2017 UN Public Service Forum and Awards

The 2017 UN Public Service Forum was held in The Hague, Netherlands, from 22 to 23 June and concluded with the UN Public Service Awards with 12 institutions being rewarded for excellence and innovation in service delivery.

Participants from all over the world debated how innovative policies can be fostered to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. One o the key messages was that, at a time of great change, government needs to work differently, harness the enormous potential of public administration and mobilize all actors towards a more effective, inclusive and accountable governance, as envisioned by Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16. Synergies with the other Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda and actionable strategies on how to translate them into integrated and effective policies took centre stage in the discussions.

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Ensuring effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals

The Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) met under the theme of “Ensuring effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals: leadership, action and means” in April in New York. A key message of the session was that government and public institutions have the leading role to implement the SDGs and pursue policies to leave no one behind.

The Committee stressed that leadership is critical for driving SDG implementation and should be encouraged at all levels of government and among public servants. The Committee also underscored that local governments have a critical role in reaching the SDGs and achieving equity and that decentralization may be necessary to accelerate progress on some of the SDG targets. Another message of the Committee was that poverty eradication policies should be developed in close consultation with all stakeholders, including the poorest and that poverty eradication should be an overarching objective of all parts of government and pursued through a whole-of-government approach. More information: here



24th UN/INTOSAI Symposium on Digitalization, Open Data and Data Mining

UNDESA/DPADM and the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) organised a symposium on the contribution of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) to SDG follow-up and review and digitalization, open data and data mining on 31 May -2 June in Vienna. The meeting showed that INTOSAI and its member SAIs are responding to the 2030 Agenda. INTOSAI has developed four approaches for SAIs’ to contribute to the SDGs (assessing national readiness for implementing and reporting progress on the SDGs; undertaking performance audits of programs that contribute to the SDGs; assessing and supporting the implementation of Goal 16, and being models of transparency and accountability). The meeting discussed several initiatives under these approaches. It was also felt that aggregating information from SAIs’ audit work under each approach could help inform the SDG review in the High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF).

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Audit Preparedness for Implementation of the SDGs

UNDESA/DPADM and the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) organised a meeting on “Auditing preparedness for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” from 20 to 21 Jul in New York. Discussions highlighted the vast diversity of SAIs’ contexts, mandates, capacities and resources, and the challenges related to focusing on issues of performance and inclusiveness. The need of a whole of government approach, which considers the inter-linkages between SDGs and issues of policy coherence and integration, and wide multi-stakeholder engagement were identified as distinctive features of auditing preparedness. Participants reflected on the value-added of SDG audits and SAIs’ contribution to follow-up and review processes, and shared information on ongoing efforts related to auditing SDGs in different regions.

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World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2017

UNDESA/DPADM organized two events at the annual World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum. Those addressed the role of private sector in mobilizing ICTs for the SDGs and the role of digital government in eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity. At the first event, participants emphasized the role of the private sector in harnessing ICT for the SDGs and moving towards universal access to internet.  They said the private sector could contribute the most when it has to answer to a specific well identified need.  It was stressed that, in many countries, there are acute basic needs which must be responded to urgently.  The government also has a role and some participants felt that there is a need for regulation and cooperation for example on Artificial Intelligence. Also during this year’s Forum, UNDESA/DPADM, together with ITU, briefed on the launch of a task group on ICT for SDGs as part of the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development. The objective of the task group is to propose a thematic list of ICT indicators that could be used to measure ICT availability and use in sectors relevant to the SDGs.

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World Public Sector Report 2017 – Call for contributions

Preparations for the 2017 edition of the World Public Sector Report are underway. UNDESA/DPADM invites experts, practitioners, scientists and researchers to contribute to the report highlighting issues, research findings or solutions. The Report will examine how governments, public institutions and public administration can foster integrated approaches to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. The deadline for the submissions is 30 August.

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