Volume 16, Issue IV December 2017



Welcome to the latest issue of the UNPAN Newsletter!

In this issue you can read about recent events that addressed the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its implications for public administrations, with regional Symposia held in the Republic of Korea and in Ethiopia, organized by DESA/DPADM together with partners. These events showed that many efforts are being made in both regions to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They underlined the importance of transforming governance and institutions for SDG implementation. In Africa, particular emphasis was placed on implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union together.

Related to this, the CLAD Congress on State and Public Administration Reform held in Spain discussed the pressing need to redefine and adapt government institutional systems for the implementation of the SDGs.

Another extremely important issue prominent in this issue is that of conflict and post-conflict situations and their ramifications for development at individual and societal levels, including on displaced people. A key element for conflict resolution is found to be the reconciliation and good governance of public institutions. You can find out more about three meetings on these themes organized by ESCWA in this issue.

Finally, it is my pleasure to invite you to submit applications for the UN Public Service Awards 2018 and share this information with interested parties. Applications are invited in the categories of reaching the poorest and most vulnerable through inclusive services and partnerships; making institutions inclusive and ensuring participation in decision-making, and promoting gender responsive public services to achieve the SDGs. DESA/DPADM looks forward to receiving innovative cases from around the world. Winners will receive Awards during the UN Public Service Forum in Morocco in June 2018.

As always, please remember to send us highlights of the key substantive messages from your events and reports. Wishing you a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year 2018!


Marion Barthelemy,

Division for Public Administration and Development Management
Department of Economic and Social Affairs United Nations




United Nations Public Service Awards Call for Nominations

The 2018 UN Public Service Awards (UNPSA) call for nominations was launched on 8 December. Materials and nomination forms are available in the six UN official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, English, Russian, Spanish). Nomination are invited in three categories:

1) Reaching the poorest and most vulnerable through inclusive services and partnerships;

2) Making institutions inclusive and ensuring participation in decision-making; and

3) Promoting gender responsive public services to achieve the SDGs.

Award recipients will be recognized during the UN Public Service Day (23 June) during the 2018 UN Public Service Forum hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco from 21 to 23 June 2018. The theme of the Forum will be related to transforming governance for realizing the SDGs.

The nominations will close on 7 February 2018.

For UNPSA online nomination form, click here.


Building Effective, Accountable and Inclusive Institutions and Public Administration for Advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The Symposium on "Building Effective, Accountable and Inclusive Institutions and Public Administration for Advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" took place in Incheon, Republic of Korea, from 5 to 8 December. The Symposium aimed at strengthening public governance for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and to enable governments to respond to the SDGs in innovative ways. Topics discussed included actions for localizing the SDGs, improving public services delivery, engaging all stakeholders, particularly civil society organizations and the private sector, enhancing means of implementation, and adapting plans and policies to the SDGs and to national situations. Government officials and other stakeholders from across the Asia and Pacific region participated in the Symposium that was organized by DESA/DPADM through its Project Office on Governance (UNPOG), in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Korea.

Key messages

- A paradigm shift is needed in governance. Institutions need a greater focus on people, innovation, partnerships and data, and leadership is needed at all levels of government and within public administrations.

- Whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches are crucial due to the breadth and nature, integrated nature and multi-disciplinary challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

- Public servants are essential to transform the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into reality and need to be sensitized to the SDGs and to learn new skills. There is a need to promote a change of mindsets in the public service.

- It is important to sensitize local leaders to the 2030 Agenda, to keep them engaged and to identify champions, as the implementation of the SDGs is taking place largely at the local level. Resource allocation should reflect local governments’ responsibilities in public services.

- There exist big challenges for countries to identify or define vulnerable groups, which may require concerted efforts by different institutions such as the ministry of planning, national statistical office and ICT management. This is critical to ensure that government support and aid packages can be channeled to those who need it the most and to reduce corruption.

- Information technology and e-Government are important enabling tools to support the transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.

- Tracking and reviewing progress at national level is key for reaching the SDGs. National oversight bodies such as parliaments and supreme audit institutions are already working together across countries to boost their capacity and elaborate methods to oversee government implementation of the SDGs.

Click here for more information.


ESCWA Conferences and Meetings

Conference on the Socio-economic Ramifications of Conflict: A Life Cycle Approach Recent, Research and Implications for the Arab Region, AUB and UN-ESCWA (15-16 September, Beirut, Lebanon)

The conference presented the most recent literature on the impact of conflict on development at the individual level, unifying it into a life-cycle narrative. The conference also studied the main implications of the recent research in terms of policy for the Arab countries directly or indirectly affected by conflict. In addition, the conference aimed to build a research community around the issue of conflict and its impact on development with geographical focus on the Arab region. Despite the high incidence of conflict and the disastrous consequences on the Arab population for generations to come, the region has been relatively outside the main regions studied by the conflict literature.

Some of the main recommendations were:

- Promote evidence based research and data collection efforts to guide policy making in the region.

- A key element for conflict resolution is reconciliation and good governance of public institutions

- There needs to be better regional cooperation to overcome conflict and bring prosperity to the region whole.

Workshop on the Regional Impact of Forced Displacement on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (9 November, Beirut, Lebanon)

The purpose of the workshop was to present the available evidence of the main drivers of migration and the impact on both the displaced and the host communities, as well as challenges to the realization of the 2030 Agenda for the Arab region. The meeting also deliberated on how policy interventions in both sending and receiving countries affect migration flows and mitigate these development challenges.

Expert Group Meeting on State-Building and Institutional Development: Challenges and Opportunities (23-24 November, Beirut, Lebanon)

This meeting explored strategies to prepare the post-conflict phase. The goal of discussions among stakeholders from Yemen and Libya was to help ensure a peaceful and inclusive transition, based on consensual processes to reform governance structures and rehabilitate institutions after conflict. The overall goal of effective institutional building processes is to develop efficient and sustainable mechanisms that will preserve and consolidate the peace process as well as enhance State legitimacy. In a regional system of which the post-colonial order has been plagued by conflict, building peaceful societies through inclusive institutional development will help reduce the risk of relapsing into conflict. Whilst post-conflict poor governance is likely to produce a vicious circle of conflict relapse and de-development, this meeting aimed at devising post-conflict reconstruction strategies that foster a virtuous circle, whereby institutional building, set within the framework of SDG 16, leads to the creation of social and political orders in which sustainable development can take place.

Click here for more information.


Governance for Implementing the Sustainable Development Commitments in Africa

A Symposium on Governance for Implementing the Sustainable Development Commitments in Africa took place from 11 to 13 December in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Symposium reaffirmed Africa's firm commitments to realizing the vision of the 2030 Agenda and African Union's Agenda 2063. Participants discussed how the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 could be localized, implemented and reviewed in an integrated way. There is a strong conviction that Africa can deliver on the high ambitions of both Agendas - and a determination to make it happen.

The Symposium was jointly organized by UNDESA, UNDP, UNITAR and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), in cooperation with UNECA.

Click here for more information.

Key Messages

- Many countries have been localizing the SDGs and integrating them in their institutions, policies, plans and oversight and review systems. Success requires a collective effort of national and local governments working as partners with civil society, the private sector, academia and others.

- Realizing the vision of the 2030 and 2063 Agendas hinges on establishing an adequate institutional framework and a truly new paradigm of governance. Development plans and policies need to take integrated approaches.

- Success requires innovation, and resource mobilization. Strong accountability frameworks at national level and quality disaggregated statistics and data are critical.

- Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) help countries to learn from each other and can strengthen national implementation. Other important peer and other review mechanisms exist notably the APRM.


XXII International Congress of CLAD on State and Public Administration Reform

The XXII International Congress of CLAD on State and Public Administration Reform was held from 14 to 17 November in Madrid, Spain.

Thematic areas of the panels addressed the following subjects: 1) Professionalization, ethics, integrity and social sensitivity as the basis of the public service in the 21st century. 2) Evaluation, quality management and innovation as tools for the effectiveness of public institutions. 3) Local management and decentralization from the perspective of cities' sustainable development. 4) Inclusive public administration with approach focus on gender and youth as a basis of human development. 5) Public law, fundamental rights and legal guarantees as essential elements of the right to good administration. 6) Design and management of public policies within the framework of Sustainable Development Objectives. 7) Open Government from the perspective of transparency, technology, citizen participation, collaboration and social networks in the public management. The conclusion reports by thematic areas will be available on the site of XXII Congress soon.

Conferences highlight

Mrs. Cielo Morales

Mrs. Cielo Morales, Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning (ILPES), made an overview of public management in Latin America and the Caribbean in the framework of an Open Government focused on citizens.

Mr. Santiago Munoz Machado

The clarity and unity of the administrative language from the Pan-Hispanic perspective was addressed by Mr. Santiago Munoz Machado, Professor of Administrative Law and Member of the Spanish Royal Academy.

Mrs. Chantal Mouffe

Themes related to populism and democracy was presented by Mrs. Chantal Mouffe, Professor of Political Theory, from the Department of Politics and International Relations of University of Westminster, UK.

Key messages

- Public policy only becomes "public" when accepted by society, and therefore to improve public administration is to improve society.

- There is a pressing need to redefine and adapt government institutional systems for SDG implementation. It includes public participation, digital revolution and open government, public sector innovation, new architecture for public administration, enhanced coordination between government institutions at all levels, inclusive public service delivery, alignment of budgets and policies to SDG targets.

For more information, click here.


Smartness, Innovation and Excellence

2017 Global City Informatization Forum took place in Shanghai from 6 to 9 November. The theme was "Smartness, Innovation and Excellence".

The Forum was divided into 4 sub-forums on Industrial Interconnection, World Path - Industrial Internet Forum; Global Cybersecurity Industry Innovation; International Open Data and City Innovation Summit and Award Ceremony for 2017 Shanghai Open Data Innovation Application Competition (SODA); and the 2017 Global Science and Technology Innovation Conference.

DESA/DPADM Director spoke in a plenary on the development of smart cities. She argued for broadening the definition on smart cities so as to include not only IT related dimensions, but also aspects such as leave no one behind, resilience, responsiveness to people's, which are what smart cities should be about. She also participated in a panel discussion on open government data. Presentations showed that there is a strong commitment to open government data in many countries and cities in Asia.

Click here for more information.



26th NISPAcee Annual Conference "Public Administration for Well-being and Growth"

NISPACee will be organizing its Annual Conference from 24 to 26 May 2018 in Iasi, Romania, jointly with University of Iasi. In addition to a broad variety of topics covered by the Working Groups, the main focus will be on "Public Administration for Well-being and Growth."

Click here for more information.

Click here for On-line conference registration .





HR 2020 Shifting Perspectives: A Vision for Public Sector Human Resources

The International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) released a report on "HR 2020 Shifting Perspectives: A Vision for Public Sector HR". It was developed by a taskforce of IPMA-HR members from all levels of government. The report is designed to assist public sector HR departments to shift from being transactional to transformational. The report identifies three lenses that include business acumen, innovation, and strategic orientation through which the five focus areas of leadership, culture, talent, technology, and communications should be viewed.

Click here for more information.


IPMA-HR has developed online assessments for both public sector human resource professionals and human resource departments. The assessments are self-scoring and are available on a complimentary basis for public sector human resource professionals, human resource departments, public service commissions, civil service commissions and other interested individuals and/or organizations. For additional information, please contact Neil Reichenberg, IPMA-HR executive director at nreichenberg@ipma-hr.org.







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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).
Mimi Wang and Anni Haataja, 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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