OUR PROBLEM-SOLVING METHODOLOGY
The system helps the user compare cases and regions in order to identify disparities, inequalities and problems. Lorenz curves and Gini’s coefficient values are displayed.
Degrees of concentration in the Philippines (by province). The Gini coefficient varies from 0.12 for completion rates in basic education to 0.33 for the percentage of failed students. The latter is consistent with the concentration of population under the subsistence level (Gini 0.32).
Establishing standards and benchmarks
The methodology facilitates adapting standards to fit a broad variety of local circumstances and supports the development and testing of new standards.
Mapping the Per Capita Local Revenues in Iasi Metropolitan Area (Romania). The benchmarks were set to 200,000 and 600,000 ROL/inhabitant.
Identifying regional and sector problems
By ranking, grouping and plotting the cases on a map, the user can identify problems and their location. Report cards produced for each case show the specific sector problems of the cases in point.
Ranking villages of Kraljevo municipality (Serbia) according to a global Welfare index.
The user can evaluate overall performance against inputs (human and financial resources) in a certain environment (demographic background, competition, etc). The concept is that of a “black box” where inputs and outputs shed light on the process. The system identifies over-performers and under-performers.
Analyzing relationships and finding patterns
The user can understand the interaction and relationships between inputs and outcomes of systems and organizations. A multiple regression model provides insight into the relationships between various indicators, and additional procedures compute model predicted values versus actual values for all cases and develop a measure of how influential each case is in the regression model.
Example of analyzing the Repetition Rate in Basic Education according to 5 explaining factors (12 Governorates of Jordan).
Playing what-if scenarios
The methodology supports the development of action plans for improving system performance by developing several types of “what-if” scenarios, including a more sophisticated one based on a multiple regression model.
Changing various inputs to education can help raise the completion rate in the Sulu education division from 31.1% to 52.02% and 58.13%.
Targeting based on criteria of need and resources
The system supports targeting of scarce resources where the needs are greatest at all levels of the system or organization. Quadrant analysis is used for targeting based on two criteria, and a more general query procedure allows targeting based on any number of criteria.
The school districts in the Philippines showing both completion rates and family income below average selected (lower left quadrant) and shown on the map.
Index-based resource allocation
The approach helps address equity issues by supporting index-based resource allocation to direct resources where the needs are greatest. The procedure allows an initial “proportional allocation” (per beneficiary) to be adjusted in accordance to an index of need developed in consensus by the stakeholders.
For this scenario the education divisions in the Philippines receive between $30 and $93.88 per student, according to an index of need.
Exploring local trade-offs and cooperation
Several procedures allow the user to identify possible local cooperation and trade-offs of strengths between neighboring cases or entities. The purpose is to promote local dialogue and transparency, to empower local units, tap local resources, promote local cooperation and decrease the dependency on the center..
For example, this procedure allows the user to identify possible local trade-offs of strengths between neighboring schools and districts.
Developing action plans and proposals
The end results of the implementation of the EMI Systems methodology are action plans to cooperatively solve problems, “business plans”, proposals and applications for grants and loans, and advocacy/lobbying instruments to promote the local interests.
The instruments put in place by EMI Systems support close monitoring of the situation, through the data updating system put in place, both technically and institutionally. During project implementation, EMI Systems obtains the commitment of the institutions involved and establishes clear responsibilities for data collection, processing and use in the continuous collective problem-solving activity. In most cases, a Code of Practice is developed, which outlines issues of data confidentiality and use, data ownership and the mechanisms for sharing and communicating the results.