Bureaucratic culture and new public management:: a case study of Indira Mahila Yojana in Uttar Pradesh
During the 1990s there has been a notable shift in governance debates from what has been termed the 'Washington' to a post-Washington Consensus. Put simply, this shift has involved a move away from the old agenda of state 'versus' market to a new discourse based on the notion of state 'and’ market. A parallel shift has occurred within public administration, from a focus based on reducing the role of the state to a reconsideration of the way in which the state performs its roles. The Indian state has initiated administrative reforms influenced by new public management (NPM) following the adoption of a new economic policy in 1991. The case of northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is particularly significant as administrative reforms their have been developed in association with the World Bank. Through the case study of the Indira Mahila Yojana programme (for women's empowerment), I consider how government officials at the various administrative levels, have engaged with the processes of change associated with new public management. Despite popular criticism of the bureaucracy in India, this study suggests that the adoption of specific elements of NPM in specific institutional environments can empower government officials, and help facilitate development. The case study of the Indira Mahila Yojana scheme demonstrates both the importance of supporting institutions and the potential value of bureaucratic reform for provoking positive change and development.