European Association for Public Administration Accreditation

The 15th NISPAcee Annual Conference
"Leadership and Management in the Public Sector: Values, Standards and Competencies in Central and Eastern Europe"
May 17 - 19, 2007, Kyiv, Ukraine
Online Conference Programme available along with the presented papers at the conference


The 15th NISPAcee Annual Conference, organised in co-operation with the National Academy of Public Administration, Office of the President of Ukraine, was attended by more then 250 participants from 36 countries from all over the world. This included 18 CEE countries covered by NISPAcee institutional membership.

NISPAcee would like to thank to the local organiser, the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), represented the President Vira Nanivskaand her 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 Vice-President, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary, Vira Nanivska, President of NAPA, and Haiyan Qian, DPADM, UNDESA, New York, USA, followed by presentations of Ukrainina experts: Olexander Yevdochenko, Secretariat of the President of Ukraine, Serhij Teleshun and Serhiy Somin from NAPA, and Vadym Karasyov, Global Strategies Institute. The keynote presentation was made by Christopher Pollit, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

The morning plenary session was concluded with a presentation of the NISPAcee Alena Brunovska Award for Teaching Excellence in Public Administration to Prof. William Dunn, Graduate Center for Public Policy and Management of Pitsburgh University in Macedonia, Skopje, Macedonia who delivered a paper "Bridging the Other Great Divide: Teaching Public Administration in Europe and America”.

The next part of the conference programme consisted of the working sessions on the main conference theme, general sessions, meetings of seven 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 Human Resources Management in aModern Public Service
  • Forum of Heads of Schools and Institutes of Public Administration
  • Panel on Getting Public Administration Reform to Work
  • Forum of Deans and Rectors on Good Practices to Mainstream Diversity into PA Education
  • Panel on the European Accreditation of Public Administration Programmes

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 Laszlo Vass, Hungary who finished his term in the Steering Committee, the General Assembly elected new NISPAcee Steering Committe member, Gyorgy Jenei, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary and re-election of Stanka Setnikar-Cankar, Slovenia and Wolfgand Drechsler, Estonia for the next period.


The closing plenary session was open by Stanka Setnikar-Cankarand reports from all sessions and working groups (short summary see bellow) and the report of the conference general rapporteur Laszlo Vass were presented.


The Award NISPAcee Best Graduate Student Paper was presentedto the winner Ms. Maria Keris, PhD student at the Tallin University, Estonia for her paper „Minister’s advisors interfacing at the "summit”: the case of Estonia ".

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 Working session on the Main Conference Theme
Laszlo Vass, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary
Olena Kulenkova-Orzhel, National Academy of Public Administration, Kyiv, Ukraine

The main theme sessions had altogether 8 papers. They did not give a comprehensive overview on the main theme; but they discussed 2 groups of relevant topics, focused on practical experiences or empirical research. The first group of the approaches may be summarized as a search for stable, predictable, reliable, effective public administration throughout setting standards. The discussions expressed that the ISO and the CAF are representing two very different way of ensuring the stable standards in the operation, but they are not closing out each other. The project management, as a very effective and actual field of the public management was also discussed and the importance of the required managerial capacities and competencies was emphasized.

The participants agreed on that the democratization and the Europeanization also involve important standards and values in the CEE public administrations.

Reports of Working Groups

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

Theme : 'Administering the Summit' in Central and Eastern European Countries
This was the tenth session of the working group on politico-administrative relations which was established in 1998. The work of the group in this past year has focussed on a project entitled 'Administering the Summit', taken from the title of the 1999 publication edited by B.Guy Peters, R. Rhodes and V.Wright. This study investigated the mechanisms that serve the leadership of executive power in a selection of OECD states. The objective of the working group sessions was to explore the roles and functions of actors (elites), structures and processes that serve the 'summit' in CEE states following the first phases of transition. Several country studiesaddressed the interplay of politico-administrative roles at the core executive. In particular the role and specific structures of the Prime Minister's Office (Hungary)and the administration of the President (Russia). One of the sessions focussed on evaluating the role of elitessuch as political secretaries and special advisers as actors providing advice and political coordination to the summit.


II. Working Group on Public Sector Quality
Geert Bouckaert, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
Sergei Pushkarev, Russian Academy of PA, Moscow, Russian Federation

At the NISPAcee annual conference in Kyiv, the working group on public sector quality has continued discussing the topic of public management reforms in the CEE and CIS. The 12 country presentations summarized the research findings on how public administration reforms proceeded in the region in the last 15 years. 

The presentations provided a fascinating review of changes in the government: sometimes radical and controversial, sometimes painful and irregular, sometimes pretentious and politicized, but always having broad impact on the society at large. As it is clear now, there is a great deal of variety in the scope, pace, and substance of these changes: Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine are still deciding on the structure of their political systems, while Lithuania and Hungary are fine-tuning their public management reforms.

Although the work is still in progress, some of the specific variables determining the pace and shape of the reforms in the region were identified, including, but not limited to EU enlargement, corruption, economic and financial crises, low trust in government, not very demanding citizens.


III. Working Group on Integrity in Public Governance
Patrycja Joanna, Suwaj, Polish Association for Public Administration, Bialystok, Poland
Hans Rieger, DBB Akademie, Bonn, Germany


In the working group several dimensions of "Integrity Management” were discussed.
The first presentations focused on different approaches in legal regulations. A comparative study was discussed as well as the existing regulations from different active parties in integrity and combating corruption.


 The 2nd day started with the discussion of ethics and participants spoke about the demands on ethical behaviour in the public service and for politicians. In the afternoon, additional aspects from the view of an organization, regulations and institutional way were presented.

The group decided to continue in activities and meet at the NISPAcee conference in Bratislava 2008. The possibilities of a joint work for a publication is now under discussion. Also the possibility of forming a learning partnership is on its way (NISPA is very much asked to join or take the lead in such a network).


The last working block was reserved for the agreement for further actions and co-operation possibilities. The group came together for presenting and discussing opportunities and strategies for training on integrity management. Training approaches, training methods and training didactics were discussed and related to the current situation in different countries.

The group decided to continue in activities and meet at the NISPAcee conference in Bratislava 2008. The possibilities of a joint work for a publication is now under discussion. Also the possibility of forming a learning partnership is on its way (NISPA is very much asked to join or take the lead in such a network).


The team spirit in the WG III was very good, there were extensive exchanges between presenters and participants as well as among the participants.


IV. Working Group on Democratic Governance of Multi-ethnic Communities
Michael Brintnall, American Political Science Association, Washington D.C., USA
Petra Kovacs, LGI, OSI, Budapest, Hungary
Meghan Simpson, Research Associate, Managing Multiethnic Communities Program of LGI/Opens Society Institute

For the 2007 Annual Conference, Working Group IV contributed to innovative public administration reform in the NISPA region by exploring how schools of public administration and training centers can play a leading role in preparing current and new public officials to work in a culturally competent way in diverse environments and can engage in advocacy-oriented research focused on the issues faced by multiethnic communities. Including a diverse body of case studies from Georgia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, USA, and Uzbekistan, a regional research program by the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI), and a high-level forum of deans and heads of schools of PA, and drawing a total of 34 different conference participants from 14 different countries in session discussions, Working Group IV sessions presented an opportunity for the synthesis of views and experiences emerging from a wide range of social, political, and economic contexts.


Several different themes emerged in Working Groups discussions. Participants looked at several models of PA education and training that have emerged in disparate contexts. such as specialized schools devoted to ethnic inclusion (Georgia), in-service training programs for public servants (Georgia, Serbia, Hungary) or cross-cultural and bi-national exchange programs. Presentation addressed different modes of incorporating minority groups into public administrations. These included historically-rooted, community-based institutions (Uzbekistan and Ukraine, minority governments (Hungary) and interethnic councils (Serbia), and adopting a social focus to urban planning. Studies also explored the need for inclusive language policies in public administration, including building languages skills of public administrators, or by developing innovative teaching methodologies to make crucial links between multilingual public administration and responsive and transparent governance (Ukraine). A special panel by ECMI addressed the need for research and data on minority inclusion in the civil service, as there is virtually no information on the actual present level of inclusion of minorities in the bureaucracies in Eastern Europe. The strategies will help to analyze and evaluate different institutional arrangements made by governments in Eastern and South Eastern European states. Finally, the Forum of Deans revealed the need for more systematic work to integrate diversity issues into public administration education and to engage NISPA member institutions to take a lead role in doing so.


Several key points emerged out of presentations and discussions, which deserve further attention in public administration education and research and could serve as the basis for future NISPA and WG IV initiatives. Studies showed a gap between need and supply for public administration education for minorities, indicated by the low level of attention paid to multi-ethnicity in public administration, as well as the low participation of minority students in PA. As well, there is a gap between need and resources necessary for PA education to address multi-ethnicity effectively. Discussions also showed the necessity to link schools and institutes of public administration to communities, such that education is designed in ways that recognize – and responds to – barriers that hinder minority access to public administration and public life. Discussion highlighted the fact that, in a very basic way, educational and wider social, economic, political, inequalities can limit access of minorities to public administration. State language was stressed as key political issue that schools must address openly when preparing public servants. In response, schools and institutes must actively reach out to diverse communities. Schools of PA can be role models through their policies, such as through curriculum design, language teaching, or recruitment strategies. Schools can also steer research: as the ECMI panel revealed.


In order to continue to advance principles of democratic governance in multiethnic communities, the Working Group looks forward to more in-depth studies from contexts across the NISPA region and beyond for the upcoming 2008 conference. Such studies will add to a comprehensive body of challenges and good practices that can support the integration of diversity issues into public administration education. The Working Group hopes to continue to engage actively heads of schools and institutes of public administration by organizing thematic events or curriculum development workshops. Finally, the Working Group IV welcomes Tamar Abdaladze, director of Z. Zhvania School of PA, Georgia, and Natalya Kolisnichenko, Associate professor of the National Academy of Public Administration, Ukraine) as the new coordinators for 2007-2008.


V. Working Group on Public Sector Finance and Accounting
Zeljko Sevic, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom
Lucie Sedmihradska, University of Economics of Prague, Czech Republic


Working Group focused this year on the burning issues in the local public finance in a "named” country. At the last year’s conference held in Ljubljana it was felt that it would be useful to survey what are the perceived problems in different transitional countries in Europe.

Eleven papers from ten countries were presented: four of them were more general papers evaluating current state of fiscal decentralisation or local government autonomy and the other papers dealt with more specific topics. The main conclusion is that although the transition has not had the same place in all the countries of the Central and Eastern Europe and the fSU the sharing of experience is not a one way process, i.e., from West to East. The Armenian experience of introducing program budgeting at the municipal level was very inspiring for everyone as well as introduction of the flat tax in Georgia. On the other hand the fundamental questions about the optimal level of fiscal decentralisation and organisation of multi-level governmental system came from three fSU countries.  

The discussion that followed the presentations of country-specific issues like property management and property taxation, tax sharing or fragmented municipal structure, resulting problems and possible solutions was very useful and encouraged cross-national comparison. Results of two extensive research projects were presented: strategies municipalities use to support local economic development in Slovakia and arrangements of local public service delivery in the Czech Republic.


Due to the fact that many very different topics were explored during the meeting the working group was able to identify several topics worth further research (for instance property taxation, strategic and multi-annual budgeting, and control and audit) and thus very good reasons for continuing and possibly extending its current remit.


VI. Working Group on e-Government
Mirko Vintar, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

This was the third and the last meeting of the WG under coordination of these coordinators.
This year 11 papers were presented. Four papers were oriented towards policy analysis concerning e-government development in individual countries (Russia, Hungary and Estonia). Seven papers were focused on different aspects of e-service delivery and e-participation. In this group three papers were dealing and empirically analyzing quality of e-services and public portals. In other four papers topics like users satisfaction, factors influencing take-up of e.-services, social factors influencing e-participation and assessing of e-services were addressed.  


Most papers were based on valuable empirical data assembled from the countries in the region (Estonia, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Slovenia ) which can serve as a solid base for further research in the field. WG believes that this field is getting momentum in PA in the region and suggests SC to support work of the group for the next three year period and appoint new coordinators of WG.  

VII. Working Group on Capacity Building of a Civil Servants’ Training System according to EU Requirements

Eugenijus Chlivickas, Training Centre of the Ministry of Finance, President of Lithuanian Public Administration Training Association, Lithuania
Borisas Melnikas, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania


The following relevant problems were discussed in the Working Group:

  • new challenges to develop public servants training system under conditions of globalization, EU enlargement and knowledge society establishment;
  • progressive experience of public servant’s 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.

It was decided that the content of the training and in-service training has to be relevant to the new requirements, predetermined by 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 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 internationalised: training, studies and in-service training require involvement of foreign lecturers and trainers: it is essential to develop international networks of centres 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 and to initiate and carry out comparative research in the actual quality of training and in-service training systems.


The most representative papers of the Conference have been submittedfor the selection process and will be published in the Conference Proceedings 2007.

Invitation and Call for papers 2007