Volume 14, No.6 - June 2010

Trends and analysis

Citizens and public service delivery

Workshop on Engaging Citizens in Development Management and Public Governance for the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals will be held in Barcelona from 21-23 June

The workshop will explore policies, strategies, best practices and tools to promote the engagement of citizens in development management and public governance for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The goal of the workshop is to enhance the knowledge and build shared understanding among participants on how citizens can be engaged in different stages of strategy and policy making, and in public service delivery, with a view of promoting efficient and transparent public management and inclusive social and economic development.

The workshop will provide presentations by key experts from different regions of the world followed by open discussions with all participants, as well as group discussions on innovative approaches, methodologies and tools, including the use of ICT-tools, in citizens’ engagement. Key findings of the workshop deliberations will be reflected in a set of recommendations.

The workshop will also lead to innovative networking among participants and the participants will contribute to the online knowledge base on public administration and citizens’ engagement developed by the DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM). The workshop is held in connection with the comprehensive three-day United Nations Public Service Day Awards Ceremony and Forum 2010 and co-organized with the host of the event, Government of Catalonia, Spain.

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Inclusive and Accessible Society and Development

Expert Group Meeting on Accessibility will be held at World Bank Headquarters, Washington, DC, from 28-30 June

The meeting, co-organized by DESA and the World Bank, will bring together experts with experience in various areas of accessibility as related to persons with disabilities, including the built-environment, transportation, facilities and services and information and communications technology. The expert group will have for its review a technical monograph on accessibility and other relevant documents as background documents.

The meeting is expected to review current policies and good practices, as well as existing national and international standards and practices on accessibility. The experts will make a set of recommendations for policies to advance and support the efforts of countries to implement internationally agreed development goals, such as MDGs.

The findings and recommendations of the meeting will provide a basis for the on-going discussion for Governments, development organizations, agencies and all other relevant stakeholders.

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Achieving results in public governance

9th Session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) was held from 19-23 April

The Committee agreed to adopt a multi-year programme, 2011-2013, on the main theme, “Public governance for results to improve the quality of human life” and that each of the three years will have different sub-themes. The sub-themes for CEPA in 2011 will be on: a conceptual framework, public governance for results in post-conflict and post-crisis countries, social protection for vulnerable populations, and performance management in governance.

The report of the Committee included recommendations to the Member States, the Economic and Social Council and the UN Secretariat on key challenges and opportunities for public administration in the context of the financial and economic crisis with particular reference to leadership, transparency, accountability, and social protection for vulnerable groups and people-centred policies.

The report also included recommendations on the 2010 theme of the Annual Ministerial Review of the high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council: implementing agreed goals and commitments in regard to gender equality and the empowerment of women. These recommendations focused, among others, on the continued high relevance of gender equality, the under-representation of women in public administration and the importance of ICT as tool to advance the empowerment of women.

In reviewing the United Nations Programme on Public Administration and Finance, the Committee welcomed the restructuring of DPADM, including the creation of the Public Administration Knowledge Space (PAKS). The report also acknowledged the positive achievements of UNPAN in terms of collaboration and connectivity with different stakeholders.

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ICT4MDGs tools

Consultations on DESA’s Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) eMDG Portal at WSIS Forum was held on 12-13 May in Geneva

The concept and prototypes of the Matrix of ICT Solutions for Advancing the MDGs and of the Computer-aided Strategic Planner were presented to the participants of the WSIS Forum, which is the principal annual gathering of key stakeholders involved in the follow-up to the World Summit on Information Society.

Both sessions were well attended by representatives of governments, United Nations agencies, private sector and civil society and the outcome was both positive and constructive. The overall reaction of the attendees was unequivocally positive. No one questioned the utility and value of the proposed set of ICT4MDGs tools.

Representatives of several developing country governments were very encouraged by a presentation and endorsement from the Minister of ICT of Macedonia who shared his positive experience with the current prototype of the Strategic Planner. Government representatives expressed their urgent interest in testing the Planner and contributing to its further development.

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