1. Third meeting of the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC) in Internet governance
DPADM staff participated remotely, through tele-conference, in the third meeting of the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC) in Internet governance which was held in Geneva from 24 to 28 February 2014. The WGEC, mandated by the GA through its resolution A/RES/67/195 to make recommendations on how to fully implement this mandate is comprised of 22 Member States, 5 representatives from the business group, 5 representatives from the civil society, 5 representatives from the technical and academic community, and 5 representatives from international organizations that include DESA, ESCAP, ESCWA, ITU and UNESCO. The WGEC identified a wide range of public policy issues, underscoring the interdisciplinary nature of Internet governance and its broad relevance to development objectives. The various stakeholders raised diverging views about the procedural and substantive aspects of enhanced cooperation and the state of its implementation. A fourth and final meeting is scheduled to be held from 7 to 9 May 2014 with a view of discussing the current draft of report and reaching consensus on a set of recommendations to be presented to CSTD at its 17th session which will take place in Geneva from 12 to 16 May 2014.
2. Meeting with Director of Public Governance and Territorial Development at Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
On 28 February 2014, Mr. Rolf Atler, the Director of Public Governance and Territorial Development at Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), met with DPADM’s Divisional Management Team (DMT). They exchanged views on emerging issues and trends in public administration and explored avenues for possible future collaborations. In this respect, several capacity building workshops and an expert group meeting have been identified as possible channels for synergy, considering both organizations’ interest in promoting capacity building and good governance in the public sector.
3. Open Data and Open Government in Focus at Datadays 2014 Conference in Belgium and the ID World Abu Dhabi
DPADM’s MENA IRA presented two keynote addresses on emerging e-government issues and trends at the DataDays 2014 Conference in Gent, Belgium from 17 to 19 February 2014 and the ID World Abu Dhabi 2014 held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 24 to 25 February 2014. Both presentations focused on the progression of open data and open government around the world, highlighting the challenges faced by UN Member States in adapting to the same. At the DataDays 2014 Conference, which was organized by Open Knowledge Foundation, Citadel on the Move and the Linked Organisation of Local Authority ICT Societies, he highlighted the status of the progress made in Europe as a whole, citing the example of the Flemish Government’s recent decision to embrace open government and undertaking to provide more information and data in reusable formats. In the United Arab Emirates, his focus was on the progress of the Middle East and North Africa as well as highlighting the important role that digitized national identification (ID) card can play in the development of open government and open data. At the request of UAE, he extended his mission to make a presentation at the Government Technology Summit in Dubai and meet representatives from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to assist their web evaluation team in finalizing the latest version of their toolkit evaluation criteria.
4. Collaboration with the Social Accountability Practice of the World Bank Institute
DPADM’s IRA on Public Accountability met with the Social Accountability Practice team of the World Bank Institute (WBI) on 4 March 2014 at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC. The meeting reinforced the collaborative discussions held with DPADM in January 2014 touching on, amongst others, enhancing accountability and governance capacity development activities focusing on citizen engagement with Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) initiatives. The WBI expressed interest in collaborating with the Division on issues related to citizen engagement with SAIs and Public Audit Processes. Collaboration in co-organizing a capacity development workshop on SAI innovative approaches in citizen engagement and anti-corruption activities at the June 2014 United Nations Public Service Forum Day and Awards Ceremony was discussed and a set of follow-up activities were agreed. These include finalizing the workshop's agenda and the identification of facilitators and experts for different workshop sessions.
5. Renewed Support for the e-Government Innovations Project in Colombia
DPADM received confirmation of additional resources in the amount of US$820,000 for the Project Centre for Innovation on e-Government Development during a mission recently undertaken to Colombia, from 6 to 8 March 2014. The mission included discussions on planned activities for 2014 in the field of e-government innovations, including a methodology for identifying of good practices and promoting a culture of innovation in public institutions. Substantive discussions on the institutional framework and definition of services to be provided by the Centre were held with the recently appointed coordinator and consultants. The Director and ICT team of the City of Cali met DPADM’s IRA who was invited by the Government to provide substantive support towards formulating their policies on local development and people-centred service delivery. DPADM, together with UNDP and Colombia’s Ministry for Information and Communication Technology are working together towards the implementation of this project.
6. Meeting with Capstone Researchers
On 5 March 2014, DPADM’s Development Management Branch (DMB) met a team of researchers from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service Capstone Program, who are undertaking a year-long research course for qualified Masters of Public Administration students. The meeting was a follow up on the researchers’ recent study tour, which pilot tested DMB/DPADM’s tool for citizen engagement and e-participation, entitled the Measurement and Evaluation Tool for Engagement and e-Participation (METEP). The study tour was held in January and February and covered Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and India. The team shared their experiences on the tour, after which both parties agreed to extend their partnership in the coming months to further refine METEP as well as achieve the following outcomes: a) the Capstone team will deliver initial feedback in written format by 14 March 2014; b) an updated version of METEP will be sent by DPADM to the Capstone team for additional evaluation by 28 March 2014; c) the requirements for converting METEP to an online tool will be shared with Capstone team for their feedback by 28 March; and d) the Capstone team will provide a final and detailed report on METEP by 30 April 2014.
7. Working with Supreme Audit Institutions – Workshop for International Development Agencies
DPADM’s Inter-Regional Adviser (IRA) on Public Accountability participated in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) workshop on "Working with Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs)" in Washington DC from 5 to 7 March 2014. DPADM was invited to participate in this workshop through the INTOSAI Donor Initiative. The IRA met with representatives from the donor community and international development agencies to explore areas of mutual interest. The workshop facilitators were the National Audit Office of the United Kingdom and the Norwegian Supreme Audit Institution. Participants included, in addition to US and internationally based USAID team members, representatives from the US Government Accounting office, Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development, Canadian CCAF representatives, World Bank, IDB, UNDP, Organization of American States and other international development agencies representatives. The IRA shared materials developed and published by DPADM on "Citizens Engagement with SAIs".
8. In-House Seminar with INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI)
On 10 March 2014, DPADM held an in-house seminar with INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) entitled, "The value and benefits of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI's) as enablers of good governance and development". The seminar was delivered by the Director General of IDI, Mr. Einar J. Gorrissen and the Acting Deputy Director General and Head of Programmes, Ms. Archana P. Shirsat. It introduced the valuable role that independent, strong and multidisciplinary SAI’s play in promoting strong public financial management, strengthening governance and accountability to enable citizens benefit from better service delivery, development and poverty reduction. It also provided an overview of IDI's work towards sustainably strengthening the performance and capacity of more than 140 SAI’s in partner countries around the world and provided information on how DESA can benefit from it.
9. Meeting with the Government of Kazakhstan
On 18 March 2014, DPADM met a delegation from the Government of Kazakhstan led by Mr. Alikhan M. Baimenov, Chairman of the Agency for Civil Service Affairs and Co-Chair of “The Regional Hub in Astana”. The meeting was a follow up to a workshop that DPADM’s UNPAN Management Unit (UMU) attended with “The Regional Hub in Astana” in May 2013. The standard OLA approved MoU for Institutional Members joining UNPAN was signed by the Regional Hub and discussions held possible collaboration between DPADM and the Government with respect to strengthening the civil service and public administration in Kazakhstan and the member countries of the Hub. Mr. Baimenov also supported the proposal for collaboration between DPADM’s PACB and the Kazakh Academy of Public Administration in the region towards organising a capacity development workshop for countries with economies in transition on the theme of “Governance and Government for Sustainable Development" in the fall of 2014.
10. SG's Statement on Intent of the United States to Transition Key Internet Domain Name Functions
On 18 March 2014, DPADM contributed to the release of a statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General. The statement welcomed an announcement by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) made on 14 March 2014 concerning its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multi-stakeholder community. This announcement signified an important step towards ensuring a truly multi-stakeholder governance model for the Internet, a principle championed by the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The IGF is convened each year by the Secretary-General to foster multi-stakeholder public policy dialogue related to key elements of Internet governance in order to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the Internet.
For more information and to read the full press release please visit the IGF website: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/
11. DESA Meets Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights (ACRC), the Republic of Korea (RoK)
On Tuesday 25 March 2014, USG Mr. Wu, accompanied by DPADM’s Officer in Charge and Chief of e-Government Branch, Mr. Vincenzo Aquaro, met Mr. Sungboo Lee, Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights (ACRC) of the Republic of Korea (RoK). Mr. Wu briefed the Commissioner on DESA’s activities highlighting the United Nations Agenda on Sustainable Development and calling for the Member States’ support and participation towards the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Mr. Wu emphasized financing for development as a key tool for accountability measurement and development monitoring. Mr. Lee briefed DESA on the establishment of the ACRC, highlighting that it was at the forefront of RoK government-wide anti-corruption efforts and highlighting its achievements in promoting transparency, governance and enhanced public accountability in public administration. DPADM’s OIC invited Mr. Lee and ACRC to participate and speak at a capacity development workshop on Public Accountability which is scheduled to take place during the UN Public Service Forum, Day and Awards Ceremony in Seoul from 23 to 26 June 2014. He also referred UNPOG leadership to Mr. Lee, suggesting follow up action and potential collaboration on capacity building projects in Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and e-procurement. Subsequent to the meeting, DMB/DPADM staff followed up with the ACRC, seeking collaborative participation and presentation at the workshop.
12. Mission to Ethiopia
From 17 to 21 March 2014, Chief of DPADM’s Public Administration Capacity Branch (PACB), Mr. John-Mary Kauzya undertook a mission to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he conducted several activities:
a. Facilitating a workshop on “Transfer and adaptation of innovative practices for improved public service delivery in Least Developed Countries (LDCs)”
This capacity building workshop on “Transfer and adaptation of innovative practices for improved public service delivery in LDCs” was conducted from 17 to 19 March 2014. It was organised by DPADM/DESA with support from the host Government of Ethiopia, in cooperation with ECA, UNDP, UN-HABITAT and UN-WOMEN with the aim of facilitating the transfer of innovations, identified by Least Developed Countries (LDCs). To facilitate the selection of country specific priority areas, participating public sector managers were made aware of innovations available for important areas of service delivery and exchanged ideas, knowledge and strategies on ways to design and implement efficient, equitable and responsive delivery systems. The workshop built on the outcome of the Expert Group Meeting held in New York in February 2013, recommending countries and specific innovations to be transferred and adapted in the subsequent practitioner-to-practitioner knowledge transfer exchanges. Participants called upon DESA and other development partners to facilitate the participation of LDCs in capacity development activities for improving public sector performance. This was the second capacity building workshop facilitated by DPADM on this subject.
b. Facilitating the “Governance, Leadership and Institution Building Seminar for Senior Officials of Somalia and South Sudan”
From 20 to 21 March 2014, the Chief facilitated a seminar for senior officials from Somalia and South Sudan as part of initial steps to contribute to promoting good governance through institution building processes. Participants called upon DPADM/DESA to engage more in public sector institutional and human capacity development in both countries, considering the Divisions’ experience in reconstructing governance and public administration capacities in post conflict countries. The Seminar was organized by Horn Economic and Social Policy Institute (HESPI), in collaboration with the governments of Somalia and South Sudan.
c. Meeting with Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinator of Good Governance and Reform Cluster and Minister of Civil Service, of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
On 21 March 2014, Mr. Kauzya met H.E. Mr. Muktar Kedir, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinator of Good Governance and Reform Cluster and Minister of Civil Service, of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Mr. Kedir expressed appreciation for DPADM/DESA’s contribution to governance and public administration capacity development in Ethiopia and Africa in general and called for more intensity, especially in facilitating the transfer and adaptation of governance and public administration innovations so as to further improve service delivery and the performance of public sector institutions. He accepted DPADM/DESA’s invitation to participate in the United Nations Public Service Forum, Awards, and Day in Seoul in June 2014.
13. Ongoing Preparations for the 9th Internet Governance Forum (IGF)
On 18 March 2014, the IGF Secretariat convened a virtual meeting of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) to continue ongoing preparations for the 9th IGF in Istanbul. The meeting focused on the overall scheduling of the Forum including the proposed substantive sessions. The MAG was briefed about the recently concluded planning mission of the UN to Istanbul from 17 to 18 March 2014 where the venue was inspected again for security and connectivity purposes.
At a separate event, the IGF Secretariat’s, Mr. Chengetai Masango, travelled to Singapore from 24 to 26 March 2014 to participate in the 49th Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) meeting, where he represented the IGF in various discussions related to Internet governance. He also represented ASG, Mr. Thomas Gass, in side-meetings of the Executive Multi-stakeholder Committee (EMC) for the NETmundial.
14. DPADM Chief Joins e-Governance Talk in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
From 20 to 22 March 2014, the Chief of DPADM’s e-Government Branch, Mr. Vincenzo Aquaro joined a group of senior political, business and military leaders, the media and academia at a conference on “Managing the digital revolution: can governments keep up?” organized by the Ditchley Foundation held at Ditchley Park in Oxfordshire, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Mr. Aquaro introduced the second session which discussed important e-governance issues, particularly how governments are keeping up with new digital tools and technologies to make e-governance more participatory and inclusive.
15. The Head of UNPOG Meets with Afghanistan’s Director from Ministry of CIT
At a meeting held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 21 March 2014, Head of DPADM’s Technical Cooperation Project, UNPOG, Mr. Jae-hong Lim met Mr. Abdul Mujeeb Mohmand, Director, Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies of Afghanistan. Mr. Mohmand presented some of the barriers and challenges faced by Afghanistan in its e-government implementing and called upon UNPOG to continue providing support towards capacity building in this area.
16. The Committee of Experts on Public Administration
The Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) will meet from 7 to 11 April 2014 for the thirteenth annual session of discussions under the main theme of “transforming public administration for sustainable development.” Discussions will be held under three sub-themes: a) strengthening national and local capacities for sustainable development management; b) promoting leadership, innovation and risk management; and (c) invigorating the professionalism and morale of the public service. The President of ECOSOC, His Excellency Martin Sajdik, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations in New York, will deliver the opening statement, followed by a welcome address by Mr. Wu.
The official meeting background papers can be found on the CEPA website in all 6 official UN languages. The meeting will also be serviced in cooperation with PaperSmart, an initiative aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of the organization which is managed by the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM).
For more information, please visit http://www.unpan.org/cepa
17. United Nations Public Service Awards for 2014 Final Round of Evaluations
DPADM has finalized the first and second round of evaluations for nominations received for the 2014 United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) in January and March 2014 respectively. During this period, the Division evaluated 463 nominations which met the eligibility criteria out of a total of the 704 nominations received. The final round of the three-stage evaluation process will be conducted by the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) during their meeting from 7 to 11 April 2014. The winners will be announced in early May 2014 and awarded at the 2014 UN Public Service Forum, Day and Award Ceremony to be held from 23 to 26 June 2014, in Seoul, the Republic of Korea.
Since its inception in 2003, the UNPSA has been a valuable vehicle for facilitating the collection of innovative practices in public administration in efforts to provide concrete solutions to governance challenges for possible replication. The forum and awards ceremony which was traditionally held at United Nations Headquarters in New York is now held in different regions of the world every year to provide unique opportunities for countries and regions to bring together their best initiatives and share their knowledge with the world at large.
18. Development Account Project on E-Participation
On 27 March 2014, DPADM’s Development Management Branch (DMB) held its first conference call with Kazakhstan Government officials on the planning of a national workshop to be held in October 2014, as part of the Development Account Project on E-Participation. Budgetary issues, arrangements for the venue, the preliminary participants list, and DMB’s substantive contributions to the workshop, were discussed. DMB will follow up the discussion with a revised agenda, detailed budget table and coordinate with the local UNDP office before a subsequent conference call with the Kazakh focal point in approximately three weeks’ time.