Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM)

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DPADM Monthly Bulletin

November 2014

1. Presentation to INTOSAI’s Task Force on Strategic Planning

The International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) held its 66th Governing Board meeting on 6 and 7 November 2014.  The United Nations was invited as an observer to these meetings.  Prior to the 66th Meeting, INTOSAI’s Task Force on Strategic Planning met in Vienna on 5 November. The Task Force will formulate a strategic plan for 2017-2022, taking into account the rapid changes, risks and interactions that have and will emerge on the global or national scenes. One of the challenges is to: “support and develop the capacity of INTOSAI and individual SAIs to fulfil the oversight, audit and monitoring roles envisioned by the global community for the Post-2015 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals.”  In this context, the Chief of the Development Management Branch was invited to deliver a remote presentation on the implications for SAIs of “The Post-2015 Development Agenda and the proposed 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.”  The meeting was attended by the members of SAI task force at the head or other high level from 17 countries.

2. Capacity Building Workshop in Singapore

As part of DPADM’s efforts for developing capacities for innovation and creativity in the Public Service, a Governance and Public Administration Officer, and Coordinator of the United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) Program participated as facilitator and resource person in the capacity building workshop on Quality Awards in Asian countries, organised by the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) which works to improve public sector productivity in the region. DPADM made presentations on the UNPSA programme and the impact of the United Nations Public Service Awards on the performance of public sector institutions, as well as took part in the 6th ‘Business Excellence Global Conference on Productivity, Innovation and Growth’. In the Panel Discussion on ‘Productivity in the Workplace’ DPADM’s  presentation focused on the challenges faced in creating an organisational culture, strong people engagement and operational excellence that would support a higher level of performance in public sector institutions and shared experiences from the UNPSA programme with specific reference to the productivity in the workplace. Following the contribution in this workshop, the Asian productivity Organisation has expressed the desire to strengthen the collaboration with DPADM/DESA in promoting innovation and creativity as well as capacity building activities in public sector institutions in the region.

3. DPADM’s Measurement and Evaluation Tool for Engagement and e-Participation (METEP) available now Online in Russian and Kazakh Language

Russian and Kazakh-language editions of DMB’s e-participation tool, known as METEP, are now available to the general public on UNPAN. The purpose of METEP, a self-assessment guide for government officials, is to raise awareness of policies and best practices on citizen engagement through Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). The new Russian and Kazakh versions were first used during DMB’s national capacity building workshop in Astana, Kazakhstan, which successfully concluded on 8 October.

4. DPADM participates at Global City Informatization Forum 2014 

The e-Government Branch and the United Nations Project Office on Governance (UNPOG) organized a CIO Conference during the Global City Informatization Forum 2014 held in Shanghai, China on 5 November 2014.  The Head of UNPOG delivered the opening remarks and chaired a session which focused on “E-Government Development Trends and Issues in Asia and the Pacific Region”.  UNPOG also chaired another session which focused on “Innovative Public Service Delivery and Knowledge-Sharing of Best Practices”. As a follow-up to this event, governments' Chief Information Officers from the region expressed interest in continuing to share knowledge on e-government and to build further avenues of collaboration.

5. DPADM networks at 3rd World e-Governments Organization of Cities and Local Governments (WeGO) General Assembly in Chengdu, China

Mr. Jae-hong Lim, head of UNPOG participated and delivered a key note speech at the 3rd General Assembly of WeGO held in Chengdu, China on 3 November 2014. He also made a presentation on e-government development and possible avenues of collaboration during the Executive Committee. Upon request, he held bilateral meetings with Mr. Najla Nasser Al-Rawahi, Director of Application of the Directorate of Information Systems and Ms. Saleh Al Hadabi, General Director of the City of Muscat, Oman.  During the meeting, the Omani representatives informed Mr. Lim that Muscat is planning to establish a project management office (PMO) on public sector modernization and sought advice from DPADM on best practices, international standards and best supported technologies for PMOs. They also discussed current trends of e-government. As a follow-up action, both parties agreed on the need for future cooperation.  

6. DPADM participated in the Webinar on the Official Launch of the NETmundial Initiative 

The Development Management Branch of DPADM participated in the Webinar on 6 November 2014. The NETmundial Initiative is stated as being a bottom-up, action-focused movement for the global community to organically operationalize distributed Internet governance. The Initiative is based on the Principles and Roadmap developed at the 2014 NETmundial meeting held in São Paulo. The Initiative provides an online platform to (i) facilitate ‘crowd-sourcing’ of enablers and solutions from the global community; and (ii) energize ‘crowd-funding’ and multi-stakeholder partnership to support the further development and wider application of enablers and solutions to address issues of global Internet governance. The Initiative describes Internet governance solutions as policy models, standards, specifications, or best practices. According to the Initiative, solutions may be adopted voluntarily, or when necessary, formalized through other means such as social conventions, regulations, directives, contracts, and/or other agreements. DESA and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Secretariat in consultation with the IGF Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) Members will devise a strategy about options for the position of DESA and IGF towards the NetMundial Initiative in the coming weeks, for the consideration of senior leadership.

7. DPADM Participates at the 10th CAPAM Biennial Conference on Public Service Transformation in Malaysia 

EGB/DPADM was invited to provide two presentations at the 10th CAPAM Biennial Conference on Public Service Transformation: as a New Conversation, held in Putra Jaya, Malaysia from 19-21 October 2014.  A Government and Public Administration Officer chaired the plenary session and presented on the topics: “E-Government for Sustainable Development” and “Innovation is the Solution”.  The Conference, organized by the Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management (CAPAM), in collaboration with the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit, was attended by over 1000 participants, including high-level policy makers, academics and practitioners from 54 member countries. DESA’s contribution was highly appreciated by both organizers and participants, who expressed the wish for greater cooperation with DPADM/DESA in future CAPAM activities.

8. Adoption of the Report of the 13th Session of the Committee of Expert on Public Administration (CEPA)

At its Coordination and Management Meeting on 18 November 2014, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted a resolution on the report of the Committee of Expert on Public Administration (CEPA) on its 13th session (ESC res. 2014/38 contained in E/2014/L.30/Rev.1). The Council also approved the provisional agenda of the 14th session (ESC dec. 2014/257 contained in E/2014/L.31).

In adopting the texts, the Council has underlined the centrality of transparent, accountable, efficient, effective, citizen-oriented, professional and ethical public administration to the successful implementation of national development policies and the management of development programmes. To this end, the Committee of Experts is requested to consider emerging issues in public administration that are related to the annual main themes of the Economic and Social Council and to support the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda, as appropriate. The Committee will do so in connection with its 14th session by considering what it will take to build trust in government in pursuit of the SDGs, with specific reference to:

I. Redefining relationships and responsibilities to support participatory governance and responsive public service delivery, including through e-solutions; 
II. Strengthening innovation, prioritization, informed decision-making and the integration of policy development processes for enhanced impact;
III. Promoting accountable institutions, ethical leadership and integrity 

The General Assembly Second Committee, for its part, is expected to draw attention to the need to improve the efficiency, accountability, effectiveness and transparency of public administration in its consideration of a draft resolution on strengthening of supreme audit institutions.

9. Special Event on “ICT and E Government in SIDS: Responding to the Samoa Pathway Call for Action”

DPADM and United Nations Programme Office on Governance (UNPOG) supported the organization of a Special Event of the 69th Session of the General Assembly’s Second Committee on “ICT and E-Government in SIDS: Responding to the Samoa Pathway Call for Action”, on 14 November 2014. The event served as an opportunity to discuss the implementation of policy recommendations related to ICT and e-governance from the SAMOA Pathway.  Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, Chair of the Second Committee opened the meeting and Mr. Wu Hongbo, USG, DESA and former SG for the International Conference on Small Island Developing States delivered introductory remarks. Panel members included the Hon. Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau, Minister of Communication and Information Technology of Samoa, Ambassador Robert Guba Aisi, Permanent Representative of Papua New Guinea, Ms. Rowena Bethel from the Committee of Experts on Public Administration and Prof. Young Bum Lee from Konkuk University in Seoul, who presented the background study on “E-Government for Promoting Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States” commissioned by UNPOG.  The well-attended Event was closed by the Second Committee Vice-Chair, Ms. Tishka Francis from the Permanent Mission of the Bahamas. 

10. ECOSOC Special Event on ‘Implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Enhancing access to and security of ICTs”

On 18 November 2014, DPADM, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination (OESC) and the International Telecommunication Union  (ITU) held a Special Event during ECOSOC’s Coordination and Management Meeting on the subject of  “Implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Enhancing access to and security of ICTs”. Discussions focused on the impact of access to and security of ICTs on sustainable development, rethinking personal data and strengthening the trust of citizens online and the roles of multilateral organizations in building trust and security. The panel concluded and recommended: a) the need for ICTs to be widely included in the sustainable development goals, b) the importance of being sure that lessons learned from the WSIS outcomes inform the post-2015 development agenda, c) the need to preserve the free and open nature of the Internet, d) the importance of education when it comes to cybersecurity and building citizen’s trust online, and e) sharing best practices amongst all stakeholders and cooperative public-private partnerships. The panel discussion was chaired by Ambassador Oh Joon (Republic of Korea), the Council’s Vice-President, and moderated by Ambassador Jānis Kārkliņš (Latvia), in his capacity as Chair of the Internet Governance Forum’s (IGF) Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group. Among the panellists were Mr. Wu Hongbo, USG, DESA; Dr. Hamadoun Touré, SG, International Telecommunications Union (ITU); Ms. Lynn St. Amour, President and Chief Executive Officer, Internet Matters; and Ms. Rima Qureshi, Chief Strategy Officer, Ericsson Group. 

Click here for more information about the event.

11. Evaluations of the 2015 United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) Commence

The call for nominations for the 2015 United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) closed on 19 November 2014.  Initial numbers indicate that 848 nominations from all categories have been received from the five regions of the world. DPADM has started the process of evaluation by pre-screening of the submissions, which will be followed by the first round of evaluation scheduled to begin during the week of 24 November 2014.

12. In-house Seminar on the Question, "Is There a Role for Net Neutrality in the Sustainable Development Agenda?”

On 19 November 2014, DPADM held an in-house seminar on the question, “Is There a Role for Net Neutrality in the Sustainable Development Agenda?” The event which was moderated by ASG for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, DESA, Mr. Thomas Gass, generated lively and lengthy discussions among participants, and featured remarks from Ambassador Janis Karklins, Chair of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), and Constance Bommelaer, Senior Director of Global Policy Partnerships at the Internet Society (ISOC). The seminar sought to define net neutrality and why it matters and brought to the surface divergent views of the different stakeholder groups, particularly those held by content and service providers of internet access. The current economic model underpinning the Internet that allows users access to free content and its implications to developing countries was also explained. These issues were discussed in terms of their future impact on Internet policy, and contextualized within the forthcoming General Assembly review of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2015 and on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Click here for pictures of the event.

13. Asian and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Beijing+20 Review

Mr. Jae-hong Lim, Head of UNPOG, led a mission to Bangkok, Thailand, to participate at the Asian and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Beijing+20 Review. He delivered the opening remarks at a Special Session on “ICT, e-Government and Women’s Empowerment” on 18 November 2014 and together with his delegation met representatives from ESCAP on 21 November 2014 to discuss a joint research project on “e-Government for Women's Empowerment”. The conference was organized by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) from 17 to 20 November 2014. 

14. IGF Secretariat's Participates at the Geneva Internet Conference

The IGF Secretariat participated at the first Geneva Internet Conference, which was hosted by the recently formed Geneva Internet Platform from 17 to 19 November 2014. The conference aimed to address critical issues, gaps, and future developments in Internet governance (IG) and digital politics. It also provided a neutral and inclusive space for debates to continue in the year 2015, building on the main events and developments in 2014, including the announcement of the transition of the IANA oversight of Internet functions, NETmundial and the 9th Internet Governance Forum (IGF). 

IGF’s Programme and Technology Manager was one of the resource speakers at the “Inclusion in Digital Policy: e-Participation and Capacity Development” session held on 18 November 2014. He spoke on one of the goals of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) – lowering the barriers to participate in the multi-stakeholder Internet governance debate, and underscored the significant role of the IGF in this area since the first annual meeting of the IGF held in Athens, Greece in 2006.  He stressed the importance of internet connections to people with very low bandwidth and the critical need to provide those living in developing countries and remote areas with more opportunities to engage through genuine and interactive remote participation.

15. BBC Interview with Ambassador Janis Karklins, Chair of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group, IGF, 19 November 2014

On November 19, DPADM arranged a radio interview with the Chair of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group, Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Ambassador Jānis Kārkliņš (Latvia) at the request of BBC through DPI. The interview which was conducted remotely focused on the global need for internet governance and the role of IGF in this arena.  The recorded interview will be aired in BBC's international business programme on BBC World Service Radio, called ‘Business Matters’ in the coming days. 

16. Second Committee Approves Draft on Supreme Audit Institutions

On 25 November, the Second Committee approved a draft resolution entitled “Promoting and fostering the efficiency, accountability, effectiveness and transparency of public administration by strengthening supreme audit institutions.” By its terms, the Assembly would encourage Member States to give due consideration to the independence and capacity-building of supreme audit institutions in a manner consistent with their national institutional structures, as well as to the improvement of public accounting systems in accordance with national development plans in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

17. Resource Speaker from the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) participated in the 2nd Africa School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG)

IGF Programme and Technology Manager was invited as a resource speaker on Internet Governance at the 2nd Africa School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) held in Ebene, Mauritius on 23-24 November 2014.  The IGF Manager met with several students to talk about Internet Governance.  He also attended the 21st AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting and the 10th Meeting of the AFRINIC Government Working Group (AfGWG-10) on 22-28 November 2014 which was held in Ebene.  The meetings were attended by representatives from the African Government Ministries, private sector, civil society, academia and other stakeholders. It was an opportune venue for IGF to participate in the meetings, in order to widen the audience and strengthen the capacity building, knowledge and interest in Internet Governance and the work of the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) in the African region.

18. The 2014 United Nations E-Government Survey Presented at the High-level Forum on South-South Cooperation for Sustainable Development in South Africa 

DPADM was invited to the High-level Forum on South-South Cooperation for Sustainable Development with the theme of “ICT, Food Security and Sustainable Urbanization in the Post-2014 Agenda” held on 17-18 November 2014 in Johannesburg.  The Chief of eGB participated as a member of a Panel together with the Prime Minister of Lesotho, Mr. Thomas Thabane and other high-ranking officials of African. In his talk, the Chief presented the Survey and elaborated on ICT and e-government as tools supporting sustainable development, in general, and sustainable urbanization, in particular as well as emerging trends in ICT. The Forum was organized and supported by the South-South Steering Committee for Sustainable Development, the International Organization for South-South Cooperation, the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, with support from the government of the Republic of South Africa.  

19. Bangladesh Delegate Seeks Cooperation with DPADM in E-Government Policy Development and Capacity-Building

DPADM welcomed Mr. Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor at the Prime Minister's Office of Bangladesh, to a bilateral meeting on 20 November 2014 in order to explore further ways of cooperation between Bangladesh and DPADM. Within the concerted framework of the national Access to Information (a2i) Programme Bangladesh has successfully deployed efforts to encourage interaction between citizens and their national and regional governments on social media, Mr. Chowdhury reported. Furthermore, the country has implemented structural changes at multiple levels of government to systematically incentivize innovation in public administration. Bangladesh is currently devising a new five-year strategy to guide e-government development after 2016, and requested DPADM's advisory support in e-government development. Stimulated by Bangladesh's recent move to build innovation teams in ministries and agencies and expand their scope to also include non-technical aspects of modernization and service process simplification, Branch officials and Mr. Chowdhury discussed options for holding a regional workshop in Bangladesh on the role of Chief Innovation Officers and innovative teams as transformative enablers for sustainable development. 

20. Successful E-Government Mission to Mexico 

The Director-General of Projects and Coordinator of the National Digital Strategy of the Office of the President of Mexico, Ms. Alexadra Lagunes, positively acknowledged the recent DESA technical mission on e-government undertaken by eGB’s Inter-Regional Advisor from 17-19 November 2014. The Mission had three objectives: 1) Presentation/Discussion of main e-government initiatives in Mexico; 2) Capacity Development Workshop on the UN E-Government Survey and its implications for policy development in Mexico; and 3) Discussion on e-government development in Mexico and potential cooperation with DESA.  The mission was concluded with Mexico expressing its willingness to cooperate with DESA to leverage on DPADM’s experience and knowledge of e-government.  

21. Harvard and Duke University Professors Meet with DPADM to learn more about the UN E-Government Survey

As part of ongoing research into benchmarks, indices, and rankings in the public sector, two professors of international relations visited DPADM on 19 November 2014 to discuss the composition and impact of the indices compiled for the UN E-Government Survey. Beth Simmons of the Department of Government at Harvard University and Judith Kelley of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University are investigating the influence of comparative indicators on governments' policy decisions. In particular, the scholars discussed with DPADM the development and evolution of the E-Government Development Index, with particular focus on the Online Service Index and the E-Participation Index. Officials from DPADM's E-Government Branch outlined how these indices are calculated, and the rationale behind them. They emphasized that the overall objective of the E-

Government Survey is to encourage "bench-learning" rather than categorize it as benchmarking. The Survey is intended as a tool for policy makers to assess areas of strengths and weaknesses, as well as to promote knowledge sharing and capacity-building in e-government development. 

22. Harvard Academic Director of Innovations in Government Program Meets with DPADM to Seek Collaboration on E-Government and Innovation

Dr. Jorrit de Jong, Lecturer in Public Policy and Management and Academic Director of Innovations in Government Program, Ash Center at the Harvard Kennedy School met with DPADM on 24 November 2014. Dr.  Jorrit met with a Senior Governance and Public Administration Officer from eGB and the Governance and Public Administration Officer of the UNPAN Management Unit to discuss various avenues for collaboration between Harvard Kennedy School and DPADM. Possible opportunities for collaboration discussed include UN Public Administration Network partnership, sharing of information in the institutions respective portals, UN online volunteering for the upcoming UN E-Government Survey and the organization of an Innovation Roundtable on e-Government Development.

23. A High-Level Vietnamese Delegation Visits DPADM on Anti-Corruption and Good Governance Work

On 24 November, a delegation of six Vietnamese Officials headed by Mr. Mai The Duong, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Communist Party Inspectorate and H.E. Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, Permanent Representative of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to the UN, paid a visit to DPADM.  A team of the Chiefs and staff members from DMB and PACB received the delegation that was accompanied by Mr. Ken Norman, an Australian anti-corruption expert. The Vietnamese delegation described their anti-corruption programmes at the national level, particularly in public administration, State-owned enterprises, and land reforms. Mr. Norman introduced the discussion by pointing out that corruption is a global issue, and no country is immune to it. As a case in point, he referred to a recent case in his home country where 10 ministers had to resign, following allegations of improprieties in procurement processes. 

24. United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) Coordinator Briefs the Division on the 2015 Nomination Statistics and the Upcoming Evaluation Process

Following the closing of the calls for nominations, PACB’s UNPSA Team has concluded the pre-screening process to determine which 2015 UNPSA nominations are to be further evaluated.  The UNPSA Coordinator arranged a branch-wide informative meeting on Tuesday, 25 November to present nomination statistics to the Branch, and also to discuss work distribution and way forward in terms of constituting a Division-wide evaluation team to evaluate initiatives. The evaluation process is expected to commence early December.


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