The 10th NISPAcee Annual Conference:
DELIVERING PUBLIC SERVICES
IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE:
Trends and Developments
PROGRAMME (with links on papers in .rtf format)
Krakow, Poland, on April 25-27, 2002
The NISPAcee conference will provide a forum to encourage the exchange of information and developments in the theory and practice of public administration. The conference is addressed to experts, scholars, and practitioners who work in the field of public administration in central and eastern Europe (including all countries covered by NISPAcee membership also from Russian Federation, Caucasus and central Asia) to develop a new approach to public administration with flexible models and a new public management culture.
The conference will be structured into plenary and working sessions on the main conference theme and meetings of the NISPAcee working groups running in parallel. Papers are invited on the main conference theme or for the working groups as listed below and researchers are invited to join the listed working groups (contact the working groups’ coordinators).
Main Conference Theme
One of the transformation tasks which governments of former communist countries have been faced with is that of providing adequate public and social services. This has been a decade when the lessons learned from the new public management institutionalised in western democracies were already available.
Governments of western democracies began the reform of their administrative systems and institutions approximately twenty years ago with the aim of creating “better government”, in other words a government which was more efficient, effective, economical, flexible, innovative and responsible. At the beginning of the 1990’s in the former communist countries, adapting to new models of service delivery was more a desire than a feasible mode of operation. Most of the necessary components of the new models of service delivery – reformed political and administrative systems and a fully operating private sector – were in their initial stages of development. As changes in the public and private sector have come about, new ways of delivering public and social services have advanced. Both central and local governments initiated changes in their service delivery systems and both have experienced successes and failures. The main objective of the 2002 conference is to exchange the knowledge accumulated and the experiences gained in the new methods of public and social service delivery in the former communist countries.
Papers and discussions should focus on and facilitate the exchange of developments in the different countries of the region so that participants may benefit from each other’s experiences, be they positive or negative.
A key factor of the “technology” in public and social service delivery is the complex and diverse array of institutions and instruments i.e. new types of delivery systems composed of a wide range of actors, institutions, organisations, modes of enforcement and values. Services are an ever-changing mixture of relationships between people and areas. Service functions are being increasingly allocated to special-purpose authorities rather than to general-purpose central and local governments. This creates new problems for democratic control and accountability. The new delivery systems uses a mix of governmental relationships, new partnerships between the public and private sectors, market mechanisms or marketised services and the new roles emerging for the voluntary sector and the community in general.
Institutional and organisational setting up of new types of service delivery involve governmental and sectoral enforcement and value mixes. Governmental mix is the collaboration between the different levels of government such as national, regional/state, local and neighbourhood. Sectoral mix is the interaction between the public, private, voluntary and community sectors. Many services comprise a mix of public and private responsibilities as well as those of voluntary and community organisations. A third mix is that of enforcement or compliance relating to the various approaches to the problems of obtaining compliance Markets, bureaucracy and the community apply different methods of enforcement. Supply and demand, interaction between buyers and sellers enforce the actions of the market. Governments use bureaucracy whereas shared values, reciprocity, trust and informal relations are the means of enforcement used in a community.
This new world cannot be divided into ‘market’, ‘bureaucratic’, or ‘community’ organisations, because there are likely to be elements of each of these in any establishment. Therefore, concern for political and managerial control and accountability has sparked off debates in the region.
To evaluate public and social service delivery, the use of performance measurements is absolutely vital. The importance of these and also indicators for planning and control, for accountability and for accomplishing tasks is only slowly being recognised throughout the region.
The main areas suggested for presentations and discussions will be separated into six thematic sessions:
NISPAcee would like to receive proposals for papers on these issues. The discussion should focus on innovation in each of the themes and the transferability of experience from one country to another. Secondly, the failures in policy design and policy implementation in one country, in some instances, can provide valuable information for other countries encountering similar problems or failures. How to benefit from the experience of others is a question that can only be answered at a very superficial level. In “real life” the use of one system or country’s experience is complex and the utilisation of the experience of “others” still very limited. In the initial process of transformation, borrowing solutions from highly developed administrative systems was characteristic. Such a strategy can lead to a transfer of structures and procedures which are culturally inappropriate. We would like the discussions to link the experience and lessons learned from such an approach and also the experiences gained in adapting the borrowed components to specific circumstances.
Public and social services are both unique and similar at the same time. We should be able to discuss the problems of “portability” of experiences with the task of increasing cross-national comparisons and using them in both policy design and policy implementation.
I. Working Group on Politico-Administrative Relations
Tony Verheijen, UNDP, Slovak Republic
Alexandra Rabrenovic, University of Glasgow, UK
The working group on politico-administrative relations is interested in contributions on the following issues:
Politico-administrative relations under coalition politics. Those interested in preparing a paper on this issue should prepare a national case study according to the framework developed by Prof. Laszlo Vass. Only papers that have been written in consultation with Prof. Vass and follow the approach developed by him and agreed in the Working Group will be considered for inclusion in the programme. Interested academics can contact Prof. Vass directly to obtain the framework.
Role perceptions of senior officials. Senior officials at both local and central government level have a dual role, political and managerial. The WG intends to gain comparative insights into the self- perception of senior officials in Post-Communist states and the implication for the role that they play in the policy process.
A separate study related to central government level is currently being designed, and once the design has been completed, we will be looking for participants to this study, covering a broad range of states in the region. Further notification will be provided in future NISPAcee newsletters.
In the area of local government we are looking for interested academics that would be prepared to apply the approach developed by Lewanski (based on a survey method) to their national context. Further information on the local government aspect of the work of the group can be obtained from the group coordinators.
II. Working Group on Better Quality Administration for the Public
Elke Loffler, Bristol Business School,, Bristol , UK
Tatiana Zaytseva, School of Public Administration, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
The Working Group invites contributions to its 2002 Theme “Improving the Quality of Public Services”.
The objective of this third session is to get an overview of different approaches to quality improvement with regard to service delivery in CEE and NIS countries and also in Western European countries. As the Working Group discussed during the 9th Annual NISPAcee Conference, quality management does not necessarily involve sophisticated quality management systems. What matters is a strong focus on citizens as users of public services.
In particular, we would encourage interested authors to focus on one of the following topics:
Papers should be empirical in nature. They also should be critical and describe what works and what do not work. We would like to encourage joint authorship of academics and practitioners. The total length of the paper should not exceed 6000 words.
III. Working Group on Systems of Social Security
Markéta Vylítová,Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs, Czech Republic
János Hoós, Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration, Hungary
The WG has after couple of years dealing with broader social security issues arrived to a roofing theme, which is globalisation in social policies.
Globalisation forces countries to compete for direct foreign investment by means of lower tax rates, lower social security contributions and a friendly climate for enterprises. As a consequence, globalisation has a growing impact on welfare policies and compels them to introduce fast reforms and head in a market direction. Nevertheless, these global forces can oblige – and in some cases this has already happened– transitional countries to introduce reforms which are unsuitable. In other words, reforms which do not suit the given development level and given circumstances, result in reforms that do not improve the efficiency of their social security systems. In fact, in this case, the reforms have the opposite effect in that they can cause serious economic and social damage.
The forthcoming work shall thus be focused on the impact of globalisation trends on national pension and educational schemes with relation to social protection and human development of citizens. Submitted papers shall discuss the influence of international institutions and impacts of international agreements and the way, how such influence has been and might be handled and what does it bring. We expect not only descriptive papers, but papers based on analysis of current situation, which will try to come up with suggestions for future policies.
IV. Working Group on Democratic Governance of Multiethnic Communities
Petra Kovacs, LGI/OSI, Hungary
Jana Krimpe, Tallinn University of Educational Sciences, Estonia
During the NISPAcee confererne in Riga, members of the Working Group discussed and finalised a common protocol for a comparative research project: “Who Benefits? - Access of Minorities to Public Services”. The aim of the research is to generate comparative knowledge on current policy practices that can either promote equal access or prevent minorities from the equitable use of public services. The overall goal of the research is to develop new methodologies for monitoring methodology for monitoring access to locally provided public services and of the state of ethnic equality in various EU accession countries.
We invite all interested members of the NISPAcee to join the Working Group’s research team and to implement city case studies according to the common research protocol called “Who Benefits? Access of Minorities to Locally Provided Public Services”. City studies and research results will be presented and discussed at the Krakow conference and will be published in an edited volume during the autumn of 2002.
The research team of the working group will submit a funding proposal to various potential donor organisations. Therefore, we encourage interested researchers to send their letter of intent to firstname.lastname@example.org before July 31, 2001
In order to generate a complex and multi-disciplinary debate over theoretical and policy implication of access of minorities to public services in the region, we are calling members of the NISPAcee with an expertise in issues related to the following issues:
To submit their abstract and to share their research results, theoretical and policy expertise with members of the Working Group at the 10th Annual meeting of the
For further information, please contact coordinators at email@example.com
V. Working Group on Public Sector Finance and Accounting
Zeljko Sevic, University of Greenwich, UK
E- MAIL: Z.Sevic@gre.ac.uk
The first meeting of the group during the NISPAcee conference in Riga laid the foundations for the preparation of a research protocol and country study guide for the project “Grant Transfers and Financial Supervision in CEECs: A Comparative Study”. The research protocol for the project will be produced by the end of July 2001 and will be available to all interested participants, The existing members of the group agreed to prepare a series of country studies based on a developed research protocol, while the Group invites other interested persons to join the team and produce a country study. The invited country studies should cover the basic issues of local government framework and the adopted logic of inter-governmental financial (fiscal) relations. This is to be followed by a thorough analysis of grant systems in a particular country. The practice of grant transfers is to be analysed from a cost-benefit point of view, and the rights and duties, both de jure and de facto, of supervisory authorities. The project, once completed, should provide a unified picture of the current practices in grant transfer systems and the ways in which the central government supervises the fiscal behaviour and practices of lower level government authorities.
In Krakow 2002, the Working Group will present the results of this first project. It is expected that the results will be of sufficient quality to satisfy the requirements of a Western commercial publisher who will be interested in publishing a book with the presented papers. Interested NISPAcee members and observers are invited to express their interest by sending an e-mail to Dr Zeljko Sevic, Group Convenor in the first instance, and adhere to the adopted project protocol. The first version of the papers must be lodged with the Convenor by the end of October 2001, which will be reviewed and commented upon by early January 2002 whilst the second revised versions must be presented by early March 2002. Any eventual comments will be made known to the authors who will reply to them at the Krakow conference. The final version of the papers will be prepared by September 2002. The Group plan to propose a new research topic, for which the research protocol will be initiated in Krakow in 2002.
As the Group is a new addition to the NISPAcee family, new members are cordially invited to join the growing and ambitious team and contribute to the shaping of the future of the Group.
VI. Working Group on Applying the eGovernment Framework in Transitional Countries
Coordinators of the working group:
Director of United Nations Thessaloniki Centre for Public Service Professionalism, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Information Technology Consultant in the United Nations Thessaloniki Centre for Public Service Professionalism, e-mail: email@example.com
Field of Work and Research
Electronic Government (eGovernment) is an emerging force today, all over the world. Politicians and administrators have to realize that the eGovernment framework is much more than establishing a website and performing transactions via the Internet. The required process standardization and reengineering together with the organizational redesign that are prerequisites for moving towards the eGov direction will surely affect the way Public Administration is organized and functions. Moreover, in the emergence of the Information Society, the mission statement, the goals and the legitimacy of the State may be arise once again.
What will be the new role of the State?
How democracy will be implemented in the e-era?
What about the rights of the e-citizens?
Is there a need for revising the relation between private and public sector?
These are only some of the questions that sooner or later have to be addressed by the States.
In this framework, Central European and CIS countries are facing critical additional questions due to the specific characteristics of the region:
Is it possible for a Country in Transition to follow these changes?
Should these countries address first the “transitional” (institutional, financial, cultural, etc) problems they experience and then move towards e-society?
Or a great chance exists here, for all small, poor, not “developed” or transitional countries, through the participation in the e-society and the guidance of an eGovernment to overpass their shortcomings and acquire a new position to the new emerging world.
The NISPAcee Business Meeting
Will be held during the conference. NISPAcee Principal Representatives and other representatives of NISPAcee Member Institutions, Associate Members as well as Observers are welcome to participate in this meeting and the conference.
NISPAcee, in co-operation with the working groups’ coordinators, intend to develop projects for each the above mentioned working groups and seeks funds to support selected participants of these groups in the conference. However, this funding is uncertain and therefore all applicants for working groups are encouraged to find their own financing.
PROGRAMME - (with links on papers in .rtf format)
An application with abstract of papers relevant to the conference theme or working groups themes: September 30, 2001 at the latest.
NOTICE: Registration of all the participants has to be completed by January 15, 2002 at the latest.
All information about the conference are available on the Internet:
NISPAcee homepage http: //www.nispa.sk/news/conf2002.html
About the working groups: http: //www.nispa.sk/news/w-groups.html
Applications and inquiries are to be addressed to:
Viera Wallnerova, Project Manager
840 02 Bratislava 42,
Tel: +421-2-6428 5558,
Tel/Fax: +421-2-6428 5557