DESA News Vol. 12, No. 04 April 2008

Technical cooperation

Counting the informal economy in Southern Africa

The DESA Statistics Division will hold a training workshop in Maseru, Lesotho from 14 to 18 April to improve the capacity of the countries of Southern Africa to measure employment in the formal and informal economies. Participants from national statistical offices and ministries of labour will learn in particular about measurement of women’s and men’s participation in the labour force through household surveys with an emphasis on employment in the informal sector.

The workshop is being organized jointly with the International Labour Organization, Economic Commission for Africa, and Southern African Development Community as part of a project on strengthening statistical capacity-building in support of progress towards the internationally agreed development goals.

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Mediterranean innovation, European know-how

Dubrovnik will be the site of an intergovernmental meeting on public sector reform from 23 to 25 April as part of a DESA initiative to promote innovation in governance and service delivery throughout the Mediterranean region. The Vice Prime Minister of Croatia, a number of ministers of public administration, and other government officials will discuss reform priorities in their countries and learn about methodologies for the transfer of innovations from several of the project’s European partners.

The meeting, which is being organized by DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management jointly with the Government of Croatia, is expected to result in an action plan and suggestions for pilot projects to carry priority innovations forward.

By encouraging the sharing of knowledge and best practices, partner countries benefit from experiences and lessons learned in other areas of the region and develop cooperation models aimed at stimulating North-South as well as South-South collaboration. This way, the southern countries of the Euro-Mediterranean basin gain a better knowledge of the decisional and administrative procedures, as well as legal framework of the European Union.

Ultimately, the goal of the InnovMed project, and the Dubrovnik meeting, is to promote the progressive harmonization of public administration systems in accordance with the so-called Barcelona process of 1995 through which the European Union supports Mediterranean partners in political, economic and social reforms.

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African human resource officers join forces

A workshop on professionalizing human resource management in the public service in Africa will be held in Kampala from 7 to 11 April under the auspices of the African Association for Public Administration and Management and the Ministry of Public Service of Uganda. The main objective of the training is to build the capacity of human resources managers in Africa and enhance professionalism of public sector officials through exchange of ideas and best practices.

DESA is sponsoring the attendance of fifteen human resource managers from the region who will lead a consultation on the role of networks in capacity-building. An expert from the DESA Division for Public Administration and Development Management will also deliver a paper on strategies for attracting and retaining civil service talent. The Institute of Public Administration of Canada will play a similar role.

Workshop participants will be asked to endorse a proposal for a Network of African Public Sector Human Resource Managers to serve as the foundation for continuing exchange among the continent’s human resource professionals. The prospective network is seen as an important mechanism for knowledge-sharing, and platform for promoting sound human resource management practices throughout Africa.

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