Volume 16, Issue II September 2017


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.

Click here for more information on the UNPS Forum.

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.

For more information, click here.


Key messages
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.

Click here for more information.

Key messages
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.

Click here for more information.


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.

Click here for more information.

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.

Click here for more information.

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".

Click here for more information.


Key messages

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?



People holding SDG signs

Institutional aspects of the SDGs

Effective, accountable and inclusive institutions that provide access to a justice system based on the rule of law, that respond to the needs of people and provide equitable access to services are essential to implementing the SDGs. The 2030 Agenda thus recognizes the institutions as an important element of its successful implementation.

Along with this, policy coherence is recognized as critical to the attainment of the SDGs and both are thus featured highly in the current discussions on the SDGs. As the 2030 Agenda is an integrated agenda, it requires adequate institutional arrangements that will bring cohesiveness to the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. To ensure successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda, institutions will need to effectively collaborate on the implementation of policies coherently across the three dimensions.


Countries have adapted their institutional arrangements or have built on their existing arrangements, with a view to implementing the SDGs in an integrated way. However, there is no single best arrangement to implement the SDGs, as the 2016 and 2017 High-level Political Forum discussions have shown. Also, many countries are grappling with the challenge of developing policies and institutions that integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development.

To effectively build cooperation and integrated approaches among institutions dealing with closely interconnected targets under the SDGs, it may be important to map the interrelations among the targets and based on this, putting in place adequate institutional arrangements. Related and equally crucial aspects of SDG implementation are institutional and individual capacity building; putting in place working budgetary arrangements; having mechanisms that allow public servants to work across institutions in an integrated way, capacities and the resources to ensure that sectoral policies are informed by the possible impact of actions on related areas.



Africa Symposium banner

Africa Symposium on Governance for Implementing the SDGs in Africa

UNDESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management and the Division of Sustainable Development will organize together with the Government of Togo, UNITAR and Organization International de la Francophonie, working with UNDP, a Symposium on “Governance for Implementing the Sustainable Development Commitments in Africa”. The Symposium will bring together participants from all African countries and will reflect on how to implement the 2030 Agenda and the African Union Agenda 2063 in an integrated fashion. The two agendas share many commonalities and would benefit from an integrated implementation at the national level. The Symposium will discuss ways to elaborate, fund and implement integrated policies, as well as how to mobilize local authorities and societies behind the SDGs. The Symposium will he held from 20 -22 November in Lomé, Togo.

2017 LAGPA Annual Conference

The Latin American Group for Public Administration (LAGPA), Fundacao Getulio Vargas (Brazil) and Universidad del Valle (Colombia), in close collaboration with Universidad ESAN (Peru) are organizing the LAGPA 2017 Conference to be held from 11-13 September in Lima, Peru. The Conference aims to bring together practitioners, academics, students and young researchers in public administration to discuss the following topics: 1) Private Corruption in the Public Sector: Facts and Impacts. 2) Emergency of Neoprotectionism in a Market Liberalization Environment. 3) New Rights and Implications for Governance and Public Policies.

A Special Session will discuss the SDGs with the participation of a representative of CEPA. Contact Cesar Rojas Alfonzo for more inforamtion.


2017 EROPA Conference

The 2017 EROPA Conference will be held in Seoul, Republic of Korea from 11 to 15 September. The theme is "The Role of Public Governance in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming, Empowering and Network-Building."

Click here for more information.

2017 EGPA Annual Conference

The European Group for Public Administration (EGPA) of IIAS in close collaboration with Politecnico di Milano is organizing the 2017 EGPA Annual Conference to be held from 30 August to 1st September in Milan, Italy. The event will be preceded by the PhD Symposium on 28 and 29 August.

Click here for more information.


2017 AGPA Annual Conference

The 2017 Annual Conference of Asian Group for Public Administration (AGPA) will be jointly organized by AGPA and Xiamen University on 20-22 October on the theme of "Internationalization of Human Resources and Management of Skilled Migrants". AGPA-EGPA Special Session on Asia-Europe Dialogue will be also organized on the topic of Public Policy on Active Aging. Contact AGPA Executive Office for more information.


OECD: Call for Innovations and Innovation Award

The OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) has announced a new Call for Innovations and Innovation Award to crowdsource innovative projects and initiatives from governments and government partners around the world. The OECD plans to highlight several of the submissions as in-depth case studies in an upcoming report. In addition, all submissions will be considered for the award. Award semi-finalists will be invited to present their work at OPSI’s November conference “Innovation in Government: The New Normal” in Paris. Winners will be recognised at the World Government Summit in Dubai.The deadline for submissions is 31 August.


NISPAcee Awards Programmes

Alena Brunovska Award for Teaching Excellence in Public Administration 2017: The purpose of the Award is to tribute to her commitment to the development of public administration education in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. The award was created in recognition of Alena Brunovska´s work.

Mzia Mikeladze PhD Thesis Award 2017: this award aims to promote research by young scholars on public administration and public policy in the NISPAcee region and to acknowledge outstanding work and a significant contribution in the field. The award was created in recognition of Mzia Mikeladze’s contributions to the discipline, professionalism, and organisation of NISPAcee.

Best Graduate Student Paper Award 2017: the purpose of the best graduate student paper award competition is to give recognition to a graduate student who demonstrates the ability to produce a high quality research paper presented during the NISPAcee Annual Conference.

Award for the Best Comparative Paper 2017: the purpose of this award is to support the comparative research studies in the Central and Eastern European region. Therefore, the winner of the award receives a financial donation .


2018 IIAS Congress - Call for Panels

The 2018 Congress of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) will take place at the National School of Administration in Tunis, Tunisia, on 25-29 June 2018. The event will focus on the theme of administrative resilience and will address the question of how governance systems can address contemporary societal challenges.

All interested parties are invited to submit a panel proposal for the Congress by 15 September.

Click here for more information.


NISPAcee Journal of Public Administration and Policy - Call for Submissions

NISPAcee launched the NISPAcee Journal of Public Administration and Policy in 2008. The Journal is predominantly devoted to public administration and public policy issues in Central and Eastern Europe. The Journal aims to publish top quality papers based on empirical research carried out in Central and Eastern Europe and, theoretical papers developing general public administration and public policy theory, or their specific dimensions in the region. NISPAcee Journal invites all interested contributors to submit their papers for consideration.

Click here for more information.




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UNPAN Newsletter is published quarterly by the UNPAN Management Unit (UMU) of the Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).
Editor: Xiao Wang, UNPAN Management Unit, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, 2 UN Plaza Room DC2-1721B

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