ArticlesEstudios Fronterizos, vol. 17, no. 34, 2016, 64-84
Estudios Fronterizos, 17(34), 2016

Management by results in Mexico, 2013-2014. Some effects in
Baja California

Gestión por resultados en México, 2013-2014. Algunos impactos en Baja California

José María Ramos García1* (

1 El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, e-mail:

* corresponding author: José María Ramos García, e-mail:

Received on April 12, 2015. Accepted on December 11, 2015.

CITATION: Ramos, J. M. (2016). Gestión por resultados en México, 2013-2014. Algunos impactos en Baja California [Management by results in Mexico, 2013-2014. Some effects in Baja California]. Estudios Fronterizos, 17(34), 64-84,

Original article language: Spanish.

This paper examines the results-based management (rbm) proposal promoted by the Mexican federal government and how this proposal has been applied. This article presents the theory of management according to its results and its effects on competitiveness and well-being. This article analyzes the conceptual elements of the model and the manners in which this model has been instituted both conceptually and operationally in Brazil, Mexico, and the Mexican state of Baja California. Principal findings include the need to strengthen institutional capacities for rbm to enhance competitiveness and well-being at the government level, internalize a vision of strategic change, and prioritize cultural change to generate efficient transparency, accountability and anti-corruption controls by a transversal focus based on the elements of management.
Keywords: performance, strategy management, state, culture and development.

¿Cuál es la propuesta de una gestión por resultados (gpr) promovida por el gobierno federal mexicano y cómo se ha aplicado? Este artículo presenta la teoría de una gestión por y para resultados con impactos en la competitividad y bienestar. Se plantea un análisis de los elementos conceptuales del modelo y los procesos de integración conceptual y operativa de dicho modelo en el caso de Brasil y en el gobierno federal mexicano, particularmente en el estado de Baja California. Obteniendo como principal hallazgo la necesidad de fortalecer competencias institucionales en materia de gpr y con ello incidir en los procesos de competitividad y bienestar en el ámbito estatal, para interiorizar una visión de cambio estratégico, la atención al cambio cultural en términos de una eficaz transparencia, rendición de cuentas y controles anticorrupción, su implementación eficiente y con un enfoque transversal, basado en los elementos de gestión.
Palabras clave: gestión por resultados, Estado, desempeño, cultura y desarrollo.


The primary objective of this article is to analyze the model of results-based management (rbm), particularly during 2013 and 2014 under the current federal government of Mexico, and to highlight some elements and challenges regarding its implementation in the state of Baja California. The importance of rbm in Brazil is described to provide a contrasting case of the implementation of the model and some lessons for adaptation in Mexico. Baja California has had a government administration linked to the Partido Acción Nacional (pan) since 1989, and this political party was reelected in 2013. The last two federal government administrations in Mexico under pan (from 2000 to 2012) promoted a Performance Evaluation System (Sistema de Evaluación del Desempeño) (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público [shcp], 2007, 2010) with mixed results (Sosa, 2011, p. 101). A stronger role for the Mexican state in promoting better government performance should be considered key to competitiveness and well-being (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (oced), 2011, p. 1). The premise of this article is that the effective implementation of rbm implies changing or strengthening the values of a culture of management and institutionalizing that culture into decision-making processes. Without a change in the values of a culture of management (Fukuyama, 2004, p. 17) within the Mexican federal government (because of its excessive hierarchy, control, authority, corruption, etc.), administrative reform proposals are unlikely to boost government performance and hence, national development.

This article uses the following methodology to advance its hypothesis: an analysis of the basic conceptual elements of rbm, followed by a discussion of the processes of the conceptual and operational integration of rbm at the national level in Brazil and Mexico and at the state level in the Mexican state of Baja California. The latter case examines the formulation of the rbm strategic plan created under the advisory aegis of the Inter-American Development Bank (idb). Emphasis is placed on the contradictions presented by the implementation of the rbm model in Mexico based on the original model outlined by Martins and Marini (2010) in the case of Brazil. The key variables for analysis are strategic vision, cultural values for change in management, strategic agenda, institutional capacity for implementation, and effective evaluation of the rbm model. The rbm model is methodologically relevant, having been shown to be one of the most successful intervention strategies for promoting development, as evidenced in Brazil in the period from 2000 to 2012.

This methodological proposal is developed as follows: section one ("The Mexican state and the process of governmental change") analyses the role of the Mexican state in the context of the shift toward new approaches to management in the international sphere; section two ("The history of rbm in Mexico") provides an introductory framework by examining previous rbm initiatives undertaken by the Mexican federal government since 2000; section three ("rbm and the experiences of Brazil and Mexico") highlights some elements of the rbm model in Brazil and mentions the link at the international level with the Mexican federal government regarding implementing; section four ("rbm in the state of Baja California") analyzes the context and elements rbm of the implementation of rbm at the state level; and section five ("The rbm proposal of the Mexican federal government, 2013-14") examines the rbm initiative undertaken by the national government and highlights opportunities for connecting the federal administration to the state of Baja California on the issue of rbm.

The Mexican state and the process of governmental change: History and proposals

The 1970s were a decade of crisis for the developed world, when expanding fiscal deficits led to a questioning of the welfare state, leading Anglo-Saxon countries to shift their gaze toward private management as a manner in which to solve the problems of the public sector. It is in this context that New Public Management (npm) emerged in industrialized countries, primarily New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France and Australia, all of which introduced budgetary proposals focused on controlling spending and obtaining results, accompanied by legal and institutional reforms such as a strong process of privatization and accountability. npm involves measures such as a) reducing the size of the public sector, b) decentralizing public organizations, c) more horizontal hierarchies, d) de-bureaucratization and competition, e) orientation toward the customer, f) evaluation of management, and g) changing the bureaucratic culture by an orientation toward results. As seen, a relation exists between npm and the proposal of rbm, in which emphasis is on generating results with social effects. However, institutional conditions for the creation of public value implies internalizing a vision; strategic change; attention to cultural change in terms of effective transparency, accountability and anti-corruption controls; and an effective implementation with an transversal approach and a strengthening of the processes of evaluation based on social results.

During the 1980s, reduced wages and the increased costs of productive services spurred governments in developed countries to implement diverse measures to render public resources more efficient. This process of change in international public administration has gradually affected Mexico; this influence is attributed to the configuration of the state and the character of management and public policies in Mexico, considering the following limitations:

In this context, it is necessary to reformulate the role of the Mexican state to generate more effective policies to promote development under an effective federalist system. The state is perceived as strategic, responsible and with capacities if a theoretical-conceptual model or perspective is present that allows the state to strengthen its performance. For Aguilar, (2010, p. 2), this complexity in the definition of the role of the state and its processes of management is framed as a component of the problem with the validity of government leadership and not a problem of legal or institutional validity. Therefore, the problem faced by the public apparatus has moved from the subject-institution to government actions, that is, to the process of governing or governance. This shift implies internalizing a vision of strategic change that is both governmental and social, such as the promotion of cultural change in terms of effective transparency, accountability and anti-corruption controls and the effective implementation and strengthening of evaluation based on social results.

According to Aguilar (2010):

(…) the problem is not the government, in the sense of governing, in the sense of the act of what it means to govern, government, or governance; in governing more than government, and that is due—among other reasons—to the fact that governing a) has certain scientific and technical components and not just institutional ones, and b) includes specific policies for relating to citizens (social, political, and economic agents) that should not contradict the legal prescription but also cannot be reduced to their mere observance (p. 3).

Therefore, the state, the government and its administration face—among other challenges—the dilemma of offering results based on their efficiency or strength in terms of institutional capacities. According to Fukuyama (2004, p. 33), the "strength" of the state lies in the ability to plan and execute policies and enact laws; efficient administration with minimal bureaucracy; controlling graft, corruption and bribery; maintaining a high level of transparency and accountability in public institutions; and most importantly, the enforcement of laws.

These elements establish the importance of strengthened institutional capacities for the Mexican state, its governments and administrations, such that their absence has limited these processes of change and a state reform oriented toward strengthening decision-making processes to foster development.

To achieve more effective government functioning and social effects, it is necessary to implement a management model that can generate concrete results for citizens. Particularly important here are the variables of vision, cultural change and strategic agenda, defining capacities for implementation and evaluation. This situation has not necessarily been successful in Mexico because of management models focused only on limited administrative reforms incapable of engendering improved government performance and effective control of corruption. These models are components of an integral model oriented toward social effects (Moore, 1998, p. 59), according to the various elements of strategic management (vision, strategy, leadership, direction, training, implementation, incentives, monitoring, evaluation, and redesign). In this context, states face a dilemma: how to promote better government performance with an insufficient culture of management to promote competitiveness and well-being. The contrast between a traditional approach to public administration and results-based governance is presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Primary characteristics of traditional public administration and the results-based approach

Traditional public administration Results-based public administration
Tendency toward vertical hierarchy Tendency toward horizontal hierarchy
Tendency to centralize authority and its functions Tendency toward decentralization
Planning of objectives and goals Strategic planning that extends beyond individual government administrations
Orienting work toward achieving organizational objectives and goals in an individual manner Orienting work toward results established in the overall plan
Programs disarticulated from other areas Programs articulated with the overall plan
Budget formation based on established programs Budget formation based on desired results
Focusing attention on the process of how to achieve objectives and goals (efficiency, efficacy and effectiveness) Focusing attention on the purpose of achieving objectives
Tendency to withhold public information and lack of accountability Tendency toward transparency and accountability to society

Source: Villalobos, Policroniades and Mejía (2013, p. 63).

The history of rbm in Mexico

The rbm approach has been implemented in Mexico for more than a decade following the transition of the federal government in early 2001 (Caso, 2011, p. 47) and inspired by the experiences of Brazil and Chile. Its implementation was intended to allow the Mexican federal administration to strengthen government performance and adapt a model of results-based management using the framework by which such models had been implemented by the U.S. federal government since the 1990s (Moore, 1998, p. 16) and by the Brazilian government since 2000. These models have affected the following variables: a vision of strategic change; attention to cultural change in favor of effective transparency, accountability and anti-corruption controls; defining a strategic agenda; effective implementation by a transversal approach; and strengthening evaluation processes based on social results.

The basic elements of the rbm approach

The rbm model is the product of efforts by multilateral organizations to promote development based on initiatives such as the High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (held in Paris in 2005), promoted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (oced) and the idb. These organizations have sponsored rbm proposals to improve government performance and thus contribute to reducing poverty and promoting economic growth.2 These models have focused on variables such as vision, agenda, strategic cultural change, and capacities for implementation and evaluation to strengthen government performance.

The rbm approach proposes a cultural change in public administration based on the notion that public servants have a responsibility to generate social results. In practice, this notion is complicated, given the challenges of strengthening a culture of efficient management at the level of states, governments and administrations such that the values of efficiency and effectiveness become an intrinsic component of the processes of change. This process is intended to strengthen institutional capacities for the effective implementation of policies.

The concept of rbm is described by Caso (2011, p. 47) as "(…) a strategy that uses policy performance data to improve decision making, including strategic planning tools, logical models, monitoring and evaluation of results such that the organizational model it proposes gives special emphasis to the results of management and not its procedures." This model contrasts with traditional public administration by prioritizing coordination, decentralization, strategic planning, budgeting based on results and transparency, and accountability (see Table 1). The effect on these dimensions is preceded by a change in the variables of internalizing a strategic vision and agenda, attention to cultural change to engender effective transparency, accountability, and anti-corruption controls. Equally important are efficient implementation with a transversal approach and strengthening processes of evaluation based on social results.

The problem resides in the difficulty of adapting this model in countries such as Mexico, which is characterized by a tendency toward centralization, corruption, scant transparency, bureaucratic resistance to innovation, and above all, the absence of government leadership based on effective public responsibility that promotes effective administrative change. rbm can be an alternative for reducing the corruption that plagues developing countries if the management model is articulated with structural reforms in institutions (Martins and Marini, 2010, p. 21), such as the Anti-Corruption Prosecutors, which, in Brazil, have demonstrated their effectiveness in terms of both prevention and achieving justice, based on an integral model of judicial management.

Experiences with rbm in Brazil and Mexico

The history of rbm in Brazil

Public administration in many emerging countries has undergone changes in its mode of operation to reform and restructure the state to achieve results, as in the case of Brazil. This country has applied a broad trajectory of reforms to its public administration to strengthen government performance (Martins, Marini and Mota, 2013, p. 112). These reforms and the effect of rbm on poverty reduction from 2000 to 2012 in Brazil provide evidence of the conceptual and methodological capacity of the model to promote development based on effective inter-institutional coordination. This model has affected the variables of vision, agenda, strategic cultural change, capacities for implementation, and evaluation for improved government performance to boost development.

One of the first processes of bureaucratic reform was conducted in the 1930s (during the dictatorship of Getulio Vargas, from 1930 to 1945) in response to the patrimonial culture of the era. This reform served as the basis for the future model, with an orientation toward the professionalization of public management. However, the bureaucratic orthodoxy that characterized Brazil—and the majority of Latin American countries in those years—was maintained. It was not until the 1990s that importance was given to establishing administrative reform under a management model. This reform was led by the federal government during the beginning of a democratic regime that sought to promote a culture of management oriented toward achieving visible and quantifiable results for citizens, which developed into a form of institutionalism in a legal framework.

In the words of Martins, Marini and Mota (2013, p. 111):

Public government is a process that, in certain contexts, based on certain abilities and qualities of the institutional, public and private actors, seeks to co-produce services, policies and public goods with the objective of generating sustainable public good. This definition contains the basic elements of what is called a "process of governability."

Several indicators of success in the implementation of the rbm model in Brazil from 2000 to 2012 allow us to establish the viability of the model. During this period, Brazil promoted economic growth with lowered inflation (Acceleration for Growth Program) under an rbm model (Martins et al., 2013, p. 113) and focused on combining real wage increases and control of inflation, maintaining a policy of export growth, and a simultaneous policy of strengthening the internal market of Brazil.

The Brazilian government strengthened the focus on rbm with elements of transversality, strategy, inter-governmental cooperation, integration, gender equality, and developmental and institutional capacities (Martins et al., 2013, p. 114).

The Brazilian administration also strengthened an rbm model with an effective balance of centralization and decentralization (Borges, 2012, p. 2).

The policy of regional development includes strategic elements of rbm that have generated effects on regional development: vision, management, direction, leadership, consensus, strategies, contractualization, monitoring, evaluation and redesign (Fernandes, Falcáo, Lima and Pires, 2013, p. 145).

Regional development in Brazilian policies has successfully been institutionalized based on political management (business sector, labor unions, civil society) and the government agenda.

Contractualization to strengthen government performance has been one of the key strategies of the central government. Brazil has strategic ministries for promoting rbm using strategic criteria for effective implementation of transversal policies for development such as the Ministry of National Integration; the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management; the Ministry of Social Development and Combatting Poverty; the Ministry of Development and Land Management; and the Secretariat of Policies for Promoting Racial Equality.

In this context, Instituto Publix in Brazil, in coordination with the Pan-American Health Organization (paho), put the rbm model into practice (Martins and Marini, 2010, p. 81) utilizing a "matrix government" model (Governo Matricial in Portuguese) that proposes a combination of strategy and structural elements involving continuous monitoring and evaluation. This model is based on the following phases: 1) the development of a strategic agenda (essential for processing results) conceptualized as a component of a program based on a strategic map that facilitates communication and understanding of the strategy using actions, timelines, and responsibilities; 2) organic implementation architecture based on systematization, adaptation to the demands of the strategy, the elimination of redundant steps, integration, standardization of models and analysis and creation of future management checkpoints; and 3) implementation of mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation (managerial and social control and control of reduction and learning), analyzing the results achieved, problems and obstacles, and proposing solutions for instances in which performance was not satisfactory (Martins et al., 2013, p. 119). These variables are the beginning of the rbm model and have reflected its conceptual and operational capacity to promote better government functioning based on results and public value.

If—as seen in the case of Mexico as well as Brazil—a legal framework is required to support the implementation and institutionalization of the gpr model, then this framework should be implemented in a disciplined manner to constitute a process of broad-reaching and complex change. Thus, the cultural and management values in terms of the points described by Fukuyama (2004, p. 10) must be strengthened. In this context, the Brazilian federal government can be perceived as an example of the successful application of the rbm model, particularly from 2000 to 2012 (Martins et al., 2013, p. 130; Martins and Marini, 2010, p. 95), based on the following elements:

  1. A vision of governance articulated with development in which the management model guides development policy.
  2. A definition of priorities in focused actions and strategies according to the relevance of the programs geared toward development.
  3. A model of transversal management articulated with development, with the management model affecting different areas, particularly development.
  4. Strategic leadership for transversality and its effect on development, a strategic governmental orientation existing in different areas.
  5. Intra-organizational and inter-institutional coordination for development as a component of a diverse governmental coordination process.
  6. Coordination with groups in civil society under a shared social vision and focused, agreed-upon actions.
  7. Transversal strategies to foster development, implementing various strategies in different areas including social issues, gender issues, cultural activities, arts, and sports.
  8. Transversal implementation of policies for development, execution of diverse policies oriented toward development.
  9. Monitoring of transversal policies, integral monitoring of policies, verifying successes and results that foster improved human coexistence and development.
  10. Evaluation of the effects of the transversal model for development, identification of results and the social effects of policies.
  11. Management indicators of human development and the concrete achievements of the implementation of an integral policy for development with a citizen-focused approach.

The management elements mentioned with regard to Brazil represent a type of model in which important lessons were learned. These lessons allow us to contrast the values of a culture of management in countries that have developed rbm with an orientation toward competitiveness and well-being. This model has affected the variables of vision and strategic change, the development agenda, strengthening controls, anti-corruption controls, and capacities for implementation and evaluation for better government performance. In sum, the experience of Brazil from 2000 to 2012 is a successful example of redefining the state and its effect on strengthening government performance, given the following elements:

Some indicators of the effect of rbm

Latin American countries averaged 1.9 of 5 points on an index measuring institutional capacities in five areas of the rbm cycle developed by the Prodev Evaluation System (sep). This score indicates that the region has much to do at the three levels of government, in particular, internalizing a strategic vision and agenda; attention to cultural change in terms of effective transparency, accountability and anti-corruption controls; effective implementation with a transversal approach; and strengthening processes of evaluation based on social results.

The study3 demonstrates that differences exist among countries in the region with regard to the extent of implementation of rbm, with Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico as the most advanced. Chile is ranked highest among this group, with 3.9 points out of 5, and Mexico lowest at 3.6. Brazil scored 3.7, slightly higher than Mexico and below only Chile, a fact perhaps explained by various reform processes and the implementation of the rbm model over the course of some years (idb, 2012, p. 4).

Evaluations of experiences with rbm in Brazil, Chile and Colombia demonstrate successes as well as significant challenges, including the need to strengthen the processes of the modernization of the state regarding the implementation of rbm. In the case of Mexico, limitations to the implementation of rbm in terms of management and policies include the following:

rbm in the state of Baja California

The history of the rbm model in Baja California

The government in Baja California is an appropriate case to analyze for the following reasons:

The government of Baja California has only a few years of experience implementing rbm (since 2008). The basic objective was to move from a classical focus based on how to govern toward another model based on why govern. The conceptual design of the rbm model begins in 2008-2009, the result of legal reforms in the state, which also attempted to make progress on a model of Budgeting by Results (bfr). The transition from a formal governance scheme at the state level toward a results-based approach began in 2010. New proposals were designed to accomplish more with less; a clear example is the integration of planning the logical framework, cost estimates and discipline in the exercise of public spending. Linked to this, the idb approved a plan for technical cooperation with the government of Baja California to implement the rbm model (Villalobos et al., 2013, p. 77). In this context, the State System of Indicators was established, as well as a new Law on Budgeting and the Exercise of Public Spending. Subsequent measures included the update of the State Development Plan in 2011, consultations with the idb beginning in 2012, the design of the State System of Performance Evaluation based on those consultations, and five external evaluations (Villalobos et al., 2013, p. 78). The dilemmas of the rbm model have implied internalizing a strategic vision and agenda; attention to cultural change in terms of efficiency, transparency, and anti-corruption controls; effective transversal implementation; and strengthening processes of evaluation based on social results.

Lobbying by state executives under then-Governor José Guadalupe Osuna Millán (of pan) among members of the state congress and federal executives was essential, leading to the establishment of negotiations for the idb to receive technical cooperation (in the form of aid). The path to establishing rbm at the state level was not easy, although the political context was favorable (Aguilar, 2013, p. 1). The lessons from this implementation process generated progress toward an emerging governance within the state administration in Baja California.

The government of Baja California conceived of rbm according to the following strategic objectives: to work on effective and efficient budgetary schemes, to use resources to ensure compliance with results, to ensure solid systems of monitoring and evaluation, and to promote a model of organizational leadership culture and institutional performance with an emphasis on results.

With the rbm model, the state government sought to promote short-, medium- and long-term planning; manage budgets based on projects that needed to be conducted rather than establishing a single budgetary ceiling; promote monitoring and the evaluation of effects rather than classical activity monitoring; and generally, work under a governance system based on including civil society, Congress, and other key actors in the agenda for competitiveness and well-being in Baja California. The rbm proposal was conducted under the Secretariat of Planning and Finance, which listed the following challenges regarding the management and hence the sustainability of this model in the state:

These elements, if added to the central variables of analysis of rbm (vision, cultural change, strategic agenda, institutional capacities, and transversal implementation of policies), reflect the difficulty of rbm's becoming completely viable in Baja California to improve local government performance and address key social issues.

The elements of the rbm model in Baja California are based on the model proposed by the idb in 2012 and are associated with the technical cooperation provided by that institution. The results of the new model of government management in Baja California are considered to be incipient in terms of strengthening competitiveness and well-being (Villalobos et al., 2013, p. 92). This situation can be attributed to different factors, including limited results-based organizational culture and limited human resources at the Secretariat of Finances. Such factors are necessary for the formulation of actions, programs, projects and policies under the methodology of the logical framework and with the implementation of transversal strategies. These elements do not correspond to the conceptual model of the creation of public value or, in particular, to its strategy of change and organizational institutionalization (Moore, 1998, p. 101).

The new administration in Baja California intends to continue the rbm policy implemented by the previous administration according to its new State Development Plan for 2014-2019, under the point labeled "Government by Results and Close to the People," utilizing the following general strategies:

The management proposal of the new government administration in Baja California as of 2013 includes the following themes: efficient, results-based governance; public finance; innovation and modernization of the administration; transparency and accountability; and democratization and municipal strengthening (Gobierno del Estado de Baja California, 2013). The challenge for the new administration is to affect the variables of vision, agenda, and strategic cultural change and strengthen capacities for implementation and evaluation for better government performance.

The strengths of the new administration with regard to continuing rbm include:

However, the challenges for the new state administration in rbm and in generating social effects are as follows:

In sum, the sustainability of the rbm model in the state of Baja California will depend on strengthening the conceptual and operational capacity in terms of the central variables considered in this article: a) a strategic vision, b) a change in cultural values (transparency, accountability, and anti-corruption controls), c) integration of strategic agendas (administrative change based on priorities according to their relevance), d) harmonizing of implementation structures based on governance networks (according to institutional capacity), and e) effective and systemic integration both internally and externally (transversal implementation of policies) using clear mechanisms of monitoring and evaluation.

The rbm proposal of the Mexican federal government, 2013-14

In December 2012, a change in the federal government administration in Mexico occurred, ending 12 years of pan governments, whose management model is considered insufficiently effective for institutionalizing policies to promote government performance (Sosa, 2011, p. 102), particularly in the area of increasing security and reducing organized crime. The new proposal by the federal government (for 2013-2014), under a different political party (the Partido Revolucionario Institucional [pri]), has been characterized in the first two years by two strategies. The first, which is political in nature, is the signing of the Pact for Mexico, a political agreement between the three primary Mexican political parties. This pact was founded on the following concepts, which from a developmental perspective would help deepen the national democratic process:

A second strategy designed by the new federal administration promoted an open, results-based government centered on actions to manage policies and reforms promoted by the new administration, proposing the following priorities for public management:

Key aspects of the new federal administration include reforms on energy, education, and financial and housing policy. Lobbying and political management promoted by executives in the Mexican Congress were essential to this process but did not occur in the previous federal administration under pan. Thus, Congress passed constitutional and legal reforms in 2013 that were proposed by the current administration, some of which had not been discussed in depth for years by the legislative branch and others that had been campaign proposals by then-candidate Enrique Peña. Consequently, both chambers focused on changes to the constitution, particularly in the areas of energy and telecommunications.

The key question is whether the management proposal presented by the new federal government will affect the variables of strategic vision and cultural change (transparency, accountability and anti-corruption controls). This proposal may be considered a component of a strategic agenda for developing and strengthening the capacity for implementation and evaluation for better government performance, in accordance with the new structural reforms. From our perspective, the pertinence and quality of the management model are central to the promotion of national development. This significance is suggested by the successful experiences of Great Britain under Margaret Thatcher, the United States with the National Performance review in the first term of President Bill Clinton, and in Brazil with the rbm proposal to promote the Economic Action Plan (2000-2012) (Martins et al., 2013, p. 130).

In Mexico, during his electoral campaign, then-candidate Enrique Peña emphasized the necessity to strengthen a model of the state based on rbm. However, during his first year in office, his administration paid little attention to this focus, instead prioritizing new policy proposals and reforms and ignoring the need to strengthen the capacity of the state. Institutional capacity appears to be essential, according to an analysis of the growth experiences of some Latin American countries as well on an international level. Institutional capacity is also essential as the basis for strategic and proactive states, which from the perspective of Rebeca Greenspan (2013), are solidified by the following elements:

However, from the perspective of the Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning (ilpes, the Spanish acronym) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (eclac) in 2010-2013, the elements that characterize the role of the state in this sense are as follows:

In sum, recent successes of the state in an international context have been based on strengthening the variables of vision and cultural change (transparency, accountability and anti-corruption controls), defining a strategic agenda for development, and strengthening capacities for the implementation and evaluation of better government performance.

The importance of strengthening the development policies under the new Mexican administration was highlighted by Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean Alicia Bárcena (Saldaña, 2014) in the following remarks:

Reforms must be based on the model of development that Mexico seeks. I think that it should seek a model in which equality is at the center, the path is structural change, and the central element is policy at the highest level. Every country should choose its own model. But in Mexico, a profound change is needed to close the large structural gaps. She assured that the Mexican government has fulfilled its duties with regard to the economy, "but now it should have intelligent and effective public spending, without losing sight of social and investment priorities, and focus more on science, technology, and investing".

The above clarifies the need for a strong and effective state (Fukuyama, 2004, p. 11) in Mexico to promote development with the following challenges:

These management elements do exist in the case of the rbm model in Brazil (Martins et al., 2013, p. 111), and such factors emphasize the importance of some central variables to consider: strategic vision, change in the values of a culture of management, a strategic agenda, and strengthening the capacities of implementation and evaluation. In sum, although the new federal government of Mexico has successfully designed policies and passed strategic reforms that did not exist 20 years ago, the government lacks an effective rbm model that would ensure concrete results from those policies and reforms.

The management model that has been advocated in this article contains some evidence that this model would help promote competition and well-being in countries such as Mexico. In other words, it will be difficult to promote national development using a traditional management model—centralized, with excessive authority, vertical, corrupt, inefficient, and with little transparency (see Table 1). Hence, to generate public value, the rbm proposal should include the following elements:

The effects of these management elements have been compared based on the experience of rbm in Brazil and according to the different variables of analysis. Meanwhile, the rbm model at the state level will continue to be promoted as a component of the framework of alternation in the new government between 2013 and 2018, assuming that the model will continue under the State Development Plan for 2014-2018. Among the elements that allow us to establish the importance of the rbm proposal, both in a new state administration in Baja California and at the federal level, are the following:


The primary objective of this article was to analyze results-based management (rbm) during two years of federal administration in Mexico, highlighting, in particular, its implementation in the state of Baja California. The importance of rbm in Brazil from 2000 to 2012 was discussed to compare the viability of the model. The premise holds that if the values of a culture of management are not established according to the terms proposed by Fukuyama (2004, p. 11) and are not permitted to affect the variables analyzed (vision, culture, agenda, implementation and evaluation), it is unlikely that a new model of management or administrative reform will generate public value. That is, excessive control, authority, hierarchy, centralization, corruption, etc., present obstacles to changes in management, processes of institutional development, improved performance in terms of defining a strategic agenda, achieving cultural change, and implementing policies that foster competitiveness and well-being.

This argument is based on the methodological strategy developed throughout this article. This strategy involves first a description of the changes in public management, based in particular on the successes of rbm internationally, and second, an analysis of the theoretical-methodological elements involved in the rbm model, based, in particular, on the central variables of analysis: vision, cultural values in management, definition of a strategic agenda, the implementation and processes of the evaluation of the policy. Case studies included the successful implementation of rbm in Brazil from 2000 to 2012, achievements and challenges in the model of rbm in the state of Baja California from 2010 to 2014, and elements and challenges of the new management proposal of the current federal administration in Mexico in 2013 and 2014. Based on this analysis, the general conclusions using the central variables examined here include the need to strengthen institutional capacities with regard to rbm, in particular, by internalizing a strategic vision and agenda; attention to cultural changes in terms of engendering efficient transparency, accountability and anti-corruption controls; the implementation of these measures by a transversal approach; and strengthening the processes of evaluation based on social results at both the federal and state levels. In this sense, it is necessary to strengthen the focus on strategic integral management (vision, direction, leadership, strategy, implementation, agreements, incentives, evaluation, etc.) because limited information and institutionalization prevent the effective implementation of rbm. This situation devolves if the values of management remain traditional and do not change to promote increased efficacy, effectiveness, and more socially acceptable results in general. The lessons derived from the case of the Brazilian federal government (Martins et al., 2013, p. 134) regarding rbm, and according to the variables analyzed in this article, represent successful practices that can be adapted to the circumstances of Baja California, the federal government in Mexico, and the Mexican administration in general.

Achievements regarding the implementation of the rbm model in Baja California can be summarized in terms of a focus that includes an orientation toward results, a certain level of bureaucratic consensus in favor of changing the traditional culture of management, change in the traditional bureaucratic culture to favor a results-based orientation, evaluation of some strategic policies (public security and social development), processes of human resources training, and the incipient linking of rbm to development. The Mexican federal government must give greater priority to the rbm proposal and connecting rbm to public policies and structural reforms that are underway, including effective implementation and a transversal perspective. This connection is important both for the state government in Baja California and for the federal government, particularly when considering lessons from international experiences associated with improved government performance, which, in every case, have strengthened legitimacy by results. Important variables to consider include vision and cultural change (effective transparency, accountability and anti-corruption controls), a strategic agenda for development, and strengthening implementation and evaluation capacities for improved government performance.

It should be mentioned that the theoretical, methodological and empirical evidence of the rbm model involves attending to the above-mentioned goals according to the variables of analysis in this article, which together reinforce the sustainability of the model. These factors include institutional arrangements for effective implementation; strengthened institutional capacities to reduce bureaucratic inertia; defining a political agenda and inter-institutional relations among actors with different political priorities; strengthening public management, political diversity, and the interests of the various actors in defining the strategic vision and agenda; and implementing cultural change and transversal processes of evaluation that affect better government performance and thus national development.


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2 The rbm's main objective is enabling public organizations to achieve by managing the process of creating public value, the results stated in the objectives of the government program.

3 The rbm index of prodev is divided into three levels of development: the high, the countries that achieved a score of less than 3 out of 5; between, countries that scored higher than 3 to 1.5 lower result; and low level, countries that scored lower to 1.5 result.

José María Ramos García
Mexican. PhD in Political Science and Sociology from the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset in Madrid, Spain; M.A. in U.S.-Mexico Studies from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (unam); B.A. in Social and Political Science from the School of Social and Political Science at Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (uabc) in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. Currently serving as a researcher in the Department of Public Management at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, A. C. Specialist in government and public policy. Topics of interest include management and strategic planning. Thematic area: U.S.-Mexico relations. Publications include the book Gobernanza por resultados en Brasil y México: Marco conceptual, evidencias y retos (2013), co-authors: Villalobos Pacheco Alberto and Borges Alexandre. Form of authorship: editorial coordination: Centro de Alta Dirección Pública, Instituto Publix.

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