Making Space for Purpose-Driven Work in Bureaucracies

In this podcast episode, BSC Director Salimah Samji interviews Dan Honig, Assistant Professor of International Development at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Salimah and Dan discuss the importance of purpose for individuals working in the public sector and how bureaucratic controls can impede the ability of these individuals to do mission-driven work. Dan also provides examples of people he's interviewed throughout the world who are connected to their purpose and working to improve the lives of their citizens.

Episode Notes

Learn more about Dan Honig's research and contributions to the field of international  development, and stay tuned for his forthcoming book titled 'Mission-Driven Bureaucrats'. 

Read  Patchwork Leviathan: Pockets of Bureaucratic Effectiveness in Developing States by Erin Metz McDonnell.

Read South Sudan's Capability Trap: Building a State with Disruptive Innovation by Greg Larson, Peter Biar Ajak, and Lant Pritchett. 

Read The Limits of Accounting-Based Accountability in Education (and Far Beyond): Why More Accounting Will Rarely Solve Accountability Problems by Dan Honig and Lant Pritchett.

Read Account-based accountability and Aid Effectiveness by Lant Pritchett.

Read The Effect of Increased Autonomy vs. Performance Pay on Procurement Officers’ Performance in Pakistan by Oriana Bandiera, Michael Best, Adnan Khan, and Andrea Prat.

Transcript

Katya Gonzalez-Willette: [00:00:04] Hello and welcome to Building State Capability at Harvard University's podcast series. 

Katya Gonzalez-Willette: [00:00:11] In this podcast episode, BSC director Salimah Samji interviews Dan Honig, assistant professor of international development at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Salimah and Dan discuss the importance of purpose for individuals working in the public sector and how bureaucratic controls can impede the ability of these individuals to do mission driven work. Dan also provides examples of people he's interviewed throughout the world who are connected to their purpose in their work towards improving the lives of their citizens. 

Salimah Samji: [00:00:45] Welcome to the podcast series, I'm here with Dan Honig today, and it is a delight to be with you again, Dan. 

Dan Honig: [00:00:54] Pleasure's mine. Thanks so much for having me here. 

Salimah Samji: [00:00:56] So, Dan, your what you're writing a new book on mission driven bureaucrats. I love that title. Can you tell us a little bit how did you come up with this? Like, why write a book about mission driven bureaucrats? 

Dan Honig: [00:01:08] Yeah, totally fair question. Where did this come from? So, you know, it came from first and foremost from my kind of pretty academic life, working with bureaucrats and a bunch of different countries and East Timor and Thailand and Liberia and a few other places dealing quite frequently with public servants, working in some of the maybe hardest places to work in the world. And it struck me over and over again how much the people who did the jobs did not fit the sort of image we often have of them, you know, of kind of bureaucratic dysfunction and apathy. I don't want to make it sound like no one ever appealed to a procedure or no one ever said, well, I'm not sure that's exactly my job. But it seemed to me that the people who worked as bureaucrats were just that they were people and they were people who quite frequently cared quite a bit about the job that they were doing. That's precisely why they had the jobs. And it seems to me that we don't talk about that. We don't imagine them that way. And I think that that's a problem not just for them, but for all of us, because what happens as a result is that we think the only way to get good performance out of the system is to control those people as tightly as possible. Right. Which makes perfect sense. If I'm in the classroom and I have a student who doesn't want to do the job, then of course, I am going to need some tight controls to keep them focused on learning the material. But I don't have reading questions. They're not going to do the reading. Right, but that's not the way it works in most places. I think that's rather that's not the way it should work. And it seems to me that often the rules that were meant to minimize corruption ended up actually reducing that performance. That is to say, the constraint that keeps the worst person from doing anything bad also kept the majority of people who wanted to do good things from being able to, in fact, do them because of the kind of measurement and reporting and control burden that they faced on the job. 

Salimah Samji: [00:03:06] Yeah, it's interesting that you say that, because I think in my own experience, working in international development and a lot of countries, that has definitely been the narrative. Bureaucrats are lazy, they're corrupt, they don't do anything. And I've met more bureaucrats who care a lot and actually get things done and are just stuck in systems that are just so hard to work. And I don't think I could work in those systems and think I would quit. And yet there they are working day in, day out because of their belief in the public sector and being able to help people. So so I really love this. Do you have any examples of people that you've met? I'm sure as part of your research, you're meeting all types of people that you could kind of just give our listeners examples of people who are really in these jobs and have this purpose. 

Dan Honig: [00:04:00] Yeah, a number of them, and I couldn't agree more with what you said right there, and, you know, in some ways, one of the things I should say I really admire about the Building State Capability program is when we talk about state capacity, it's easy to think that that's like a quality of a state. Right. That, you know, this state has good capacity and the state has not so good capacity. But what is clear both about the framing of state capability and how you go about your work is that ultimately the capability of the state is the capability of the people who work in the state and organizational systems and you know. But mainly the most important input is human beings and what's in their minds and hearts. 

Salimah Samji: [00:04:38] Right there are the building blocks of state capability. Right. You break it down, it's people. 

Dan Honig: [00:04:44] Yeah. And that idea that somehow we're talking about the state, we've kind of like lost who the state is for the state to do something. A human being needs to perform in action. Right. There's no thing called the state that ever performs any action. I say like Erin McDonnell has this amazing book called Patchwork Leviathan that came out last year, that is kind of about that and about how sort of pockets of effectiveness emerge in developing states and in very much that kind of way. But you ask for individuals, and I am pausing only because I don't want to kind of overwhelm you with how many there are. Right. So in some ways, I find them everywhere I look. 

Dan Honig: [00:05:19] So as part of the book, actually, I'm doing profiles of mission driven bureaucrats to kind of try to illustrate and I guess humanize in some sense the central messages of the book. And so let me give you just a couple, the first director of South Sudan's census. So South Sudan's just become a new country. You guys have written a lot about it. Actually, I assign the capability traps in South Sudan paper to my classes. And so in that capability trap space steps. Margaret Lavanya and Margaret says even when God was creating, he must have used statistics. Numbers change people's lives. Right. So this is somebody who comes into running a census in a country that has no idea how many people live in the country or broadly what stuff is in the country or where those people are. Right. She believes that working to collect these data is doing the work of national development, you know, is doing the work of sort of, as I believe she puts it, continuing the revolution that her parents had fought for, that her father had fought for. You know, it's not my mission. 

Dan Honig: [00:06:23] And I guess one of the reasons I like this story is that I love using data. I can't say that I think I would be super effective. I would wake up with a vigor every day if my job was to go do a census. But that actually that actually doesn't matter because it doesn't need to be my mission. It's hers. And so she talks about crashing the plane as she's flying to some dusty place to do to do a visit in South Sudan. 

Dan Honig: [00:06:48] And, you know, what I hear myself thinking is like, so how exactly would you monitor and control Margaret? Right. So let's say Margaret was a bad person. I don't I think she is very much not. But like, let's say somebody filled that role who was not full of mission and vigor. What would you do? Well, it would be pretty hard to come up with any effective way to monitor her. And so aren't we better off if we instead find the Margarets, empower the Margarets, Kindle the Margarets, give the Margarets the job that they want to keep rather than making the job miserable. So they want to leave. And that makes me think about one of the empirical projects in the book is about Detroit and Child Protective Services in Detroit. So I'm from Detroit. This is back home. Right. This project is about sort of noting that there was this program which gave people scholarships to work in Child Protective Services, and the process of getting the scholarship was incredibly hard. Right. So you had to you had to interview. You had to fill out a, take test, I believe, fill out a long application. You know, I don't remember the exact numbers, but it's like thousands of people for a dozen spots. Right. And then there's an interview of Child Protective Services workers is part of the final stage who are assessing specifically how likely you are to, like, stay with the job and how much you care about the right things. Right. So, like, they are being selected and being oriented towards helping kids. And surely what we want from the people who work from Child Protective Services, they're making a ton of judgment calls. Right. We want them to be the kind of people who exercise their judgment in favor of helping kids and, of course, are accountable and inform that judgment. But who care about kids? And so the program, if you take the scholarship, you have to stay in child services for a year or you have to pay back the money. And I was talking to somebody around the program. I asked, you know, how long are people staying? And the answer is like, twelve months. Thirteen months. Fourteen months. As soon as people can leave, they're leaving. Right. These people who have spent years doing this, who are super motivated. Right. Who are super dedicated to doing this job. So I started interviewing these folks and the answer is they. Really, really care about helping kids and the job of working for Child Protective Services does not allow them to actually help kids. What it does is it allows them to fill out paperwork and pull kids out of homes. And there is only one risk which is leaving a child in a home and then something bad happens, which is a terrible thing. I want to be clear. But that means that almost every action is removing a child from their home and putting them in foster care. And let's face it, foster care is not a wonderful place to be. And so what happens? What happens is that these folks leave. They leave because they don't care about being CPS employees. They care about helping kids. And working in an agency that had a mission they cared about is what drew them to that agency. And I mean, I guess I say that because, you know, in contrast to Margaret, you know, if you control people too tightly, what you do is you end up chasing away those who care the most. And that just really seems like a shame, you know, for those folks who don't get to do that job, but also for the kids who aren't going to be helped by people who care about doing that job. 

Salimah Samji: [00:10:07] Is that something that you see a lot in your research, that those who are motivated, that are driven by purpose, if they are not able to do what they really care about, they leave? Is that a trend that you see? 

Dan Honig: [00:10:21] Yeah, totally. I see in Detroit, I see it in empirical work in Thailand, in Bangladesh, government agency. I'm not allowed to name but one where we see that the people who are the most intrinsically motivated are those who care the most about getting more autonomy. And then in analysis of over four million individual observations and 2000 agency observations over five countries pulling from administrative data, I see that when people are asked for their intention to leave the agency, management practice matters more for intention to leave for those who are more intrinsically motivated. Wow. Yeah. So if I care about doing the thing, if that's why I'm doing the thing and I'm being managed in a way that doesn't help me do the thing, I am more likely to leave than somebody who cares less about doing the thing being managed the same way. The more I care, the more I'm in it for this. And you know what? Not just the most motivated, but among the most motivated. And this I can't observe, but it follows kind of logic. Among the most motivated, those who are most qualified are those most likely to, in fact, exist because they're the ones who can get another job, right? That's right. That's right. I mean, so, OK, I came to this job, you know, I took whatever salary was because I really cared about it. Now I can't do it. I'm looking for the exits. Who can find them? It's the person who somebody else wants to hire. 

Dan Honig: [00:11:41] And so if we think there's any kind of correlation between outside options and ability, we're losing the most able and most motivated from the public service because we manage, you know, to minimize errors, to minimize, you know, a dollar going missing rather than to maximize results. 

Salimah Samji: [00:11:58] It's compliance stuff, right. This account in the counting that you in wrote a paper about, that's a thread that comes in over and over and over again, like this obsessiveness with the account. 

Dan Honig: [00:12:13] Total and kind of a case on point for that. So this isn't my own work, but there's this wonderful randomized control trial that Oread and Bandura and Michael Best and Annacone and a few other people published last year and NBER working paper at the moment. Right. And so and what happens in this paper is you've got people doing procurement in Pakistani Punjab. So these are procurement officers. And what they're doing is they are buying like simple stuff. What do I mean by simple stuff like A4, paper, pencils? And, you know, maybe this requires a little back story. These are the things that at least my theory would predict where like motivation matters the least because they're super monitorable. Right. A4 paper. I can compare the A4 paper, you know, like it's right. I mean, is a good paper. Well, we know when we try to print it. So here's a case where like controls don't work a lot of the time, but procurement of paper seems like one of the times they might. So it's randomized controlled trial. And so some of them are getting a pay for performance scheme where like if you save money against baseline, you get to put some of that in your pocket. Some of them get more autonomy, which in practice means kind of relaxing the procurement rules and some of them get both. And what happens? Well, the people who are part of the pay for performance scheme see an immediate reduction in prices paid. Right. So quality goes up right away and then that improvement degrades over time until it almost makes no difference. A year makes very little difference. A year out, the people who get more autonomy, who get just fewer rules, their performance doesn't improve as fast. But as they start to exercise that autonomy, prices go down and prices stay down. Right. So even in this, like if you told me where are controls most likely to work and autonomy least likely to work, I'm not sure I would have had too many candidates more that way than procuring A4 paper in Pakistani Punjab. But you had what they find is exactly the opposite. My understanding of this result is that when we relax procurement constraints, you don't have to go get three quotes anymore. You don't have to go get five quotes anymore. And that means you have less paperwork you have to do. You've more time to think about quality. You also particularly in a place so I've seen this myself many times, you don't have to effectively pay for quotations. And what I mean by that is like if we all know that the cheapest paper comes from Sarahs shop, right. Then somebody else who is not going to bother preparing a big technical bid to submit it, to not get the contract. So if I need three bids as a procurement officer, I have to somehow convince other people to submit bids. They know they're not going to win. That actually can be expensive in the other direction. Right. So complying with the rules that seek to minimize fraud actually can extract money from the public sector, and that's even before we talk about the cost of compliance, the cost of actually preparing those documents, the cost of monitoring those documents, etc.,. And the effort and time to be able to trace all of these other people to put in a procurement bid, even though they know, like you said, they're not going to get it. That takes bandwidth. Right. We don't have so much time to, like, do so many things. And if you're chasing things that, you know are a waste of your time, that just doesn't help you at all in terms of where when do I find the time to focus on my own job? 

Dan Honig: [00:15:38] Totally. Perhaps this is a reference that dates me. But, you know, for those of us who remember the movie Office Space, right. It's a world of TPS reports and the main character in the office when he comes in, you know, he's talking to those consultants, those management consultants, and he says, you know, honestly, if I do something, what I get is a ton of paperwork and oversight back at me. So what I do is as little as possible and just enough not to get fired. And that'll get me to do something, but only a very little bit. That's not his exact words, but like that's the world we live in. You can be referencing this distinction Lant Pritchett I make in one of our papers about account versus accounting based accountability. And, you know, accounting is a discipline was largely about in some ways the shift of power from professionals to those who wanted to oversee them. So that's the reason we get kind of these management practices. So Taylor and scientific management comes in as an effort to take control. He's very explicit in his writings. He's trying to take control out of the hands of the kind of craft operators and standardize things using technology so that we can get more sort of standardized production and it could be more efficient. And, you know, I'm a Detroiter, as I say, if we're talking about an assembly line at the Ford plant, that might be a way to maximize performance. But if we're talking about, I don't know, Child Protective Services or it turns out even procurement, it doesn't quite work that way. And in fact, we end up biting our nose to spite our face. 

Salimah Samji: [00:17:13] Has there been any conversation that you've had then with these bureaucrats that have made you rethink or reframe some of your thinking on mission driven bureaucrats? What surprised you, I guess, is my question in some of these conversations that you've been having?

Dan Honig: [00:17:30] Yeah, that's a great question. So, yes, all the time is the answer. And if I'm honest, I didn't see it coming. So like, I thought I was doing interviews to kind of illustrate points in the book. What I didn't realize is that doing the interviews is would also kind of help me reflect on the full contents and improve it. So, you know, Margaret, who I was talking about before, she comes into an agency that doesn't exist. So it doesn't make sense to talk about how she is aligned with the agency she comes to work with because she is the Census Department. The day she shows up, you know, there's no existing setup to match or not match. Similarly, it really made me think, you know, I used to frame this a lot around, kind of like intrinsic motivation versus extrinsic motivation. The implication there was that intrinsic motivation is good, extrinsic motivation, fine, as long as we can monitor, but maybe not so good. But, you know, I was having this conversation with the first woman ever to serve as a field collector in Baluchistan, in Pakistan, to go back to Pakistan again. This wonderful woman named Batool Asadi and Batool is quite clear that what motivated her to do her work was serving as an example to other women in Pakistan, serving as and in some ways the personal social renown, but really the public kind of inspirational impact on other women of demonstrating that this could happen, of being a trailblazer. And that is extrinsic. That's not intrinsic in the sense that she cares about how she looks to other people. That's her theory of change. Her theory of impact is other people will observe me and their observation is itself going to make things better. So that is external to her. And it really made me think that conversation. What do I mean when I say intrinsic motivation? Well, what I mean is a kind of motivation. That means that monitor and control of the kind we were just talking about is unnecessary. And her motivation is extrinsic, but also doesn't need oversight. She doesn't care about whether the report that goes back to, I don't know, the national HQ, wherever that is, is making the difference. She doesn't care what those folks see. What she cares about is what people in the community who are actually there see. She cares not about the controls and the accounting. She cares about the account and the notion that when we think about what it is to be mission driven, often it can mean being aligned with the explicit public purpose of the agency. But it can also just mean about having a kind of almost personal public purpose. That drives your work and orients your action and means that these kinds of controls are not something we need. 

Salimah Samji: [00:20:13] That's a great example. I think this idea, even though it may be extrinsic of being able to just be a role model for others or for the positive externality of just you being who you are and doing what you're doing can be much, much larger than anything that you may achieve in your day job. And that ability to recognize that you are in that role is really powerful. So that's an excellent story. Thanks for sharing. So with your book, what does success look like? You write this book and what do you hope people are going to get out of this? And it doesn't have to be one takeaway away. Several takeaways like what is your extrinsic motivation for the book then? 

Dan Honig: [00:20:57] I mean, Salima You know. My hope was to get on the BSC podcast. So now that now that we've got there, it's all gravy. And so, No it is wonderful to be here. Don't get me wrong, but what do I want to accomplish here? So, yeah, I want to accomplish a couple of things. I want to be a small part of changing how we talk and think about bureaucrats. Right. Who is the we is the next right follow up question? I think so, by the way. I mean academics. I think that what I academics say sometimes kind of matters a little bit. Right. Especially when we're talking about sort of policy in the developing world and where in which external actors play a pretty substantial role. We've seen multiple generation of programs focused on, you know, governance and capacity building that have a basic theory of change, which has in mind that bureaucrats are not good people and we should control them. And I want to change how those programs work. But I also want to kind of change how we all think about this, how we, the public, think about this. The people who lose out in this system at the end of the day are the citizens of the countries who get less good stuff because of the way we manage bureaucracies. And one of the reasons that that happens is because we have a kind of accountability system that can't tolerate any failure. So what do I mean by that? I'm the assistant administrator of a US government agency and I give my employees more discretion. And 98 out of 100 people use that discretion, use that autonomy, use that reduction of control to do good things. And two people steal two hundred dollars. Right. And a reporter finds out about that and puts it on the headline, puts it in the newspaper. That is a loss for me, not a win. Right. Performance has gone way up, have huge improvements in performance, but we have an active fraud. And that means that what we do whenever we get any active fraud is tightened controls, which does reduce the chances of fraud. But it has this other kind of effect. It's like, imagine if Goldilocks like had this problem where she couldn't taste hot food. Right. But she could taste really cold food. She would end up eating food that was way too hot. And that's where we are, right? We're in a world where we only see one of the downsides of a kind of two sided problem and then we end up overcorrecting for it. And I think that change in how accountability works in the public sector has to start with public understanding and trust. And that does not mean we should let fraud go. That is not what I'm saying. It does not mean that we should let accountability go by the wayside. So people sometimes react to this argument by saying, but then where's accountability? Well, the fact that we can only think of accountability as kind of numbers and top down controls is, I think, pretty problematic. Right. So, you know, the original mission driven bureaucrats, though, I recently learned that the word mission is actually etymologically derived from the word missionary. Right. That is Jesuit priest in like, you know, I don't know. Sixteen hundred getting on a ship and going somewhere with a mission in mind. And I do not mean that missions have to involve religion or certainly not proselytization, but that is the right setup in the sense that these are people we cannot monitor in any way. Right. They are on mission and so we need them to hold that mission in their hearts. That doesn't mean those those priests weren't accountable. I've been spending a lot of the last month reading about the accountability systems of Jesuit priest in the sixteenth century. And basically the way this worked is there was kind of reporting for sure and performance monitoring. There was also a ton of self-assessment and a ton of peer assessment. Who am I? Am I doing the right thing? The questions that I think a lot of us ask ourselves in our work, let's get together with other people on the same mission. Let's communicate via letters. Let's come to understand ourselves, because we all take it for granted that we can trust each other and that we're all heading in the same direction. And I think rebuilding, you know, we talk about rebuilding trust in. Government, as if that's about getting the public to trust, you know, an amorphous government. I think we need to rebuild trust in government in the sense of rebuilding all of our trust in the people who actually act in the name of government, in making sure there people worthy of that trust on the whole and in building trusting relationships between them and the citizens we serve and shifting accountability down to delivery and out of this world of kind of accounting and Top-Down control. And I hope this book plays some role in doing that and doing a bunch of sort of policy things or starting up a bunch of policy things kind of related to that in a variety of ways. For me, this started as an academic project. I started with hypotheses. I wanted to test. I want to be clear about that. But where I've come to is believing those hypotheses. And I think having convincing evidence for them are others can disagree with the way this process rightly works and wanting to talk about how we then go about improving the state, improving for all our lives so we can get what we need out of it. You know, if you'll permit one more story. Absolutely. Now, about a year ago, I was in Senegal. When it first came, the borders were closed. Senegal did a fantastic job, as you may know, responding to the coronavirus. One of its first actions was to realize that it was all of these foreigners coming in who actually were the vector here. And this had the slight downside that now we were in Senegal with no idea of how or when we could get out. And so the State Department organized an evacuation flight. So and I'm in Senegal doing research for mission driven bureaucrats for the book. And so, you know, in early April last year, we get on a cargo plane owned by a famous Michigander who used to be a famous drag racer and then became a cargo ship or afterwards. Right. So this guy's plane comes to Senegal, picks us up. We get on the plane, U.S. State Department operations, medicine running the flight. Right. And this guy gets up to kind of explain kind of the rules of plane. And he's wearing like full PPE. Like, you know, he's in full white medical garb. He's got a face shield. He's got his own independent oxygen, I believe, like he is fully geared up. And he says, guys, as you can probably tell, this is not a regular flight. We are here. We just came from Liberia by coincidence yesterday. Now we're in Senegal. Who knows where we're going tomorrow? Let's try to keep this clean. Let's try to keep this orderly. Let me know if you need anything. You know, we are trying to turn this around as fast as possible to help as many people as we can, Americans who want to get home. Somebody asked, you know, are you being paid overtime for this? Right. And this guy just laughs. You know, is he last? Is it. No, no. I'm a civil servant. No, I don't get paid overtime for this. Then he says, you know, this is why I do the job right. This is why I took the job. This is what I want to do. I want to help people like you folks get home and help as in where I can. And a plane full of people starts applauding. Right? Like actually applauding this bureaucrat talking to us. This is a bureaucrat, right? When people say bureaucrats, they have in mind, like, you know, somebody in an office and maybe he does work in an office most of the time. But he's a human being who wants things. And that's why he took the job. And everyone's applauding. And my wife, who's sitting next to me, turns to me, the first thing she said is that's the opening of the book. And I said, yes, that's exactly right. That's exactly right. That is the opening the book. I then went back. I'm talking about these profile interviews. I went back and interviewed this guy. Right. Sat down for a couple of hours, talked to him about how he ended up doing the job he does. And in the interview, he says, look, this is what I want to do. This is why I do it. If I didn't feel like I was accomplishing anything here and I didn't feel like I was trusted, I probably wouldn't be long for this job. No one would. And you know, what really hit me is he said that is like, you know, I'm writing a book about mission driven bureaucrats, but I don't think of myself as a beneficiary. But of course I am, because we all are. And I am so thankful that Joseph Roberts was doing the job that day. I'm so thankful that he was there to help me. We all are beneficiaries, just as we all are the people bureaucrats are accountable to. And we, I think, need to better connect those two ideas in our heads so we can get the public service that we all deserve and the management practices that honor the commitment and dedication of the people who are drawn to serve in that public sector. 

Salimah Samji: [00:29:31] Well, that is really a powerful story then. One of the things I love about conversations with you done is you have so many of these incredible stories who are never at a loss for these really wonderful, incredible stories. But I love how, you know, this book is going to be talking about the impact that management styles have on performance. And I love how towards the end of this podcast, you really drove in the point of trust. Right, because that really at the end of the day, that's what it's about. It's about people and it's about trust. And if we don't trust them, then that's when we start to use these accounting and kind of lose sight of the account of what it is that they're there for and really trust in the purpose, and I also love how you talk about this idea of self reflection, where I think if those kinds of things get built in, people who are mission driven will be happy to do self reflection. And I think with the idea of having peer learning or peers or communities of practice, as we call them, can be a really powerful way that we can learn to solve problems together, that we can actually learn how we can work within our bureaucracies. That might be dysfunctional, but we care. We are civil servants in a system we want to make change and maybe we can learn from others within the system and actually affect that change. And so I personally can't wait to read this book and then we definitely will bring you back to the BFC podcast to do another detailed podcast on your book when it comes out. Thank you so much, Dan. This has been tremendous. Thank you very much. 

Dan Honig: [00:31:07] Really my pleasure. Thank you so much for the time. I really love talking about these folks and the stuff. And so thanks for that opportunity. Let me also just add, because you set it up so nicely there, one of the linked policy bits I was talking about is actually working with Johns Hopkins University, which is my home university's SNF Agora Center. We're starting up something we're calling practitioner circles, which is about exactly what you just said. So it's about trying to bring people together, bureaucrats together in poor communities that will involve peer learning, but are really about kind of peer support, motivational support and about prompting that kind of self reflection. What brought me to the job? What do I care about? How do I fulfill that? Where do I fulfill? And I think a big part of the book that we haven't talked about here is the idea that bureaucrats are part of teams right? Motivation is not an individual game and people change people's motivation changes over time, not just because they grow for whatever other reason, but because of the way they're managed, because of the people they're exposed to. As Dolly Parton says, you know, some folks are saying it's some folks are sinners for the rest of us. It all depends. One of the things it depends on is who were around. And I couldn't agree with you more on that. Thanks again for the time and the opportunity and look forward to talking about. 

Salimah Samji: [00:32:25] Absolutely. Thank you so much, Dan.

Katya Gonzalez-Willette: [00:32:29] To learn more about the Building State Capability program, visit www.bsc.cid.harvard.edu.