Balancing Equity and Efficiency
Today there is great demand for structural change in both the public and private  sectors; indeed, the world itself is undergoing change. How should we react? As the world becomes more complex and interdependent, it is difficult to formulate an answer.


The New Public Management (NPM) is a public-sector management philosophy that was introduced in the 1980s to address this question. NPM seeks administrative reform through the use of private-sector market principles. Particular attention is paid to methods such as privatization, private sector commissioning, and the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). The danger exists, however, that NPM’s use of market  principles and its emphasis on efficiency may harm public equity (social justice). Theoretically, equity should arise from efficiency but in many cases this has not occurred.


The public sector has adopted the market principles of the private sector and the reverse has also occurred. As a consequence, there are a growing number of areas where private-sector companies must pay attention to public issues such as the environment. Further, third-sector organizations such as nongovernmental and non-profit organizations have proliferated. The present reality is one where the divide between public and private is ever more difficult to define.


In this situation it is more important than ever for decision makers to think about the balance between the efficiency of the private sector and the equity of the public sector as they formulate policy. In some circumstances equity must be prioritized and in others efficiency. The ability to choose the right priority is absolutely essential to leaders both now and in the future.The Okuma School of Public Management curriculum places great emphasis on fostering this balance between equity and efficiency. We teach future leaders that balance is the keystone of policy making.

 

 

Four Research Concepts
The Okuma School believes that effective public-management policy must be based on a balance between equity and efficiency. To achieve this balance, attention must be paid to four areas: administration, public policy, public economy and information
journalism.

 

“Administration” is perceived as the opportunity to support national- and local-government personnel and to provide brush-up/in-service training for civil servants. “Public Policy” focuses on policy formulation and evaluation by politicians, policy advisors, NPOs, NGOs and international institutions. “Public Economy” focuses on the cultivation of management and consulting skills in corporations as well as in think tanks, consulting companies and other institutions. “Information Journalism” intersects all three of these categories. These concepts are not limited to any one field: any endeavor depends on a firm historical perspective and an appreciation of values. With these, one can understand one’s era. Our courses and special studies are not classified according to these concepts. Instead, they function as research guides.

 

 

Master’s Theses Grounded in Reality
Theory and ideas are one thing, practical implementation is another. Students at the Okuma School of Public Management write a master’s thesis that deals with the  realities of policy formulation and evaluation.


At present, public management is generally confined to three sectors: administrative bodies, private corporations, and NPOs/NGOs. Journalism and the media form a fourth sector that evaluates the policies of the first three sectors and acts as an  interface. Graduates of the Okuma School understand the realities of policy formulation and evaluation from the standpoint of any of these sectors.


Our curriculum provides students with the foundations of political science, law, and economics, and equips them with necessary tools such as statistical methods. Having completed this base, students then take courses and seminars that further their individual research interests, concerns and viewpoints. The master’s thesis is the completion of this process. Students build on their acquired knowledge and ideas, and submit a thesis with real-life proposals and policy evaluation.

 

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