracy and help to generate structural changes that positively transform the power relations between government and society. They search for a fair and participatory society 5

Website for Alternativas y Capacidades: www.alternativasycapacidades.org.

6

Website for Amnesty International: www.amnistia.org.mx. 211

Policy analysis in Mexico

where the state fully complies with the human rights of individuals, communities, and peoples in order to create decent living conditions and welfare for everyone. Fundar is engaged in influencing public policies and public institutions through the construction and socialization of specialized knowledge, critical and purposeful reflection, and experimentation and linkage with civil, social and governmental actors. Fundar’s work is based on a comprehensive conception of human rights and an explicit recognition of the need to incorporate and promote a gender lens, citizen participation, social justice, interculturality, and sustainability. Its areas of focus include the following: • Transparency. This formed the subject of the organization’s first project and consisted of monitoring how decentralized resources were spent at the municipal level. • Gender. In recognition of the current situation of unequal opportunities for men and women, Fundar has tried to strengthen the capabilities of women leaders in order to improve their situation, and to promote public budgets that take into account the gender perspective. • Generation of citizens’ proposals. Due to the importance of generating rigorous analysis to advise diverse actors with regard to citizens’ interests and priorities, Fundar initiated a program called Transition Budgets—training legislators, media analysts, public functionaries, and civic organizations. It has also published several working papers and the quarterly bulletin Pesos y Contrapesos. This project has entailed collaboration with different agencies: governmental, non-governmental and international. • Human rights promotion. Fundar has also collaborated in an international effort to explore possibilities of evaluating the accomplishment of cultural, economic, and social rights through budget analysis. Fundar receives support from different foreign organizations and foundations such as the International Budget Project, Human Rights Internship Program, Ford Foundation, UNDP, MacArthur Foundation, and Mining Watch Canada, among others. The organization’s working strategies are as follows: • propose and implement creative solutions to public problems, characterized by the rigor of applied and interdisciplinary research (influence based on evidence); • exercise and encourage litigation and strategic communication; • create and nurture alliances with various social actors; • maintain communication and dialogue with political actors; • make use of analytical tools such as access to information, budget analysis and a human rights approach; • use new information and communications technologies; promote horizontal learning and capacity building of multiple social actors.7 7

212

Website for Fundar: www.fundar.org.mx.

Policy analysis in non-governmental organizations

GESOC (Gestión Social y Cooperación–Social Management and Cooperation) GESOC is a civil society organization based in Mexico City and founded in 2006 by six professionals with extensive experience in development research and management, public policy analysis, and implementation and evaluation of projects. It is specialized in generating evidence and useful, robust methodological solutions so that social and governmental initiatives, CSOs, and enterprises can maximize the public value they produce for social development, in accordance with transparency, accountability and respect for human rights principles. GESOC conducts research, assessment, monitoring and capacity-building actions in three strategic areas: evidence-based and results-oriented management; transparency and accountability; and social responsibility and rights fulfillment. Its work’s conceptual and methodological soundness has been recognized by the National Council of Science and Technology (known by its Spanish acronym CONACYT), which, in 2010, granted GESOC the certificate of inscription to the National Registry of Institutions and Scientific and Technological Enterprises. In addition, GESOC won the 2012 Innovation Award for Improving Transparency of Institutional Management, convened by the World Bank and the Federal Institute of Access to Information, for its project Performance Index of Public Federal Programs-INDEP 2011. Its purpose in working for the benefit of other CSOs is to increase the professionalism and accountability standards of their results, in order to help improve the programs and projects of social intervention. GESOC seeks to influence the construction of governments with sufficient institutional capacity to improve the delivery of programs and services, the management of public resources and the accountability of its policy decisions. In other words, it promotes the social value of governments. It also seeks to encourage and strengthen the ability of companies to identify, evaluate, report, and improve the social, environmental and economic impact of their work from a sustainability standpoint. To do this, it collaborates with enterprises in projects that enable them to achieve the desired results.8 Propuesta Cívica Propuesta Cívica is a young civil society organization established in 2005 whose mission is to contribute to the “regeneration of democracy”. During the past seven years, it has promoted citizen participation in public affairs, pressed for ethical renewal of rulers and political parties, and participated in projects that have managed to establish public policies with a human rights perspective in Mexico City. Their strategy is to use research, monitoring and analysis to generate proposals for advocacy, influence public decision making, and promote capacity building. 8

Website for GESOC: www.gesoc.org.mx. 213

Policy analysis in Mexico

Given the national security emergency in Mexico, its civic proposal is to protect human rights fighters and seek solidarity with other organizations that, like them, struggle to save lives.9

Conditions for policy analysis By reading their objectives, mission, and strategies, it is plausible to deduce that all these organizations generate and use policy analysis. But, under what conditions do they carry out this analysis? As already mentioned, up until the 1980s, the omnipresent role of the state was one key factor explaining the relative political underdevelopment of Mexican CSOs, especially the developmental ones. Prior to dramatic cuts in social spending in the 1980s, the Mexican state had a significant presence in the provision of basic services. While CSOs are the crucial actors behind community-based survival strategies in several South American countries, in Mexico government agencies have played a leading role. In that context, and for some time, CSOs did not need to carry out policy analysis. However, as Susan D. Phillips (2007) shows in the case of Canada, the changing context in Mexico has also generated a transformation in policy style. A significant factor has been the move away from neoliberalism and New Public Management, which relied on outsourcing and market mechanisms, to the model of “governance”, which stresses collaboration with non-governmental actors and citizens’ participation in horizontal networks. The second dimension of a new policy style derives from the importance of networks. During the past few decades there has been a growing emphasis on building networks in both policy development and service delivery. Through the 1970s and early 1980s in Mexico, most CSOs were urban, middleclass membership organizations rather than grassroots support organizations. Even now, many are still weak and narrowly focused, since they have been unable to form sufficiently broad or consolidated networks. Interestingly enough, all interviewees agreed on the idea that networks are not only one of their distinctive strengths, but also crucial for enhancing their influence. Experience has shown them that networking capacity enhances their opportunities to put pressure on governments at different levels. Another change in the conditions in which CSOs conduct policy analysis in the Mexican context concerns new information technologies. Due to the continual changes in technological innovation and information technology strategies, CSOs—like other organizations—are operating in a more dynamic environment. Therefore, within CSOs, the need to use information technologies to manage information, communicate with staff and volunteers, perform accounting, and handle various other tasks continues to grow. A great majority of CSOs in Mexico face many constraints than inhibit them in adopting information technologies. 9

214

Website for Propuesta Cívica: www. propuestacivica.org.mx.

Policy analysis in non-governmental organizations

These restrictions include a lack of budget to invest in the latest and better information systems and tools, a lack of sustainable capital for investment, an inability to pay competitive salaries to technical personnel and an inability to build the needed technical skills. However, the organizations included in this chapter have been able to take advantage of the use of new information technologies. The four organizations have their own website and web-based and online technologies, and they are continuing to devote greater resources to employing them in many of their activities. These organizations realize that using online technology will enable new forms of information collection, processing, and broadcasting that were never before possible. For example, by using such technologies, CSOs can employ a forum for obtaining feedback from their donors, announcing events and activities, and providing up-to-date reports on the sources of their funding (such as Fundar), or their achievements (GESOC).

Capacities The capacities and potential influence of CSOs on policymaking depend on different features of the organizations, such as their objectives, their orientation, their relationship with government or foreign institutions or foundations, their resources and their level of professionalization. Objectives Although the objectives of the CSOs included in this chapter are quite heterogeneous, they coincide in a certain form of advocacy that represents a different approach to initiating changes in the society. In one way or another, all of them do the following: • • • • •

question the way policy is administered; participate in agenda setting as they raise significant issues; attempt to be inclusive and engaging; propose policy solutions; and open up space for public argumentation.

To achieve these objectives, policy analysis seems imperative. Type of organization The CSOs can be classified into various types because of different factors like orientation and level of cooperation. CSOs’ type by orientation can be grouped into charitable orientation, service orientation, participatory orientation, and empowering orientation (www.ngo.in/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/image48. png). CSO type by level of cooperation can be grouped into community-based organizations, city-wide organizations, national CSOs, and international CSOs. 215

Policy analysis in Mexico

The organizations included in this chapter have an empowering and participatory orientation. All except Amnesty International, which has an international scope, are defined as national CSOs. As this chapter has emphasized, non-governmental organizations and CSOs form a heterogeneous group constituted by a long list of organizations working in different areas with varied scopes of work. During the past few decades the World Bank has published a CSO/NGO typology that classifies them into operational and advocacy NGOs. The former group’s main purpose is to design and implement development-related projects. The scope of the operational CSOs can be national, international or even community-based. The latter promote a specific cause and makes efforts to raise awareness by doing various activities like lobbying, press work and activist events. At least four of the interviewees were very critical of this definition, arguing that their organizations can be defined by advocacy, but in some sense they are also operational. Relationship with government For many years, Mexican CSOs justified their existence by an anti-governmental stance, but in many cases their relations with government agencies are closer and better than might be expected given the rhetoric. On the one hand, these organizations have constantly used an anti-state discourse (rejection of the state and many of its policies); on the other, they have continuously looked for its support (many NGOs maintain important links with public officials, and they are often invited to participate in the public administration). For many decades, civil society and its organizations in Mexico had to confront an authoritarian regime, and this legacy has influenced how they evaluate and react to government actions today. They learned to be inimical to all governmental actions, and to be distrustful of parties and authority. Yet, CSOs often need the federal and local governments for their projects to be effective. All interviewees recognized that changing their anti-governmental discourse and attitude is required in order to achieve cooperation and sometimes support from governmental agencies; however, there still are some CSO leaders that insist on a confrontational style, without proposing innovative forms of mutual participation or creative ways to raise funds. Clearly, the relationship with different levels of government and the desire to have an impact on specific policy areas enhance the need and possibilities for doing policy analysis. Interviewees coincided in the idea that sound policy analysis is necessary to make serious public policy proposals. In fact, in order to obtain resources from Indesol—the most important governmental agency that gives funds to CSOs through open public contests—they have to make proposals based on the elaboration of a diagnosis of a public problem, a matrix of targets, and potential constraints.

216

Policy analysis in non-governmental organizations

Relationship with foreign institutions and governments Another important dimension of CSOs’ work concerns the relations they form with foreign institutions and governments. The most important relationship between CSOs and foreign institutions relates to donations. It is very important to mention that, although all the four organizations described here have within their objectives clear proposals of change in different areas of society (political, institutional, legal, social development, educational), sometimes they cannot openly use the terms advocacy or influence in their dealings with governments because it is against the regulations of some foundations or the countries where their headquarters are located. The argument is that CSOs’ activities should not be “political” or interfere with states’ or governments’ independence or sovereignty. Therefore, it is not surprising that the voluntary sector is frustrated by the regulatory restrictions that limit advocacy. The current regulatory and funding environments restrict advocacy while failing to recognize its importance in contributing to a vigorous civil society (Harvie, 2002). For example, the sector objects to rules that distinguish between advocacy activities that are invited by government and those that are not. Those invited are considered to be of public benefit and the uninvited are viewed as unwelcome, provocative and in need of being restricted or limited. This distinction is inconsistent with the role that the sector plays in Mexican society, where CSOs look for more transparency and accountability in governments, defend human rights from abusive authorities or monitor governmental activities. Interviewees mentioned that they have to be very careful in how they draft their objectives and proposals, so that they are suitable for obtaining donations from foundations, especially those from Canada and the United States. Resources One of the most important challenges CSOs face is that of economic resources. “Who should we turn to for funding?” was one of the most common questions addressed in the interviews. At least three of the interviewees mentioned that for CSO managers, the most time demanding job was fundraising. All agreed with the idea that resources are the main problem of CSOs. They need money, labor, space, equipment, information, and scientific expertise. Some less obvious resources that were mentioned were tax deductibility (which in Mexico is not an easy task) or closeness to the media (the executive director of Propuesta Cívica was very emphatic on this point). Other resources brought up were reputation, organizational learning, access to policy makers, availability of social entrepreneurs, and institutional resources such as favorable legislation and availability of networking forums. Sources of financial support for CSOs include individual donations, governmental grants, fundraising efforts, grants via funding agencies, or direct

217

Policy analysis in Mexico

contributions from other CSOs. CSO dedicate most of their funds to achieving the organization’s missions, goals, and planned activities. Several studies on Mexican CSOs have shown that a high percentage of their resources come from abroad, primarily from US and European organizations, while a smaller proportion comes from domestic governmental agencies (Aguayo and Parra 1997). It is clear that a solid financial position is a basic requisite of solid policy analysis and good performance for CSOs. This requires having a diversified portfolio of donor resources to assure a steady flow of funds, especially for core costs. Core costs are limited to the salaries of management (board members are usually volunteers) and a few essential technical and administrative staff members, plus the costs of running the central office. Professionalization of personnel Although professionalization of personnel has improved in CSOs in the past decade, it is still an important challenge. Today, CSOs are more professional, technocratic bureaucracies, housing experts with well-honed functional and technical skills that may provide opportunities for internship and career development. However, this is not the rule in all CSOs. Most do not have professional personnel to help achieve the organizations’ goals and objectives. Another problem is high turnover of personnel. The modern CSO campaigner can move neatly into government or business, and back into a CSO. Working in a CSO has become a career, an alternative to the public or private sector, diplomatic or political life. Clearly, highly professional employees guarantee better policy analysis.

Type of policy analysis Although all of the organizations included in this study perform some type of policy analysis, there exists important variation among organizations. Almost all of them agreed on the fact that the internal dynamics of the organizations sometimes constrain the type of analysis they can do. The interviewees mentioned that there is a lot of fragmentation on what each area does, and often they do not know how their analysis connects with that of others. It is important to stress that donors and resources determine the type of policy analysis conducted in the CSO sector. CSOs’ main sources of information are newspapers, events, press conferences, meetings and websites. Concerning research techniques, almost all organizations mentioned focus groups, expert panels, meetings with main actors and stakeholders, and desk-based research. Sometimes CSOs even request specialized analysis from consultancy firms. They recognize that a sound study may be crucial to position an issue in the government’s agenda. GESOC, Fundar and Propuesta members mentioned several times the concept of theory of change and said that the type of policy analysis they perform specifically relates to the theory of change that each organization embraces. This

218

Policy analysis in non-governmental organizations

means that depending on the type of impact the organization desires, they will generate different kinds of studies. Policy analysis and studies, therefore, form the basis of various useful resources. One example is the Performance Index of Public Federal Programs-INDEP 2011 that was developed by GESOC. Other instruments include: different manuals published by Alternativas on how to build an CSO, access public funds, or increase the potential influence of CSOs in public policy; the Almanac of Civil Society published by Propuesta Cívica, which identifies the role that civil society may have and the constraints it may face in trying to generate a better quality of life in different Mexican states; the published work of Fundar on budgeting control and transparency; and a study by Amnesty International on human rights violations in the Mexican context.

Limitations Through the information obtained in the interviews, it was possible to intuit that resources are the main limitation that CSOs face when they want to do policy analysis. A common problem for CSOs is money dependence. CSOs can become dependent on sources of funding (Themudo, 2000). Their resource providers may not be sufficiently diverse. Unfortunately, in resource-scarce environments this problem is amplified because all money provided for CSOs comes from only a handful of actors. In Mexico, a large part of the national funding for these organizations comes from Indesol. Regarding international funding, all interviewees mentioned that they have to compete among themselves for funding that stems from the same foundations such as the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, or UNDP. Although it has improved over the past two decades, the low level of professionalization of the sector still limits sound policy analysis. Four of the interviewees also mentioned that career development prospects are limited in the sector and that there is too much staff turnover, which impedes wide-ranging learning processes. Internal divisions and competition for funding in the sector inhibit in many ways the conformation and consolidation of networks. This has a negative impact on the comprehensiveness of diagnosis and policy analysis and on the prospects of policymaking. Another potential limitation CSOs face in performing policy analysis is their level of autonomy. Many grassroots organizations and CSOs face the same challenge as organizations and social movements of the past. They inevitably confront the choice between two uninviting alternatives. They may fall in with the regime—that is, sign pacts that guarantee the kinds of material concessions that their supporters need. In doing so, however, they will compromise their independence and foreclose the possibility of articulating a critique of the regime and its policies because they cannot afford the luxury of striking a more militant, oppositionist stance. Alternatively, they may maintain a staunch independence from the regime but risk the loss of the popular support they command because 219

Policy analysis in Mexico

members desperately need the material benefits and concessions to complete their objectives.

Conclusion: policy analysis in CSOs and their influence on public policy There are many examples of how CSOs have influenced public policy. One interesting case is that of the women’s groups that promoted the decriminalization of abortion in Mexico City in 2010. Also, we can analyze the impact that CSOs have had on national and international environmental policies, for example, through their participation in the Foro Global de Río 1992, where an important space was opened for civil society. Futher, CSOs’ presence in the Red Mexicana de Acción Frente al Libre Comercio enabled the introduction of environmental agreements among Mexico, Canada, and the US. Another example of successful influence is the case of the Civic Alliance, one of the pioneers of electoral monitoring in the country in the 1990s, which fought and lobbied for the inclusion of external electoral observers in different electoral processes, something forbidden in Mexico until the mid-1990s. The organizations included in this chapter have all been able to perform sound policy analysis that has been successful in influencing policymaking, policy change, and policy design. For instance, Fundar was a pioneer in the analysis of public budgeting. Since its foundation, it has monitored social spending and denounced irregularities. Propuesta Cívica, along with other organizations, carried out a very important analysis to document how citizens exert their right of freedom of expression in Guerrero, especially in the case of journalists. Alternativas y Capacidades has published a manual to explain to citizens how to promote structural changes in society, and how to persuade policymakers to transform or design a public policy. In its words, the manual attempts to help citizens “move from protests to proposals”. Finally, GESOC’s Performance Index of Public Federal Programs, which represented a very important work of data collection and analysis, has been a useful tool for evaluating federal programs. Unfortunately, the small sample of organizations included in this chapter is not representative of the third sector in Mexico. In fact, all interviewees made the similar remark, along the lines that “traditional CSOs do not make policy analysis, because they do not believe is useful. They prefer grassroots work; they prefer to go out and close roads and streets.” Therefore, the challenges CSOs have to face are still huge. In recent decades, this situation has started to change, and hopefully it will continue changing.

220

Policy analysis in non-governmental organizations

References Aguayo, S. and Parra, L.P. (1997) Las Organizaciones no Gubernamentales de Derechos Humanos en México: Entre la Democracia Participativa y la Electoral, Mexico City: Academia Mexicana de Derechos Humanos. Avritzer, L. (2001) ‘El nuevo asociacionismo latinoamericano y sus formas públicas: propuestas para un diseño institucional’, in A. Olvera (ed) La Sociedad Civil: De la Teoría a la Realidad, Mexico City: El Colegio de México, pp 305-33. Burdick, J. (1994) ‘The progressive catholic church in Latin America’, Latin American Research Review, vol 29, no 1, pp 184-97. Carroll, T.F. (1992) Intermediary NGOs: The Supporting Link in Grassroots Development, West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press. Cernea, M. (1988) Involuntary Resettlement in Development Projects: Guidelines in World Bank-Financed Projects, World Bank Technical Paper, 80, Washington, DC: World Bank. Clark, J. (1991) Democratizing development: The role of voluntary organizations, London: Earthscan Publications. Clark, T. (1974) ‘Community authority in the national system: federalism, localism, and decentraliztion’, in T. Clark (ed) Comparative Community Politics, Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Cromwell White, L. (1993) The Structure of Private International Organizations, Philadelphia, PA: George S. Ferguson Co. Elkin, S.L. (1975) ‘Cooperative urban politics and interorganisational behavior’, in K. Young (ed) Essays on the Study of Urban Politics, London: Macmillan, pp 158-79. Fesler, F.W. (1965) ‘Approaches to the understanding of decentralization’, Journal of Politics, vol 27, no 3, pp 536-66. Flanigan, W. and Fogelman, E. (1971) ‘Patterns of democratic development: an historical comparative analysis’, in J.V. Gillespie and B.A. Nesvold (eds) MacroQuantitative Analysis: Conflict, Development and Democratization, Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Fox, J. and Hernández, L. (1995) ‘Lessons from the Mexican elections’, Dissent, vol 42, pp 29-33. Harvie, B.A. (2002) ‘Regulation of advocacy in the voluntary sector current challenges and some responses’, Voluntary Sector Initiative Report, available at www.vsi-isbc.org/eng/policy/pdf/regulation_of_advocacy.pdf Hernández, L. and Fox, J. (1995) ‘Mexico’s difficult democracy: grassroots movements, NGOs, and local government’, in C. Reilly (ed) New Paths to Democratic Development in Latin America. The Rise of NGO-Municipal Collaboration, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, pp 179-211. Hulme, D. and Edwards, M. (1997) NGOs, States and Donors: Too Close for Comfort?, New York, NY: St Martin’s Press. Levine, D. (1985) ‘Religion and politics: drawing lines, understanding change’, Latin American Research Review, vol 20, no 1, pp 185-201.

221

Policy analysis in Mexico

Levine, D. (1992) Popular Voices in Latin American Catholicism, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Ley de Fomento de las Actividades Realizadas por las Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil, arts. 3 and 5. Lopezllera, L. (1990) Las Organizaciones Civiles por la Autogestión de los Pueblos (The Civil Organizations for the Self-Management of the People), International Foundation for Development Alternatives, Dossier 77. Padrón, M. (1987) ‘Non-governmental development organizations: from development aid to development cooperation’, World Development, no 15, pp 69-77. Phillips, S.D. (2007) ‘Policy analysis and the voluntary sector: evolving policy styles’, in L. Dobuzinskis, M. Howlett and D. Laycock (eds) Policy Analyisis in Canada. The State of the Art, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp 497-522. Rubenstein, R.L. and Roth, J.K. (eds) (1988) The Politics of Latin American Liberation Theology: The Challenge to US Public Policy, Washington, DC: Washington Institute Press. Themudo, N. (2000) ‘Organisational environment and NGO structure in Mexico and Portugal: What does the literature tell us?’, Programa Interdisciplinario de Estudios del Tercer Sector, 4. Weimer, D.L. and Vining A.R. (2005) Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practice, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Wilson, R. (2006) ‘Policy analysis as policy advice’, in M. Moran, M. Rein and R.E. Goodin (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

222

THIRTEEN

Policy analysis and public policy in the private sector Carlos Alba Vega

Introduction The subject of this chapter is public policy in the Mexican private sector. It is an attempt to discover how private sector organizations learn about public policies and how they attempt to influence them. That is, what organizations, research centers and tools are available to private sector companies to analyze the socioeconomic and political realities of the country, and what methods and actions can they use to influence public policy. The chapter is divided into three parts. The first presents a general overview of the main institutions that represent the interests of businessmen and businesswomen, in which emphasis is given to the Confederación Patronal de la República Mexicana (Confederation of Employers of the Mexican Republic, or Coparmex) and the Consejo Mexicano de Hombres de Negocios (Mexican Council of Businessmen, or CMHN). The second section describes some of the research centers that have come into being, such as the Centro de Estudios Económicos del Sector Privado (Center for Economic Studies of the Private Sector, or CEESP). The third part examines business lobbying within the Congress, a new form of business intervention in public policies that arose as a result of the division of power in Mexico at the end of the 20th century. We also take a look at the case of former high-level public officials who have joined Mexican and foreign businesses or who have opened their own consultancy services. This is followed by the conclusion.

Institutions representing business The historic peculiarities of the Mexican state, the result of the Mexican Revolution, have brought unique features to the relationship between business and the state. The business community began the 20th century on the defensive about their rights and properties. Many businesspeople were in exile, and they ended the century not only at the pinnacle of economic power but also greatly influencing policy at the local, regional and national levels. Businessmen arose with a deficit of political legitimacy and were outside of the party in power.

223

Policy analysis in Mexico

Although they had no political legitimacy or links to the party in power, their interests were represented in various anomalous ways (Alba Vega, 2005 and 2010). Except for businesses in the northern city of Monterrey (Vellinga, 1979; Zapata, 1989; Nuncio,1982; Cerutti, 2008; Pozas, 2002), which came into being before the Revolution and were more powerful and critical of the new regime than those in other regions, most other private sector organizations came into being and grew during the 20th century under the protection and with the support of the state. It was not until the government of President Lázaro Cárdenas that conflicts arose with the state. However, during the time of President Ávila Camacho there were close links between businesses and the state, a situation that reached its peak during the term of President Miguel Alemán (Torres, 1984, p 331; Zabludowski, 1984). Although problems developed later on, between 1940 and 1970 there was a notable rapprochement between the private sector and the state, which brought about the withdrawal and stagnation of Coparmex with some members leaving the association in the belief that affiliation lacked any valid objective (Reyes Ponce, 1979, p 259). Carranza’s government promoted the creation of two business confederations: one made up of merchants, Concanaco (Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce) (1917), and the other of industrialists, Concamin (Confederation of Chambers of Industry) (1918). These new organizations came to take the place of other pioneer organizations of the preceding years, such as the Cámara de Comercio de la Ciudad de México (Mexico City Chamber of Commerce) (1874) and 15 others created during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz (Arriola, 1998a; Camp 1989). The Revolution did not modify the laws of the earliest chambers (1808). Instead, the state forced businesspeople to participate in these chambers between 1936 and 1996. Throughout the 20th century various other organizations came into being, including various national chambers representing specific sectors or groups of sectors, for example the Cámara Nacional de la Industria de la Transformación (National Chamber of Manufacturing Industries) (Canacintra, created in 1941 to represent new nationalist businesses, predominantly small and medium-sized), or a group of sectors in a specific region, such as the Cámara Regional de la Industria de la Transformación (Regional Chamber of Manufacturing Industries, or Careintra) of Jalisco (1945) and the Cámara de la Industria de la Transformación (Chamber of Manufacturing Industries, or Caintra) of Nuevo León (1944). These organizations proved useful to businesspeople in many ways: through them they were able to obtain information, carry out paperwork, and obtain permits and credit. However, many businesspeople did not feel these were really their own organizations, since the state itself had been behind their creation and they had come into being within the framework of corporatism (Bizberg, 2003). That is why, over time, two other types of business organization came into being: on the one hand, industrial, commercial and service chambers and their confederations, whose job is to see to the technical and economic nature of businesses; and on the other, some clearly independent organizations. Among the 224

Policy analysis and public policy in the private sector

latter, two that were formed to defend the interests of businesspeople stand out: Coparmex, created by the so-called Monterrey group in 1929; and the CMHN, the present day Consejo Mexicano de Negocios (Mexican Council of Businesses), created in 1962 by a small group of owners of large businesses in Mexico City (Valdés Ugalde, 1996). There are some similarities and many differences between the two organizations. Coparmex Coparmex came into being in the context of legislation in the late 1920s that created the Federal Labor Law regulating the relationship between workers and businesses for the whole country, replacing a system whereby businesses and workers negotiated and were regulated at the local level. Therefore, Coparmex was created as a union of employers and acquired an eminently socio-political character. All types of business could join, regardless of their economic activity, size and geographical location; in fact, soon centros patronales (employers’ centers), affiliated to Coparmex, came into being in almost all of the capitals and large cities in the country. These centers had the function of advising and supporting companies in their labor relations, and for this reason they employed specialists in labor law. They were also social centers for businesspeople, who in some cases, created small study centers based on these organizations such as the Instituto Jalisciense de Promoción y Estudios Económicos de Jalisco (Institute for Economic Studies and Promotion for the State of Jalisco, or IJPEE [1963–83]). During the era of import substitution industrialization, when relations between the state and businesses were good, these centers lost their raison d’être and shrank in size (Reyes Ponce, 1979).1 However, as conflicts emerged between the two parties, from the 1970s to the 1990s, within the context of the expropriation of land in the valleys of the Mayo and Yaqui Rivers in Sonora (in 1976, during the presidency of Luis Echeverría) (Carton de Grammont, 1990; Guadarrama Olivera, 2001), and the expropriation of the banks (in 1982, during the administration of López Portillo) and the beginning of the political transition to democracy, the employers’ centers became the seedbeds of awareness raising and politicization among businesspeople (Luna Ledezma, 1992; Montesinos, 2009). Many of the early candidates for mayors, deputies, senators and governors in governments of alternation (parties other than the “official” party) were entrepreneurs who had gained experience in the business centers of Coparmex. Consejo Mexicano de Hombres de Negocios CMHN is the organization that represents the most powerful businesspeople in the country and until recently was the least known (Oritz Rivera, 2000; 1

From the end of World War II to 1982, the state established barriers in order to protect and promote domestic industry. 225

Policy analysis in Mexico

Briz Garizurieta, 2002, 2006). Among its members are approximately 40 of the wealthiest businessmen in Mexico. Until the time of the political transition, it operated with extreme discretion, with no bureaucracy, almost secretly. Its members have always been close to political elites, even in times of crisis, and this has allowed them to influence important economic decisions and at times even to lobby against certain policies. CMHN has had a marked influence on the pre-selection of candidates for the presidency of the country since the time of President Díaz Ordaz, through the so-called practice of pasarela (parading). This is where the pre-candidates and favorites of the outgoing president appear before representatives of CMHN in order to present their plans for future governmental projects and the role the private sector might play in them. CMHN has also influenced the selection and appointment of certain officials who are important in the economic area, such as the Minister of the Treasury, the director of the Banco de México (Bank of Mexico) or heads of other ministries. In turn, CMHN has proved to be an important sounding board for the government to get the opinions and positions of important businesspeople on certain public policies and has been the scene of the lobbying necessary for the support of their policies. Finally, CMHN has played an essential role in the change of the economic model, that is, liberalization, privatization, and deregulation during the Salinas de Gortari presidency (Schneider, 1990; Concheiro, 1996; Tirado, 2004). Unlike Coparmex, to which any businessperson may belong, CMHN is made up of only the elite in each sector of economic activity (mining, agriculture and livestock, industrial, commercial, financial). The group has managed to exert leadership in business by means of the connections the members have with the rest of Mexican business world and through the production, distribution, consumption and financing of goods and services related to the smaller businesses. From the 1980s, many of these large businesses began exporting and since the 1990s have made important investments abroad. Members consolidate their fortunes with business alliances and family ties. Their economic power has given them direct access to the highest levels of the political elite. The clearest proof of their influence was in their ability to unite the heterogeneous, disperse interests of businesspeople through the creation, in 1975, of the Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (Business Coordinating Council, or CCE), an organization made up of seven member institutions with a voice and vote and five permanent guest members with the right of voice.2 2

226

Those with vote and voice are: Asociación de Bancos de México (Mexican Association of Banks); Asociación Mexicana de Instituciones de Seguros (Mexican Association of Insurance Institutions, or AMIS); Concamin; Concanaco; Coparmex; (Mexican Council of Businesses); and Consejo Nacional Agropecuario (National Council of Agriculture and Livestock). The five institutions with the right of voice are: Canacintra; Asociación Nacional de Tiendas Departamentales y Autoservicio (National Association of Supermarkets and Department Stores); Consejo Mexicano para las Exportaciones (Mexican Council of Export); Asociación Mexicana de Intermediarios Bursátiles (Mexican Association of Securities Intermediaries) and Canaco Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico City Chapter of the National Chamber of Commerce).

Policy analysis and public policy in the private sector

Not only did CMHN create CCE, but it was also in charge of it at crucial moments during the 1980s and 1990s when unprecedented forms of economic coordination and governance were established between the private sector and the state, in the face of economic, social and political instability within the context of economic reforms and Mexico’s reinsertion into the world economy. The participation of CMHN and CCE was decisive in the creation of pacts for economic stability which took effect in various guises between 1987 and 1996 (Ortega Riquelme, 2006). They were also essential in the creation of the Coordinadora de Organismos Empresariales para Comercio Exterior (Coordinator for Business Organization in Foreign Trade, or COECE) (1990), an ally of the state in negotiating and signing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (Puga, 2004). The main differences between CMHN and other organizations are that the former does not group businesses according to their economic affinity or sectors; businesses are not obliged by the state to belong to CMHN as was the case with the chambers between 1936 and 1996; businesspeople belong as individuals, spanning generations; and one cannot join the CMHN at will, which is not the case with Coparmex. Therefore, CMHN is a very selective organization, as shown by the characteristics required of its members: they must be presidents of the administrative boards or hold the highest offices in the most important businesses in Mexico; be recognized for their “honorability, high degree of morality, prestige and outstanding action in the business sector”; and be committed to not revealing matters discussed by CMHN and not making public statements in its name. In sum, its relationship with the state is different from its relationship with other chambers and confederations.

Private sector research centers in Mexico One of the main study centers for the private sector was established by a major financial institution, Banco Nacional de México (National Bank of Mexico), which in 1925 began publishing Examen de la Situación Económica de México (Examination of the Economic Situation of Mexico), the oldest analysis of its kind. Today’s División de Estudios Económico y Sociales de Banamex (Division of Economic and Social Studies of Banamex) analyzes economic and social issues of Mexico and also publishes indicadores (indicators), in which productive and financial activities of Mexico are examined, based on official figures. The Banco de Comercio (Bank of Commerce), now Bancomer BBV, came into being in 1932 and also opened a center for studying the Mexican economy. It comprises a group of researchers who produce economic-financial studies, made public through various publications including documentos de trabajo (working papers) and Revista Situación (Situation Magazine), which analyzes economic and political affairs. Other study centers arose within other financial institutions at the peak of import substitution industrialization. In Monterrey we find the Compañía General 227

Policy analysis in Mexico

de Aceptaciones (General Company of Success) and later Financiera Serfín (Serfin Finance Company). These centers, with no more than 10 employees, were the most far-reaching; they were made up of economists and produced a set of public policy proposals. As the economic groups of Monterrey grew and diversified during the era of import substitution industrialization, they opened departments that studied business planning. The groups in Monterrey that opened such centers were ALFA, CYDSA, VITRO, VISA and later on FEMSA, whose parent company was Cervecería Cuauhtémoc. The research centers were in existence for years, but with the crisis of 1982 the economic groups in Monterrey had to restructure and make adjustments to their businesses, and so closed the study centers. Many of the professionals who had worked in these centers opened their own consultancy businesses in various fields, for example, fiscal matters and the costs of raw materials. However, many of these businesses also closed later on. Alongside the study departments affiliated to large banks and companies, there were smaller research areas within institutions such as the Cámara Nacional de la Industria de la Transformación (National Chamber of Manufacturing Industries, or Canacintra) and the Careintra of Monterrey (Caintra). However, the most important center for businesspeople has been the Centro de Estudios Económicos del Sector Privado (Private Sector Economic Studies Center, or CEESP), today dependent on the Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (Business Coordinating Council). Centro de Estudios Económicos del Sector Privado In 1961 the Cámara Nacional de Comercio de la Ciudad de México (Mexico City Chamber of Commerce, or Canaco) came up with the idea of creating a Centro de Investigación Económica (Center for Economic Research) for the private sector. Its president, Carlos Abedrop, proposed the project to other directors of business organizations. In 1962, Gustavo Romero Kolbek became the director of the new organization called Centro de Estudios de la Iniciativa Privada (Center for Studies of the Private Sector). Romero Kolbek was an economist who had been the director of the Department of Economic Studies of the National Bank of Mexico (1949–54). He was to become a key intermediary between business organizations and the state. In 1963, the presidents of the main business organizations went a step further and registered before a notary public the center with the name it has today: Centro de Estudios Económicos del Sector Privado, Asociación Civil (Center for Economic Studies of the Private Sector, Civil Association).3 3

228

The presidents who registered the new center were: Gustavo Olmos (Canaco México); José Gómez Gordoa (Concanaco); Juan Sánchez Navarro (Concamin); Manuel Flores (Asociación de Banqueros de México [Bankers’ Association of Mexico]); Adolfo Riveroll (AMIS); Emilio Vera Blanco (Canacintra); and Roberto Guajardo Suárez (Coparmex). The presidency would be rotating, a formula adopted by these same organizations when in 1976 they created the Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (Business Coordinating Council).

Policy analysis and public policy in the private sector

As stated in its declarations, it was founded: … due to the need the business sector had for having an institution which carried out analysis and research of the economic scene …. The commitment of CEESP is to carry out objective and independent economic and political research which contributes to the definition of economic policies and public policies which assure a more competitive and more equitable economic and social environment, [and] which promote sustainable development…. CEESP is also an advisory organization in matters of economy for the Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (Business Coordinating Council) and top level businesses in Mexico…. By way of its studies, CEESP makes systematic diagnosis and prediction of the main economic variables which affect the environment of businesses …. The results of the studies and opinions are disseminated using various media: publications, weekly magazines, conferences and advice.4 CEESP carries out various kinds of studies and publications: analysis of specific issues related to the business environment in order to provide useful information for decision making; bi-monthly studies on today’s economic issues, including information on structural reforms, problems in Mexico and surveys carried out by CEESP; a bi-weekly article on specialized matters concerning business and society; new policies; recent reports; decisions; world events; weekly documents of analysis and opinion and follow-up of the most relevant national and international economic events, including a section on public policies; and weekly reports and analysis of political events in the country and the world, and an evaluation of the implications these events may have on businesses. Issues are grouped into six areas of analysis and research: economic environment; public finances; public policies and sustainable development; efficient transparent government; sectorial and regional analysis; and political environment. The analysis and research carried out by the center respond to the specific needs of businesses and other economic agents for information. The center also carries out systematic follow-up and analysis of public policies and their social and economic impact, closely following bills discussed in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. CEESP has a team of 10 people who are in charge of carrying out and disseminating economic and political studies. Most of them are economists from public and private universities; many of them have graduate degrees from universities in Mexico and abroad; and they specialize in studies on finance, public policies and industrial organization.

4

‘History of the Center for Economic Studies of the Private Sector’, www.ceesp.org.mx, accessed 25 May 2015. 229

Policy analysis in Mexico

Based on their background and experience, the team at CEESP distributes work according to individuals’ specialties. Employees carry out macroeconomic analysis, predictions and economic reports on the various productive sectors of Mexico; conduct special studies for businesses; prepare research and analysis documents; and evaluate the effects on the Mexican economy of the main policies implemented by government authorities and offices. CEESP maintains a relationship of collaboration with academic, financial and public institutions; it participates on judging panels for various awards and has a presence in the mass media, on TV as well as in the press, and on social networks. It has a website where it offers various publications such as Análisis Económico Ejectivo (Executive Economic Analysis), Panorama de la Economía Latinoamericana (Panorama of Latin American Economy), and Evaluación del Desempeño del Gobierno Federal (Evaluation of the Performance of the Federal Government). Besides research centers that depend directly on business organizations and some of the larger businesses, much of the analysis of public policy in the Mexican economy and society is carried out by various national and foreign consultancy firms hired by businesspeople and their organizations (Salas-Porras, 2013). This was the mechanism used for an analysis of each sector of economic activity in Mexico that was subsequently used to represent the Mexican government when NAFTA was negotiated. An example of a Mexican consulting firm is Grupo de Economistas y Asociados (Group of Economists and Associates, or GEA). It was founded in 1990 by a multidisciplinary group of specialists with experience in important positions in the government (ministers, vice-ministers or advisors to ministers) and in the private sector and academia. Almost all of them studied at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico). GEA heads have included former members of administrative boards of important banks and national and foreign companies linked to the energy sector, to the creation of infrastructure and to commerce. GEA now has nine professionals in the fields of economy, public administration, law and other areas of social science, such as political science and foreign affairs. Its main areas of study are: information and analysis services for strategic planning by public and private businesses in Mexico and abroad; analysis of public policies; political and labor studies; studies on public opinion; and the development of economic, financial and political advisory projects. It has carried out studies for such organizations as the CMHN, Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (Business Coordinating Council), Concamin, Asociación de Bancos de México (Association of Banks of Mexico), Cámara Nacional de la Industria Textil (National Chamber of the Textile Industry), Cámara Nacional de la Industria del Vestido (National Chamber of the Clothing Industry), Cámara Nacional de la Industria de Desarrollo y Promoción de Vivienda (National Chamber of Industry for the Development and Promotion of Housing), and Asociación Mexicana de Sociedades Financieras de Arrendamiento, Crédito y Factoraje, Asociación Civil (Mexican Association of Financial Leasing, Credit and Factoring Companies, Civil Association). It has 230

Policy analysis and public policy in the private sector

also conducted studies for the World Bank and the government of Bolivia. GEA Group publishes a weekly analytical report on political events (GEAPolítico). An example of a foreign consulting firm is Boston Consulting Group. The group opened its first office in Monterrey in 1993 and a second in Mexico City in 1998. They are run jointly. Their projects are aimed at strategies, corporative development, consumer goods, marketing and sales, and organizational change for clients in the local private sector. Their professional team is made up of specialists of various nationalities and professions, including business administration, economy, biochemistry, engineering, psychology and law. The company’s areas of expertise are: insurance companies; energy and the environment; the automotive industry; hardware, software, media and telecommunications; consumer goods and retailers; financial institutions; manufactured goods; public sector; private capital; transportation, travel and tourism; and healthcare.

New ways in which businesses negotiate with the state The way in which Mexican businesses carry out negotiations with political actors was transformed with the event of economic openness and political transition. From the 1920s up to the 1990s, the imbalance of power meant that only certain privileged businesspeople met with the executive, especially the president and ministers closely involved with economic policies (Labastida, 1986). However, with economic openness and political competition, businesses were obliged to acknowledge the existence of Congress and the need for establishing broader alliances and coalitions in order to exert influence on public policies. In the mid-term elections of 1997, during Zedillo’s term as president, for the first time in the PRI’s nearly 70 years of domination in the Chamber of Deputies, the absolute majority of the party in the chamber was lost. Thereafter, presidents of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI) or Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party, or PAN) would find their powers limited in the face of the emerging legislature. Democratic governability and decision making would have to be processed in a broader and more complex game of give and take.5 Confronted with the new political and institutional scene, businessmen had to adjust their political actions. The formulas they had used in the past to promote and defend their interests through the various chambers, confederations and other organizations for farmers, industrialists, merchants and bankers were no longer enough; nor were the informal and barely visible mechanisms of highly concentrated economic and political power exerted by the CMHN in negotiating its interests directly and personally with the president of the country and his ministers. 5

Many of my ideas on this subject were published in ‘Los empresarios en la transición política mexicana’ (‘Businessmen in the political transition in Mexico’) (Ayerdi and Reveles, 2007), which was based on in-depth interviews with various social, business and political actors. 231

Policy analysis in Mexico

During the negotiations for the NAFTA, Mexican businessmen practised new forms of lobbying in the United States via various organizations, especially CMHN, which provided resources to COECE, in coalition with large transnational enterprises. In the 1990s, they began their earliest forms of lobbying in the US Congress and American society. Along with the Mexican government, they invested large sums of money in lobbying agencies and professionals in the US, as well as in publicity in favor of NAFTA. With the support of presidents of the United States, the lobbying proved successful and led to fast-track approval of the Treaty. This experience would be useful later on for lobbying the Congress in Mexico, a power with which they were unfamiliar and which was outside their realm of interests. However, relations were soon established with the Congress on the basis of direct, personal approaches. By the end of the era of import substitution industrialization, and with growing state interventionism, many businessmen entered the political arena, running for office and winning posts first as mayors and progressively as deputies and senators, especially after the crisis of 1982.6 The number of businessmen turned deputies and senators grew progressively and reached its peak during the presidency of Vicente Fox. Many of the businessmen who joined Congress had been presidents of Coparmex employer organizations in their home states, or of the state delegations of Canacintra and chambers of commerce and industrialists. The first organizations to establish ties with the legislature were Coparmex and CCE. These and other business organizations began hiring professionals who had previous experience in negotiation theory and practice, lobbying and decision making. Some of the first professionals attended short diploma courses in the United States, since no such training was available in Mexico. These professional lobbyists embarked on systematically monitoring the legislature in order to obtain information, foresee decisions and laws that could affect the sector or promote bills in their own interest. Many of the bills that reached Congress during Fox’s presidency had their origins in the business sector. In general, however, the institutional structures linked to the legislative power were insignificant, since the number of businesspeople affiliated to chambers and paying dues dropped abruptly following the passage of a law in 1996 that freed them of the obligation to belong to these institutions. One way in which businesspeople began to exert pressure on legislators was by means of prizes and sanctions according to their performance. For example, Coparmex and some of the academic institutions established a system of assigning grades to legislators indicating good or bad performance. This caused great discontent and division among legislators and was soon cancelled. In 2004, Canacintra established the Premio Águila Canacintra al Mérito Legislativo (Canacintra Eagle Award for Legislative Merit) given to legislators and other

6

232

The 1982 crisis was a debt crisis that meant annual inflation of 100%, a large fiscal deficit, and absence of loans for financing investments and capital flights.

Policy analysis and public policy in the private sector

government officials for outstanding performance and based on the decision of an independent jury. Business organizations relate to the various political parties with varying degrees of ease, although they do have relationships with all of them. Coparmex and its business centers in the states have more affinity with legislators from the PAN. This is because of their similar ideological stance and because of the part played by PAN in raising the political consciousness of businesspeople in the various states in the early 1980s (Arriola, 1988b). Concamin has more in common with PRI legislators, as its creation, formation and development was shaped by governments coming out of the Revolution. However, these business organizations make a great effort to remain non-partisan and aim their actions at legislators from all parties. The Canacintra comprises the largest number and diversity of industrialists, in general representing small and medium-sized businesses, and was very close to the state during the time of industrial development, receiving government protection from outside competition for four decades (Shadlen, 2004, 2006). Some of its past presidents have made the leap from business to politics, within the PRI in the case of deputies and legislators in the Assembly of Mexico City, and even in one case as candidate for the PRD (Democratic Revolution Party) for the governorship of the State of Mexico (Yeidckol Polevnsky in 2005). Like the other organizations, Canacintra based its lobbying power on human resources provided by affiliated businessmen. Its commission of legislative liaison was created in 2002 and was initially made up of 20 businessmen from various sectors who developed strategies and proposals for lobbying. Large Mexican and foreign businesses now need to have links with legislators and have their own negotiators. The interests of these businesses are so important that firms need to deploy diverse resources in order to lobby Congress directly through individual professionals or groups of five, 10 or 15 people constituted ad hoc, rather than going through the lobbying channels of the chambers. Businesses such as Cemex, Vitro, Grupo Modelo, Televisa, Televisión Azteca, and Teléfonos de México, and various transnational companies doing business in Mexico, such as Philip Morris and Pfeizer, have created teams of staff with technical and political expertise to carry out institutional relations. The profiles of experts in institutional relations, with experience of lobbying the executive branch, the legislative and other government institutions, have certain characteristics in common. They have experience of working in government, political sensitivity, and university qualifications in the areas of law, business administration, economy, communications, sociology, international affairs or political science. These experts have been educated in private universities (such as Tecnológico de Monterrey, Universidad Iberoamericana) as well as in public institutions (National Autonomous University of Mexico [UNAM], El Colegio de México). There are also professional lobbyists who offer experience, contacts and expertise. They also need to have political experience and a technical background. They make up approximately 20 lobbying offices that were either created exprofesso 233

Policy analysis in Mexico

or have their origins in former consultancies. Employees comprise former public servants (ex-ministers of state, or top-level party officials), directors or employees of professional offices in various fields, general directors, deputies and senators. In 2000, the Asociación Nacional de Profesionales del Cabildeo (National Association of Professionals in Lobbying) was founded, with 18 associates. The issues brought before Congress vary in nature, depending on the political situation and social actors. The way in which organizations establish ties and promote bills also varies. In the case of businessmen, the CCE is in charge of picking, processing and promoting bills and proposals that have the full consensus of the chambers and associations made up of a variety of businesspeople from many sectors, economic activities, regions and sizes. CCE has special relations with parliamentary groups and with presidents of the various commissions of Congress. On individual matters and issues where positions may vary, each chamber and association carries out its own lobbying. Matters on which there is full consensus and that are a top priority for the Coordinating Council7 are structural reforms and other legislative issues. Former public officials who enter businesses Changes in the ruling parties have provided new professional opportunities for former officials of both the PRI and PAN governments, who have found themselves without a job (Alba Vega, 2008). Many factors have played a part in enabling these former officials to alternate between jobs in the public sector and private business, to become consultants to national or foreign businesses, form part of the corporate structure or create their own consulting agencies. The factors are many and varied: the experience they have gained in weathering economic crises; their professional training in Mexico and the US; their knowledge of strategic affairs and public administration; their political contacts with legislators and highlevel officials; their ability to obtain government contracts for carrying out work in infrastructure or the rights to television broadcasting; and their experience of designing and implementing public policies that favor the private sector. All of these characteristics are highly prized by businesses for various reasons, such as enabling them to exert pressure on firms that have taken advantage of monopolies in Mexico, to gain access to the executive and legislative branches, to obtain strategic information, and to promote public policies in their interests. This passage from the public to the private sector, which is a common practice in the US and which has influenced former officials in Mexico, has not traditionally been the case in Mexico and has met with resistance by critics who believe that it could create situations of conflict of interest. There are cases of former high-level government officials who have joined private businesses that previously received benefits directly from said officials. These former officials are often seen as agents 7

234

Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (Business Coordinating Council), Prioridades Legislativas (Legislative Priorities), March 2005.

Policy analysis and public policy in the private sector

at the service of big business in a country with one of the highest levels of social inequality in Latin America (Esquivel, 2015).

Conclusion During the 20th century, relations between state and business oscillated between conflict and collaboration and this was reflected in two types of organization that came into being. On one hand, there were the chambers and confederations, formed at the invitation of the government, and consulted by the official organs designing economic policies related to business. On the other hand, there was another kind of institution, created during times of conflict by the most powerful businessmen. These organizations were more autonomous and independent of the government. They were designed to make their interests known and represented more effectively, and to confront government decisions considered to be harmful to their businesses. Such organizations included Coparmex (created in Monterrey in 1929, and later extending its membership throughout the country to house all kinds of businessmen); and CMHN, created in 1962 by an elite group of businessmen in the context of the Cuban revolution and at the height of the Cold War, in order to influence government decisions on economic matters. Later on, in 1976, in response to the growing intevention of the state in the economy, CMHN created, and at critical moments throughout the remainder of century led, the CCE, aimed at unifying in one elite organization a group of businesses from all sectors, although here the interests of big business were over-represented and those of small business under-represented. Moreover, many businesspeople who became politicized through Coparmex and other business organizations such as the chambers of commerce, beginning with the expropriation of the banks in 1982 (Hernández, 1988; Elizondo, 1993), decided to leave their businesses in order to actively participate in party politics and thus contribute to a system of alternating political party rule in Mexico. Representing first PAN and later PRI, they competed for and won posts as mayors, local and federal deputies, senators and governors, until one of their number, Vicente Fox, won the presidency in 2000. On another note, over time small research centers affiliated to business organizations or large corporations sprang up, analyzing socioeconomic and political realities in Mexico and beyond. Thus businesspeople had the means to form arguments and place pressure on legislators to influence public policymaking. They also hired professional consultants and domestic and foreign organizations to carry out specific studies on trade agreements and in various other fields, fiscal, commercial, technological, labor and financial. This information enables businesspeople to make decisions that benefit their businesses and influence public policies. Although they are small, these research centers—which include those created by Banamex and Bancomer, and the CEESP, affiliated to the Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (Business Coordinating Council), along with many other consultancy agencies and NGOs—manage to influence public opinion, in the business sector and their own organizations as well as in government, thanks 235

Policy analysis in Mexico

to the economic and political power enjoyed by businesses, and to their influence over the media, which disseminates the results of the research centers’ analysis and activities through all available means. Furthermore, many former government officials take advantage of their experience, expertise, information and political networks and contacts in order to work directly for large Mexican and foreign businesses or to open their own consultancies within the framework of economic liberalization and political change. In fact, the real division of power in Mexico towards the end of the 20th century (1997) led big businesses and business organizations to diversify their negotiation and lobbying activities, which up until then had been controlled by the president and various ministries of the executive power. Since the division of power came into effect, it has become crucial for businessmen and their organizations to have links with Congress and to this end they have created networks of politicians, former public employees and lobbying professionals through which to conduct institutional relations (Lerdo de Tejada and Godina Herrera, 2004). Through these channels they communicate with deputies and senators (some of whom represent them directly) and propose public policies that are discussed in the chambers of the deputies and in those of the senators. References Alba Vega, C. (2005) ‘Las relaciones entre los empresarios y el Estado’, in I. Bizberg and L. Meyer (eds) Una historia contemporánea de México: actores. Tomo II, Mexico City: Océano, pp 157-200. Alba Vega, C. (2010) ‘Empresarios, política y sociedad en América Latina: el caso de México’, in Política & Sociedade, Revista de Sociología Política, Florianópolis, Brasil: UFSC, vol 9, no 17, pp 13-67. Arriola C. (1988) Los empresarios y el Estado 1970-1982, Mexico City: UNAM - Ed. Porrúa Arriola, C. (1988) ‘La Concamin’, in Carlos Alba-Vega (ed), Historia y desarrollo industrial de México, Mexico City: CONCAMIN, pp 233-275. Ayerdi, F.G. and Reveles, F. (eds) (2007) Sistema Político Mexicano. Antología de Lecturas, Mexico City: UNAM, p 359. Originally published in Ortega Ortiz, R.Y. (ed) (2001) Caminos a la Democracia, Mexico City: El Colegio de México, pp 209-39. Aziz Nassif, A. (1994) Chihuahua: historia de una alternativa, Mexico City: La jornada / CIESAS. Bizberg, I. (2003) ‘Auge y decadencia del corporativismo’, in I. Bizberg and L. Meyer (eds) Una historia contemporánea de México: transformaciones y permanencias, Mexico City: D.F., Océano, pp 313-366. Briz Garizurieta, M. (2002) El Consejo Mexicano de Hombres de Negocios, Surgimiento y Consolidación, Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

236

Policy analysis and public policy in the private sector

Briz Garizurieta, M. (2006) ‘El Consejo Mexicano de Hombres de Negocios en la transición hacia un nuevo modelo de desarrollo’, PhD thesis, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Camp, Roderic, C. (1989) Entrepreneurs and politics in twentieth century Mexico, New York/ Oxford: Oxford University Press. Carton de Grammont, H. (1990) Los empresarios agrícolas y el Estado. Sinaloa, 1893-1984, Mexico City: IIS-UNAM. Cerutti, M. (2000) Propietarios, empresarios y empresa en el norte de México: Monterrey: de 1848 a la globalización, Mexico City: Siglo Veintiuno, p. 262. Concheiro, E. (1996) El gran acuerdo. Gobierno y empresarios en la modernización salinista, Mexico City: Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, UNAM / ERA. Elizondo, C. (1993) ‘The making of a new alliance: the privatization of the banks in Mexico’, Documentos de Trabajo, Estudios Políticos, Mexico City: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas. Esquivel, G. (2015) Extreme Inequality in Mexico. Concentration of Economic and Political Power, Mexico City: OXFAM-Mexico. Guadarrama Olivera, R. (2001) Los empresarios norteños en la sociedad y la política del México moderno. Sonora /1929-1988, 2’’1, Mexico City: El Colegio de México, El Colegio de Sonora, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. Hernández, R. (1988) Empresarios, banca y Estado. El conflicto durante el gobierno de José López Portillo, 1976-1982, Mexico City: FLACSO / Miguel Ángel Porrúa. Labastida, J. (1986) (ed) Grupos económicos y organizaciones empresariales en México, Mexico City: Alianza Editorial Mexicana-UNAM. Lerdo de Tejada, S. and Godina Herrera, L. A. (2004) El lobbying en México, Mexico City: Miguel Ángel Porrúa. Luna Ledesma, M. (1992) Los empresarios y el cambio político. México, 1970-1987, Mexico City: IIS UNAM / ERA. Montesinos, R. (2007) El discurso político de las organizaciones empresariales. La transición mexicana desde la teoría de los sistemas, Mexico City: UAM-I, Nuncio, A. (1982) El Grupo Monterrey, Mexico City: Editorial Nueva Imagen, p. 239, Ortega Riquelme, J.M. (2006) ‘Acuerdos tripartitas y gobernanza económica en el México de fin de siglo’, Foro Internacional, vol XLVI, no 2, p 184. Ortiz Rivera, A. (2000) ‘Consejo Mexicano de Hombres de Negocios: ¿Poder tras la silla presidencial?’, Master’s dissertation, Instituto Dr. José María Luis Mora, Mexico City. Pozas, M. A. (2002) Estrategia internacional de la gran empresa mexicana en la década de los noventa, Mexico City: El Colegio de México, Center for Sociological Studies. Puga, C. (2004) Los Eempresarios Organizados y el Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte, Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México/ Miguel Ángel Porrúa. Reyes Ponce, A. (1979) Coparmex. Su Origen y Desarrollo. Hacia los Próximos 50 Años, Mexico City: DF: Coparmex.

237

Policy analysis in Mexico

Salas-Porras, A. and Padilla Bonilla, S. (2013) ‘Los centros de pensamiento mexicanos y su conexión con las élites y los regímenes de conocimiento en América del Norte’, in M, Luna Ledesma and A, Salas-Porras Soulé (eds.) Cómo se gobierna América del Norte? Estrategias, instituciones, y políticas públicas, Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, pp 95-144. Schneider, B. R. (1990) ‘La política de privatización en Brasil y México: variaciones sobre un tema estatista’, Foro internacional, vol 31, no 1 (JulySeptember), pp 5-37. Shadlen, K. C. (2004) Democratization without Representation, The Politics of Small Industry in Mexico, Pennsylvania: Penn State Press. Tirado Segura, R. (2004) ‘Los industriales, la política y el fin del proteccionismo industrial’, PhD thesis, Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Torres, B. (1984) Historia de la Revolución Mexicana, 1940-1952. Hacia la Utopía Industrial, Mexico City: El Colegio de México. Valdés Ugalde, F. (1997) Autonomía y Legitimidad. Los empresarios, la política y el Estado en México, Mexico City: Siglo XXI. Vellinga, M. (1979) Industrialización, Burguesía y Clase Obrera en México, Mexico City: Siglo XXI Zabludowski, G. (1984) Proposiciones para el estudio de las relaciones entre Estado y empresarios durante el periodo presidencial de Miguel Alemán’, Estudios Políticos, vol 3, no 1 (January-March). Zapata Novoa, J. (1989) La muerte de Fundidora. Reconversión de la cultura industrial mexicana, Mexico City: Noriega Editores / Editorial Limusa.

238

FOURTEEN

Policy analysis, the political game and institutional change in the labor market Graciela Bensusan and Ilan Bizberg

Introduction The study of labor policies in this chapter diverges from the other aspects of public policy dealt with in this work for various reasons. It is a fact that public policy affects social sectors and interests that seek to exploit or impede its implementation, and, as such, it is always modified in practice. Nevertheless, in the context of weak institutionalization such as the Mexican labor environment, the gap between the intended and the actual effects of public policy tends to be greater. This is accentuated by the fact that labor policies directly affect social actors with welldefined conflicting interests and with the ability to take action, support or veto these measures, particularly when they are immersed in corporatist relationships that prevent the expression of their differences when adopting such policies. The problem that public policies face in our society lies not only in the difficulties in finding and imposing a coherent design from the decision makers’ point of view, or in unfulfilled expectations. It also lies in the obstacles they face in their implementation. We therefore consider the most suitable analysis perspective to be that of the sociology of public action, which views the implementation of policies as “a vast interactive game” in which political relations come into play. “Public action is a power relation, it is inseparable from the domination of authority” (Lascoumes y Le Gales, 2014, pp 28-29), and, by extension, it is therefore inseparable from alignment with, and resistence to, this domination. Rather than studying the lack of coherence and rationality of decision makers (Lascoumes and Le Gales, 2014), we focus on political and social actors, their interest in public policies in the labor sphere, and their capacity (or lack thereof) to change or maintain the status quo. In this sphere of public policy, the corporatist nature of labor relations between the state, trade unions and employers is not very compatible with the use of political analysis as a way of orienting the positions of actors facing institutional change. In particular, in the predominant dependence of trade unions on the government, and under the new economic model designed to promote exports, the increasing pressure on them to respond to firms’ needs, weakens (if not annuls) the quality of representation. It also leaves a narrow margin for adopting autonomous measures that respond to the interest of union members or to implement actions resulting from research. On the contrary, under a democratic governance scheme in the labor sphere with truly 239

Policy analysis in Mexico

representative unions, political analysis would help to legitimize the decisions that are taken, especially when they do not coincide with the immediate interests of their members. In addition, political analysis increases their strategic capacity (in other words, chooses the best possible course of action), and complements other power resources that have become obsolete or difficult to exploit in the new economic model. For this reason, in this chapter we analyze two public policy cases where the logic of social and political actors framed in a corporatist arrangement and the consequences of the way in which they make decisions on the design and implementation of the policies at play can be seen. On the one hand, we have the political parties and the federal government, both of whom play a fundamental role in the two public policy areas selected: labor and education.1 On the other hand, we have corporatist and independent trade unions, employer organizations or those with an interest in these areas of public policy (such as Mexicanos Primero, in the case of educational reform, and Mexican Employers’ Confederation, COPARMEX [Confederación Patronal de la República Mexicana], in the case of LFT [federal labor law] reform). These reforms were formally enshrined by the federal legislative branch: the labor reform was approved in November 2012, a few days before the change of presidency, and the educational reform (constitutional and legal) was approved in 2013. Both of these processes were linked to the signing of the Pact for Mexico in December 2012 between the three most important political parties, so the November 2012 labor reform can be seen as a test of the potential advantages of this political agreement. It is in fact a precedent for what would subsequently occur in the legislative branch with the education reform and other changes approved in 2013 and 2014.2 In the case of the labor reform, we focus on an analysis of its political dimension, that is, what hinges on the demand for better democratization and transparency. With the educational reform, we focus on the way that the supposed tension surrounding the position that trade unionism occupied in the educational system was resolved, the defense of labor stability and the demands for the evaluation of teachers’ performance as a condition for staying employed. In conclusion, the two case studies discussed in this chapter revolve around the state corporatist arrangement that has been implemented in Mexico since the 1

We include the educational reform in our discussion of labor policies because its most important aspects refer precisely to employment—on the one hand, to the change in the role that teachers’ unions have played in the education system and, on the other, to the conditions relating to the appointment, tenure and promotion of teachers.

2

The preferential presidential initiative, used for the first time, together with the consensus of the representatives of the other parties, led to the 2012 labor reform being guaranteed by a majority in both chambers. This was necessary to change the status quo in areas of great importance to the country at a constitutional and legal level, in spite of a government divided by the July 2012 elections, and to address issues that had been generating controversy and strong resistance from diverse sectors of society.

240

Policy analysis, the political game and institutional change in the labor market

1930s. Although corporatist trade unionism has lost ground and political influence, due both to the effects of the liberal economic model applied in the country from the 1980s and the electoral democratization process that was undertaken in those years (Bizberg, 2003, p 315; Bensusán and Middlebrook, 2013, p 41), it is necessary to understand why it has survived, how its decisions are taken and what the consequences are. We are especially interested in the obstacles that this arrangement poses, given the need to find harmonious outlets for the tensions that are experienced in the labor world as a result of the expectations of the parties involved. We also explore the consequences of this arrangement on the implementation of public policy, in a context distinguished by a high level of discretion in the enforcement process. The chapter is organized as follows. First, we address public policy and institutional change in the labor world from a policy analysis perspective. Then we analyze selected political processes, taking into account what was at stake, the actors, scenarios and rules by which the different expectations were processed, and the way in which those factors influenced the quality of the politics adopted, diminishing their effectiveness, credibility and durability. We finish with our conclusions.

The political game, institutional change and union corporatism To begin with, a study carried out by Scartascini et al (2011) allows us to analyze the “political game” in which policy formation and implementation is carried out, understanding this process to involve the interaction of different political actors in diverse scenarios. The importance of the public policy formulation process lies in the fact that it depends not only on its content but also on all of its “external characteristics”: stability, adaptability or inflexibility, the interest that promotes it (public or private), the quality of the implementation, credibility and degree of application (Scartascini et al, 2011, pp 2-13). In our cases, it is necessary to attend to the preferences, expectations and incentives of union and employer organizations as well as their power resources and strategies in the political game. Both have powers of veto and influence the process of policymaking indirectly through their links with political parties and specialized organizations (foundations, non-governmental organizations, and so on) or directly, in cases where they have their own legislators. They do this both in formal and informal spaces, by means of street demonstrations that either support or resist change or through the media. The two cases selected involve processes of institutional change. The work of Levitsky and Murillo (2013), concerning the construction of institutions in weak institutional settings with low enforcement and stability levels, exhibits different possible paths of institutional change in the labor world. Their thesis, which contrasts in part with that of Mahoney and Thelen concerning developed countries (2010), is that in Latin America, where actors do not expect that rules will be obeyed or that they will endure, change is not slow or gradual but rather frequent and radical. This pattern of change is due to the way institutions started, 241

Policy analysis in Mexico

given their weak origins—they imposed skewed solutions or were at the mercy of inconsistencies between decision makers and de facto powers. The latter do not have power of veto in the formal decision-making process, which may result in decisions that fail to address their needs, and generate incentives for formal players to design rules whose purpose is to take away power from the informal players (2013, p 95). This is exemplified in our analysis of the education reform, which addresses the intentions of reformers and the consequences of their actions. Levitsky and Murillo help us to understand why ambitious Mexican labor institutions failed to change in contrasting economic and political landscapes. They warn that the margin of discretion that public authority exercises in weak institutional settings allows institutions to resort to different options when the rules are challenged by powerful actors: they can try to reform them, look for loopholes in order to reinterpret them or simply not enforce them. If the institutional environment were stronger and if such manipulation of the legal order were impossible, the best way to have lasting and stable institutions would be to include informal players in the design process, so as to prevent the new structures from being dismantled. The Mexican context, however, as Coparmex claims was the case up until the end of the 1940s, left open other less costly political options than that of overturning article 123 of the Constitution, which, in 1917, established labor rights. In contrast, the low level of labor norm compliance has been the most frequent way of ensuring acceptance of a written or formal reform (Bensusán 2006b, p 394-395). To finish, we consider some studies on the role that Mexican state corporatism has played in the political game and social control (Bizberg, 1990, 2003; Bensusán and Middlebrook, 2013). This arrangement was implemented first as a form of union control by the state, and of the workers by the unions, giving huge margins of discretion to the government. The idea (very well known) of the creators of the Mexican political system in the 1920s and 1930s, was to substitute strong men for social organizations. In fact, corporatism was an agreement by which the political domination of the Partido de la Revolución Mexicana (Party of the Mexican Revolution, or PRM) and the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI) was accepted in exchange for political benefits (for the leaders) and social and economic benefits (for the wage workers, mainly in large state-owned companies). Second, corporatism was a way for both unions and the government to earn legitimacy among workers: the benefits (in terms of employment, social protection and wages) that unionism secured resulted in labor support, which was shared with the government and the regime, of which unions and their leaders formed an essential part. Third, this system was functional as per the Industrialización por Sustitución de Importaciones (import substitution industrialization, or ISI) model, inasmuch as corporatism implied a form (as per Foucault) of procuring workers’ discipline, based on exchange: labor discipline gave way to productivity increases and economic growth, which in turn led to an increase in employment levels, wages and social protection. This arrangement 242

Policy analysis, the political game and institutional change in the labor market

converted a rural population into an urban one, and enabled a constant increase in consumption, productivity, employment and wages. This scheme functioned as long as growth benefits were constant and resulted in better jobs and higher salaries—essentially in greater life expectancy—although millions of workers were excluded because of the lax application of labor law or because they were not salaried. It stopped functioning in the 1980s and 1990s when the debt crisis erupted and the ISI was abandoned, and when the regime became more democratic and the corporatist-authoritarian regime of the PRI ended. From this moment on, corporatism first becomes irrelevant in ensuring the domination and legitimacy of the authoritarian regime. Second, it breaks the virtuous circle between worker discipline, productivity increase and wages. This is because a new model was implemented in Mexico, whereby productivity and the growth of the economy was no longer reliant only on worker discipline but on an international outsourcing scheme and direct foreign investment based on wage levels (Bizberg, 1990, 2003). The currently dysfunction in the corporatist arrangement results from the fact that it only fulfills one of its original functions: that of ensuring union and worker control. In this context, the unions (with some exceptions) have lost their capacity to represent workers while at the same time continuing to be an obstacle for the independent collective action of workers and the expression of redistributive conflicts. They thereby continue to win over employers and the government while failing society as a whole, since the labor market today is one of the main sources of poverty and inequality in Mexico (Bensusán and Middlebrook, 2013, p 181). While corporatism no longer guarantees legitimacy, public policy measures are viewed as unilateral and are biased, leading to resistance from independent unions and social movements and generating expectations among their supporters without much basis, which affects the credibility of reforms. A question to be considered at this point is how Mexican unions make their decisions in the face of institutional change. Despite the general weakening of structural power (due to the increase in the informality and precariousness of the labor market) and of the associational power of workers (due to the denaturalization of the representative function, the withdrawing of government support and the lessening political weight of the unions), the unions did not make an effort to obtain new endogenous power resources, as did the unions of Brazil, France and the United States.

243

Policy analysis in Mexico

A study by Bensusán (2006a) on four research centers that depended on a union from the end of the 1990s to 2006 notes that there has been a marked deterioration in their capacities:3 Structures are much more vertical with respect to the needs of the organization that supports them; in other words, they do not have the minimum autonomy necessary to generate research products or training courses that respond to the medium and long term needs of the organizations and they have fewer economic and human resources to perform the tasks entrusted to them. The decline … is confirmed by the disappearance of one of the centers studied initially, because of conflicts within the sponsoring union (the Institute for Union Studies and Social Security [IESSS]-National Union of Social Security Workers [SNTSS]) and the difficulty in initiating a new center related to “new unionism” (National Center of Strategic Studies [CEEN]National Union of Workers [UNT]). (Bensusán, 2006a, p 2) Those centers that do not depend on any particular union and offer counselling advice to different labor organizations4 also demonstrate results that are not very encouraging, with problems that overwhelm their potential users: Increasingly fewer unions are interested in training, the trade union groups that they send are generally the same ones, the issues brought up have not changed significantly in the last few years and there is no permanent interest by union leaders in training or using research products in collective bargaining or in the definition of their strategies. (Bensusán, 2006a, p 2). 3

IEESA (Instituto de Estudios Educativos y Sindicales de América [Institute for Education and Union Studies of America]); SNTE (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación [National Education Workers’ Union]); CEE (Centro de Estudios y Estadística [Centre for Research and Statistics]); ASPA (Asociación Sindical de Pilotos Aviadores [Airline Pilots’ Union]); CES (Coordinación de Capacitación del Centro de Estudios [Study Center for Training Coordination]); CTM (Confederación de Trabajadores de México [Confederation of Mexican Workers]); SC (Secretaría de Capacitación [Training Secretary]); CROC (Confederación Revolucionaria de Obreros y Campesinos [Revolutionary Confederation of Workers and Peasants]); IESSS (Instituto de Estudios Sindicales y de la Seguridad Social [Institute for Union Studies and Social Security]); SNTSS (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores del Seguro Social [National Union of Social Security Workers]); CEEN (Centro de Estudios Estratégicos Nacionales [Center for Strategic National Studies]); UNT (Unión Nacional de Trabajadores [National Union of Workers]).

4

CONAMPROS (Comité Nacional Mixto de Protección al Salario [National Joint Committee for Wage Protection]); IET (Instituto de Estudios del Trabajo [Labor Studies Institute]); CENPROS (Centro Nacional de Promoción Social [National Centre for Social Promotion]); UOM (Universidad Obrera de México [Workers’ University of Mexico]); CILAS (Centro de Investigación Laboral y Asesoría Sindical [Center for Labor Research and Union Advisory]).

244

Policy analysis, the political game and institutional change in the labor market

This same study presents the ideas of seven union leaders who have greater autonomy from the government and their employers5 concerning the use of information for making decisions and the creation of units so as to consolidate their organizations. The study reveals that “the leaders considered the information and training to be important but that they were reluctant to participate in external organizations providing this resource to the unions that requested it” (Bensusán, 2006a, p 3). Nor have they requested or used research products to make decisions or enter into negotiations with the employers or the government. They were of the opinion that: [t]he situation of industrial relations has not changed with the new party government (2000–2006) since the same institutional practices continue to limit independent union action and intimidate activists who promote genuine unionism in different sectors of industry and services. This situation, made worse by the effects of the US recession on economic growth, would explain why it has also not been possible to earmark time and resources for strategic activities, where the concern for the defense of the rights acquired in previous collective agreements predominates, although new employment is no longer created. (Bensusán, 2006a, p 3) The bottom line is that trade unions and workers’ unions find strength and viability in the short and long term in the kind of relationship that they establish with labor authorities and employers, rather than through the formation of innovative and democratic leadership and union officials with the capacity to select and implement new strategies. In this way, leaders in both the new and old trade unions continue to basically depend on traditional power resources that become less and less effective.

Case studies A conservative labor reform The guarantees obtained from post-revolutionary governments since the end of the 1940s, resulting in the low and disparate level of compliance with the Mexican labor legal system, explain why employers stopped questioning the state-corporatist arrangement and opposed efforts for true structural reform 5

SNTE; ASPA; SITUAM (Sindicato Independiente de Trabajadores de la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana [Independent Union of Workers of the Autonomous Metropolitan University]); STUNAM (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México [Union of Workers of the National Autonomous University of Mexico]); ASA (Asociación Sindical de Sobrecargos de Aviación [Flight Attendants’ Union]); FAT (Frente Auténtico del Trabajo [Authentic Labor Front]); SME Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas (Mexican Electrical Workers’ Union]). 245

Policy analysis in Mexico

at a constitutional level in this area in 2012. Moreover, the preservation of this arrangement—with tripartite structures in the administration and labor justice spheres—generates no small number of benefits to the authorities, giving them means to intervene in inter-union conflicts and to prevent the emergence of redistributive conflicts. However, the power that unions retain offsets this control, since governments are not able to impose mandatory resolution of strikes. Traditional unions, such as the CTM, entrenched in tripartite structures (with the JFCA [Junta Federal de Conciliación y Arbitraje, Conciliation and Arbitration Board] and the CNSM [Comisión Nacional de Salarios Mínimos, National Minimum Wage Commission]), also profit from this arrangement, because they can block the effective representation of workers within the firm and obtain benefits in kind thanks to their subordination to the employers. The limitations of the LFT reform cannot be understood without considering the economic model and political project of Peña Nieto’s government (and that of his predecessor, under whose government this reform was approved) in terms of political economy. It is clear, on the one hand, that rather than create quality jobs, the labor reform sought to institutionalize the labor market flexibility that had already been accepted in individual and collective employment contracts starting in the 1990s. In contrast, we concentrate on the attempts to protect the old corporatist arrangements, based on controlling and corrupting leaders at all costs. This arrangement has allowed the government over the past three decades to sustain a restrictive wage policy combined with notable labor peace, regardless of whether this arrangement is dysfunctional for society as a whole. In this section we are particularly interested in analyzing the political or democratic dimension of the labor agenda reform, which was promoted from the left of the political spectrum by the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD) and the independent labor federation the Unión Nacional de Trabajadores (UNT), and, to a lesser extent, by President Felipe Calderón. This failed to achieve either transparency among unions or a new arrangement between unions, employers, workers and the state. To simplify the analysis, we focus on one of these reform proposals, surprisingly approved by the Senate, but ultimately rejected by the Chamber of Deputies: the inclusion of articles 388 bis and 390 in the LFT, which called for the fundamental right—in a democracy— of a previous vote of the workers as a condition for deciding on the incumbent union for negotiating the content of collective bargaining agreements. This point, out of all those that were rejected, is the one that would have had the highest potential of transforming union corporatism. What was at stake The political dimension of the reform included: internal democracy in the trade unions by means of secret ballot; transparency (registers of unions, collective agreements and internal regulations of companies); accountability; new possibilities for bilateralism with representation; the right of workers to decide 246

Policy analysis, the political game and institutional change in the labor market

on who should represent them in collective bargaining; and the removal of the exclusion clause. Some progress was made, specifically with regard to the secret ballot and transparency aspects. However, the most important change, which would have initiated a gradual transformation of the union regime, was blocked. What was at stake with the proposal of the PRD legislators was the employers’ ability to pick their counterpart in the process of collective bargaining, which is the very situation that the reform was supposed to change. This is done in conjunction with the labor authorities through collective contracts that protect the employer (instead of protecting the workers). In contrast, maintaining the status quo implied perpetuating a legal regime that gives the head of a registered union (often in the hands of a well-known law firm) the capacity to extort employers and obtain substantial resources in exchange for cancelling the workers’ right to genuine collective bargaining. It should be noted that, in the context of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, legislators from the US Democratic Party, government officials in the federal government’s labor division and representatives of multinational companies in the garment sector have asked Mexico to ratify the International Labour Organization’s Convention 98 on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining and impede such practices by changing and implementing the legislation (Levin, 2015).6 In a nutshell, this reform (in just two articles) would have challenged one of the most detrimental informal practices in the labor sphere, prevalent throughout the economy, which completely perverts the meaning of union representation, preventing unions from identifying and resolving redistributive conflicts and covering up widespread corruption among union leaders, corporatist lawyers and their alleged beneficiaries. The legislative branch The legislative process included two rounds or sets of hearings, in the Chamber of Deputies for the initial proposal and the Senate for the revisions, and lasted for a total of three months from the date when the preferential legislative initiative—a new procedure used for the first time—was presented in the Chamber of Deputies until its enactment by the executive branch on 29 November 2012 and its publication in the official government gazette one day later (LGSPD, 2013). During this process, two legislative coalitions were created: the first, comprising 6

Perhaps as a result of these requirements, in April 2016 President Peña Nieto requested that article 123 of the Constitution and the Federal Labor Law be amended. The main objective of this amendment was to transfer labor justice from the tripartite Conciliation and Arbitration boards to the Judiciary. In addition, an independent body of the executive branch would be created in order to register unions and collective agreements at the national level, and establish the direct and secret vote of workers as a way to elect union leaderships and solve internal union conflicts. This initiative was approved unanimously by the Senate on 13 October 2016. If approved by the Chamber of Deputies, it would lay the basis for a transition to a new labor model in which the executive would have less power to intervene in union affairs, with the result that there would be greater democracy among unions. 247

Policy analysis in Mexico

PRI, PAN (Partido Acción Nacional [National Action Party]), PVEM (Partido Verde Ecologísta de México [Mexican Green Party]) and PANAL (Partido Nueva Alianza [New Alliance Party]), approved the economic changes of the reform, while the second, comprising PAN, PRD, MC (Movimiento Ciudadano [Citizen Movement]) and PT (Partido del Trabajo [Workers Party]), aligned itself with the political dimension, to try to advance the democratization agenda, even though this was not achieved (articles 388 bis and 390).7 The political scope of the reform generated strong debate. In contrast to previous PAN and PRI initiatives, and revisiting some of the proposals of the PRD and UNT (2002, 2010 and 2012), Calderón’s initiative also included proposals relating to democracy, transparency and accountability among the trade unions that the PRI had abandoned and which had been delimited in the PAN initiative of 2010.8 This political aspect of the reform was drastically limited by having to go through the complex two-round legislative process in both chambers. It also limited the economic reach of the initiative. Social and political actors The position of political and social actors varied according to the different dimensions of the reform. Although the UNT rejected job flexibility (a pillar of the economic part of the reform) as outlined in the original initiative, it did support the need for change in terms of democracy, accountability and transparency throughout the whole legislative process. In the final phase, the UNT considered calling for a national strike when it became clear that the PRI and PAN agreements would lead to the approval of the reform with scant advances in the political aspects, while changes in respect of contract flexibility and lower dismissal costs proceeded (Gómez, 2012). The UNT announced that it would promote constitutional challenges and “amparo” (the protection of the individual’s constitutional rights), in order to obviate the effects of the reform, which did happen, albeit without much success. Business organizations played a bigger role as the reform went through the Senate. However, it important to note that they had already managed to influence part of its content by involving their own lawyers in the design of the initiative (Alcalde, 2012). The Congreso del Trabajo (Labor Congress, or CT) and PRI legislators categorically rejected the proposals to advance democracy, transparency and accountability. Instead, they tolerated job flexibility reforms, although they sought to limit them as far as possible since the main function of old trade unionism 7

The PRD voted against it in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The PAN exhibited strange behavior in its voting: for example, in the plenary session on 28 September it voted in favor of the secret, universal and direct vote proposed by Calderón, but finally voted against it in the 8 November session; see Vera (2014, p 92).

8

These were the free, universal and secret votes in the union elections and recounts to determine who the head of the collective contracts would be, or the right of workers to refuse union fees if they felt their leaders were not being held to account.

248

Policy analysis, the political game and institutional change in the labor market

had been, precisely, to help employers evade the rules that impose restrictions on them. This position was not the result of political analysis but simply the defense of a regime that guaranteed them not only their survival but also huge economic privileges in exchange for sustaining an economic model based on low wages and the deterioration of the employment conditions of their members. The educational reform9 The period February to September 2013 saw the “fast track” approval of constitutional (articles 3 and 73) and legal reforms in education (concerning the General Law of Professional Teachers’ Service [LGSPD]; the Law of the National Institute of Educational Evaluation; and the General Law of Education). This process unfolded through a campaign by public opinion-makers to legitimize a radical and ambitious change in the National Education System that aimed to penalize teachers for poor performance measured through standardized student evaluations. This reform was a change imposed “from above” with a “unilateral” perspective, focusing on the “evaluation” of teachers and on negative incentives (dismissal) rather than on positive ones (recognition, career advancement, and so on) and, what is worse, without the necessary consultation or guarantees to achieve the acceptance of the teachers (Arnaut, 2013, p 43; Santizo, 2013, p 23). One of the aims of this reform was to exclude the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) and the other unions in the sector from the teachers’ recruitment, promotion and tenure process, and reduce their participation in the negotiation of working conditions, thereby separating the “professional” from the labor aspects in education (while maintaining the legal framework). Nothing was however done to promote greater transparency and democratization of the representation of teachers’ interests. Consequently, according to the radical Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajdores de la Educación (National Coordination of Education Workers, or CNTE), a reform aimed at promoting merit as a criterion for recruitment, promotion and job stability (LGSPD, article 39), is expected to operate in a context where corruption, verticality and the many vices of the corporatist arrangement will remain in force—all for the sake of maintaining the governability of the system, at least in the transition phase to a new arrangement. Our view is that the short- and medium-term effects of this reform are linked principally to the government’s interest in facilitating a radical transformation of the labor model in the sector, weakening the trade unions’ capacity to exercise clientelistic control over the teachers, without fostering their democratization, and allowing central government to regain the functions that had been taken over by the states in 1992. Improvements in the quality of education are more of a bargaining tool that has helped gain support in many sectors of society but that 9

For an analysis of the different aspects of the educational reform, see Del Castillo and Valenti (2013). 249

Policy analysis in Mexico

may or may not be achieved in the long run, depending, among other factors, on arrangements to retrain teachers who have failed their evaluations, something that is vague in the new legislation.10 What was at stake The credibility, stability and implementation of the educational reform, urgently needed in order to tackle complex problems in the educational system, is threatened because of the flawed process behind its design and the implications of the measures put forward. Different analysts agree that the reform is of a predominantly labor-oriented and administrative nature. It is focused on the professionalization of the teacher and on the redistribution of power between federal and local authorities, and between these authorities and the SNTE, together with other minority sector trade unions. There is no denying that the clear demarcation between the issues facing labor unions and the issues facing teaching professionals, the limiting role of the SNTE (and the CNTE), and the institutionalization of evaluation could be indispensable steps towards the provision of a true educational reform in the future. Nevertheless, it remains the case that these changes are impossible to attain in the way suggested by the reform. In this regard, the credibility of the reform is compromised as well as the political feasibility of introducing the necessary corrective measures in the short or medium term. As Arnaut (2013, pp 45-6) cautions, the changes will take decades to improve the performance of teachers and even longer to improve educational quality, since as has been pointed out by the specialists, this depends on a variety of factors, mainly the socio-demographic, economic and cultural characeristics of the students. The doubts surrounding the importance of evaluation and the negative incentives as a means of improving students’ learning emerge in the face of evidence that around 70% of the variance in educational achievement is explained by factors relating to students’ individual and family circumstances (Fernández and Blanco, 2004, p 13 & 24). Furthermore, the remaining 30% is distributed between the school and the classroom, with some contributing factors that are even irrelevant for teachers in certain states (Tapia, 2013, p 150 & 187). In presupposing the centrality of teachers in the learning process, it is worth noting that the results of investigations that question this assumption have been ignored or put to one side. Perhaps the haste and the focus of the reform result from the fact that it follows the approach of various organizations interested in education, such as Mexicanos Primero, which insisted on the centrality of teachers’ evaluation with punitive consequences for poor performance and put pressure on teachers to impede its deliberation.

10

250

See Guevara and Backhoff, 2015, for analysis of the difficulties in implementing educational reform.

Policy analysis, the political game and institutional change in the labor market

It also has to be said that the reform considers other measures linked to educational performance, such as nutritional deficiencies in highly marginalized zones and improvements in infrastructure, such as the establishment of full-time schools, initially in indigenous areas, and the provision of computer equipment to children in the fifth and sixth grades throughout the whole country. Some of these projects have been completed to some degree. Nevertheless, poverty levels have increased in the two years following the adoption of the educational reform, exacerbating the learning difficulties of a large percentage of children (Coneval, 2015) at a time when a cutback in costs in the education sector has been announced for 2016.11 The legislative branch and political parties President Peña Nieto’s educational reform initiative arrived at the Chamber of Deputies on 10 December 2012, 10 days after the signing of the Pact for Mexico. Just three days later, both the general and specific issues of the initiative were approved, including five minor changes, such as the creation of full-time schools. A total of 360 deputies voted in favor—all the PRI and PVEM deputies and all but one PAN deputy, and a divided PRD (40 in favor and 31 against) and PT (eight in favor and three against).12 The submission of the three secondary law educational reform initiatives and the approval of two of them—the General Education Law and the Law of the Instituto Nacional de Evaluación Educativa (National Institute for the Evaluation of Education, or INEE)—by the Chamber of Deputies and Senate took only 10 days (13 to 23 August 2013). The LGSPD initiative was at the center of negotiations between legislators and the CNTE, which allowed for certain changes to be made, resulting in its approval a few days later (2 September in the Chamber of Deputies and 3 September in the Senate). In short, the Pact for Mexico operated seamlessly and encouraged the adoption of a radical and ambitious constitutional and legislative reform, similar to the best moments of the old Mexican presidential system. The social actors The SNTE, after the detention of its honorary president, Elba Esther Gordillo, was wholly disciplined in terms of complying with the educational reform, which is not to say that there was not great disagreement among teachers, especially in those states where the Alianza por la Calidad Educativa (Alliance for Educational 11

Based on preliminary estimates of education spending cuts in the 2016 budget; see www. educacionfutura.org/el-recorte-presupuestal-tocara-el-sector-educativo.

12

See http://comunicacion.senado.gob.mx/index.php/periodo-ordinario/boletines/5047boletin-0767-aprueba-senado-con-cambios-minuta-sobre-reforma-educativa-y-la-devuelvea-diputados.html. 251

Policy analysis in Mexico

Quality, or ACE) (2008) had little impact.13 Unlike her predecessors, the arrested leader had hardly ever opposed a rigid veto of the educational reforms. Although she considered herself a promoter of the autonomy of the INEE and agreed to institutionalize the teachers’ evaluation process at a constitutional level, she justifiably expressed her opposition to the fact that teachers’ tenures would depend on the results of this evaluation. Although, in order to overcome resistance, it had been insisted that the reform did not have a punitive character, it was exactly this feature that unnecessarily instilled fear among teachers and legitimized the radical position of the CNTE when faced with the inaction of the SNTE. The CNTE was excluded from all negotiations on the scope and content of the reform although it did participate in dialogue forums with legislators relating to the LGSPD. Nevertheless, it expressed its non-conformity through intensive demonstrations in different Mexican states (with its strongest presence in Oaxaca, Michoacan, Guerrero and Chiapas). Partial strikes (in Quintana Roo, Hidalgo, Jalisco and Baja California) and other symbolic actions in the form of different protests were carried out over practically the entire Mexican territory with the exception of around six states. The excluded actors had previously been uncooperative and had created various obstacles during the implementation of the reform (perhaps more than had been expected), such as refusing to participate in the education census or inscribe their members in the evaluation process. They even used force in order to prevent its implementation, as happened in Chiapas.14 In spite of the wearing down of the CNTE, in particular Section 22 in Oaxaca subsequent to the restructuring of the State Institute of Public Education in Oaxaca, other actors have recently joined the protests, such as the National Executive Democratic Committee of the SNTE, which started a strike during the 2015–2016 teaching cycle against the punitive character of the educational reform. The authorship by Mexicanos Primero and the Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económicos (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD) of many of the criteria contained in the reform was one of the most questioned aspects of its critics (Goche, 2014). The truth is that documents such as Ahora es Cuándo (Now is When), published in September 2012, contained recommendations that aligned with the presidential initiatives (evaluation, teachers’ professionalization, improvements in education quality, government direction, autonomy of schools, and so on), even though the heads of Mexicanos Primero felt that their considerations went further than those proposed by the government.

13

The ACE had already introduced contests as mechanisms for entry to teaching, limiting the automatic appointment of those completing courses at teachers’ training college and restricting the practice of inheriting positions, making the most headway in states such as Aguascalientes, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosí among others; see Bensusán and Tapia (2013b).

14

CNN Mexico, 19 October 2015.

252

Policy analysis, the political game and institutional change in the labor market

The Results Although the labor reform is credited with providing more opportunities for worker representation in the mixed training and productivity commissions, if unions are to benefit from this they would need to go back to being true representatives of the interests of the workers and coordinate themselves at different levels to counteract the assymetry of power wielded by employers. In such circumstances, these spaces could be an opportunity to ensure that industrial upgrading, a result of the restructuring, would result in social upgrading, in such a way that increases in productivity would be associated with higher wages and better labor conditions. However, in the absence of trade union revival, worker representation will be controlled by firms. The labor reform initiative and the reform that was finally approved limited the LFT, because of the consensus between the PRI, PAN, business organizations and the allied trade unions to avoid a constitutional reform. This permitted the tripartite institutions that supported the corporatist arrangement—JFCA and the CNSM—to remain the same. The advantages of having kept the same rules of play in the 2012 reform, such as the simulation implied by tripartism, became apparent when in 2014, for the first time in many decades, a national debate opened up on the necessity of changing the restrictive wage policy. It was therefore possible to continue with the same policy, against all the evidence gathered from numerous investigations in various countries concerning the positive social and economic effects derived from the increase of the minimum wage, especially when it is as low as the Mexican wage and is lagging in comparison with productivity increases. The paradox is that this decision was carried by the CNSM with a vote in favor by the worker representatives (Bensusán and O’Connor, 2015). The conservative positions won but the country lost the opportunity to create true structural reform in the labor world, sustained on democratic governability and the opportunity to introduce a new development strategy based on productivity, value added, the fair distribution of results and the strengthening of the internal market. In the case of the educational reform, an initial result is that by establishing the evaluation system, despite continuing obstacles to its implementation, the allocation of jobs and promotions emerges from the control of unions (and of the CNTE). This has allowed for the intervention of the autonomous INEE, which, although strengthened by the educational reform, can still be influenced by the government, as is the case with all bodies of this type in Mexico. Together with INEE, the Ministry of Public Education and local authorities have become the main actors, which has resulted in a redistribution of power in the education system. The role of the SNTE and the other unions in the states has been formally relegated to that of non-governmental institutions, that is, to one of simple observer in the evaluation process of teachers (LGSPD, article 33). Nevertheless, the reinstigation of government leadership in education, and the loss of control of the CNTE and SNTE, does not necessarily translate into

253

Policy analysis in Mexico

an improvement in educational quality, particularly in the weakened Mexican institutional environment at both the federal and local level. Be that as it may, what has been left behind is stability for teachers, one of the most important achievements, and one that could have been the main incentive for entering the profession, especially in a context of the widespread job insecurity that exists in the country. The problem is that negative incentives, such as dismissal, are favored in cases where teachers fail their evaluations under specific circumstances (after three attempts), leading to greater discontent among those affected, who may not be solely responsible for their poor performance. It is no secret that bad preparation depends essentially on what is available from the government, through the teacher training schools. For decades the government was more interested in expanding education throughout the country, in political control and in disciplining teachers than in the quality of education itself. In addition, there are many ways of keeping in the classroom those teachers who fail evaluations, or avoiding sanctions that are applied discretionary, leading once more to a situation where institutional edicts are adopted without conviction or the necessary conditions to enforce them. Still more serious is the kind of evaluation to which teachers are subject. INEE itself recognizes that government pressure and the rigidity of the legislation limit its capacity to ensure that the evaluation process complies with the objective that it proposed (Gil, 2015). On the other hand, it should be noted that at the same time that teachers’ resistance to undergoing evaluation increases in many places—which results in the government resorting to its power to enforce reform through the police force—its defects become more apparent. More than 300 specialists from various academic institutions signed a declaration from the National Congress for Educational Evaluation, challenging the features of the reform, on the grounds that it has a punitive nature and its assessment methods are imperfect (Del Valle, 2015). To sum up, a clearly business-oriented vision of labor performance was adopted in the educational reform, in the sense that the weakness of the unions and uncertainties relating to job retention would necessarily mean better prepared and committed teachers—a highly debatable assumption—in terms of demanding that teachers take more responsibility for their performance. In this regard, the bias that characterizes the educational reform, its lack of legitimacy for the teachers (not only in the case of those who have been mobilized), and its failure to address their concerns, presuppose an uncertain future for the reform and scant results in terms of pledges to improve the quality of education (Arnaut, 2013, p 40; Bensusán and Tapia, 2013a, p 104; Pardo, 2013).

254

Policy analysis, the political game and institutional change in the labor market

References Alcalde, A. (2012) ‘Reforma laboral: los empresarios se inconforman’ (‘Labor reform: businessmen not in agreement’), La Jornada, 20 October, p 21. Arnaut, A. (2013) ‘Lo bueno, lo malo y lo feo del servicio profesional docente’ (‘The good, the band and the ugly of teachers’ professional services’), in G. Del Castillo and G. Valenti (eds) Reforma educativa. ¿Qué estamos transformando? Evaluación y política educativa (Education Reform, What are we transforming? Informed debate), Mexico City: FLASCO, pp 31-46. Bensusán, G. (ed) (2006a) Investigación y Formación Sindical: La Creación de Nuevos Recursos de Poder (Research and Union Formation: The Creation of New Power Resources), Mexico City: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Bensusán, G. (ed) (2006b) Diseño Legal y Desempeño Real: Instituciones Laborales en América Latina (Legal Design and Real Performance: Labor Institutions in Latin America), Mexico City: UAM-X/Miguel Ángel Porrúa, pp 313-409. Bensusán, G. and Middlebrook, K. (2013) Sindicatos y Política en México: Cambios, Continuidades y Contradicciones (Unions and Policy in Mexico: Changes, Continuity and Contradictions), Mexico City: FLASCO/Clacso/UAM-X. Bensusán, G. and O’Connor, E. (2015) ‘Innovation in policy-making in city governments: openings to change minimum wage policy in Mexico City and Los Angeles’, Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Red para el Estudio de la Economía Política de América Latina (Network for the Study of the Latin American Political Economy), 7-8 July, Montevideo, Uruguay. Bensusán, G. and Tapia, A. (2013a) ‘Los problemas de la implementación de la reforma educativa’ (‘The implementation problems of the education reform’) in G. Del Castillo and G. Valenti (eds) Reforma educativa. ¿Qué estamos transformando? Evaluación y política educativa (Education Reform, What are we transforming? Informed debate), Mexico City: FLASCO, pp 93-107. Bensusán, G. and Tapia, A. (2013b) ‘El SNTE y la calidad educativa. Una agenda de investigación’ (‘The SNTE and educational quality. A research agenda’), Revista Mexicana de Sociología, vol 75, no 4, pp 557-87. Bizberg, I. (1990) ‘La crisis del corporativismo mexicano’ (‘The crisis of Mexican corporatism’), Foro Internacional, vol 30, no 4, pp 695-735. Bizberg, I. (2003) ‘Auge y decadencia del corporativismo’ (‘Rise and fall of corporatism’) in I. Bizberg and L. Meyer (eds) Una Historia Contemporánea de México (A Contemporary History of Mexico), Mexico City: Oceano, pp 313-366. Coneval (Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social [National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy]) (2015) Índice de la Tendencia Laboral de la Pobreza (Poverty Labour Trend Index), available at www.coneval.gob.mx/Medicion/Paginas/ITLP.aspx. Del Castillo, G. and Valenti, G. (2013) ‘Conclusiones y temas futuros de la agenda’ (‘Conclusions and future agenda items’) in G. Del Castillo and G. Valenti (eds) Reforma Educativa ¿Qué estamos Transformando? Debate Informado (Education Reform, What are we transforming? Informed debate), Mexico City: FLASCO, pp 125-6.

255

Policy analysis in Mexico

Del Valle, S. (2015) ‘Objetan especialistas la reforma educativa’ (‘Specialists object to educational reform’), Reforma, 25 November, available at http://busquedas. gruporeforma.com/reforma/BusquedasComs.aspx. Fernández, T. and Blanco, E. (2004) ‘¿Cuánto importa la escuela? El caso de México en el contexto de América Latina’ (‘How important is school? The case of Mexico in the Latin American context’), Revista electrónica Iberoamericana sobre Calidad, Eficacia y Cambio en Educación, vol 2, no 1, pp 1-27, available at www. ice.deusto.es/RINACE/reice/vol2n1/FernandezyBlanco.pdf. Gil, M. (2015) ‘Tiempo de definiciones’ (‘A time of definitions’), El Universal, 21 November, available at www.eluniversal.com.mx/entrada-de-opinion/articulo/ manuel-gil-anton/nacion/sociedad/2015/11/21/inee-tiempo-de-definiciones. Goche, F. (2014) ‘Reforma educativa, autoría de Mexicanos Primero’ (‘Education reform, Mexicanos Primero authors’), available at http://contralinea.info/ archivo-revista/index.php/2014/01/14/reforma-educativa-autoria-demexicanos-primero. Gómez, R. (2012) ‘Evaluará UNT paro nacional’ (‘The UNT will assess a national strike’), El Universal, 7 November, available at www.eluniversal.com. mx/notas/881492.html. Guevara, G. and Backhoff, E. (2015) ‘La reforma educativa y la evaluación docente: retos para su implementación’ (‘The education reform and the teacher evaluation: challenges in its implementation’), Nexos, 7 June, available at www. nexos.com.mx/?p=25277. Lascoumes, P. and Le Gales, P. (2014) Sociología de la Acción Pública (Sociology of Public Action), Mexico City: El Colegio de Mexico. LGSPD (Ley General del Servicio Profesional Docente, General Law for Professional Teaching Services) (2013) Diario Oficial de la Federación (Official Gazette of the Federation), available at www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle. php?codigo=5313843&fecha=11/09/2013. Levin, S. (2015) ‘TPP in focus: why Mexico’s labor standards matter for TPP’, available at http://democrats.waysandmeans.house.gov/blog/tpp-focus-whymexico%E2%80%99s-labor-standards-matter-tpp. Levitsky, S. and Murillo, M. (2013) ‘Building institutions on weak foundations’, Journal of Democracy, vol 24, no 2, pp 93-107. Mahoney, J. and Thelen, K. (2010) Explaining Institutional Change: Ambiguity, Agency and Power, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pardo, M. (2013) ‘La difícil profesionalización del magisterio por la vía profesional’ (‘The difficult professionalization of the teacher through the vocational route’) in G. Del Castillo and G. Valenti (eds) Reforma educativa. ¿Qué estamos transformando? Evaluación y política educativa (Education Reform, What are we transforming? Informed debate), Mexico City: FLASCO, pp 19-30.

256

Policy analysis, the political game and institutional change in the labor market

Santizo, C. (2013) ‘La Ley General del Servicio Profesional Docente define el modelo de escuela y el perfil del docente’ (‘The General Law of Teachers’ Professional Services defines the school model and the teacher’s profile’) in G. Del Castillo and G. Valenti (eds) Reforma educativa. ¿Qué estamos transformando? Evaluación y política educativa (Education Reform, What are we transforming? Informed debate), Mexico City: FLASCO, pp 23-30. Scartascini, C., Spiller, P., Stein, E. and Tomassi, M. (eds) (2011) El Juego Politico en America Latina: ¿Como se Deciden las Politicas Publicas? (The Political Game in Latin America: How are Public Policies Decided?), Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank. Tapia, A. (2013) ‘Sindicalismo magisterial y logro educativo: la sección 22 y las secciones institucionales del SNTE’ (‘Teachers’ unions and educational achievement: Section 22 and the institutional sections of the SNTE’), PhD thesis, FLASCO Mexico. Vera, F. (2014) ‘El papel de la coalición legislativa en la reforma a la ley federal del trabajo de México’ (‘The role of the legislative coaltion in the reform of the federal labor law in Mexico’), Master’s thesis, FLASCO Mexico.

257

FIFTEEN

Policy analysis in the media: the coverage of public issues and the relevance of context Manuel Alejandro Guerrero, Monica Luengas Restrepo, Carlos Fuentes Ochoa and Martha Lizbeth Palacios1

Introduction Throughout the 20th century, authoritarianism (Linz, 1970) characterized the Mexican regime, with its limited political pluralism and articulation of socioeconomic demand. Clientelism and corporatism (Schmitter, 1979) were the simultaneous mechanisms of control and mutually beneficial arrangements, leaving little room for the expression of autonomous social and political interests. Based on the private commercial US model, corporatism granted the regime technical and economic benefits favoring the development of media outlets as profitable businesses, in exchange for unrestricted political support (Guerrero, 2011). The media constantly promoted the regime’s positive image, especially with regard to domestic politics, while the regime employed a complex range of mechanisms to benefit them, from tax exemptions and subsidies to compensatory salary for journalists and favorable media regulations (Guerrero, 2011). Low levels of readership plagued the printed press, with under 400,000 copies of “serious press” publications in circulation by the early 1990s, at a time when the New York Times sold more than one million copies a day (Trejo Delarbre 1991, p 28). This readership nevertheless comprised economic and social groups that made the press a relevant mouthpiece for their interests, though never a truly informative channel for society at large. Furthermore, the largest broadcasting groups became linked to political groups. News broadcasts legitimized the regime, especially the president. These mutually beneficial exchanges between media and politics generated a situation defined by one expert as “environmental censorship”: “More than open governmental control over the press [and media, in general], it involves self-censorship … [where media] know the limits they can, or at least want to, reach. Different control mechanisms are not used, because in the end, they are unnecessary” (Granados Chapa, 1981, p 9). This environmental censorship “defined the context of complicity between media and regime that enabled the former’s consolidation as profitable businesses in exchange for limited public debate and unrestricted political support” (Guerrero, 2011, p 235). In this 1

We are thankful to Eficiencia Informativa for supporting this project by providing us with access to its media monitoring database. 259

Policy analysis in Mexico

context, there was no need to promote more robust investigative journalistic practices or policy research units in the media, since information on public affairs and politics was an outcome of such beneficial exchanges. In one of the few empirical studies addressing this topic, Montgomery (1985) analyzes six national newspapers’ policy coverage between 1951 and 1980, finding that specific policies were sometimes critiqued, yet neither the president nor the regime’s legitimacy were ever questioned. Arredondo Ramírez (1991) shows that during the 1988 presidential elections, the two major TV news broadcasts, Televisa’s 24 Horas and IMEVISIÓN’s Día a Día, devoted 69.6% and 88.3% respectively of their total campaign coverage to the official candidate alone. Of course, the weakness of the political opposition, plus scarce autonomous social pressures for democracy, contributed to a context where media coverage of domestic issues, especially those that were politically relevant, followed governmental agenda and discourse. As previously mentioned, media organizations had no need for policy- and government-focused investigative reporting units. Thus, the largest majority of all media outlets and organizations during this period (1940s to the late 1980s) could be defined as “conveniently pro-government”. Through a first wave of electoral reforms (1977–1996), the regime slowly liberalized and political opposition parties entered both governmental offices and Congress. The defeat of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in the 2000 presidential elections after more than 70 years in office generated new expectancies for increasingly democratic reforms. The media, already creating an environment for political pluralism, were expected to consolidate such trends and become true spaces for debate on public matters, reliable channels of information, and professional watchdogs, rather than maintaining the status quo as intermediaries of political and corporate interests (Guerrero, 2009). This chapter analyzes whether the media in Mexico have effectively become more autonomous in their coverage of public issues and more professional in their use of sources. We use a sample of different types of media—print, broadcast and web—in order to study the way they report on two kinds of issue: public policy projects that have been approved through legislation, and investigative reports on human rights violations and corruption. In theory, autonomous and professional media are expected to emerge within a more pluralistic polity. Greater autonomy implies a more balanced coverage of issues, and a more professional stance translates here into a greater range of sources. Critical viewpoints and perspectives are expected to balance governmental narrative discourse and official and pro-governmental sources for the sake of public interest. In consequence, it may be that a more autonomous and professional way of treating information and sources relating to public issues requires the establishment of investigative units within the media, specializing in different aspects of public affairs and policy. Thus, the questions underlying this chapter are as follows: Are the media more autonomous and professional in their coverage of public issues? Are there any differences according to the type of media—print, broadcast or web? Does

260

Policy analysis in the media

their coverage of public issues reflect the work of research units specializing in investigative reporting. This chapter is divided into two parts. The first examines the context of media– politics interaction in Mexico in the post-authoritarian period (since 1996). Such interaction has—until very recently and exceptionally in some cases—prevented the development within media organizations of dedicated investigative journalism and public policy research units. From a wider, Latin American perspective, this section describes important changes in media systems in the past 30 years and defines traditional Mexican media as a “captured-liberal system”. It also discusses the impact of technology, the emergence of new audiences and the international role of certain journalists and media organizations in the slow process of broadening and pluralizing public debate in Mexico. The second part analyzes six case studies of media coverage: three public policy initiatives and three cases of investigative journalism on corruption and human rights abuse. We compare the coverage of these two types of report because, according to the popular theory of “indexing theory”, the media are expected to follow the government’s lead in policy cases, since debate here tends to be technical and specialized (Bennett, 1990; Entman et al, 2010), whereas according to “agenda-setting theory”, more critical coverage is expected in the case of investigative reports (Soroka, 2002; Walgrave and Van Aelst, 2006; Strömbäck, 2008; Thesen, 2013). However, consistent with both approaches, a more or less autonomous and professional coverage is expected from the media within pluralistic, open and democratic polities. Autonomy in coverage and professionalism in the use of sources are assessed through the number and type of news items produced (supportive or critical) and through the number and kind of sources cited (supportive or critical).

Media and politics in Mexico: the “captured-liberal” media system Over the past 30 years, most Latin American countries have moved away from authoritarian rule, some turning towards politically pluralistic models granting, at least de jure, fundamental rights, including freedom of expression and of the press. New political groups came to power through newly opened electoral arenas with relatively competitive electoral and party systems. Such transformations coincided with a (neo)liberal discourse that in the case of the media would (theoretically) strengthen competition, plurality and financial and editorial autonomy, but in practice benefited the largest traditional media groups, as Guerrero (2014, p 47) states: Economic reforms and deregulation in the 1990s dramatically reduced the state’s law enforcement capacity or, worse, left diverse unregulated spaces to profit strong economic actors. Also, the new ruling elites preferred to accommodate traditional media groups rather than reform the media structure for pluralism. And finally, the prevalence of 261

Policy analysis in Mexico

clientelism favored a context where notwithstanding the diminished capacities of the state, political groups maintained a wide array of resources—from allocation of public funds and direct benefits, like tax exemptions, to selective law enforcement—to exchange with social and economic actors, including not only media corporations but also media employees and journalists. Guerrero (2014) encompasses these trends in the “captured-liberal model” of Latin American media systems, referring to a predominantly private and commercial model based on liberal principles, whose regulatory enforcement and policymaking process are biased towards particular economic and political interests that inhibit the media’s watchdog role and professional journalistic performance, crucial for maintaining political accountability. However, in this “captured-liberal scenario” it is not obvious that Mexican media follow government agenda and discourse, as in the “environmental censorship” scenario described earlier: the media are still dependent on public advertising, though bigger, more far-reaching (multi)media corporations have gained power through links with political actors who require air-time to convey their messages, especially during elections. Moreover, the largest media groups have successfully colonized political spaces: for instance, the last election yielded at least 20 Congress representatives previously directly or indirectly employed by Televisa and TV Azteca. This group, known as telebancada, has penetrated the legislative commissions for broadcasting, telecommunications and communications in both chambers. Thus, since the late 1980s, many of the largest media groups can be defined as “conditionally pro-government”, following governmental agenda and discourse in most domestic issues and using their power and autonomy, not for exercising the role of watchdog, but for defending their own privileges in the status quo. New media, new audiences and internationalization Although levels of connectivity and purchasing power in Mexico are still far below those of leading countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, technology usage is growing. According to the Mexican Internet Association, in 2014 there were 51.2 million internet users, 13% more than in 2013. Mexico ranks among the top five countries in terms of numbers of FaceBook users (Social Bakers, 2015) and is seventh in terms of Twitter usage (Semiocast, 2014), reflecting a rapidly growing number of people who are connecting to the net, mostly for entertainment but also for work, and for accessing discussion forums and information. Still unregulated in terms of content, the internet has encouraged parties and politicians to go public, and has provided opportunities to individuals and civil organizations for civic action and

262

Policy analysis in the media

education, as well as creating a forum for monitoring policies and accountability.2 Studies show how these digital spaces are being incipiently used for discussion and engagement (Portillo, forthcoming). And some new media organizations and committed journalists are responding positively to demands for higher-quality information. An alternative to traditional media, digital space offers journalists new places to upload hard-to-publish stories. New information websites and specialized journalism projects have appeared, and freelance and cross-media journalists are creating flexible working groups to track and report on sensitive issues like violence, corruption and drug–politics connections, as well as issues that challenge journalistic performance. Still few in the context of Mexico’s total media universe, many such ventures could be classified as anything from “adversarial media”— consistently critical of governmental positions—to “issue-responsive media”— responding to theoretical prescriptions of both Indexing and Agenda-Setting. These types of media encompass traditional printed outlets as well as new digital websites and journalists’ blogs, responding to a growing demand from audiences— still relatively small but qualitatively important urban, educated and connected clientele—for quality information that has not been reported by the conditionally and conveniently pro-government media. Journalists working in these new sorts of media have at times also collaborated with international outlets and news agencies in cross-national investigative reports, occasionally turning international attention to relevant domestic issues regarding human rights violations, corruption and drug trafficking. It has mainly been these critical media—issue-responsive and adversarial—that have developed practices of investigative journalism and, though not always creating specialized policy research units, have been able to report and follow on public affairs and policy matters in more professional ways. Coverage of public issues: the political context As mentioned in the introduction, at least in theory, media that were more autonomous and professional in their coverage and use of sources were expected to emerge as a consequence of the long political liberalization process and political pluralism in Mexico. From a classical liberal standpoint, the media play three crucial roles for supporting a democratic polity: they serve as pluralistic arenas for debate and exchange on the most relevant issues regarding public interest; they are the key channels through which citizens obtain information on public life; and they develop a series of watchdog actions in order to unveil abuse and misuses of power (Guerrero, 2008). In Mexico, with a large number of political actors in competition and interests at stake, the media may be expected to gain autonomy from government and cover public issues in more balanced ways. At 2

The Red por la Rendición de Cuentas (Network for Accountability) is an example of an umbrella organization in which more than 70 different non-governmental organizations, universities, civil groups and public autonomous bodies participate in topics related to accountability. 263

Policy analysis in Mexico

the same time, and strongly linked to it, a more professional stance may also be expected in terms of seeking out contrasting viewpoints and reducing dependency on official and pro-governmental sources. It may also be reasonable to assume that given more autonomy and the remit to approach information gathering in a more robust, professional manner, the chances are that the media will establish dedicated research units specializing in different aspects of public affairs and policy.

Media coverage of policy agenda: autonomy and professionalism? In this section, we first present two different theoretical approaches that help explain the media’s role in covering issues relating to the public and policy agenda: “indexing theory”, where the media are expected to follow the government’s lead in policy cases because of the prevalence of technical information and sophisticated debate surrounding such issues, and “agenda-setting theory”, where more critical coverage is expected in the case of investigative reporting. Second, we go through the methodological aspects of our work before presenting some case studies. We discuss six clear-cut cases: three where government initiates policy and three where investigative research journalism sparks debate. Given that indexing effects may prevail in the first three cases and agenda-setting effects in the second three, can we expect relatively autonomous and professional coverage? Finally, we discuss our findings and try to answer the following questions: Are the media more autonomous and professional in their coverage of public issues? Are there any differences according to the type of media—print, broadcast or web? Do they reflect any advance in terms of establishing specialized research units from their treatment of public issues? Media coverage of policy agenda: theoretical and empirical approaches Agenda setting may be among the most influential approaches in political communication studies (Bennett and Iyengar, 2008). Cobb and Elder (1972) suggest that the media is one among many factors that determine policy agenda and, despite Kingdon’s (1984) conclusions of policy preferences being stable over time and thus not so easily permeated by media agendas, researchers have found evidence of media effects on political agenda setting. Baumgartner and Jones (1993) state that, albeit not the only factor, media affect policy agenda by steering attention towards certain, especially sensational and controversial, issues. As Walgrave and Van Aelst (2006) rightly say, since a “political agenda” results from contingent constructions where actors with differing power have a say at certain times, it never pre-exists. It can be defined as a hierarchy of issues discussed publicly at a particular time. Political agenda-setting scholars have focused on issues made salient by the interaction between media and different actors, institutions and policy processes, like political parties (Brandenburg, 2002),

264

Policy analysis in the media

congress or parliament (Soroka, 2002), the president (Wolfe, 2006), politicians’ speeches (Bartels, 1996) and policymaking and outcomes (Koch-Baumgarten and Voltmer, 2010). Indexing is another frequent approach to studying the media–political agenda relationship. Contrary to agenda setting, indexing hypothesizes that political official sources are successful in establishing public debate boundaries on issues— especially those that are more technical and complex—because, due to information logics, they become the media’s preferred sources and because political actors consciously seek to feed the media with their stories, thus developing a symbiotic relationship (Bennett, 1990; Entman et al, 2010). So, in its most orthodox version, indexing assumes that key political actors set the political agenda and the media follow. Several studies have tried to combine both approaches, suggesting that each may be considered a different phase in the policymaking process. For instance, Reich (2006) explains how political actors set the agenda by deciding to discuss certain issues, and then the media take the stage when those issues are debated and defined. The role of investigative journalism, however, may work the other way around: sparking debate (and answerability) on issues of public interest. In any case, within an open, pluralistic and democratic context, a more or less autonomous and professional coverage can be expected. Is this the case in Mexico? Methodological note We selected 11 information spaces from printed press, broadcasting and digital media. For broadcasting, we used the two leading TV news broadcasts with the largest audiences (Televisa’s El Noticiero and TV Azteca’s Hechos de la Noche) and randomly chose two radio news broadcasts among the 10 programs with the largest daily news coverage (Radio Fórmula’s Ciro Gómez Leyva Por la Mañana and MVS’s Primera Emisión con Carmen Aristegui). From all newspapers edited in Mexico City, we randomly picked four (La Jornada, Milenio Diario, El Reforma and La Razón de México), one weekly political magazine edited in Mexico City (Proceso), and two of the six most popular digital information sites (AnimalPolitico. com and SinEmbargo.com). The Eficiencia Informativa database provided access to the complete news coverage of the selected media on each of the three policy initiatives and three investigative reports (the case studies). The units of analysis were news items and interviews on front pages, headlines and teasers, leaving out opinion, editorials and debate columns. For policy initiatives the period analyzed covered the time from the official announcement of initiatives to their passing, whereas for investigative reports analysis covered the time from they went public to the day a definitive action or decision was officially declared. How autonomous and professional was the coverage of policy issues and investigative reports in the Mexican media? For assessing autonomy, we checked for the total number of news items and interviews: those supportive and critical of the “government’s discursive frame” 265

Policy analysis in Mexico

(see below). For professionalism, we checked the range of sources and their tone: supportive or critical of official proposals (policy) or responses (investigative reports). Not all news items included a source—unusual in professional journalistic practice but common in the Mexican captured-liberal media system (Guerrero, 2014). We divided the variety of sources into “official and pro-government sources” (including other unofficial sources that supported the government’s discursive frame: experts, academics, journalists), and “critical sources” (politicians, experts, academics and journalists opposing that frame). We only considered those who explicitly supported or criticized the government’s discursive frame, so some news items may have also included other sources that were not considered. So, for analyzing media coverage, we established the government’s discursive frame for each topic. In the case of policy proposals, this is the projects’ leitmotivs and for investigative reports, it is the official government response given instead. As “supportive” issues, we classified all news items and interviews that reproduced and commented positively on the government’s discursive frame. That is why we have no “neutral approach”: here being neutral publicizes the government’s frame. All news items and interviews judging the government’s frame in a negative way and promoting an alternative frame were considered “critical”. Case studies At the beginning of his administration, President Enrique Peña Nieto promoted the Pact for Mexico, an agreement among party elites to discuss and pass a series of policy reforms, including education, energy and telecommunications reforms. The education reform’s leitmotivs were to increase the quality of elementary education, the quality and tuition of medium and upper level education, and recover the State’s guidance of the national education system. Table 15.1 shows how the media reported on this reform. The energy reform’s leitmotivs were to modernize Pemex and CFE, increase investment and employment; and improve household economies by decreasing gas and energy prices. Table 15.2 shows how the media reported on this reform. Though announced at the very start of President Peña Nieto’s administration on 1 December 2012, the telecommunications constitutional reform was sent to Congress on 12 March 2013. It was approved by Congress on 22 May 2013 and published in the Official Gazette on 11 June that year. Table 15.3 shows media coverage for the whole period. The government’s leitmotiv was to reduce mobile phone tariffs, improve telecommunication services and generate a more competitive broadcasting market. We now turn to the three investigative reports, concerning the Apatzingán massacre; Tlatlaya’s summary execution; and President Peña Nieto’s “White House”.

266

Policy analysis in the media

Table 15.1: Media coverage of education reform (10 December 2012 to 8 March 2013) Name of media outlet

No. of items

Supportive

Critical

Official and progovernment sources

Critical source

La Razón de México

26

22

4

9

5

Ciro Gómez Leyva Por la Mañana

20

16

4

6

4

Milenio Diario

16

11

5

10

4

Hechos de la Noche

19

14

5

4

3

El Noticiero

15

13

2

6

3

El Reforma

34

21

13

12

8

La Jornada

14

9

5

8

9

Noticias MVS Primera Emisión con Carmen Aristegui

29

13

16

9

11

Proceso

9

3

6

3

4

SinEmbargo.com

15

8

7

5

6

AnimalPolítico.com

18

10

8

5

5

Table 15.2: Media coverage of energy reform (12 August to 20 December 2014) Name of media outlet

No. of items

Supportive Critical Official and progovernment sources

Critical source

La Razón de México

49

39

10

11

6

Ciro Gómez Leyva Por la Mañana

31

17

12

8

8

Milenio Diario

38

27

11

14

9

Hechos de la Noche

18

14

4

6

3

El Noticiero

13

12

1

4

1

El Reforma

23

12

11

12

9

La Jornada

43

13

30

12

20

Noticias MVS Primera Emisión con Carmen Aristegui

51

23

28

11

13

Proceso

46

8

38

3

17

SinEmbargo.com

19

8

11

7

8

AnimalPolítico.com

20

11

9

5

6

267

Policy analysis in Mexico

Table 15.3: Media coverage of telecommunications reform (1 December 2012 to 11 June 2013) Name of media outlet

No. of items

Supportive

Critical

Official and progovernment sources

Critical source

La Razón de México

6

6

0

6

1

Ciro Gómez Leyva Por la Mañana

11

7

4

7

5

Milenio Diario

13

10

3

8

2

Hechos de la Noche

4

2

2

2

1

El Noticiero

12

4

8

6

3

El Reforma

29

21

8

10

7

La Jornada

27

15

12

8

5

Noticias MVS Primera Emisión con Carmen Aristegui

27

17

10

10

9

Proceso

13

7

6

4

7

SinEmbargo.com

6

5

1

3

2

AnimalPolitico.com

7

6

1

4

2

Apatzingán massacre In the case of the Apatzingán massacre, the investigative report leitmotiv was as follows: Federal Police shoot and kill at least 16 civilians, many of them former members of rural guard forces in the city of Apatzingán, in the state of Michoacán, on January 6, 2015, while trying to disperse them from the camp they had set up in the city’s main square to protest licensing without proper compensation and the arrest of some of their colleagues. According to testimonies and videos, the demonstrators were not carrying guns. (El Reforma, 9–25 January 2015) Reforma published the experiences of neighbors, witnesses and survivors and uploaded videos and audios showing that the police had started the shooting and killed many unarmed civilians. Three months later (18 April 2015) Proceso, Univisión and Aristegui Noticias presented extended investigative reports documenting the police shooting of numerous unarmed civilians, which contradicted the official version. There were at least 16 civilian fatalities. The official position was as follows: • First version: “Upon an anonymous call denouncing armed civilians in the main square, members of the Army entered the city of Apatzingán and regained control of the place. One armed civilian died hit by a car while running away, and eight others were taken down by troops after repelling fire.” (Alfredo Castillo, Special Presidential Commissioner for Michoacán, 6 January 2015)

268

Policy analysis in the media

• Second version (later on the same day): “After investigations were done, the conclusion is that crossfire among armed civilians caused the death of nine of them.” (Alfredo Castillo, Presidential Special Commissioner for Michoacán, 6 January 2015) This second official version endured, despite the many videos neighbors posted on YouTube showing a one-sided shooting against the civilians. Hours after the joint investigative report was published on 19 April 2015, the National Security Commission issued a bulletin saying that the Attorney General’s Office and Federal Police Internal Affairs Unit were to launch an investigation “to find out the details of what happened and act accordingly”. No further official declaration has been published, even after Amnesty International urged the Mexican government, in May 2015, to show the progress of the investigation.

Table 15.4: Media coverage of Apatzingán massacre (6 January to 25 May 2015) Name of media outlet

No. of items Supportive Critical

Government, official and supportive sources

Critical source

La Razón de México

2

2

0

2

0

Ciro Gómez Leyva Por la Mañana

7

4

3

2

2

Milenio Diario

5

3

2

3

2

Hechos de la Noche

1

1

0

1

0

El Noticiero

4

4

0

3

0

El Reforma

8

1

7

2

6

La Jornada

9

1

8

1

5

Noticias MVS Primera Emisión con Carmen Aristegui*

7

2

5

2

6

Proceso

9

0

9

3

11

SinEmbargo.com

7

2

5

3

5

AnimalPolítico.com

9

3

6

3

4

* On 15 March 2015, Carmen Aristegui ceased to host Primera Emisión, since MVS Corporation fired her and her research team. News items are only counted until that day.

Tlatlaya summary execution According to the investigative reports of Associated Press, Esquire and Proceso (published between 8 July and 17 September 2014), the leitmotiv for the Tlatlaya incident was: “There is evidence of a summary execution of youths by a Mexican army squad on June 30, 2014.” The official position was as follows:

269

Policy analysis in Mexico

• First version, according to both the Department of Defense (30 June 2014) and the Governor of Mexico State (1 July 2014): “An army squad, during regular patrolling, took down a group of criminals while repelling fire.” • Second version, after the release of the investigative report and further news, and according to a bulletin from the Department of Defense (30 September 2014): “A group of seven soldiers and a lieutenant have been prosecuted and sentenced to prison by a military court under charges of insubordination and disobedience.” On 6 October, the Department of Defense issued the following statement: “Five other soldiers have been arrested apparently related to Tlatlaya.” Although the National Commission for Human Rights and other independent non-governmental organizations have documented more evidence regarding the military’s role, no further official response has been published regarding the case.

Table 15.5: Media coverage of Tlatlaya summary execution (30 June to 30 September 2014) Name of media

No. of items

Supportive Critical

Government, official and pro-government sources

Critical source

La Razón de México

4

3

1

2

0

Ciro Gómez Leyva Por la Mañana

6

3

3

2

3

Milenio Diario

9

8

1

6

1

Hechos de la Noche

3

2

1

4

1

El Noticiero

5

4

1

3

1

El Reforma

14

4

10

5

5

La Jornada

17

5

12

4

9

Noticias MVS Primera Emisión con Carmen Aristegui

13

4

9

4

5

Proceso

15

1

14

3

8

SinEmbargo.com

7

2

5

1

3

AnimalPolítico.com

5

1

4

2

2

President Peña Nieto’s “White House” In the case concerning the presidential house, the investigative report leitmotiv was as follows: “Evidence exists of a conflict of interest between President Peña Nieto and a constructing entrepreneur, since the latter has been benefited with large contracts both during Peña Nieto’s governorship and current presidency and, as owner of a US $7 million house, he was apparently selling it to the president’s wife. Moreover, he also provided a house used as campaign headquarters by Peña and his team” (MVS Primera Emisión con Carmen Aristegui, 9 November 2014). The official position was as follows:

270

Policy analysis in the media

• First version, from a presidential spokesperson: “There is no conflict of interests, since the house was acquired by the president’s wife who is not a public official; she purchased the house with her own money; and that was more than a year before Enrique Peña became president” (10 November 2014). • Second version: the president’s wife explains in a YouTube video that she bought the house with her own money, since she began to work as an actress at the age of 15 and that Televisa paid her a large sum of money for her most recent contracts (19 November 2014). • Third version,from Peña Nieto’s chief of staff, Aurelio Nuño: “The Casa Blanca affair is already closed for the Presidency” (28 November 2014). • Fourth version: after the president instructs the newly appointed secretary of public function to investigate the “Casa Blanca affair” in order to check for the legality of the acquisition of the house (3 February 2015), the president is exonerated from any conflict of interest or illegality (21 August 2015).

Findings and discussion Here we focus only on findings regarding autonomy (number of pro-government versus critical news items and interviews) and professionalism (pro-government versus critical sources) in the coverage of the six cases on front pages, and in teasers and web headlines. We discuss first the coverage of the three policy cases and then of the three investigative reports. In open, pluralistic and democratic contexts, balanced coverage is more or less expected from the media in spite of the technicalities involved in policy discussions and the controversial matter of investigative reports. Is this the case in Mexico? Are the media today more autonomous and professional in their coverage of public issues? Are there any differences according to the type of media—print, broadcast or web? Do they reflect any advance in terms of establishing specialized research units from their treatment of public issues? Policy coverage Indexing theory states that due to the nature of policy debates, the media tend to follow the government’s lead when reporting on policy matters. However, in Mexico some media seem to be extremely prone to supporting the government’s discursive frame in the three policy cases discussed here. The most progovernmental of all news media in our sample, La Razón de México, had an average 82.7% of supportive news items and the lowest average (17.2%) of critical news items, followed by Milenio Diario, which averaged 71.6% of supportive items. Setting aside coverage of the telecommunications reform, in which both Televisa and TV Azteca had interests, these two news broadcasters took the second most pro-government stance overall, averaging 78.4% of supportive and 18.4% critical news stories. For any standard, the averages of pro-government support are so high that it becomes difficult to talk about “autonomous” coverage in these cases. 271

Policy analysis in Mexico

Table 15.6: Media coverage of President Peña Nieto’s “White House” (9 November 2014 to 24 August 2015) Name of media outlet

No. of items

Supportive

Critical

Government, official and pro-government sources

Critical source

La Razón de México

4

4

0

3

0

Ciro Gómez Leyva Por la Mañana

6

5

1

4

1

Milenio Diario

5

4

1

3

1

Hechos de la Noche

3

3

0

2

0

El Noticiero

4

3

1

3

0

El Reforma

18

7

11

3

5

La Jornada

20

5

15

2

9

Noticias MVS Primera Emisión con Carmen Aristegui*

12

2

10

5

9

Proceso

14

2

12

5

9

SinEmbargo.com

10

3

7

5

7

AnimalPolítico.com

8

2

6

4

7

* On 15 March 2015, Carmen Aristegui ceased to host Primera Emisión, since MVS Corporation fired her and her research team. News items are only counted until that day.

As for the use of sources in all of these highly pro-government media, again there is little room for discussing “professional coverage” since 67.1% of their sources favor government: Televisa shows 69%, La Razón de Mexico 68.4%, Milenio Diario 68% and TV Azteca’s Hechos 63%. There are four media organizations that, while pro-government in their approach of policy issues, tried to be balanced both in their coverage and in their use of sources: the average of pro-government news in Ciro Gomez Leyva’s newscast is 64.5%, in El Reforma 62.7%, in AnimalPolitico.com 60%, and SinEmbargo.com 52%. Regarding their use of pro-government sources, averages are 51.8% for AnimalPolitico.com, 55.2% for Ciro Gomez Leyva, and 58.6% for El Reforma. SinEmbargo.com uses more critical sources: 51.6%. The pro-government coverage and use of sources of these media lie within reasonable standards where, according to indexing theory, the media may be following the government’s lead. Four other media show critical coverage of the policy issues. The most consistently critical in two out of three cases are Proceso (65.1% critical news items), La Jornada (55.9%) and Primera Emisión con Carmen Aristegui (50.4%). Although they do not respond to indexing theory expectations, their critical coverage is, notwithstanding, balanced. It is possible to define this coverage as autonomous. As for the use of sources in these critical media, the most balanced are SinEmbargo.com (48.3% pro-government and 51.6% critical sources) and Primera Emisión con Carmen Aristegui (47.6% pro-government and 52.3% critical sources). In these cases, it is also possible to talk about the professional 272

Policy analysis in the media

use of sources in terms of balance. Proceso (68.5%) resorts to more critical news sources, slightly leaning towards imbalance. Coverage of investigative reports Agenda setting has been used to explain how issues brought to light by the media become salient in the public agenda and a matter of debate among political actors, who under certain circumstances—that is, in cases of power abuse—are forced, at least, to be accountable and answerable for their actions. Public policy may also be shaped by debates sparked by the media. Here, however, we focus only on the way the media covered—in terms of autonomy and professionalism—three issues regarding conflict of interest and human rights violations, and the official responses to them. From our case studies, it is evident that some media are strongly supportive of the government’s narrative frame, La Razón de México being the most enthusiastic of them all, averaging 90% of pro-government news items. In two cases (the president’s “White House” and the Apatzingán massacre), it published 100% supportive news items. Clear government support is shown by Televisa’s El Noticiero (84.6%), TV Azteca’s Hechos (85%) and Milenio Diario (78.9%). Adding to these media Ciro Gomez Leyva’s news broadcast, information directly involving President Peña Nieto (the “White House” case) receives strong support, at 83%. By no standard could the coverage of these media be labeled as balanced and autonomous. However, in the Tlatlaya case, Ciro Gomez Leyva Por la Mañana was by far the most balanced of these media in its coverage (50% supportive and 50% critical items). Regarding the use of sources, La Razón de Méxixo and TV Azteca’s Hechos present the largest number of pro-government sources (100%), followed by Televisa’s El Noticiero (90%) and Milenio Diario (75%). The professionalism in their use of sources is seriously questionable. By contrast, four media covered the issues predominantly through a high average of critical news items (favorable to the investigative reporting narrative frame): Proceso (93%), La Jornada (76%), and MVS Primera Emisión con Carmen Aristegui (75%). Averages for coverage by AnimalPolitico.com, SinEmbargo. com and El Reforma were favorable to the investigative reporting narrative frame, though lower than the rest: 72.7% and 70% and 70% respectively. Considering the position of these three media regarding the government’s discursive frame in policy issues, an interesting complex picture arises. As for use of sources, La Jornada shows the highest average of alternative and critical sources (77%), followed by Proceso (73.4%). AnimalPolitico.com is the most balanced in its use of sources: 59% of alternative and critical sources compared with 40.9% of pro-government and official sources, followed by El Reforma (61.5% and 38.4%, respectively) and SinEmbargo.com (62.5% and 37.5%, respectively). What can be said about the autonomy and professionalism of the Mexican media? From this media sample it is difficult to be conclusive, although some interesting insights can be drawn for future discussion and research. The Mexican 273

Policy analysis in Mexico

political context is key for understanding the media’s differences in their coverage of public issues. Mexico has a more competitive, fair and open electoral system where political actors gain access to power through accepted rules. In this context, the media may be expected to become autonomous from government and cover public life issues in more balanced ways, and to use a wider number of sources in order to compare and contrast information and reduce dependency on official and pro-governmental sources. In principle, conditions are ripe for the media to professionalize their journalistic practices, assume at least some of the expected (liberal) roles mentioned earlier, and even to establish research units for examining policy and public issues. However, the rules for exercising power are defined by weak accountability mechanisms and a flawed rule of law. Despite counting on more or less sophisticated administrative accountability, federal regulatory frameworks (Dussauge, 2010) and a national anti-corruption system launched in 2015, severe problems still exist at all administrative levels, and instances of political corruption are not properly investigated or are blatantly discarded by authorities. Non-governmental and international organizations have reportedly stressed that the three spheres of the Mexican judicial system—public security, access to and application of justice— display serious deficiencies that foster impunity (Amnesty International, 2014). Party elites, being themselves beneficiaries of a system with weak accountability and public responsibility mechanisms, seem to lack the incentives to modify the traditional—mostly informal—rules defining the true exercise of power. Although the Mexican media landscape has changed over the past 20 years, it is in this wider political context that we find some print media and news broadcasters whose informational behavior may still be defined as conveniently pro-government—the dominant model under the classic authoritarian period, like La Razón de México and perhaps Milenio Diario—while others seem to be consistently critical—adversarial—of official governmental positions, like Proceso, Primera Emisión con Carmen Aristegui and La Jornada. From our small sample, a first group of media does not seem to be autonomous from government or professional in its use of sources in the six cases studied here: La Razón de México, Milenio Diario, and Hechos de la Noche and El Noticiero (leaving aside the telecoms reform, in which their own corporate interests were at stake). Because the latter seem to defend their own interests—separate from the government’s discourse—when necessary, they could be labeled as conditionally pro-government. With certain reservations, one could add Ciro Gomez Leyva Por la Mañana: the former was the least supportive of the official position in the case of Tlatlaya and the most balanced in its use of sources in the policy cases, while the latter was strongly supportive of the government during the “White House” scandal (83.3%). In these cases, the approach towards reporting seems to reflect the status quo: to become more of an intermediary of political and corporate interests rather than a true informational channel for the citizenry, an open arena for debate, and a watchdog against power abuse. In the six examples studied in this chapter, the information-gathering processes of this group of media seem 274

Policy analysis in the media

to depend more on direct interviews and contact with political actors and their declarations than on independent investigation and research of data. A second group of media is consistently critical of governmental policy positions in the six cases studied here, and could clearly be labeled adversarial: Proceso (65.1%), La Jornada (65.8%) and MVS Primera Emisión (62.7%). In their use of critical sources, these three media ranked higher than the rest, at 68.5%, 65.9% and 58.4% respectively. They are also the most supportive of the investigative reporting narrative frame: Proceso (93%), La Jornada (76%), and MVS Primera Emisión con Aristegui (75%). Their criticism is noticeably more balanced in their coverage of policy proposals than investigative reports—and this is because of the topics at stake. Also, in the six cases studied, the first two media, despite showing autonomy from government, are in many cases less balanced in their use of sources, especially in their coverage of investigative reports. As said, this may be explained by the nature of the cases: technical debates in the former and corruption and human rights’ violations in the latter. MVS Primera Emisión con Aristegui can be defined as a critical, but balanced, news broadcaster. It must be said that Proceso and MVS Primera Emisión rely on journalistic investigative units that, while not necessarily specializing in public policy, have been using mechanisms such as the transparency law to obtain relevant data. Hypothetically, the nature of their coverage responds in part to the complexities and information demands of urban audiences critical of the government—and political power in general—and who expect an incisive watchdog role from their media. A third group of media—defined here as issue-responsive media—coincide with government responses on the policy cases, while criticizing official responses to the investigative reports. SinEmbargo.com, AnimalPolitico.com and El Reforma supported the government policy narrative frames (52.5%, 60% and 62.7% respectively). These three media were balanced in their use of pro-government and official sources regarding the policy discursive frames: SinEmbargo.com 48.3%, AnimalPolitico.com 51.8% and El Reforma 58.8%. However, they were supportive of the investigative report narrative: AnimalPolitico.com 72.7%, and El Reforma and SinEmbargo.com both 70%. Despite following government’s lead in the policy cases (as indexing theory assumes), their coverage was more balanced with regard to policy issues than investigative reports, perhaps due—as in the case of the former group of media—to the nature of the topics. Of this third group of media, El Reforma was perhaps the first to establish an investigative unit on public issues, and the other two are providing a research journalistic line through infographics and special reports. Albeit urban and modern, audiences of these media may, hypothetically, be more moderate than those of adversarial media.

Conclusion Here we focus on the questions posed in this chapter: Are the media today more autonomous and professional in their coverage of public issues? Are there any differences according to the type of media—print, broadcast or web? Has their 275

Policy analysis in Mexico

treatment of public issues resulted in advances in establishing specialized research units? We start with the last question. Historical relations between media and politics have obviated the need for research units specializing in investigative reporting practices, let alone public policy. In the past decade, things have changed due to technology and new demanding urban audiences. Although robust public policy coverage is still poor, adversarial and issue-responsive media—those seemingly more sensitive to new critical audiences and technology—are beginning to generate more in-depth investigative reports (and related research teams). In our study we find no significant differences between print and broadcast media: we have in both types of media those that are strongly supportive of the government narrative frame and those that are, conversely, consistently critical. In general, web-based media seem slightly more balanced than print and broadcast media. AnimalPolitico.com and SinEmbargo.com are both quite balanced in their coverage of policy issues, though slightly supportive of the government’s frame. Conversely, in their coverage of investigative reports, both are openly supportive of the reports’ narratives. In its use of sources AnimalPolitico.com was in all six cases the most balanced media outlet, averaging almost 50:50 in considering government’s supportive and critical sources. In the policy examples, SinEmbargo.com used 48.3% official sources, while in its coverage of investigative reports this percentage falls to 37.5%. So in general, web-based media seem to be more balanced than other types of media in our sample in terms of both news coverage and the use of sources. By type of issue—policy issues versus investigative reports—critical media tend to be more balanced than supportive media in policy coverage, and less unbalanced than supportive media in their coverage of investigative reports. All in all, media tend to be less unbalanced when using sources regarding policy than when covering investigative reports, where the use of sources is polarized: at one extreme, La Razón de México and Hechos cite 100% pro-government and official sources, while on the other, La Jornada cites 77% critical sources. In sum, regarding the autonomy and professionalism of Mexican media coverage of public issues, we can say that the heterogeneity of the media landscape responds to the uneven democratic consolidation process: an open and competitive set of rules regarding access to power, but a series of rules regarding the exercise of power that have not been able to foster accountability, responsibility and the effective rule of law. With regard to specific media outlets, while some behave as they did during the classic authoritarian period, others seem more sensitive to their audiences and technology. Autonomous and professional journalism —balanced reporting and use of sources—seems problematic, especially because of a perceived lack of need for investigative and research units in most media organizations. The Mexican media landscape is now caught in the midst of a complex transition process that runs parallel to the emergence of more demanding urban audiences, technological challenges, economic uncertainty and political decay.

276

Policy analysis in the media

References Amnesty International (2014) ‘Los Retos de México en Materia de Derechos Humanos. Memorándum de Aminstía Internacional para el Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto’, London, UK: Amnesty international Publications. Arredondo Ramírez, P. (1991) ‘Los medios de comunicación en la lucha políticoelectoral’, in P. Arredondo Ramírez, G. Fregoso Peralta and R. Trejo Delarbre (eds) Así se Calló el Sistema. Comunicación y Elecciones en 1988, Guadalajara: Universidad de Guadalajara, pp 47-78. Bartels, L.M. (1996) ‘Politicians and the press: who leads, who follows?’, Paper presented at the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, September. Baumgartner, F.R. and Jones, B.D. (1993) Agendas and Instability in American Politics, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Bennett, L.W. (1990) ‘Toward a theory of press-state relations’, Journal of Communication, vol 40, no 2, pp 103-25. Bennet, L.W. and Iyengar, S. (2008) “A new era of minimal effects. The changing foundations of political communication’, Journal of Communication, vol 58, no 4, pp 703-31. Brandenburg, H. (2002) ‘Who follows whom? The impact of parties on media agenda formation in the 1997 British general elections campaign’, Harvard Journal of Press and Politics, vol 7, no 3, pp 34-54. Cobb, R.W. and Elder, C.D. (1972) Participation in American politics: The Dynamics of Agenda Building, Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Dussauge, M.I. (2010) ‘Combate a la corrupción y rendición de cuentas: avances, limitaciones, pendientes y retrocesos’, in J.L. Mendez, Políticas públicas, Colección México 2010, vol XIII, Mexico City: Colegio de México, pp 207-52. Entman, R., Livingston, S., Aday, S. and Kim, J. (2010) ‘Condenmed to repeat: the media and the accountability gap in the Iraq war media policy’, in K. Voltmer and S. Koch-Baumgarten (eds) Public Policy and Mass Media: The Interplay of Mass Communication and Political Decision Making, London: Routledge, pp 194-213. Granados Chapa, M.A. (1981) Examen de la Comunicación en México, Mexico City: El Caballito. Guerrero, M.A. (2008) Medios de Comunicación y la Función de Transparencia, Cuadernos de Transparencia Núm. 11, Mexico City: IFAI. Guerrero, M.A. (2009) The Emergence of Political Pluralism in Mexican Broadcasting, Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag. Guerrero M.A. (2011) ‘Los medios de comunicación y el régimen político’, in S. Loaeza and J.F. Prud’homme, Procesos e Instituciones Públicas, Colección México 2010, vol XIII, Mexico City: Colegio de México. Guerrero, M.A. (2014) ‘The liberal captured model of media systems in Latin America’, in M.A. Guerrero and M.M. Ramírez (eds) Media Systems and Communication Policies in Latin America, London: Palgrave. Kingdon, J.W. (1984) Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies, New York, NY: Harper Collins. 277

Policy analysis in Mexico

Koch-Baumgarten, S. and Voltmer, K. (2010) ‘The interplay of mass communication and political decision making – policy matters!’, in K. Voltmer and S. Koch-Baumgarten (eds) Public Policy and Mass Media: The Interplay of Mass Communication and Political Decision Making, London: Routledge, pp 215-27. Linz, J.J. (1970) ‘An authoritarian regime: Spain’, in E. Allardt and S. Rokkan (eds) Mass Politics: Studies in Political Sociology, New York, NY: Free Press. Montgomery, L.F. (1985) ‘Criticism of the government officials in the Mexican press, 1951–1980’, Journalism Quarterly, vol 62, no 4, pp 763-9. Portillo, M. (forthcoming) ‘Surgimiento de la movilización de jóvenes universitarios en México en el contexto electoral de 2012: del @másde131 al #YoSoy132’. Reich, Z. (2006) ‘The process model of news initiative: sources lead, reporters thereafter’, Journalism Studies, vol 7, no 4, pp 497-514. Schmitter, P.C. (1979) ‘Still the century of corporatism?’, in P.C. Schmitter and G. Lembruch (eds) Trends Towards Corporatist Intermediation, London: Sage. Semiocast (2012) ‘Tweeter reaches half a billion accounts’, available at http:// semiocast.com/en/publications/2012_07_30_Twitter_reaches_half_a_billion_ accounts_140m_in_the_US (accessed February 2015). Social Bakers (2015) ‘Facebook statistics by country’, available at www. socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics (accessed February 2015). Soroka, S. (2002) Agenda-Settting Dynamics in Canada, Vancouver: UBC Press. Strömbäck, J. (2008) ‘Four phases of mediatization: an analysis of the mediatization of politics’, International Journal of Press Politics, vol 13, no 3, pp 228-46. Thesen, G. (2013) ‘When good news is scarce and bad news is good: government responsibilities and opposition possibilities in political agenda-setting’, European Journal of Political Research, vol 52, no 3, pp 364-89. Trejo Delarbre, R. (1991) Ver, Pero Tambien Leer, Mexico City: Instituto Nacional del Consumidor. Walgrave, S. and Van Aelst, P. (2006) ‘The contingency of the mass media’s political agenda setting power. Towards a preliminary theory’, Journal of Communication, vol 56, no 1, pp 88-109. Wolfe, M. (2006) Comparing Agenda Setting with Indexing, Seattle, WA: Center for American Politics and Public Policy, University of Washington.

278

SIXTEEN

Conclusion Jose-Luis Mendez and Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna

This book has offered an ample view of how policy analysis takes place in various government and non-governmental sectors in Mexico. It should be said, however, that many of its chapters have also discussed the ways in which several types of actor intervene in the processes of policy analysis and policymaking. The richness provided by the authors’ contributions will thus allow scholars to get a good idea not only about policy analysis in Mexico, but also about the functioning of the country’s political system as a whole. While these final remarks will only focus on the authors’ general conclusions regarding policy analysis, the wider scope of this book should also be kept in mind. Policy analysis in Mexico has been defined by both the legacy of colonial history as well as by recent social, economic and political developments. Although formally democratic and federal, throughout the 20th century the country had a clientelistic and centralized political and administrative system. It only introduced a merit-based civil service in the federal government in 2003 (which is still only partially applied and remains absent in all states and municipalities; see DussaugeLaguna and Mendez, 2011; Grindle, 2012). Ideas from the public policy field began to be drawn in academia and government as recently as the 1990s. Policy analysis capabilities have been quite limited even at the federal level, and the greater political and administrative weight of the federal government since the 1930s has overshadowed the development of policy analysis in other instances. This longstanding dominance by the federal government has translated into a still strong influence over most policy spheres. However, the country’s progress towards democratization and decentralization has meant that federal government policies have been increasingly challenged by Congress, social actors and state and local authorities (Mendez, 1999; Somuano, 2011; Beer, 2012; Nacif, 2012; Seele, 2012; Thacker, 2012; Camp, 2013). The sections of the book have covered policy analysis in the different branches and levels of government, as well as in many other institutions. After the first section, which describes the evolution of the policy field in the country, the second section studies policy analysis at the federal level, which involves both the executive and the legislative branches. The policy field could be further divided into two spheres, concerning central government, addressed in Chapters Four and Five, and the relatively recent autonomous agencies, studied in Chapter Six. The section on policy analysis at the federal level began with an overview on how the whole federal government works in practice, and closed with an examination in Chapter Seven of the functioning of the legislative branch 279

Policy analysis in Mexico

(specifically the Chamber of Deputies). The third section of the book studies policy analysis at the state and local governments, with chapters by Olmeda and Meza, respectively. The fourth section covered how policy analysis is conducted beyond state institutions, including discussions on political parties, think thanks, civic organizations by Somuano, business organizations, unions, and mass media. Next, we will briefly present the main points of these chapters, as well as some general conclusions that can be drawn from them. Chapter Three on the federal government concludes that the set of rules and procedures that shape policy analysis have not sufficed to ensure that decisions, implementation and controls regarding expenditure are all oriented towards quality and efficacy. It argues that policy design does not generally respond to clear diagnoses and evidence yet, nor does it define concrete objectives, responsibilities, or measurable goals. In turn, in an analysis of bureaucratic capacity in the federal bureaucracy, Chapter Four finds that capacity for doing policy analysis is emerging, albeit in a disorderly manner, more out of necessity than strategy. It also finds that in most areas professionalization levels remain low, thus generating tensions among departments, as well as hindering the use of policy analysis (relevant information and evidence) in government decision making. The general examination of advisory boards of federal agencies and ministries presented in Chapter Five reveals some interesting features. These organizations are evolving into collegial bodies for decision making of the highest level, and are also gaining autonomy in an attempt to acquire legitimacy and be in a position to develop evidence-based policies. However, the nature of these advisory boards varies, as some of them produce policy papers with specific recommendations, whereas others tend to operate more like in-house think tanks for their parent agencies. Similar points are described in Chapter Six on the autonomous (regulatory) agencies. These organizations used to be part of the federal government, but recently have been given formal (constitutional) independence, aimed at developing their strong technical policy expertise outside political dynamics. The authors argue that these autonomous agencies do seem to be improving their policy analysis capacity now that they are outside the executive power. At the same time, they assert that autonomous agencies are still struggling with inherited organizational cultures, routines and regulatory approaches from the past. Chapter Seven on policy analysis in the Chamber of Deputies shows how the process of democratization in Mexico has fostered the professionalization of staff assisting legislators. To some extent, members of Congress have taken advantage of this resource to counterbalance the asymmetry of information and expertise they face against federal agencies. In this way, congressional policy analysis has been of great importance for legislators since they have utilized it to improve the quality of legislation initiated or amended, and in some degree to monitor the implementation of policy programs. However, the chapter also argues that there is a huge variation in the quality of policy analysis done within the legislative power. While there are some research centers and committees with professional 280

Conclusion

and experienced staff, which even follow handbooks and methodologies, others have advisors with scarce or no professional training. At the state level, Chapter Eight shows that governors remain the central actors in the policymaking process, even though executive branch structures across the country are far from being homogenous. According to the author, just as in the case of the federal executive, it is rather difficult to conduct policy analysis in state-level bureaucracies because they all lack a professional public service. This fact imposes significant limitations in terms of the technical capacities that are necessary to produce high-quality policy analysis. Then, even when policy analysis is produced, it is not necessary taken into account in important decisions. On the contrary, political considerations often dominate over technical analysis. In fact, the chapter shows that even in the most developed subnational government, the Federal District, policy analysis is not well organized or produced. Chapter Nine on local governments argues that there have been (and continue to exist) different types of policy analysis at this level. On the one hand, a bureaucratic mode of governance favors an in-house and consultancy-reliant type of policy analysis. This has been the case because local governments have increased their number of policy agencies or departments, the economic resources they handle, the formal education of their heads of departments, and the frequency of external projects on a client-based relationship. On the other hand, there are also instances of a democratic governance mode of policy analysis, which promotes citizen participation and the institutionalization of public–private venues to discuss policy decisions and produce data for local governments. Just as at the federal and state levels, policy analysis remains in the hands of the local government executives. Despite important limitations and frequent unwillingness to finance agencies capable of producing and analyzing relevant data, the chapter suggests that the combination of recent democratization and decentralization trends has increased policy analysis capacity at this level. What would these chapters have us conclude about the way policy analysis is conducted in the Mexican state? First, policy analysis is not extensively conducted yet at the federal level in any of its branches, which no doubt has had negative effects on the quality of public policy in the country. Second, however, there is evidence to suggest that policy analysis is now being conducted in some areas. Autonomous agencies, advisory councils and some departments of the federal bureaucracy have developed stronger professional capacities and are thus able to conduct policy analysis to a greater extent than other state agencies. This heterogeneity has meant an increasing tension regarding the way different areas within the executive power approaches policy analysis and policymaking. The same could be said of the Chamber of Deputies. However, when we compare the extent to which policy analysis is conducted at the federal, state and local levels it is quite clear that policy analysis is weaker in the latter two cases. Consequently, a greater degree of analysis at these levels comes from consulting firms or external experts. Moreover, if at the federal level policy analysis is much stronger in the executive than in the legislative power, at 281

Policy analysis in Mexico

the state and local levels both policymaking and policy analysis are even more clearly dominated by the former. It should be noted that most chapters stressed that the lack of a truly functioning merit-based civil service is one of the main reasons that explains the low policy analysis capacity and practices in all levels and areas of the Mexican state. The book also covers several non-state institutions that permanently participate in policymaking processes and public debates in Mexico, and therefore that (one would expect) develop some kind of policy analysis on a regular basis. Chapter Ten, the first in this section, states that the oldest Mexican political parties have well-established foundations, although with relatively small organizational structures and very limited funds. Their employees tend to be professionals with a basic academic background. Some of these foundations conduct policy analysis themselves, such as that belonging to the National Action Party, while others, like the foundation affiliated to the Institutional Revolutionary Party, rely on external experts to do it. In general, however, the chapter finds that these foundations do not tend to provide policy advice to their parties, candidates and governments. It further stresses that the quality of policy proposals developed by Mexican political parties in their basic documents or electoral manifestos is very low in almost all policy areas, generally lacking a diagnosis of public problems as a point of departure. Chapter Eleven on think tanks shows that, despite being relatively new in the Mexican scenario, such organizations are developing fresh approaches and methodologies for debating and analyzing public policies. Think tanks rely on small but highly qualified groups of researchers, which are sometimes supported by the involvement of external experts for specific projects. On the other hand, the authors argue that Mexican think tanks are still facing a number of challenges, such as the effects that external funding may have on their policy agendas and research independence, and the difficulties associated with how to measure the actual impact of their policy proposals and criticisms on policy decisions. A somehow similar story is told in Chapter Twelve on civic organizations. This states that several civic organizations have been able to do sound policy analyses, which in turn have been successful in influencing policymaking. However, the author also argues that many of these organizations do not really care about policy analysis, as they do not think it will be useful for their purposes. Therefore, some still prefer to conduct grassroots work and focus on other types of activity, such as organizing demonstrations, although this situation has started to change in recent decades. Chapter Thirteen describes the various research centers that have been established by business organizations. These have tended to conduct studies of the socioeconomic and political realities of the country and the world, aimed at developing arguments that may help private actors put pressure on policymaking. Businesses have also resorted to professional consultants and companies of varying nature to carry out specific studies in various fields. The author remarks that, while these research centers are small, some of them—particularly those dependent 282

Conclusion

on banks such as Banamex and Bancomer, or the Economic Study Center of the Private Sector—have managed to influence public opinion and government decisions, taking advantage of the economic, political and mass media power enjoyed by businesses. In contrast, Chapter Fourteen argues that Mexican unions have not made an effort to develop endogenous policy analysis resources, unlike their counterparts in Brazil, France and the United States. The authors cite a study concerning four research centers that depended on a union from the end of the 1990s to 2006, which shows how the capacities of such centers have been decreasing. This has happened because, first, vertical union structures do not facilitate the organizational autonomy that is necessary to generate research products that respond to the medium- and long-term needs of unions; and second, because these organizations generally have fewer economic and human resources. Moreover, this study suggests that Mexican union leaders do not tend to request policy analysis, and when they do they rarely use it. This has had a negative impact on their capacity to influence policies affecting labor. Finally, Chapter Fifteen states that although historical relations between media and politics have made investigative journalism in the media unnecessary (let alone that specialized in public policy), in the past decade things have changed with increasingly sophisticated technology and more demanding urban audiences. While specialization in public policy coverage is still poor, adversarial and alternative media—those seemingly more responsive to new critical audiences and technology—are beginning to generate more robust investigative reports and research teams. In general, however, the authors argue that autonomous and professional journalism remains problematic, as they are rarely seen as necessary to the information-gathering practices of most media outlets. From the chapters that deal with policy analysis outside the state, we can conclude that policy analysis is clearly much weaker across these organizations than in state spheres, something that is directly related to the above mentioned tradition of strong state presence in Mexico. However, the chapters also point to some variation. While policy analysis is conducted to some extent in parties, think thanks, civic and business organizations, it is only scarcely conducted within unions and the mass media. Furthermore, these chapters seem to provide evidence for a positive relationship between policy analysis and policy influence. Probably such relationship is more clearly shown if we compare business and labor organizations, as the former have shown both greater policy analysis capacity and policy influence, and the latter lower levels of both factors. However, these chapters also show that there is an overall lack of strong policy analysis capacities across non-state actors, which no doubt has been one factor contributing to lower levels of state accountability. Thus, strengthening such capacities in the near future will be crucial for Mexican political parties and civil society organizations if they really want to become stronger and more influential vis-à-vis the state, and ascertain a position that allows them to demand better policy results and greater public accountability. 283

Policy analysis in Mexico

References Beer, C. (2012) Invigorating federalism: the emergence of governors and state legislatures as powerbrokers and policy innovators’, in R. Camp (ed) Oxford Handbook of Mexican Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Camp, R. (2013) Politics in Mexico, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Dussauge-Laguna, M. and Mendez, J. (2011) ‘El servicio profesional: una introducción general’, in J. Mendez (ed) El Servicio Profesional, Mexico City: Siglo XXI/ EAPDF. Grindle, M. (2012) Jobs for the Boys. Patronage and the State in Comparative Perspective, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Mendez, J. (1999) ‘Civil organizations in Mexico: recent evolution and prospects’, Voluntas, vol 10, no 1, pp 93-99. Nacif, B. (2012) ‘The fall of the dominant presidency: lawmaking under divided government in Mexico’, in R. Camp (ed) Oxford Handbook of Mexican Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seele, A. (2012) ‘Municipalities and policymaking’, in R. Camp (ed) Oxford Handbook of Mexican Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Somuano, F. (2011) Sociedad Civil Organizada y Democracia en México, Mexico City: El Colegio de México. Thacker, S. (2012) ‘Big business, democracy and the politics of competition’, in R. Camp (ed) Oxford Handbook of Mexican Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

284

Index

Index

A Abedrop, Carlos  228 academic programs  18, 19, 20, 22 accountability  20, 32, 35, 36, 37, 149 ACE (Alianza por la Calidad Educativa) (Alliance for Educational Quality)  251, 252 advisory boards (consejos consultivos)  4, 5, 69–81 budgetary allocations  73fig by ministry  72t cross-cutting issues  73 defining characteristics  74fig definition  69, 70, 71 in federal government  71–4 main characteristics and policy analysis activities 79t MPIs 161 “negotiated regulation”  70 on organized crime  73, 74 resources 73 social and environmental policies  74–80 specific policy problems  73 technical autonomy  78 universe of  71–4, 85t–6t advocacy, CSOs  210 agencification 149 agenda setting, studies on  12 “agenda-setting theory,” and media  263, 264–5 Aguilar, L.  41 El Estudio de las Políticas Públicas 17 La Hechura de las Políticas Públicas 17 La Implementación de las Políticas 17 ‘Política pública y gobierno del estado’  17 Problemas Públicos y Agenda de Gobierno 17 Ahora es Cuándo (Now is When) (document) 252 Ai Camp, R.  47 Alemán, Miguel  224 Alonso, Jorge  178 Alternativas y Capacidades (Alternatives and Capacities) (CSO)  210, 211, 220 Amnesty International (CSO)  211 Apatzingán massacre, media coverage of 268–9

aportaciones (earmarked federal transfers)  128, 129 Arellano, D. ‘Política pública, racionalidad imperfecta e irracionalidad. Hacia una perspectiva diferente’  18 Arnaut, A.  250 Arredondo Ramírez, P.  260 Asociación Nacional de Profesionales del Cabildeo (National Association of Professionals in Lobbying)  234 austerity policies  95 authoritarianism clientelism and patrimonialism  45 and corporatism  243 and development  14 elites and  20 and policy studies  13, 14–15 political parties  172, 173 and statist policy  32 autonomous agencies  5, 87–104 IFT  95, 96–102 INEE  91–5, 101–2 Avritzer, Leonardo  208 ayuntamientos  151–3, 155, 156t, 161

B Banco de Comercio (Bank of Commerce) (now Bancomer BBV)  227 Banco Nacional de México (National Bank of Mexico)  14, 47, 89, 227 Bardach, E.  63 Baumgartner, F.R. and Jones, B.D.  264 Bazua, F. and Valenti, G.  18 Benenson, Peter  211 Bensusán, G.  244, 245 Berlin Wall, fall of  16 Boston Consulting Group  231 Brachet, V., ‘El proceso social en la formación de políticas: el caso de la planificación familiar en Mexico’  16 Brazil 70 Budget and Fiscal Responsibility Law  35 bureaucracy capacity  46–65, 155 and complex functional hierarchy  49–50 governance  150, 152, 154, 155–8, 159

285

Policy analysis in Mexico political posts  49 professionalization 55 and secretariats of state  50fig spoils system  14 training 55 business institutions  223, 224–7, 231, 234, 235

C CAAs (constitutional autonomous agencies) (organismos constitucionales autónomos) 87– 104 and constraints  95, 99, 100 creation of  90 and modern telecommunications regulation 100 non-majoritarian institutions  88 and political arena  95 Cabrero, E.  32, 33 ‘Usos y costumbres en la hechura de las políticas públicas: limites de las policy sciences en contextos cultural y políticamente diferentes’  21 Calderón, Felipe  20, 184, 246 Camacho, Ávila  224 Canacintra (Cámara Nacional de la Industria de la Transformación) (National Chamber of Manufacturing Industries)  224, 232, 233 Canaco (Cámara Nacional de Comercio de la Ciudad de México) (Mexico City Chamber of Commerce)  228 Canada 16 Canto, M. and Moreno, P., Reforma del Estado y Políticas Sociales 18 “captured-liberal” media system  261, 262–3, 264 Cárdenas, Cuauhtémoc  140, 141 Cárdenas, Lázaro  224 Cardozo, Myriam  18, 19 Carranza, Venustiano  224 Castillo, Alfredo  268, 269 Castillo López, Carlos  178 CCE (Consejo Coordinador Empresarial) (Business Coordinating Council)  226, 227, 228, 232, 234 CEAMEG (Centro de Estudios para el Adelanto de las Mujeres y la Equidad de Género) (Research Centre for the Advancement of Gender and Women Equity)  115, 116 CEDRSSA (Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo Sustentable y la Soberanía Alimentaria) (Research Centre for Sustainable Development and Food Sovereignty)  116, 117

286

CEED (Centro de Estudios Económicos y Demográficos) (Center of Economics and Demography)  14, 15 Dinámica de la Población en Mexico (Population Dynamics in Mexico) 15 CEESP (Centro de Estudios Económicos del Sector Privado) (Private Sector Economic Studies Center)  228, 229–30 CEEY (Center of Studies Espinosa Iglesias)  189, 197–200, 201–3 Evalúa y Decide (Assess and Decide) project  183–5, 186 CEFP (Centro de Estudios de las Finanzas Públicas)   112, 113–14, 121 CEMEFI (Centro Mexicano de la Filantropía) (Mexican Center of Philanthropy)  208 Center for International Studies (Centro de Estudios Internacionales)  15 Center for Investigation and National Security 73 centralization of decision making  32, 131 centros patronales (employers’ centers)  225 Cervecería Cuauhtémoc  228 CESOP (Centro de Estudios de Derecho e Investigaciones Parlamentarias) (Social Studies and Public Opinion Research Center)  115, 116 Chamber of Deputies  107–24 bicameral system  108, 109 Congress  108, 109–11 legislative committees  117–19 modernization 111 obstacles and limitations  121, 122–3 pluralism  110, 111, 118 professionalization  111, 116 research centers  111, 112–17 standing committees  118fig types of policy analysis  122fig Chair of Deputies, political influence of  122, 123 Chanona, Alejandro  179 “Chatham House” rules  199 Chiapas  134, 252 CIDAC (Centro de Investigación para el Desarrollo) (Centre for Research for Development)  189, 191, 192–7, 201–3 CIDE (Center for Research and Teaching in Economics) (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas) 15, 18, 19 CIDIP (Centro de Estudios de Derecho e Investigaciones Parlamentarias) (Legal Studies and Parliamentary Research Center)  114, 115 CIDS (Comisión Intersecretarial de Desarrollo Social)  38n1 Citizen Academy of Public Policy  210 citizen advisory boards, US  70

Index citizens’ proposals  212 Ciudad de México (Mexico City)  139, 140–4 Civic Alliance  220 civil service in authoritarian state  14 and democratization  20 establishment of professional  107 merit-based  47, 48 obstacles to professionalization  121–2, 123 use of academic argument and evidence 53fig clientelism  48, 171, 172, 185 CMHN (Consejo Mexicano de Negocios) (Mexican Council of Businesses)  225, 226–7, 231, 232 Performance Index of Public Federal Programs 223 CNTE (Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajdores de la Educación) (National Coordination of Education Workers)  249, 250, 252 Cobb, R.W. and Elder, C.D.  264 Participation in American Politics: The Dynamics of Agenda-Building 12 COECE (Coordinadora de Organismos Empresariales para Comercio Exterior) (Coordinator for Business Organization in Foreign Trade)  227, 232 Cofetel (Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones) (Federal Telecommunications Commission)  99, 100 COLMEX (El Colegio de México)  15, 17, 19 Colosio Foundation (Fundación Colosio)  176, 177, 178, 179, 182 Comisión de Régimen Interno y Concertación Política (Committee on Agenda Control and Political Concertation) 110 command-and-control mechanisms  149 Compañía General de Aceptaciones (General Company of Success)  227, 228 CONACYT (National Council of Science and Technology)  213 CONAGO (Conferencia Nacional de Gobernadores) (National Conference of Governors) 139 Concamin (Confederation of Chambers of Industry)  224, 233 Concanaco (Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce  224 concientización 207n3 conditional cash transfer programs  75

Coneval (National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy)  35, 38, 75, 76–8, 79t, 80, 81, 89 Conferencia para la Dirección y Programación de los Trabajos Legislativos (Conference for Steering and Scheduling Legislation) 110 Congress budgetary assessments  121 dominance of PRI  14 importance of policy analysis  123, 124 information collection and analysis  120 institutional features and evolution  108, 109–11 public sector reform  33, 34 rubber-stamp institution  107 types of policy analysis  119, 120–1 Congressional Organic Law 1979  110 Congressional Organic Law 1999  110, 111, 113 congressional research centers  107 Constitution  33, 34, 36, 48, 100, 103, 109, 242 constraints  31, 33, 60, 61fig, 95, 100, 214, 215 Convergence of Civic Organizations for Democracy 208 Coparmex  224, 225, 232, 233, 242 COPLADEMUN (Municipal Development Planning Committee)  158, 159 corporatism  16, 224, 239, 240 corporatist trade unionism  240, 241–5 cost-benefit analysis  98, 121 Coyuntura (journal)  179 Craft, J. and Howlett, M.  150 Crusade Against Hunger (Cruzada Nacional Contra el Hambre)  78 CSOs (civil society organizations)  205–20 capacities 215–18 defined 207 limitations  219, 220 network 208 number of  209fig objectives 215 professionalization 218 relationships  216, 217 resources  217, 218 types of  215, 216 women’s groups  220 CT (Congreso del Trabajo) (Labor Congress) 248

D de la Madrid, Miguel  15, 16 decentralization  3, 33, 34–7 aportaciones  128, 129

287

Policy analysis in Mexico and democratization  20 and governance  149 and municipality governance  152 and state government  130 democratic governance model  150, 151 democratization  3–4, 33, 34 CAAs 89 and expansion public policy field  20–2 and governance  149, 153 legislative branch of power  109 and policy analysis  31 and public policy  16–22, 36–7, 45 dependency state perspective  16 Diario Oficial de la Federación (journal)  99 Díaz, Porfirio  224 dictámenes  108, 117, 120–1, 122fig Dillon’s rule  151 disaster prevention  18 discretionary decision making, restriction of 33 División de Estudios Económico y Sociales de Banamex (Division of Economic and Social Studies of Banamex)  227 Dobuzinski, L.et al (2007)  50 Downs, A., ‘Up and down with ecology—the “issue-attention” cycle’  12 drug regulation  70 Dunleavy, P.  175

E earthquake, Mexico City  208 Ebrard, Marcelo  140, 141, 143, 144 Echeverria, Luis  15 economic crises  15 economic liberalization  3, 33, 34, 47, 226 education federal government  134, 135 level of staff  47, 52, 113, 119, 155, 156t reform of  240, 242, 249–54, 266, 267t and social mobility  199 state governments  34 Eepemex (encuesta a expertos en política estatal en México) study 2014  131 efficiency, state  14, 15, 16, 60, 63, 121, 122 Egeberg, M.  61n4 El Salvador, political refugees  208 electoral coalitions  153fig, 174, 184, 231, 247, 248 electoral reforms  33, 109, 174, 176, 260 elites  20, 32, 226, 261, 266, 274 ENA (École National d’Administration) France 144 Encinas, Alejandro  140 environmental issues  70, 71, 76, 80 Espinosa Rugarcía Foundation  197, 202 Espinosa Yglesias, Manuel  197

288

Esteso, Roberto  19 Estudios Políticos, Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales (journal) 22 Evalúa DF  143, 144 “evaluative policy analysis”  11, 38, 39 evidence-based public policies  45 Examen de la Situación Económica de México (Examination of the Economic Situation of Mexico)  227 experts  70, 83t, 184t “explanatory policy analysis”  11 expropriationof banks  225 external consultants  55 external support  158fig

F Facebook 262 Federal Act of Social Development  157 federal administration  31–41 advisory units  55–62, 71–4, 85t–6t bureaucratic capacity  14, 45–65 coordinating officers  62–4 education levels  52 factors in adoption of public policy  60fig frequency of activities by unit  57fig growth in numbers  51 information sources  52–4 limits of policy analysis  39–40 map of actors  138fig obstacles 60–1 perceived usefulness of academic products 54fig political factors and rejection  59fig promotion of policy analysis  62–4 reduction in spending  34 surveys of  51, 52, 53–5 use of academic arguments and evidence 53fig, 54fig Federal Electoral Institute  16 Federal Labor Law  225 Federal Law of Transparency and Access to Public Government Information  35 Federal Superior Auditing Law  35 federal transfers  128, 129, 153 federalism  127, 128–30, 151 Financiera Serfín (Serfin Finance Company) 228 fixers 63 FLACSO (Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales)  131 food sector, research center  116, 117 Foro Global de Río 1992  220 Foro Internacional (journal)  17, 18, 20 four-cage model for local policy analysis  148, 150fig Fox, Vicente  20, 35, 128, 173, 232

Index Freire, Paulo  207n3 Fundar (CSO)  211, 212, 218, 220

G Gallardo Landeros, Adrian  176, 177 Garza, Vidal ‘Diseño de una política pública para la prevención de desastres naturales’  18 ‘La política pública en democracia: retos y oportunidades’ 21 ‘Políticas públicas, etica y seguridad en el marco de la acción del estado. Reflexiones para el próximo siglo’  18 GEA (Grupo de Economistas y Asociados) (Group of Economists and Associates)  230, 231 gender 212 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade  47 general directors  48, 49 General Law of Education  249 General Law of Political Parties  174 GESOC (Gestión Social y Cooperación–Social Management and Cooperation)  40, 212, 218, 219, 220 Gestión y Política Pública (journal)  18, 19 Gordillo, Elba Esther  251, 252 “government by planning”  41 Gran Comisión  110 Granados Chapa, M.A.  259 Great Society legislation, US  12 Grupo México  80 Guanajuato 161–2 Guatemala, political refugees  208 Guerrero, Juan Pablo ‘La evaluación de políticas públicas: enfoques teóricos y realidades en nueve paises desarrollados’  18 Guerrero, M.A.  259, 261, 262 Guerrero, Omar ‘Continuidad y terminación de políticas en la administración pública’  18 ‘Las políticas públicas antes de las ciencias de las políticas’  18 ‘Los usos del análisis de la implementación de las políticas’  18 Gutiérrez, Gustavo  207n3

H health  34, 70, 71 Heidenheimer, A.  11 Horcasitas, Juan Molinar  177 Howlett, M. and Lindquist, E.  55 Huber, J.  51 Huber, J. and McCarty, N.  46 human rights  76, 208, 211–13, 270, 273, 275

I IFT (Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones) (Federal Telecommunications Institute)  87, 90, 95, 96–100, 102–4 IMEVISIÓN 260 impact assessment  121 implementation, studies on  12 import substitution industrialization  15, 227, 228, 232, 242, 243 INAFED (National Institute of Federalism) 152 “indexing theory” and media  263, 264–5 INE (National Institute of Ecology)  75 INECC (National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change)  75, 76, 77, 78, 79t, 80, 81 INEE (Instituto Nacional de Evaluación para la Educación) (National Institute of Evaluation for Education)  87, 90–5, 101–4 INEGI (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía) (National Institute of Statistics and Geography)  135, 193 inertia 62 in-house advisors  55, 56, 62 Instituto de Investigaciones Ecológicas (Institute of Ecological Research)  179 Instituto Municipal de Planeación, Guanajuato  161, 162 Instituto Nacional de Investigación, Formación y Capacitación en Políticas Públicas y Gobierno A.C. (National Institute for Research, Training and Public Policies)  178, 179 Instituto Nacional de Transparencia, Acceso a la Información y Protección de Datos Personales (National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information, and Personal Data Protection)  89 Inter-Ministerial Commission on Climate Change 76 International Labour Organization  247 internet 262 interventionism 232 ITAM (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México) (Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico), graduate program  19

J JCP (Junta de Coordinación Política) (Political Coordination Board)  110, 118 Jones, M.  171 journals  19, 20, 22

289

Policy analysis in Mexico K Kingdon, J.W.  264 “knowledge brokers”  49, 50 L Labastida, Gloria  19 labor market  239–54 case studies  245, 246–52 institutional change  241, 242 legislative process  247, 248 and politics  241 social and political actors  248, 249 union corporatism  242–5 Lascoumes, P. and Le Gales, P.  239 Lasswell, Harold  13, 17 ‘The policy orientation’  12 Lasswell, Harold and Lerner, Daniel, The Policy Sciences: Recent Developments in Scope and Method 12 Law of the National Institute of Educational Evaluation 249 Lázaro Cárdenas Foundation  179 legislative branch of power  3, 32, 108–10, 251 Leon, J. and Mora, S., Democracia, Ciudadania y Politicas Publicas 21 León 162 Levitsky, S. and Murillo, M.  241, 242 Ley Federal de Fomento a las Actividades de las Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil (Federal Law to Promote Activities of Civil Society Organizations)  211 Ley Orgánica de la Administración Pública Federal (General Statute of the Federal Public Administration)  88 LFSPC (Federal Law of Professional Career Service in Federal Public Administration) 47 LFT (federal labor law)  240, 246, 253 LGAIT (General Law on Transparency and Access to Information)  174 LGDS (General Law of Social Development) 35 LGPP (General Law of Political Parties)  176 LGSPD (General Law of Professional Teachers’ Service)  249 liberation theology  207 Lindau, J.D.  47 Lindquist, E.A. and Desveaux, J.  49, 50 lobbying  226, 232, 233–4 local government bureaucratic governance model  154, 155–8, 159 consultancy projects  156, 157–8, 159 democratic governance mode  159–62, 163, 164 expenditure 157t

290

external consultants  163 in-house policy analysis  154, 155–6, 163 institutional capacity  147 institutional governance model  147–64 outreach mechanisms  159–60 planning and policy analysis  153, 154 policy analysis  5, 6 policy analysis model for local governments 150–4 public–private partnerships  161–2 third-tier government  151–3 locational dimension, policy advisory system 150 López Obrador, Andrés Manuel  140, 183, 184 López Portillo, José  15, 36, 225 Lowi, T.  17 Lowi, T. and Heclo, H. ‘Four systems of policy, politics and choice’ 13 ‘Issue networks and the executive establishment’ 13

M Madrazo, Roberto  184 Mahoney, J. and Thelen, K.  241 Mancera, Miguel Ángel  140, 141, 144 Marxism 19 MDPs (municipal development plans)  153, 154 media 259–76 approaches  264, 265–71 bias 262 “captured-liberal” media system  261, 262–3, 264 case studies  266–75 coverage education reform  267t coverage energy reform  267t coverage telecommunications reform  268t governmental control of  259–60 new  262, 263 Mendez, J.L. ‘Implementing developed countries’ administrative reforms in developing countries: the case of Mexico’  21 ‘La política industrial en México’  21 ‘La política pública como variable dependiente: hacia un análisis más integral de las políticas públicas’  17 ‘Los programas de Monitoreo Ciudadano, Lenguaje Ciudadano y Cartas Compromiso de la Secretaria de la Función Pública’  21 Mérida 161 Merino, M., Política Pública y Gestión Local 18

Index Mesa Directiva (Chamber’s Executive Committee) 110 Mexican Academy of Public Policy  17n4 Mexican Association of Planning Institutes 161 Mexican Association of Political Science  22 Mexican Official Standards  80 Mexican Revolution  2, 128, 223, 224 Mexicanos Primero  240, 250, 252 Meyer, L.  47 MfR (Management for Results)  130 Ministries of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fishing 75 of Finance and Public Credit  14, 35, 36, 112, 113 of the Interior  71 of Planning  36 of the Presidency  36 of Programming and Budgeting  36 of Public Education  91 of Social Development  75 of Telecommunications and Transports  95, 100 minority populations  70 Monterrey  224, 227, 228 Montgomery, L.F.  260 Moreno, Pedro  18, 19 Mota, Josefina Vazquez  185 Movimiento Ciudadano (Citizen Movement party) 179 MPIs (municipal planning institutes)  161–2, 164, 167t–8t municipalities governance  151–3, 251–64 open policies and citizen-led organizations 160t planning and evaluation  158fig type of  157fig

N NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)  16, 47, 227, 232 National Center for Gender Equity and Reproductive Health  73 National Democratic Planning System  36 National Education System  91–2, 249–51 National Institute for the Evaluation of Education  73, 92fig National Institute of Access to Public Information 35 National Institute of Geography and Statistics 97 National Inventory of Programs and Actions for Social Development  76

National System for the Evaluation of Education 91 National System of Researchers  75, 76 network managers  63 NGOs (non-governmental organizations)  6, 139, 205–9, 216 non-majoritarian institutions  90 non-state actors  6

O Oaxaca 252 OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) (Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económicos)   2, 91, 252 Ojeda, Mario, Alcances y Límites de la Política Exterior de México (Scope and Limits of Foreign Policy in Mexico) 15 open market economy  3 operating personnel  49 Ordaz, Díaz  226 organismos descentralizados (decentralized organizations) 88 organismos desconcentrados (decentered organizations) 88 outreach mechanisms  160fig

P Pact for Mexico (Pactopor México)  177, 240, 251, 266 PAN (Partido Acción Nacional) (National Action Party) and business  233, 234 creation 173 and labor market  248 own candidates  174 presidential election  20, 33, 128 research center  177, 178 Parliamentary Services Office (Secretaría de Servicios Parlamentarios)  112, 113–14 Parsons, Wayne  175 participaciones (unconditional transfers)  128 Partido Verde Ecologista de México (Green Ecologist Mexican Party)  179, 182 pasarela (parading) 226 Peña Nieto, Enrique  20, 78n9, 177, 185, 246, 251, 266 media coverage of “White House”  270, 271, 272f Performance Evaluation System  35, 40 Performance Index of Public Federal Programs  219, 220 Pesos y Contrapesos (bulletin by Fundar)  212 PGR (Fiscalía General de la República)  88n3 Phillips, Susan D.  214

291

Policy analysis in Mexico Pineda, J., Enfoques de Políticas Públicas y Gobernabilidad 18 Plan Estratégico, Mérida  162 planning and evaluation system  39fig Planning Law  37 planning responsibilities  137t PMS (Partido Mexicano Socialista) (Mexican Socialist Party)  173 PND (Plan Nacional de Desarrollo) (National Development Plan)  36, 37, 39 policy analysis approaches 4 capacity 56–62 defined  11, 12–13 as evaluation  38, 39 periods of  4 promotion of  62–4 as study in Mexico  11–22 policy managers  63, 64 policy process, studies on  12 policy studies, in an authoritarian political system 14–15 Política y Cultura (journal)  18, 19 political parties  171–87 accountability  172, 174 budgets for policy analysis  181t–2t local government  153fig manifestos  182, 183–5 and policy analysis  175, 176–82 policy analysis centers  180t public funding  174 registration rules  173 research bodies  176 political reforms  2 political refugees  208 political regimes and public policy  31, 32, 33 “politics of public policy” conceptual framework 130 population policy  17 poverty CIDAC and  192 Coneval and  75, 76, 77, 78 and education reform  251 Evalúa DF and  143, 144 evaluation of interventions  75, 77–8 and labor reform  243 and NGOs  206 PRD (Partido de la Revolución Democratica) (Party of the Democratic Revolution) and business  233 in Ciudad de México  140 history of  173 and labor reform  246, 247, 248 research center  178 presidency 48 presidential elections  20, 182, 182–5 press, governmental control of  259–60

292

PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) (Institutional Revolutionary Party) and business  233, 234 civil service appointments  50 and Congress  107, 109 corporatism 242 dominance of  14, 172–3 fall of candidate and CSOs  208 and labor market  248 loss of majority  16, 33, 110, 128 own candidates  174 passing of legislation  112, 113 presidential election  16, 20 research center  176 private sector  6, 7, 223–6, 227–31 business institutions  223, 224–7, 231, 234, 235 research centers  227–31 and state  231–4, 235 privatization  3, 226 PRM (Partido de la Revolución Mexicana) (Party of the Mexican Revolution)  242 production-possibility frontier  62 Professional Career Service  49, 51, 52, 58 Propuesta Cívica  213, 214, 218, 220 Prospera (formerly Oportunidades)  40 PSUM (Partido Socialista Unificado de México) (Unified Socialist Party of Mexico) (later PMS)  173 Public Finances Research Center  116 public policy making  31, 32, 33 public sector, reduction in  34 publications  16, 17–18, 21, 22

Q Quadri, Gabriel  185

R Rafael Preciado Foundation  177, 178, 179 Red Mexicana de Acción Frente al Libre Comercio 220 regidores (aldermen) 151 regressive social programs  41 Reich, Z.  265 resources, optimization of  47 results-oriented public administration  35, 36 Revista de Administración Pública (journal) 18, 20 Revista Mexicana de Sociología (journal)  22 rivalries 62–4 Robles, Rosario  140 Romero Kolbek, Gustavo  228

Index S Salinas de Gortari, Carlos  16, 226 San Luis Potosí  208 Santos, S.L. and Chess, C.  70 Scartascini, C. et al (2011)  241 Scott, J.  41 secretariats  48–9, 50fig, 134–8 Finance  47, 136, 141 General 111 Planning 136 Programming and Budgeting  130 Seguro Popular  78n9 Senate  108, 109 senior officers  48 Servicio Profesional Docente (Teachers Civil Service)   91, 95 SHCP (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público) (Ministry of Finance and Public Credit)   112, 113 SNTE (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación) (National Education Workers Union)  249, 250, 251, 252 social actors  16, 51, 210, 212, 234, 239, 251, 252 Social Development Act (2004)  75 social mobility  197–9 see also CEEY Sonora 225 state governments  127–45 federalism  127, 128–30 governors  131, 132–3, 134 impact of actors  131fig, 138, 139 policy analysis  5 policy making process  130, 131 revenues 129fig role  2, 3 secretariats 134–8 state secretary  48 state-run enterprise sector, US graduates  47 statist policy  32, 149 Stoker, G.  149 Stokey, E. and Zeckhauser, R., A Primer for Policy Analysis 19 street-level bureaucrats  50 “structural reforms”  3 Superior Audit of the Federation  35 Supreme Audit Institution  33

T technocracy  11, 14, 46, 47 telebancada 262 Televisa 260 termination, policy stage of  18 “thematic cabinets”  134 think tanks  189–203 CEEY  183–5, 186, 189, 197–200, 201–3

CIDAC  189, 191, 192–7, 201–3 internal 55 policy analysis  6 political parties  176 third sector organizations, defined  206 three-tier constitutional federation  151–3 Tlatlaya summary execution, media coverage of  269, 270 trade unions  7, 50, 239–53 Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations  247 transparency  20, 32, 212 TV news broadcasts  260 Twitter 262

U UAM (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana) (Metropolitan Autonomous University)  15 UAM-X  18, 19 UN (United Nations)  206 UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico) (Autonomous National University of Mexico) journals  22 unconditional transfers to municipalities  153 under-secretaries and general coordinators  48 Unit of Evaluation of the National Education System 91 Unit of Information and Evaluation Culture Advancement 91 UNT (Unión Nacional de Trabajadores)  246, 248 US (United States) North American Free Trade Agreement  16 policy analysis studies  12, 13 political system  13 USSR, political reforms  16

V Valenti, G.  19 Valenti, G. and Flores, U.  14 ‘Ciencias sociales y políticas públicas’  21 “visibility” threshold  11 Walgrave, S. and Van Aelst, P.  264 Weimer, D. and Vining, A.  205

Y Yucatán 162

Z Zapatista movement  16 Zapopan  155, 156, 157 Zedillo, Ernesto  16, 35 Zuckerman, Leo  19

293