2017 United Nations Public Service Forum
The 2017 UN Public Service Forum on the theme “The Future is Now – Accelerating Public Service Innovation for Agenda 2030” was held in The Hague, Netherlands from 22 to 23 June.
For two days, participants debated how innovative policies can be fostered to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development even when resources are scarce, objectives are highly ambitious and interests are disparate. They focused on ways to channel the efforts and creativity of Governments into effective SDG implementation in areas as diverse as children and youth, health, sustainable cities, leave no one behind, circular economy, and sustainable energy, among many others. A wealth of lessons learned were exchanged based on existing initiatives.
There was a key message 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 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.
The discussions showed that many public institutions have been experimenting with innovative approaches in areas related to the SDGs. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a clear roadmap with measurable and adaptable targets to realize an ambitious vision.
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2017 United Nations Public Service Awards
On UN Public Service Day on 23 June, 12 institutions from 11 countries were awarded for their public services innovation and excellence in delivering public services for the SDGs.
“Reaching the SDGs and transforming our world requires the action of Governments, the mobilization of civil society and the private sector, and an unprecedented engagement of civil servants. Civil servants are privileged. They have a unique power to improve the lives of the people they work for – within their constituencies no matter how small – or for society at large. To transform institutions and put people at the centre of public service, we need to mobilize the best expertise of public servants. We need to mobilize their creativity, and empower them to take risks and try new ways of doing things. In brief, we need innovation so that no one is left behind”, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs Mr. Thomas Gass said in his opening statement.
The 2017 Public Service Awards winners were announced during the 2017 UN Public Service Forum. The 2017 Public Service Awards winners are from Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Botswana, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Mongolia, United Kingdom (1st place winners); 2nd place winners: Colombia, France, Thailand (2nd place winners). Winning initiatives related to for example elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, telemedicine to support maternal and new-born health in remote areas, generating jobs in waste management in poor communities and ensuring transparent public water system through participatory governance.
The winners' factsheet can be found here.
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At a time of great change, government needs to work differently, harnesses the enormous potential of public administration and mobilize all actors towards a more effective, inclusive and accountable governance, as envisioned by SDG 16. Synergies with the other Goals and Targets of the Agenda 2030 and actionable strategies on how to translate them into integrated and effective policies took centre stage in the discussions.
16th Session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration
The Committee of Experts on Public Administration held its sixteenth session at the United Nations in New York from 24 to 28 April. Its theme was “Ensuring effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals: leadership, action and means”. 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.
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SDG implementation should be pushed at the highest level of government and leadership should be encouraged at all levels to rally public servants around the SDGs and instil a sense of commitment.
New approaches to combat corruption need to be implemented to ensure a merit-based civil service that will demonstrate the impact of public policy on SDG progress as well as build trust in government. Where resources and capacities allow, governments should move away from a top down approach and instead, decentralise the role of reaching SDGs and achieving equity to local government.
Poverty eradication should be established as an overarching objective of all parts of government and pursued through a whole-of-government approach.
Audit of Preparedness for Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals2017 United Nations Public Service Forum
A meeting of leadership and stakeholders of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) on “Auditing preparedness for the implementation of the SDGs” was jointly organised by DESA/DPADM and the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) from 20 to 21 July 2017 in New York. Part of a capacity development programme on Auditing SDGs, the meeting aimed to advance SAIs’ understanding of trends and practices in country-level preparations for SDG implementation, and to examine the role of SAIs in support of the SDGs. A clear conclusion from the meeting was that SAIs need to be part of the SDG implementation and monitoring ecosystem at the national level. This may require SAIs to proactively reach out to governments and stakeholders for inquiring about SDG implementation and advocate SAIs’ contributions. Discussions highlighted that auditing preparedness for SDG implementation is critical to provide baselines for reviewing later stages of implementation. SAIs can also shed light on how inclusiveness and gender equality are being addressed in SDG implementation efforts. Auditing SDG preparedness requires new audit methodologies, tools and approaches. It needs a whole of government approach to auditing, which focuses on outcomes and considers the multitude of agencies, programmes and policies contributing to those outcomes, as well as cross-cutting issues such as performance and risk management across policies. Wide stakeholder engagement is also important. SAIs can look at whether and how governments are engaging multiple stakeholders, but they can also benefit from engaging stakeholders as providers of information on SDG implementation and levers of audit findings. SAIs are already conducting audits of preparedness and other SDG-related audits (e.g., food security) in various countries and regions within the INTOSAI community. As SAIs increasingly engage around the SDGs, they must also confront challenges including the need of raising auditors’ awareness about SDGs, taking a strategic approach to SDG auditing, setting performance targets for themselves and enhancing SAIs’ capacities. Cooperative audits can be a powerful tool to enable capacity building and knowledge sharing across SAIs, and to help improve public perception of SAIs as credible and relevant actors regarding SDGs.
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Swaziland Hosts the Regional Adjudication Committee (RAC) Meeting
The 22nd meeting of the Regional Adjudication Committee (RAC) on the SADC Media Awards competitions for 2017 was held in Ezulwini, Swaziland from 19th to 24th June.
In his opening remarks the Acting Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology for the Kingdom of Swaziland, Mr. Bhekithemba Gama noted that it is important to recognize the role of media in promoting the SADC agenda and that rewarding best stories goes a long way in encouraging good journalism in the SADC region which leads to promotion of regional integration.
The Chairperson of SADC, His Majesty King Mswati III, presented the SADC Media Awards to the winners during the 37th Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government held in South Africa on 9 - 20 August.
Refresher Workshop for Training Managers of Ministries / Departments of Government of India
The Organisation Development Research Group (ODRG) team of the Centre for Good Governance (CGG) has prepared a Functional Manual for Training Managers of Ministries and Departments of the Government of India. The CGG team conducted a Refresher Workshop on 7 June, organised by the Department of Personnel and Training of the Government of India.
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|What came out of this meeting?
The Centre for Good Governance (CGG) developed a functional manual’ for training managers of ministries and departments within the Government of India, to operationalise the ‘National Training Policy 2012’.
• The ‘National Training Policy’ recommended a competency approach to training, enabling ministries to operationalise their procedures.
• The functional manual assists training managers of different ministries to operationalise and institutionalise the ‘Competency Approach’.
• The ‘Competency Approach’ is not only useful for training but also would help define clear roles and responsibilities in various ministries and departments.
• Defining roles would require assessing also job descriptions at all levels, breaking down objectives of the organisation
• Tools for the entire process are described in the functional manual.
• Some of the ministries and departments have started using tools provided in the functional manual for development of competencies related to each roles in the organisation.
Partnership with the G20 initiative aims internationalize Brazilian PPP projects
A partnership between the Intergovernmental Network for the Development of Public-Private Partnerships or PPPs (RedePPP) and the Global Infrastructure Hub, a G20 initiative, aims for the international dissemination of Brazilian infrastructure projects and the sharing of global best practices in hiring and developing projects and the exchange of experiences in Brazil.
The Global Infrastructure Hub aims to increase the quality of infrastructure projects by facilitating knowledge sharing and connecting the public and private sectors. In order to disseminate information and connect its partners, it has created the InfraCompass portal designed as an online guide where analysis of the infrastructure sector is gathered in 49 countries.
RedePPP is an organization under the coordination of the Secretariat of Finance of Bahia (Sefaz-Ba) of Brazil. It brings together more than 50 Brazilian organizations, including states, municipalities, federal agencies and development agencies. Created in 2014, RedePPP aims to promote the elaboration of policies, guidelines and standards related to Public-private partnerships, as well as mutual collaboration between companies and PPP public managers in the country.
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The 25th NISPAcee Annual Conference Innovation Governance in the Public Sector
The 25th NISPAcee Annual Conference, organised in co-operation with the Kazan Federal University was attended by almost 180 participants from 34 countries worldwide. This included 23 Central and Eastern European countries covered by the NISPAcee institutional membership. There was also a Pre-Conference Programme for Young Researchers on "How to Improve Your Research and Paper".
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The discussions focused on the links between public administration and growth and well-being, including:
• Capacity of public administration to stimulate the development of the communities through coherent operational strategies and programmes (ranging from infrastructure development to the intelligent use of technology and the stimulation of entrepreneurship and innovation);
• Relationship between the quality of administrative institutions and development at local, regional, and national levels;
• The role of public administration in the aggregation of community efforts aimed at growth (public administration as facilitator) and in the development of sectoral policies which stimulate growth (education, social capital, culture, etc.)
• Exploring the connection between growth and well-being: Are these concepts opposite? Do they complement each other, or do they refer to similar and interlinked functions and objectives?