Public Administration Reform in CEE and CA

In fragile territories, policymakers usually need to understand the intricacies of different (e.g., political, economic, social) contexts, correctly identify the adequate set of needed resources and manage internal and external interventions in a coordinated, accountable, and timely manner. All this effort, complemented by a process of co-designing the new services, would eventually help communities regain their trust in state and its authorities and reconstruct their inner ties.This Working Group has an outstanding tradition of bringing together thinkers and doers of public administration reforms throughout and beyond the CEE Region and the Caucasus.


This year, the working group was organised in four main sessions:

The first one (scheduled for May 23rd, 13:30-15:00) was dedicated to Managing crises in Public Administration and featured three presentations:

1) Gender Equality and the pandemic: an exploratory study in the Romanian public administration (Nastaca & Profiroiu)

2) Governance in time of poly-crises: fostering robustness through hybrid configurations (Nommik & Duarte Coroado)

3) Navigating Unprecedented Challenges – The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Environmental Policy in Central and Eastern Europe (Toader)

The second session (scheduled on May 23rd, 15:30-17:00) enjoyed three other presentations also clustered around the main topic of Managing crises in Public Administration:

4) At the grass-roots: Refugee integration at the Romanian – Ukrainian border (Iancu & Ungureanu)

5) Grasping a deeper relationship through cooperation reveals a conflict-adaptive region. EU’s goals and Nagorno – Karabakh conflict (Bi?oiu & Coco?atu)

6) Heading Towards ”New” Kazakhstan? Public Administration Reforms after ”Bloody January” conflict (Janenova & Kurmanov)

The average size of the discussion group for the first day of the conference was ten participants / session.

The third session (scheduled on May 24th, 9:00-10:30) dedicated to Digital transformations: empirical evidence, attracted four engaging presentations:

7) Public Administration Reform in CEE: Evidence from bibliometric analysis (Umek & Ravselj)

8) Constructing Digital Citizen Empowerment in Central Asia? Investigating cases of Participatory Budgeting in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (Kurmanov)

9) From Paperwork to Pixels: Workload and Digital Governance in Armenian Local Authorities (Gasparyan)

10) Challenges and Recommendations for Definition and Counting of Public Services in Georgia: Analysis of the Public Service Hall Model (Bobghiashvili)

Finally, in the fourth session (scheduled on May 24th, 13:30-15:00) entitled Integrity Reforms: lessons learnt, discussions were quite intense, and the papers presented were really stimulating:

11) Misuse of administrative resources in Georgian elections: Winning elections before the election day (Dolidze & Abashidze)

12) Western Sanctions Evasion Through Third Countries: A Case Study of Georgia’s Sanctioned Cars Re-Export to Russia (Partsvaniya & Pirveli)

13) Social capital and performance of public councils in Kazakhstan (Makulbayeva & Davletbayeva)

The largest size of the discussant group for the second day of the conference was 20 participants / session.

Each presentation was followed by informative / preliminary questions and discussion (average ten minutes / paper). The added value of the sessions was the intensity and quality of the exchanges between participants.

Thank you for considering this report, alongside the proposal mentioned above!


Dr. Diana-Camelia Iancu

Faculty of Public Administration, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania, dciancu@gmail.com

Camelia Iancu is Dean of Public Administration at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA Bucharest, Romania). She is IAU Fellow and expert of the Group on the European Charter of Local Self-Government at the Council of Europe. Diana has an active interest in educational policies and she is member of different quality assurance bodies and accreditation committees focused on public administration education and training: EAPAA (European Association for Public Administration Accreditation), ICAPA (International Commission on Accreditation of Public Administration education and training programs) and ARACIS (Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education). 

Diana Iancu holds a PhD in Public Administration (2018) and she is associate professor in Comparative Public Management in SNSPA Bucharest. She has previously worked for Radboud University, Nijmegen School of Management (the Netherlands) and assumed different academic assignments in Slovenia, France, Spain, USA and Greece. Her research interests include political-administrative relations in transitional democracies, local government development and sustainability in higher education.

    Invitation to the 33rd NISPAcee Annual Conference 2025