"State and Administration in a Changing World”
The 17th NISPAcee Annual Conference, organised in co-operation with the Government of the Republic of Montenegro, the Human Resources Management Authority, was attended by more then 260 participants from 40 countries from all over the world. This included 20 CEE countries covered by NISPAcee’s institutional membership.
NISPAcee would like to thank the local organisers, the Human Resource Management Authority of the Government of Montenegro, represented by its Director, Svetlana Vukovic, Jadranka Djurkovic and other colleagues, for the excellent organisation of the conference, financial support and the preparation of various social events, which created a very convivial and pleasant background for conference participants.
NISPAcee would also like to thank the Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative affiliated with the Open Society Institute, Budapest, Hungary which financially supported the meetings of several working groups and contributed to the success of the conference.
We also would like to extend our appreciation to the programme coordinators of each of the conference sessions and working groups for their contribution to the high scientific and academic value of the entire event.
The conference began with welcoming and opening speeches presented by Gyorgy Jenei, NISPAcee President, Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary, Jusuf Kalamperovic, Minister of Internal Affairs and PA, Montenegro, Svetlana Vukovic, Director of the Human Resource Management Authority of the Government of Montenegro, representative of the Municipality of Budva, Adrian Ionescu, LGI/OIS, Budapest, Hungary, Allan Rosenbaum, IASIA President, Florida Internatioanl University, Miami, USA, and Jacek Czaputowicz, Director of the National School of PA, Warsaw, Poland. The keynote presentation was made by B. Guy Peters, University of Pittsburgh, USA and Attila Agh, Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary.
The morning plenary session was concluded with a presentation of the NISPAcee Alena Brunovska Award for Teaching Excellence in Public Administration to Prof. Mirko Vintar, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia who delivered a paper "Public Administration and IT: Is it time to get married?”.
The following part of the conference programme consisted of working sessions on the main conference theme, general sessions, meetings of seven working groups and Panel Sessions and Forums, which enriched the programme of the conference with new information, a presentation of new initiatives and new opportunities for collaboration with external organisations as well as with NISPAcee.
The NISPAcee Business Meeting was also, as usual, on the conference programme. The annual reports (activities, finances) and future plans were presented to representatives of NISPAcee‘s members and other participating guests.
The election of new NISPAcee Steering Committee members was an important part of the programme. To replace Sergei Pushkarev, Russia who had completed his term on the Steering Committee, the General Assembly elected new NISPAcee Steering Committe member, Jacek Czaputowicz, Director of the National School of PA, Warsaw, Poland and also re-elected Mzia Mikeladze, Caucasus University, Tbilisi, Georgia for the next period.
The closing plenary session was opened by Stanka Setnikar-Cankarand reports from all sessions and working groups (for a short summary see below) were presented. The NISPAcee MERIT AWARD was presented to Tiina Randma-Liiv, Estonia, Juraj Nemec, Slovakia, Laszlo Vass, Hungary and Mirko Vintar, Slovenia, for their substantive contributions to NISPAcee‘s devlopment.
The Award for NISPAcee’s Best Graduate Student Paper was presented to the winner Mr. Catalin Daniel Dumitrica, Romania, PhD student at the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania for his paper „Building a Metropolitan Area Model for the Romanian Administrative Space”.
Report of Panels and Forums
Several panel sessions and forums were included in the conference programme. The overall objectives are the presentation of different projects and relevant activities, as well as enabling and facilitating an exchange of views, experiences and good practices among participants, institutions and countries.
Mzia Mikeladze, Caucasus University, Tbilisi, Georgia
Gyorgy Jenei, Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Eight presentations were submitted in the framework of the General Session. Due to the specifics of this Session, a wide scope of issues were covered. Out of eight, four were devoted to the Romanian context. Discussions were held on some of the drawbacks of the Romanian legislation regarding public management education. Another paper was devoted to the school aged population of Romania and what needs to be done in order to increase their enrolment in schools. The notion of corporate social responsibility was discussed for Romanian public institutions and it was concluded that this notion is vague whilst pursuing narrow and very specific goals by these institutions. One paper analysed to what degree social policies of the Romanian government are presented in the written press. An interesting presentation was made on a corporate study of the Austrian and Hungarian tax systems. Despite the similarities between the tax laws of these two countries, decision-makers in Hungary and Austria took different paths to address current challenges. A critical analysis of these paths was undertaken. Two papers regarding the Bulgarian public administration reforms and relationship between Bulgarian municipalities were presented. Another paper addressed the general issue of migration within the EU.
Panel on Health Care, Reforms and Implementation
Juraj Nemec, University of Matej Bel, Banska Bystrica, Slovakia
James Bjorkman, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands
Health care, its reforms and implementation are crucial topics for every country in Central and Eastern Europe. Therefore, during its 2009 conference, NISPAcee organised a panel on Health Care, Health Reforms and Implementation. Its primary goal was to compare the processes and outcomes of health reforms in the CEE region, including explanations for their successes and failures.
As agreed by consensus, health care reforms in Central Europe deliver planned outcomes and results only on a limited scale. There are no effective tools and measures to improve the Central European region where governance and public policy still need to reach international standards. A Czech paper, for example, noted that only one Czech government had provided the requisite implementation capacities. Finding the ‘right balance’ between market incentives and government regulation within different country conditions is another challenge for CEE countries. Obvious cost containment measures, such as co-payments, have been ‘vetoed’ by voters in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
After the panel, the coordinators provided all participants with a draft research protocol to help them to develop studies of country reforms for next year’s meeting in Warsaw. This protocol will also be sent to experts in other countries not present at the meeting, in order to create a broader base for co-operation in research.
The panel also improved linkages between NISPAcee and the International Political Science Association’s Research Committee 25 on Comparative Health Policy.
Panel on Integrity in Local Authority Areas
Thomas Wurm, DBB Akademie, Bonn, Germany
Panel discussions focused on the ethical dimension of the public policy process, decentralisation’s impact on the corruption phenomenon in public administration, the ethics from the socio/cultural perspective and other subjects raised by the participants. During the discussions the participants attempted to identify how education, in general, or the special training programmes, in particular, can influence the changing of the human resources behaviour for a more ethical one and how the results could be measured in time. The panel served as an exchange of the best practice experiences with practitioners and engaged scholars for setting up an integrated action plan containing the most successful actions and institutions from different countries in the fight against corruption.
David Elder, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Chair: Valeriy Tertychka, National Academy of Public Administration, Office of the President of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
The Panel heard presentations from Ukraine, Slovenia, Bulgaria and
Canada. The presentations and the following discussions maintained the
dual perspectives of policy analysis as a Government/State function and
policy analysis as an academic discipline.
During the discussions, there had been an underlying theme of following up on the 2009 discussion, developing a focus for further discussions and setting out a workplan. The panel did not come to a firm proposal for such a workplan for 2010, but did set some possible directions, all within an over-riding goal of institutionalisation of the panel as a Working Group, the principal purpose of which would be to allow for discussing and sharing experiences on the use of policy analysis within governments and the teaching and training of policy analysis in academic and governmental institutions, and to give an opportunity for participants to highlight achievements of policy analysis as an academic discipline and its value within states/governments.
The areas for possible future work are:
1. Study of policy analysis through various forms of policy documents (which can be adapted for use in teaching):
- Policy Memorandum
- Green Paper
- White Paper
- Regulatory Impact Assessment/Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement
- Briefing Notes (Information Notes, Decision Notes)
2. Policy analysis - where it is carried out.
- Inside government - Policy Analysis Groups, Ministries and Agencies, Centre of Government
- Outside government - think tanks, academic institutions. This would allow for presentations on country case studies.
3. Policy analysis - definition of concepts.
Report of Working session on the Main Conference Theme
Juraj Nemec, Matej Bel University, Banska Bystrica, Slovakia
B. Guy Peters, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
There were three panels addressing the issues of the main theme of the Conference – State and Administration in a Changing World. The papers in these panels covered a variety of themes concerning the changing role of the State and public administration in governing. There was a strong emphasis on the need for reform, and the difficulties of reforming, in the papers. One pervasive theme was "good governance” and the need to eliminate corruption in order to create effective States. Another important theme was the diffusion of ideas about governing, and using those ideas to motivate reform.
Reports of Working Groups
Working Group on Local Government
Gabor Soos, Tocqueville Research Center, Budapest, Hungary
Markku Temmes, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
This WG focused on the problems and challenges of city-regions, metropolitan areas and capital cities. This focus turned out to be important and interesting in the CEE environment. City-regions have increasing importance as engines in the development of a global economy. In some presentations, there were interesting examples of the models with which CEE countries are supporting their metropolitans to catalyse national economic development. City-regions also represent the marvellous historical heritage of European urban culture. The CEE area and Central Asia are full of interesting city-regions with a long history of urbanisation. Several presentations tackled the challenges and threats of urbanisation and the national models to steer development in former communist countries.
The WG concentrated on three sub-themes to cover city-region development issues – development, governance and decentralisation problems. The WG plans to continue its work in the next conference by focusing on the local impacts and challenges of the global crisis. The WG is planning a publication around city-region themes in the CEE environment. The working title could be The Urban CEE. The idea is to describe and analyse urban development in the transition environment. The presentations at the Budva conference will provide a solid basis for this kind of publication. The content of the publication will be finalised during the summer of 2009. Depending on the results of the presentations at the next conference, the WG has plans to produce a second publication concerning the impacts of the economic crisis on local government in the CEE countries.
Working Group on E-Government
Ignace Snellen, University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Ljupčo Todorovski, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
The main theme of this year’s working group meeting was the establishment of a NISPAcee learning platform on e-government. The platform represents a common framework for facilitating a more formal exchange of best practices in the use of information and communication technologies in the public sector, where the transfer of knowledge can be monitored, documented, and evaluated. The platform can also facilitate a comparative analysis of good practices that would go beyond single country borders. With the call for papers for this year’s meeting, a process was initiated to establish the learning platform by soliciting an initial set of candidate showcases to be considered for inclusion in the learning platform.
The authors of the 12 papers who
attended the meeting come from seven countries (Bulgaria, Czech
Republic, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey). The papers
were proposed in five thematic sessions. We dedicated one thematic
session (three slots of the conference programme) to e-learning platform
showcases and presentations of specific e-government projects (also to
be considered for inclusion in the platform). One session was dedicated
to the models and methods for evaluating e-government projects, another
session to a general analysis of country-level development of
e-government, and yet another session to applications of knowledge
management technologies in e-government. The WG will continue its
efforts to build the NISPAcee e-government learning platform in years to
come by soliciting papers on a further comparative analysis of
showcases or the analysis of their transferability to other governmental
sectors, regions or countries.
Working Group on Civil Service
Patrycja Joanna Suwaj, Polish Association for Public Administration Education, Bialystok, Poland
Hans Rieger, DBB Akademie, Bonn, Germany
The working group discussed several dimensions of the "Civil Service”. The presentations began with the topic of regulation and law. Country reports and comparative studies were discussed. This was followed by a discussion of the problem of political patronage in the process of appointing high ranking posts. Afterwards there was the heavily discussed topic of the next presentations regarding a project description on HR and training aspects. The discrepancy between training needs and training offers were discussed, as well as the question of the privatisation of training for public servants and the sustainability of reforms and the speed of change in the reform processes.
The working group will continue next year with the priority being HR policy and instruments, based on the expectations and topical needs of the group.
Working Group on PA Reform in CEE CA
Veronica Junjan, University of Twente, AE Enschede, Netherlands
Michiel de Vries, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands
The discussions concentrated on the factors of success and failure of Public Administrative Reform and the divergence and convergence of developments in CEE and CA. The papers gave very good descriptions of what is happening and has happened in different regions. We went from the Baltics to the Balkans and from Central Europe to Eastern Europe and to Central Asia. Although the explanations for success and failure are broad, there are some similarities. These are the importance of the context and common inheritance of CEE and CA countries and especially, as one participant mentioned, the role of officials as and executive for the elite; the previous denial of the importance of competence; the previous absence of a merit system and the previous lack of a public service. Many things have improved, but not quickly enough.
In the working group we discussed the causes:These were partly found in the existing conflicts: conflicts between external pressure to reform and path dependencies; conflicts of interest within public organizations, and a lack of skills, knowledge and attitudes within the public sector. At the same time, it was acknowledged that, in part, problems are unavoidable, that the transition seen in public administration reform in CEE and CA is characterised by trying to move from one extreme (State) to the other (Market) and, of course, one ends up somewhere in between (Administrative market) and that somewhere in between is a typical hybrid. This is difficult and complex to manage under adverse circumstances, suffering from the various views of the influential actors on the organisation and strong conflicts within the organisation, at the same time a lack of skills, outside arrogance and varying internal support results in enforced changes that no-one really supports. The preliminary problem, as identified, seems to be that where one needs a simple structured organisation in PA, complex organisations are created.
This problem will be explored more systematically in the future. The coordinators proposed a plan to publish a book on public administration reform with comparative studies on reforms which have succeeded and failed in the different regions. It was the shared conclusion that something is missing in mainstream theory on administrative reform, which accounts for the fact that public administration reforms in CEE countries and Central Asia, often does not result in the effects expected.
Working Group on Public Sector Finance and Accounting
Lucie Sedmihradska, University of Economics of Prague, Czech Republic
Mihály Lados, Centre for Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
The Working Group focused this year on municipal asset management. Next to 11 country studies, which were elaborated based on the WG research protocol, four papers on other related topics were presented. Each of the country studies contained a case study of a selected municipality and/or a type of municipal asset. Use of the case approach proved to be beneficial as it brought an empirical component to the papers and, in several cases, it highlighted additional issues or problems. The main conclusion came from the Canadian case: We should take municipal asset management into the broader picture of local government finance: it is not only a potential source to generate revenue, but rather a tool to implement local government strategies regarding local development, housing or improvement of infrastructure. The WG agreed on the topic for next year's conference: Local government finance in times of crisis: How to respond?
Working Group on Capacity Building of a Civil Servants' Training System According to EU Requirements
Marek Haliniak, National School of Public Administration, Warsaw, Poland
Rodica Stefanescu, Ecological University of Bucharest, Romania
Inesa Vorontchuk, University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia
The main messages of the papers presented and discussed in WG VI were that:
globalisation and EU integration bring a tremendous change in the working context for public administration (PA), and create new demands and challenges for the capacity building of civil servants;
meeting all these needs and challenges, a new human and social capital, particularly a new type of leadership, has to be built through significant investments in training activities;
the education system for PA has to undertake new responsibilities, including leading the change with new curricula and ethical standards, new methods of training delivery and new approaches, and a shift to continuous learning for both individuals and organisations.
In terms of defining priorities, the following were recommended:
the sustainable development concept, including environmental issues;
the modern ICT era must be included in the learning process and social interactions in PA;
academia should take an active role in developing new knowledge, skills, and attitudes to facilitate change, and be a leader in order to achieve the goals ahead;
training must provide a common understanding of the phenomena around (e.g. globalisation) and a common language for decision-makers and their community members, through the introduction of new concepts such as micro-economics, competitiveness and social responsibilities;
networking should be the main channel and instrument of leading change towards sustainable results, through collaboration in strategic partnerships between academia, government, NGOs and business – to build a shared vision, designing the training curricula, and obtaining support for community actions.
The proposals emanating from the group discussions were to:
keep on interacting and further develop networking amongst the interested parties on particular topics (e.g. education), by forming a special e-mail group/forum, to follow-up on the initiated dialogue, to follow on with new ideas, and to build upon, with new initiatives.
consider changing the WG VI title, in order to better describe its real focus on the papers developed on education. Therefore, it has been proposed to formulate the new WG VI title as: "Training System & Institutions‘ needs for effective Capacity Building of Civil Servants to respond to the Challenges, in close collaboration with their major Stakeholders”.
Working Group for Practitioners
Moderator and rapporteur:
Biljana Nikolovska Zagar, Civil Servants Agency, Macedonia
Damir Ahmetovic, UNDP BiH, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
In the framework of the NISPAcee Conference, The Human Resources
Management Authority (HRMA), Montenegro organised the workingsession on
the topic: ’’The Recruitment Process in Public Administration in the countries of Western Balkans".
The aim of the working sessionwas to gather the countries of the Western Balkans together with EU member states and other countries and independent experts who will exchange their experiences in the area of human resources management and the recruitment process. Within the workingsession and based on the presentations and discussions of member countries, international experts and relevant international organisations, the best model of selection and recruitment of human resources was discussed in accordance with the best practice and standards of the EU.Through members' discussions, presentations and conclusions, analyses were implemented and the necessary training was identified and organised at the regional level.
NISPAcee Fair of New Project Proposals
Chair: Ludmila Gajdosova, NISPAcee Executive Director
The Fair of New Project Proposalsis a new NISPAcee initiative. The purpose of the Fair was to encourage members and other interested partners to engage in creative thinking and identify possible new projects, activities, partners and donors etc., to come up with ideas for discussion and to reach decisions by the participants on the proposals that could be further developed and coordinated by NISPAcee. Several initiatives selected for the Fair programme were presented and discussed among the participants.
A UNDP policy specialist introduced a new regional project "The Regional Centre for Public Administration Reform”, which aims at facilitating professional networking and co-operation between the countries in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The project proposal "Establishing the Eurasian Institute for Leadership Development in Public Administration at the Siberian Academy for Public Administration” aims to develop best leadership training technologies, train the trainers and disseminate new courses and training among educational institutions in Siberia, other regions of Russia and the countries of NIS, especially Central Asian countries.
The representative of the Academy of Management under the President of Kyrgyz Republic presented the fellowship project proposal "Civil Service Capacity Building for Change Management”, which has been designed to support practical policy and public management reforms, by building capacities of talented and committed government officials who are well placed to influence policy, practical implementation of reforms and serve as change agents.
The introduced project "Converting Crisis into Development Opportunities” should support schools of public administration (SPA) in their effort to nurture creative and innovative approaches to solve the actual problem of crisis by producing new intellectual capital.
AdInfoSys Management Institute from Armenia proposed the project "Citizens’ Perception of the Public Services and Assessment of their Satisfaction with Public Services Delivered”, which is aimed at making public services’ delivery more responsive to the needs of individuals and local communities.
At the end of the Conference a new joint UNDESA / NISPAcee initiative on the development of on-line training courses, which will be available via the NISPAcee and UNPAN websites was introduced.
Within the Fair, additional proposals from conference participants were presented and discussed and there was agreement to continue project development and implementation.