DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management received more than 200 nominations from 44 countries for the 2010 United Nations Public Service Awards.
The awards are arguably the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service.
The annual prizes are intended to “reward the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions” which bring about “more effective and responsive public administration”.
Past winner and nominees have included an innovative public housing project in Singapore, a locomotive-based health care provider in South Africa and an online portal designed to assist people with disabilities find a job in Australia.
Organisers said that each year’s nominees showed “that governments innovate much more than is commonly believed and that good ideas and their effective implementation occur everywhere, in developed as much as in developing countries, in rural and urban areas, central and local levels of government, with or without significant resources.”
“In fact, many innovations have occurred precisely because of the lack of resources and the need to come up with creative solutions to challenges of public concern” they said.
Director of the Division for Public Administration and Development Management Haiyan Qian said that past winners “highlight that the most critical ingredient to promote socioeconomic development, including the Millennium Development Goals, is effective, ethical, transparent, accountable and citizen-centric government.”
“No progress can be made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals without a capable leadership, well-designed governance institutions, appropriate human resources and proper use of modern ways and tools, particularly ICT tools, as well as sustainable mechanism to engage citizens in public policy-making decisions and effective delivery of public services, including security, justice, health, education, sanitation, and other basic services.”
Ms. Qian said that number on entries this year represented a 23 per cent increase from 2009, with the Asia-Pacific region continuing to provide the highest number of nominations.
She said that a process of short-listing will continue in the coming weeks until the Committee of Experts in Public Administration decide on the winners in April.