EAPAA

European Association for Public Administration Accreditation


 
The 14th NISPAcee Annual Conference
"Public Administration and Public Policy in Emerging Europe & Eurasia:
For Professionalism, Impartiality and Transparency"
May 11 - 13, 2006, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Organised in co-operation with
the Faculty of Administration of the University of Ljubljana
Conference venue: Grand Hotel Union, Ljubljana
Conference Programme available along with the presented papers at the conference

 

Ljubljana

The 14th NISPAcee Annual Conference, organised in co-operation with the Faculty of Administration of the University of Ljubljana, was attended by more then 300 participants from 34 countries from all over the world. This included 18 CEE countries covered by NISPAcee institutional membership.

 

NISPAcee would like to thank to the main local organiser, the Faculty of Administration of the University of Ljubljana, represented by Prof. Mirko Vintar and his colleagues, for the great organisation of the conference, financial support and preparation of social events which created a very nice and pleasant background for conference participants.


NISPAcee would also like to thank to the Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative affiliated with the Open Society Institute, Budapest, Hungary that financially supported the meetings of the several working groups and contributed to the success of the conference.  


It is also necessary to extend the appreciation to programme coordinators of all the conference sessions and working groups for their contribution to the high scientific and academis value of the whole event.


The conference started by welcoming and opening speaches presented by Laszlo Vass, NISPAcee President, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary, Gregor Virant, Minister, Ministry of Public Administration, Slovenia, and Polonca Kovac, Faculty of Administration of the University of Ljubljana on behalf of Slovenian organizers and Guido Bertucci, Director DPADM, UNDESA, New York, USA. The keynote presentation was made by Derry Ormond, Advisor in Governance, France. The main conference theme was then introduced by Laszlo Vass, NISPAcee President. 

 
The morning plenary session was concluded with a presentation of the NISPAcee Alena Brunovska Award for Teaching Excellence in Public Administration to Prof. Tiina Randma-Liiv, Tartu University, Estonia who delivered a paper "From Policy Transfer to Policy Learning in Central and Eastern Europe ”.


The next part of the conference programme consisted of the working sessions on the main conference theme, meetings of nine working groups and following Panel Sessions and Forums which enriched the programme of the conference with new information, presentation of new initiatives and new opportunities for colaboration with external organizations as well as within NISPAcee: 

  • Panel on Standards of Excellence in Public Administration and Training
  • Panel on ReSPA (Regional School of Public Administration)
  • Panel on E-governance as Inter-sectoral Learning Challenge: the New Missions of Public Administration in a Changing World

 Forum of Heads of Schools and Institutes of Public Administration

  • Panel on the Recent Research on Local Public Budgeting an d Finance, LGI
  • Regional Workshop of EAPAA
  • Panel on Rewards for High Public Office in CEE

The NISPAcee Business Meeting was as usual on the conference programme as well. The annual reports (activities, finances) and future plans were presented to the representatives of the NISPAcee members and other participating guests.
The election of new NISPAcee Steering Committee members were an important part of the programme. To replace Barbara Kudrycka, Poland who finished her term in the Steering Committee, the General Assembly elected new NISPAcee Steering Committe member, Mzia Mikeladze, Center for Training and Consultancy, Georgia and re-election of Sergei Pushkarev, Russia for the next period. 


The General Assembly also approved the proposal of the Steering Committee to change the membership fees from next year.

The closing plenary session was open by NISPAcee President,László Vassand reports from all sessions and working groups (short summary see bellow) and the report of the conference general rapporteur Mzia Mikeladze were presented.

 

NISPAcee launched a new competition for the NISPAcee Best Graduate Student Paper of the conferencefromthis year. The award was presentedto the winner Ms. Maria Keris, PhD student at the Tallin University, Estonia for her paper „The role patterns of minister’s personal advisors in politico-administrative dichotomy. Comparative case study of two Estonian ministries.".


The conference was finished by an introduction of the new President of NISPAcee Mzia Mikeladze, Center for Training and Consultancy, Tbilisi, Georgia. Laszlo Vass finished his two years term in this position at the end of the conference. It is necessary to stress his great contribution to the organization development mainly concerning its sustainability. NISPAcee extends its thanks to him for all his efforts and leadership which provided the organization with avision for the future.


Selected papers and presentations of the conference will be included into the conference proceedings published by NISPAcee. Papers presented at the conference are also available on the NISPAcee website.


Report of General Session
Coordinators:
Wolfgang Drechsler, Tallinn Technical University, Estonia
Gyorgy Jenei, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary

 

For the first time, as an organizational innovation and an experiment, the 14th Annual Conferences featured a General Session, in which papers were not restricted by any topic or theme, the only criteria for acceptance being (a) scholarly quality, (b) interest of topic and (c) "from or about the region” of NISPAcee. Naturally, there is no institutional funding for this venue. By all accounts and feedback from the unusually large audience, the session was a great success – the excellent papers that had passed a strict selection process were indeed very interesting recent research by scholars which they shared and discussed with an international and knowledgeable audience in the NISPAcee framework. Without the General Session, they would not have appeared at NISPAcee, at a loss to the scholarly discourse in the region and beyond. Unfortunately, there was not sufficient time for discussion, but this will be ameliorated for the next time – since the format of the General Session will, as was unanimously decided, be continued and developed by the co-chairs. Potential contributors might already think about a paper for the 15th Annual Conference in 2007 in Kyiv.



Report of Working session on the Main Conference Theme
Coordinators:
David Coombes, University of Bristol, UK
Laszlo Vass, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary

Four papers submitted for the main theme of the conference dealt with aspects of the reform process itself, and from these a lively, critical discussion ensued during the first session of the shortcomings of technical assistance by external development agencies for promotion of good governance in CEE and CIS states. The other papers dealt with various aspects of professionalism in the making and implementation of public policy, but these also contributed to a critical debate in the second session of the standards and expectations of public administration reform, viewed from perspectives of both donors and beneficiaries (or suppliers and clients of relevant expertise). On the basis of the discussion during these sessions, it was agreed to propose a new working group of NISPAcee, to review previous assessments of the effectiveness of international, European and national donor agencies, in the promotion of objectives of professionalism, impartiality and transparency in the public service. The review would seek in particular to identify deficiencies in the capacity of endogenous actors in CEE and CIS both to influence and to implement reform programmes. The new working group would meet at the next annual conference, when the results of the review would be presented, and recommendations formulated for new guidelines for international and national agencies responsible for reform of public administration in CEE and CIS states. NISPAcee members are invited to submit expressions of interest to Professor David Coombes, as provisional convener of the group, at dlcoombes@yahoo.co.uk.

 

 
Reports of Working Groups

I. Working Group on Politico-Administrative Relations
Coordinators:
B. Connaughton, University of Limerick, Ireland
Georg Sootla, TallinnUniversityof Educational Sciences, Estonia
B. Guy Peters, University of Pittsburg, USA

In Ljubljana the working group extended its focus on the interaction of politicians and bureaucrats to include issues of coordination and policy advice. A great deal of executive work involves attempting to make government policies more coherent and to govern in a coordinated and effective manner. In all, thirteen papers were presented on themes - including the role and functions of the Office of Prime Minister and Office of President in several CEE countries and the role of special advisers in selected East and Western states. In the forthcoming year the working group will work on the presentation of a revised protocol reflecting principally interest in the roles of elites, functions and coordination processes in the "administration of the summit" of government. The coordinators would welcome the participation of new members interested in these issues.

II. Working Group on Public Management Reforms in CEE and the CIS
Coordinators:
Geert Bouckaert, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
Sergei Pushkarev, Ural State University, Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation

Reflecting on the unprecedented wave of public sector reforms in Central, Eastern Europe and the CIS in the last 15 years, the NISPAcee Working Group on Public Sector Quality has focused on public management reforms (PMR). The members of the Working Group have started cross-country comparative research which would cover 15 countries of the region.
For the meeting in Ljubljana, the participants prepared country public management tables in which they catalogued the process of PMR in their respective countries. Additionally, participants prepared country profile papers describing public management reforms. All papers followed the agreed-upon research methodology so that it is really possible to draw comparisons.

While there is still a lot of work to do, some preliminary findings are quite interesting. Most of the presentations pointed to the fact that the EU accession requirements played a major role in advancing PMR in their countries. The EU influenced PMR in candidate countries through law drafting, consultancy, funding incentives and other means. Other international organizations (for example, the World Bank, UNDP) has played an important role both in the EU candidate countries and other countries of the region. The presentations were rich in details and sharp on reform factors. Many participants observed that economic difficulties and corruption, low citizen pressure on the governments and national culture, reform path dependency and central elite dynamics are important factors for PMR in the region.
A special session was set aside to fine-tune the methodology for the next year. It was agreed that the participants will work on their country PMR papers which will be presented at the next NISPAcee conference. It is the goal of the Working Group to have a book on public management reforms in CEE and the CIS published by Fall 2007.

The coordinators and participants of the Working Group express their gratitude to LGI for making this research effort possible. Unfortunately, not all 15 participants were able to present their finding in Ljubljana due to logistical and other complications. However, the Working Group coordinators are looking forward to seeing all group participants in Kiev in 2007.

III. Working Group on Strategic Leadership in Central Government
Coordinators:
Martin Brusis, Center for Applied Policy Research, Germany
Katarina Staronova, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
Radoslaw Zubek, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK


New Public Management ideas do not provide a panacea as the behavioural and cultural assumptions underlying these ideas may be fundamentally challenged on the basis of a critical theory approach that transcends the paradigm of instrumental rationality. Improving the knowledge basis, technical sophistication and power resources of executives will not ensure high-quality regulations if the accountability-generating functions of extra-governmental actors are neglected.

 

The empirical case studies of the workshop documented the gap between legal design and legalist reforms on the one hand, patterns of de-facto interactions and incentives on the other. Attempts to establish a more policy-oriented preparation of proposals for cabinet meetings in Romania may fail as they presuppose civil servants thinking strategically and the necessary incentive space conceded by politicians to such civil servants. The difficulty of changing mindsets and habits were also manifested by a Romanian opinion survey that found an awareness gap between civil servants committed to reform and the general civil service.

 

European Union expectations and requirements have driven central government and legislative reforms in many countries of the region. The impact of this constellation has been ambivalent: a paper on Bulgaria noted the persistent deficiencies in policy performance, and a paper on Slovakia documented the shift towards a predominance of the executive and government-sponsored bills. Even a pioneer of executive reform like Hungary today faces institutional obstacles in coping with challenges of globalization and economic policy. One conclusion that emerged from the debate is that procedural and organizational reforms need to be embedded in a human resource management policy and backed by a broad political support coalition.

 
IV. Working Group on Democratic Governance of Multi-ethnic Communities
Coordinators:
Michael Brintnall, American Political Science Association, Washington D.C., USA
Petra Kovacs, LGI, OSI, Budapest, Hungary
Zsuzsa Katona, LGI, OSI, Budapest, Hungary

Topic 2006: "The Role of Public Administration Institutions in Promoting Constructive Diversity Management"

This year, Working Group IV focused its attention on the role of and the manner by which public administration schools and institutes promote constructive multi-ethnic diversity and its management. This was done by examining the nature of the challenges faced in terms of multi-ethnic diversity management by the region’s governments and the preparation which public administration students receive in order to face these challenges.


The working group received two quite different types of papers. The first group of papers focused on various national and institutional perspectives in terms of the training of future and current civil servants. Particular attention was addressed in them as to how issues of multi-ethnic diversity and diversity management are dealt with in the various schools and institutes of public administration. Studies from Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine were presented. A second group of papers focused on the various policy challenges involved in the integration of diverse groups into society in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine, and in Hungary and Kyrgyzstan.


In analyzing the gap between the practical challenges facing the various countries, and the preparation needed to meet those challenges, the working group focused on a number of issues related to making public administration institutions and schools more sensitive to the diverse environments in which they operate and the need to integrate them more directly into their communities.


The Working Group also found that there were a variety of ways in which public administration schools could more effectively address issues of diversity management. In most instances, schools and institutes had no courses in diversity management and in no instances were such courses a part of the core curriculum. Furthermore, the Working Group concluded that the problem could not be solved simply by adding a course to the core curriculum but really needed to be addressed in a variety of already existing courses. Indeed, in many instances, little concern was shown about the need to have diverse student bodies and faculty. In essence, there was a need to "mainstream” diversity.

 
The working group also developed an integrated framework of principals of good practice for diversity and diversity management in public administration institutes and schools. The working group concluded that it would encourage NISPAcee to work with the public administration schools and institutes in the region to encourage good practice on their part in the area of diversity management.  

At its final session, the working group agreed that it was necessary to continue to:

  1. carry out research on developing recommendations on how to integrate diversity management into the curriculum of public administration schools and institutes in order to ensure that civil servants were able to engage in, and encourage, effective governance in diverse communities.
  2. collect additional information on best practices for integrating effective diversity management into the curriculum and teaching in schools and institutes of public administration.
  3. develop a catalogue of the available resources in the region with regard to teaching and training in diversity management.
  4. continue to assess the diversity climate in the schools and institutes of public administration within the region through the use of questionnaires that assess the demand for, and the availability of, information and course work on diversity management on a country by country basis in the region.

 

V. Working Group on Public Sector Finance and Accounting
Coordinator:
Zeljko Sevic, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom

 The NISPAcee Working Group in 2006 focused on the issues facing management of public debt at the sub-national level. The main conclusion is that local and regional, i.e. sub-national borrowing is on the rise, but should be controlled by the central government in order to maintain the healthy national macroeconomic balance and to ensure that the borrowing is used for the capital investments and not for financing current expenditures, especially in the cash stripped localities. It is also emphasised that the need to maintain the register of sub-national public debt and to have a database of credit ratings of different municipalities. Quite different practices in the target countries have been duly reported and the discussion that followed was very useful and spurred cross-national comparison and the sharing of the best practices in a number of countries. The Group also noticed the huge discrepancy between the advanced transitional countries that have already joined the EU and those aspiring members. Whilst in the former, the sub-national debt is quite developed, in late starters the situation is not really very much more encouraging, although the efforts have been made to catch up with those leading countries. The plan of the group is to produce an edited volume with all the papers presented, and to reach the wider reading audience by doing that.

 
VI. Working Group on e-Government
Coordinators:
Mirko Vintar, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
John Taylor, Glasgow Caledonian University, United Kingdom

This year 11 papers from 9 different countries were presented. WG started its work by Leo Aadel presenting his paper under a bit provocative title ‘The success and failure of electronic governance: the case of Estonia’. Since Estonia became famous for its very successful implementation of e-government presentation gave an deeper insight into the Estonian way to e-government. This picture on Estonia was later broadened by Kristina Reinsalu and her paper focused on e-government in Estonian local governments. Mateja Kunstelj from Slovenia presented results of one of the only a few surrveys carried out so far in Europe focusing on the users satisfaction and expectations concerning public e-services. On the other hand there were also presentations from the countries where e-government is still at the very beginning of its development. Ivanna Atamanchuk presented the case of Ukraine where she analysed the central government web sites. For the first time we had also very interesting paper from Turkey presenting e-government development in Turkish local governments.


VII. Working Group on Capacity Building of a Civil Servants’ Training System according to EU Requirements
Coordinators:
Eugenijus Chlivickas, Training Centre of the Ministry of Finance, Lithuania
Borisas Melnikas, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania

The relevant problems were discussed in the Working Group as follows:

  • new challenges to develop public servants training system under conditions of globalisation, EU enlargement and knowledge society establishment;
  • progressive experience of public servants’ training accumulated through international practice;
  • establishment and development of public servants training systems, development and implementation of national and international strategies for improvement of such systems.

The main attention was paid to the following issues: new challenges for the improvement of public servants training, studies and qualification quality; new experience accumulated in CEE countries, members of the EU, while improving public servants qualification and organising teaching and studies; new phenomena and problems which silhouetted after EU enlargement; integration of scientific research elements into processes of training and qualification improvement.


The working group specified certain problems and suggested their solutions:

  • The content of the training and in-service training has to be relevant to the new requirements which are predetermined by the EU enlargement and prospects of cooperation between EU and other countries.
  • The quality of training and in-service training has to comply with the international standards and the latest requirements. It is therefore necessary to establish an efficient system of certification for training and in-service training programmes, to develop and implement highly dynamic systems of criteria for international certification of the training and in-service training programmes for civil servants and public administration specialists in all countries of the EU, as well as third countries.
  • Processes of training and in-service training have to be increasingly internationalized: training, studies and in-service training require involvement of foreign lecturers and trainers; it is essential to develop international networks of Centers and institutions for civil servants and public administration specialists training, studies and in-service training; it is essential to develop distance-learning technologies and, based on that, to internationalize processes of training, studies and in-service training.
  • It is necessary to conduct extensive scientific research in the area of training, studies and in-service training for civil servants and public administration specialists. It is necessary to initiate and carry out comparative research in the actual quality of training and in-service training systems; possibilities for development of international cooperation in the area of training and in-service training; creation and dissemination of new methods and technologies for training and in-service training; possibilities to apply modern marketing methods, especially those for innovations marketing; possibilities to adopt the experience of the ‘old’ EU countries, the USA and other Western countries and to apply it in Central and Eastern European countries, as well disseminate the experience of Central and Eastern European countries.

VIII. Working Group on Degree Programs of Public Administration / Public Policy Education in CEE Countries

Coordinators:
Frits van den Berg, The Netherlands
Gyorgy Jenei, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary
Laszlo Varadi, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary

After the first meeting during the NISPAcee conference in Moscow in 2005 members of the working group had contact by mail .During the 14th NISPAcee Annual Conference in Ljubljana the working group had its second meeting. This time there were papers on degree programmes in 6 countries .( Kyrzygstan,Georgia , twice Russia, Latvia , Ukraine ) . More then before information on the situation in countries east of the enlarged EU was available. Next to the country information , a paper on accreditation of PA-programmes and a paper on education on state reform were discussed.

 
Interesting topics were for example :

  • the relation between the needs/demands in the public administration and the outcomes of public administration education
  • specialisation in the administration in relation to the risks of fragmentation of the education
  • The relation between mission, curriculum development, didactics and evaluation of the programmes
  • The different target-groups of PA-education.

The next step is that the programme coordinators will analyse the materials discussed during the conferences in Moscow and Ljubljana and prepare a publication as tangible outcome of this two-years project.

 
IX. Working Group on Integrity in Public Governance
Coordinators:
Patrycja Suwaj, BialystokSchoolof Public Administration, Poland
Hans Rieger, DBB Akademie, Bonn, Germany

 
The working group collected the different existing research papers, practical reports and presentations in the field of integrity. The membership of the Working Group seeks to build connections between reflective practitioners and engaged scholars in the Ethics/Integrity field, as a matter of priority.  

 

Therefore the presentations showed the different approaches in law, strategies, ethics and training in different countries. Various evaluations and scientific researches were made in different countries. As a result it shows what remaining tasks in the field of Integrity management have to be undertaken. As a main result it gets clear that there is a common understanding of Integrity Management, but on the other hand the transfer into practise has to do with the background of the country the tradition and the current situation.
Even that the main instruments are similar the practical approach and result is quite different.


The most representative papers of the Conference have been submitted for the selection process and will be published in the Conference Proceedings 2006.

Archives:
Invitation and Call for papers 2006

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