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About :Working Group on Public Sector Quality

WG is in the Third phase now (2003 - 2005)
(For more details in history of WG look at the First phase and Second phase)

WG Programme Coordinators:
Leslie Eliason, Graduate School of International Policy Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, USA – in memoriam
Katarina Staronova, Open Society Foundation, Bratislava, Slovakia
William Dunn, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA and Graduate Center for Public Policy and Management, Skopje, Macedonia
Sergei Pushkarev, Ural State University, Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation

Theme 2004: "Public sector quality in policy making: quality of policy analysis, research, expertise, and citizen consultation in decision-making and implementation.

The Working Group on Public Sector Quality throughout its existence since 1999 has discussed the basic principles of quality in public administration. Among the issues addressed by this working group have been:

  • promotion and measurement of quality in the public administration,
  • the role of public consultation and e-government in improving the quality of service delivery, and finally
  • how to assess the quality of public governance. 
All the past work of the WG was largely based on financial support from the LGI. Continuing funding by LGI  enabled  to start new innovative projects and to continue with the dissemination of the results of WG meetings at annual NISPAcee conferences through stand-alone publications.
The working group at the meeting on  the 12th Annual NISPAcee Conference in Vilnius, Lithuania on May 13 – 15, 2004, with a topic "Central and Eastern European Countries Inside and Outside the European Union: Avoiding a new divide" shifted its focus from the quality of service delivery to assessing the policy making processes.  It focused on of the role of public sector officials and civil servants in the research and analysis involved in the preparation of policies as a prerequisite for ensuring quality public services.  In other words, analysis was extended from an exclusive focus on outputs to understanding the role of the public sector in formulating workable alternatives from which policy decision-makers may chose.  While this emphasizes the agenda-setting and policy formulation stages of the policy process, it also includes the evaluation of existing policies and practices, including implementation challenges faced by the public sector in delivering services called for in legislation and other government directives.
Following the interest of its participants and the last theme, group’s focus moved towards the new theme - the implementation.
Part of the papers from the Vilnius meeting  were recommended for the Proceedings and four papers were selected  into the publication of a special issue in  the NISPAcee Occasional Papers journal.

The Working Group on Public Sector Quality met at the 13th Annual NISPAcee Conference:"Democratic Governance for the XXI Century: Challenges and Responses in CEE Countries
May 19-21, 2005, Moscow, Russia

Katarina Staronova, Bratislava, Slovakia
Sergei Pushkarev, Ural State University, Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation
William Dunn, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA and Graduate Center for Public Policy and Management, Skopje, Macedonia

The Group focused on the theme "Quality of Implementation”.

The objective of this sixth meeting of the working group was to address the factors that inhibit or promote successful implementation on both central and local levels of government in Central and Eastern Europe. The sessions were organized around two major issues:

a) External factors influencing implementation, such as foreign advisors in CEE countries, New Public Management principles that are being transposed into transition countries, etc.

b) Internal factors in capacity among civil servants on both central and local governments: ranging from the preparation for the implementation by utilizing the tool of impact assessment to performance in big governmental reforms and assessing the implementation of services.


In total, 14 papers were accepted, ranging from sectoral case studies in health to process issues of implementation. The sessions consisted of presentations, followed by a critique from a discussant and a discussion in a plenary session.

A subgroup on Impact assessment methodology has been formed as part of the WG on Public Sector Quality and as was set out in the plan. The subgroup included Katarina Staronova from Slovakia, Aare Kasemets from Estonia and Zsombor Kovacsy from Hungary. The members of the subgroup had been in touch via email and met in early February, 2005, to fine-tune precise methodology for the assessment of information contained in the explanatory memoranda on impact assessments in draft legislation. The methodology was also presented in the conference, specializing on impact assessments in Manchester, UK. Based on the methodology developed, pilot case studies had been conducted in three countries, Slovakia, Hungary and Estonia, and the results were presented at the Moscow conference, May 2005.

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See also the First phase and Second phase section
The Working Group is supported by a grant from The Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative Open Society Institute, Budapest, Hungary