1. DPADM Meets with a Delegation from Azerbaijan on 2 February 2015
Mr. Azad Cafarli and Mr. Elchin Huseynli from State Agency for Public Service and
Social Innovations met with DPADM to discuss a good governance and effective service delivery initiative called Azerbaijan Service and Assessment Network (ASAN). ASAN service centres aim to provide effective, efficient and transparent public service to Azerbaijan public by enhancing public-private partnership and actively engaging citizens to participate and provide feedback on the ASAN services. The delegation shared highlights of the ASAN services delivery model which covers 240 services and its 98% customer satisfaction rate. The emphasis on staff training and implementing citizen feedback was also shared in detail. The delegation confirmed the Agency's commitment for knowledge sharing and thanked the Division for the useful capacity building activities that took place in Azerbaijan as well as in the region. They expressed their appreciation for the invitation to the consultative meeting on e-government for sustainable development, to be held late in February in Kazakhstan and they confirmed their participation.
2. Consultative Meeting on the 2016 UN E-Government in Bahrain
As part of the preparatory process for the UN E-Government Survey 2016, DPADM used the opportunity of a Study Tour organized by the Division in Bahrain to hold a one-day consultative meeting with government officials from Africa and countries of the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC). The objective of the meeting was to gather government officials' feedback and suggestions, vis-à-vis their country experience. A thirty-minute presentation highlighted the context of the UN e-Government Survey, with a focus on using the Survey as a tool for development. The presentation also covered the methodology behind the Survey, emerging trends and issues on e-Government for sustainable development, and the survey’s conceptual framework. Participants appreciated the opportunity to provide DPADM with their feedback on the Survey. In response to governments' questions about the link between e-government and sustainable development, DPADM advised that e-government is one of the enablers of many sustainable development activities. DPADM also advised that Member States should think about developing a website to keep their respective citizens aware of their progress in attaining the sustainable development goals once they have been agreed upon. Participants suggested that open government data, e-participation, social media and content should be the focus of the online questionnaire and also suggested that Member States be encouraged to have a web page listing the m-services that can be used to obtain government services. As a follow-up to this meeting, a report will be prepared and consolidated with the findings of the other consultative meetings, so that the feedback and suggestions may be presented at an upcoming Expert Group Meeting in March.
3. Korean Institute of Public Administration visits DPADM
On 9 February, the Director of DPADM and the Chief of the Development Management Branch received a visit from a delegation from the Korean Institute of Public Administration (KIPA). Headed by the President of KIPA, Ms. Eun Jae Lee, the delegation outlined the current priorities of KIPA and its outreach in capacity development work with the developing countries. For example, KIPA undertook high-level leadership training for ministers and other senior leaders in the Rwandan public service in Kigali last December. The delegation noted that many developing countries have expressed an interest in the state-led development model of the Republic of Korea and the key role that the Korean public administration has played in the country's rapid economic progress during the past few decades. The Director briefed the delegation on the current work of DPADM and noted common areas of interest that can be pursued for future collaboration.
4. DPADM Facilitates the 6th Governance Institutes Forum for Training in the Middle East and North Africa Region (GIFT MENA) Network Conference
The Chief of PACB facilitated the 6th GIFT MENA Network Conference, which took place in Marrakech, Morocco from 10 to 12 February. The Conference on “Government, Governance and the State: the path to capacity" was hosted by the Moroccan Ministry of Civil Service and State Modernization and co-organized by the Institut des Finances Basil Fuleihan, the Arab Planning Institute of Kuwait and the French Assistance au Développement des Échanges en Technologies Économiques et Financières (ADETEF). A special presentation titled “Are Training Institutes Actors in Policy-Making?” was delivered to initiate discussions and prompt participants’ feedback. The possibility of partnership and collaboration with GIFT MENA in development of governance and public administration capacities in the MENA region for sustainable development were also discussed.
5. Third Consultative Meeting on “E-Government for Sustainable Development" in Preparation of the UN E-Government Survey 2016 held in Seoul, Republic of Korea
DPADM, through the United Nations Project Office on Governance (UNPOG), and in partnership with the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs (MOGAHA) of the Republic of Korea, has organized a regional consultative meeting on "E-Government for Sustainable Development" in Seoul from 9 to 10 February 2015. DPADM has organized for the first time, in collaboration with a number of regional hosts, consultative meetings to seek Member States' advice and recommendations on how to better link e-government to sustainable development, and on what thematic areas and methodological enhancements could be introduced in the 2016 E-Government Survey. Thirty three government officials from 18 countries, including Mr. Siaosi Sovaleni, Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga and Mr. Francis Itimai, Minister of Micronesia, attended this event. Key recommendations for the 2016 Survey emerged from the active discussions, including the importance of continuing to focus on whole-of-government approaches for integrated policy responses; inclusive multi-channel service delivery to ensure greater equality in access to services; open government data and e-participation. Government officials also suggested further expanding the issue of usage, and more focus on green government, innovative partnerships for sustainable development, big data and predictive analytics, as well as cyber-security. These recommendations will be consolidated with those emerging from the other consultative meetings taking place in various regions of the world and presented at an Expert Group Meeting to be held in March 2015.
6. Meeting of US Mission to the United Nations with DPADM Regarding the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10) Review Process
The Mission of the United States of America to the UN requested a meeting with DPADM regarding WSIS+10 review process. Ms. Terri Robl and Mr. Doug Carey expressed the interest of the US in the WSIS+10 review, especially emphasising the potential of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in development. Mr. Juwang Zhu shared DESA's discussion with the Office of the President of the General Assembly and the DPADM/DESA plan to work with relevant UN agencies, including the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the United Nations Educations, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in facilitating the review process. He also informed the Mission of the possibility of having information sessions or side events to highlight the issues related to WSIS. The US contribution to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) trust fund and its processes were also acknowledged. The US Mission stated that the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) review should be completed before the events related to WSIS review begin. However, the idea of having panels or special session to highlight the applications of ICTs in development was welcomed
7. Panel Discussion on Leaving no one Behind: The Perspective of African Parliamentarians, Civil Society and Volunteer Groups for a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda
The panel on 18 February was opened by Hon. Dr. Joyce Laboso, Chair of Parliamentary Caucus on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) who emphasized that the post-2015 development agenda discussion should be focused on the social contract between people and their government. She reiterated that it should not be a contract between the developed and developing countries. H.E. Hon Bethel Nnaemeka Amadi, President of the Pan-African Parliament highlighted the important role of parliament for resource and budget planning, development planning, and for an oversight and accountability role at local, national and global level. Parliaments are instrumental in national ownership of the sustainable development policies. H.E. Macharia Kamau reiterated the importance of parliaments to provide legislative, budgetary and policy direction for the implementation of sustainable development. He summed up the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in four key words as ambitious, urgent, transformative and universal, and the post-2015 development agenda as people, planet, prosperity and partnership/participation. Hon. Isata Kabia, a Member of Parliament from Sierra Leone noted that the inclusion of governance in the discussion of post-2015 is good. However, good governance needs to be greatly expanded at the local level. She also emphasized women and children' issues as key elements, Other speakers from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) voiced the importance of participation, public private partnership and the recognition of volunteerism as an integral part of the implementation of sustainable development.
8. DESA Divisional Technical Meeting on Togo's Programme on Capacity Development and State Modernisation for Sustainable Development Implementation
On 17 February 2015, DPADM chaired the cross divisional DESA technical meeting on Togo National Programme for Capacity Development and State modernisation for Sustainable Development. The meeting was convened as a follow-up to the visit of the high- level delegation from the Government of Togo to DESA in New York from 15 to 19 December 2014. The purpose of the meeting was to solicit and discuss DESA inputs to Togo on the Programme document. Colleagues from the Division of Sustainable Development (DSD), the Statistics Division (SD), the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD), the Capacity Development Office (CDO) in addition to DPADM attended this meeting and agreed to work to formulate the feedback on the document.
9. Capacity Development Workshop on "Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and E-Government in Small Island Developing States (SIDS): Responding to the SAMOA Pathway"
DPADM, through the United Nations Project Office on Governance (UNPOG), in collaboration with the Korean National Information Society Agency (NIA), organized a workshop on "ICT and E-Government in SIDS: Responding to the SAMOA Pathway", in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 11 to12 February 2015. This activity was a follow-up to the Capacity Development Workshop on “Innovation and E-governance for Sustainable Development” held during the 2014 United Nations Public Service Forum and Day, when SIDS participants, requested for a more focused training for SIDS only. The main purpose of the Workshop was to strengthen e-government development in SIDS, including by building-up e-infrastructure for sustainable development. In addition, participants were briefed about the policy conclusions of the Sixty-ninth Session of the United Nations General Assembly Second Committee Special Event on “ICT and E-Government in SIDS: Responding to the SAMOA Pathway Call for Action” held on 14 November 2014 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Senior government officials from Fiji, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Tonga, including 2 ministerial level participants, benefitted from the training and knowledge sharing.
10. Meeting on Chief Information Officers Network in Asia and the Pacific to Promote Knowledge Exchange on E-Government
DPADM, through the UNPOG, organized a special round-table session to further strengthen the Chief Information Officers (CIO) network in Asia and the Pacific on 10 February 2015. The meeting was a follow up to the CIO Conference for Asia and the Pacific held last November in Shanghai, China on the occasion of the Global City Informatization Forum. Through active discussions, participants, particularly SIDS and other developing countries, agreed on the need to further build the CIO network in the region to promote knowledge-sharing and the exchange of innovative practices. The idea of establishing an online network was well-received since it would serve as a knowledge platform to share information about e-government policies and strategies, innovative e-government practices, and regional cooperation programmes. The offline network will provide a channel for periodic policy consultations on e-government strategy and regional programmes. As a follow-up to the meeting, participants agreed to share with other stakeholders engaged in e-government development in their own respective countries on further building the Network and to provide their feedback to UNPOG by end of February 2015.
11. Consultative Meetings on “E Government for Sustainable Development” held in Belgium and Estonia
DPADM organized two consultative meetings in Europe, in Brussels on 17 to18 February 2015 and in Tallinn on 19 to 20 February 2015. The objective of these meetings was to seek Member States' suggestions for the upcoming 2016 Survey. Bilateral meetings were held in the side lines of the consultative meetings between participants of DPADM/DESA and participants of the European Commission in Brussels, and participants of the Government of Estonia in Tallinn, to strengthen future collaboration in the area of e-government. Feedbacks obtained from the regional consultative meetings will be compiled and presented at an Expert Group Meeting in March 2015 at United Nations Headquarters to discuss the themes and outline of the United Nations E-Government Survey 2016. A number of recommendations were made during the meeting in Brussels including the need to continue to focus on whole-of-government approaches, e-participation, and open government data initiatives. In addition, participants suggested to focus more on expanding usage, mobile solutions, cloud computing, use of geo-data, internet of things, innovative public-private partnerships, and cross border e-government initiatives.
12. Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran Requests Support from DPADM to Implement E-Government Road Map
In response to a request from the Government of Iran, DPADM collaborated on an e-
Government and e-Participation workshop as part of a technical advisory mission organized together with the Information Technology Organization of Iran in Tehran from 1 to 6 March 2015. The mission trained government officials on the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to improve service delivery in an integrated manner through the Measurement and Evaluation Tool for E-Government Readiness (METER) and the Measurement and Evaluation Tool for E-Participation and Engagement (METEP) in an integrated matter. The mission also liaised with the executive bodies of the Government to discuss the implementation of e-Services, including e-Government and e-Participation development aspects. In addition, the mission reviewed the "Administrative and Technical Criteria for E-Government Development" and the “By-laws of Development of E-Services of Executive Bodies" approved by the highest levels of the Government. Approximately 80 civil servants participated in the activities.
13. 23rd United Nations/International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Symposium
DPADM co-organized the 23rd UN/INTOSAI Symposium in Vienna, Austria from 2 to 4 March 2015. The heads and representatives from more than 70 national Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) discussed and made recommendations on the "UN Post-2015 Development Agenda: the Role of Supreme Audit Institutions and Means of Implementation for Sustainable Development". The Symposium was opened by President Heinz Fischer of Austria. Secretary-General Josef Moser of INTOSAI, Mr. Wu Hongbo, Ms. Carman Lapointe, Under-Secretary-General for the Office of Internal Oversight Services, and H.E. Mr. Martin Sajdik, President of the Economic and Social Council, addressed the opening session. Mr. Zhang Tong, Deputy Auditor-General of China and the representative of the INTOSAI Chair, and Mr. Thembekile Kimi Makwetu, Auditor-General of South Africa and the Technical Chair of the Symposium, also made opening remarks. Ms. Margaret Saner, Chair of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) and Mr. Amitabh Mukhopadhyay, SAI citizen engagement expert, made presentations on growing expectations for SAIs from the international community, including governments, development partners, and citizens. Mr. Christopher Mihm, Chair of the UN Independent Audit Advisory Committee, from the United States Government Accountability Office was also in attendance. The participants concluded that peer reviews to strengthen independence of SAIs, capacity-building for auditing sustainable development initiatives at the national level, and a move towards accrual public accounting were needed in the context of the UN post-2015 development agenda.
14. Participation in the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Conference on Connecting the Dots: Option for Future Action
On 4 March, the Chief of the Development Management Branch made a presentation at a breakout group panel on Access at the UNESCO Conference: Connecting the Dots: Option for Future Action, held in Paris. The Chief spoke on the importance of government and the potential of ICTs in providing access to information to citizens, participatory governance and sustainable development. Consultations were made with stakeholders on the findings of a UNESCO study on the internet regarding access, free expression, privacy and ethics, with a view to seeking recommendations for UNESCO's future work. Approximately 300 participants were from government, business, civil society, academia and the technical community.
15. Participation in the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Conference on Connecting the Dots: Option for Future Action
On 4 March, DPADM made a presentation at a breakout group panel on Access at the UNESCO Conference: Connecting the Dots: Option for Future Action, held in Paris. The Chief spoke on the importance of government and the potential of ICTs in providing access to information to citizens, participatory governance and sustainable development. Consultations were made with stakeholders on the findings of a UNESCO study on the internet regarding access, free expression, privacy and ethics, with a view to seeking recommendations for UNESCO's future work. Approximately 300 participants were from government, business, civil society, academia and the technical community.
16. DPADM Participates in 2nd Programme Board Meeting
On 3 March, DPADM participated in the 2nd Programme Board Meeting held in New York as requested by the UNDP Global Anti-corruption initiative (GAIN). The Meeting was convened to hear the report on the Programme implementation in 2014 and to plan activities for the current year. In light of the DPADM briefing on previous activities jointly implemented with GAIN, a discussion on cooperation and co-funding of a number of future activities in 2015 took place.
17. DPADM Conducts Capacity Building Workshops during the 36th ‘African Association for Public Administration and Management’ (AAPAM) Roundtable Conference in Rabat, Morocco
DPADM participated in the 36th Round table Conference of AAPAM convened in Rabat, Morocco from 2 to 6 March. During the Round table Conference, DPADM/DESA conducted two capacity building workshops and one E-Government survey consultation to facilitate the data collection and processing for the subsequent issue of the flagship publication. The first workshop aimed at promoting professional, ethical and accountable delivery of public services in Africa and focused on ‘Strengthening Professionalism, Ethics, Integrity and Accountability in the Public Service for Sustainable Development in Africa’. The purpose of the workshops is to contribute to strengthening the capacity of political leadership and senior public service leaders in Africa to carry out integrated and coordinated public policy formulation, decision, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The second workshop focused on ‘Effective Partnership between Ministers and Bureaucratic Leaders: From Policy to Implementation’. AAPAM was established with the direct assistance of UNDESA and has become a valuable partner of DPADM/DESA in the governance and public administration capacity development in Africa.
18. The United Nations Project Office on Governance (UNPOG) Attends Second Meeting of Seoul-based International Organizations
On 27 February 2015, UNPOG attended the Second Meeting of Seoul-Based International Organizations co-organized by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Learning under the auspices of UNESCO (APCEIU). UNPOG used this to learn about the plans of the Seoul Metropolitan Government to promote further cooperation with international organizations, especially with reference to the forthcoming forum and fair on international organizations in May. UNPOG’s network with officials from other international organisations in Seoul was strengthened by this endeavour.