IGovernance: Innovative, Inclusive and Integrity-Based
Public Administration stands as the pillar for the subsistence of the state and a bridge towards social and economic development across the globe. In the same manner, it also plays a critical role in providing for the essentials of the vastly growing proactive citizenry, thus, being in the limelight-vulnerable to criticisms and acclaims at different costs. Given such, the current Public Administration requires learning from the past in order for it to come up with non-repetitive goals and mechanisms towards achieving sustainable development and be a more resilient pillar.
Since time immemorial, sustainability and development in various economic aspects has been the main concern and goal of governance. States have been persistently exerting efforts, looking for ways and tailoring its systems to fit this goal. However, the question of “what else should be done?” remains to be indefinite in as much as means towards development is concerned and directly imposes and asks “who needs to be involved to achieve this goal?”‖ and “what does it take to be involved in shaping and realizing this goal?”.
Once the road map towards development has been envisioned and contrived, the success of it does not necessarily follow, at least immediately. Factors affecting, hindering and contributing towards this goal are now diversified more than ever; thus, calling for a streamlined public service, equipped with newly explored tools and systems modified and focused in attaining a universally adaptable structure for development.
The 2016 EROPA Conference theme: “iGovernance: INNOVATIVE. INCLUSIVE. INTEGRITY-BASED” tackled 3 components ideal for the current public administration (in different states) to adapt towards implementing more concrete and realistic policies and methods, and achieving specific goals. It addressed current issues and considered future challenges without bypassing known structures and processes of governance.
More so, it addressed the following questions:
What are the different initiatives and modernized trends that can be adapted and implemented to further enhance current governance methods and policies? How can we tailor current systems and make it fit to our goals for the future?
How can governments inform and involve their citizens, including minorities and marginalized groups? How can civil society be strengthened so that citizens can hold their government accountable and bring their concerns on the table? Who are the individuals and groups needed to get involved in achieving national and societal development goals?
How can the current Public Administration proactively respond to calls for higher standards of integrity among public servants and in government systems and processes? What enabling mechanisms should be present in governments to ensure that actual behavior corresponds to what is expected? That systems and processes are integrity-based?
The conference was hosted by the Government of the Philippines, through the Philippine Civil Service Commission.
At the close of the 2016 EROPA Conference, a total of 50 paper presentations dealt with the sub-themes of the conference: Innovative, Inclusive and Integrity-Based.
THEME A: INNOVATIVE: From Conceptualizing to Creating an Impact
It‘s unquestionable that public administration continually faces challenges in different forms, providing obstacles in progress towards attainable growth. But public administration cannot remain its old self. Public administration should be more proactive, efficient, accountable, and especially more service-oriented. To accomplish transformation, governments must introduce innovations in their organizational structure, practices, capacities, competencies, and learn how to mobilize, utilize and deploy resources—human, material, information, technology and financial resources for higher quality public service—more responsive, quicker, and on real-time.
Although innovations are limited governance interventions, they can produce a domino effect to achieve a successful innovation from one sector to other areas. Each innovation can create the opportunity for a series of innovations leading to a favorable environment for positive change. Innovations can lead to building a new block of an institution, and change the relationship between levels of government and within government.
Possible topics under this Sub-theme are:
Role of PA in transforming government through innovations
Innovation Breakthroughs in the Public Sector
The future of PA in the face of innovations and Creativity
Innovations in Public HR systems
The Innovation Leadership
Social Networking vis a vis Public Administration
THEME B: INCLUSIVE: Cooperation instead of Competition
In order for public administration to completely unfold its plans towards development, it is but fitting to address its need for help. Aside from supranational assistance from outside the states, it requires builders of a sturdy structure for development within; thus, calls for collaborative governance.
Collaborative governance, in essence, is a way to reach out to different sectors within a state to attain common goals and achieve more than one could on its own. It includes not only the public sector, but also reaches out to the business sector, the NGOs, the youth, religious/spiritual groups, the media, the international community, and more importantly, the citizens.
How is it possible to reach out to various sectors, gain their trust and build a strong relationship to ensure achievement of a common and realistic goal? It must then be established that in this day and age, competition should not exist in a duality of profit and national growth. A clear and straightforward way to set this and build a solid foundation for this relationship is for civic engagement to take place. Ideally, to ensure full civic engagement, both ends should meet at a common point, establish large-scale interventions and have a mutual understanding of what should be done to provide for both needs; consequently, this mutual understanding will provide a sense of importance to the stakeholders and help them go beyond their means to attain common development. Responsive government and empowered citizens represent the synergy for sustainable growth.
Possible topics under this Sub-theme are:
The Internet and Increased Citizen Participation in Government
Democratic Governance Initiatives
Communication, Collaboration, and Coordination
The Role of PA in Cultural and Global Inclusivity
New Paradigms of Inclusivity
Improvement Thru Innovations
THEME C: INTEGRITY-BASED: Cultivating Public Service Towards Development
As much as governance methods and processes are concerned, development maintains low chances of taking place if changes will not begin within the structure. It is important to understand that a standard attribute that will serve as the last piece of the puzzle in providing good governance, must be adopted across all kinds of public service, thus, it does not come from one end only. There should be a mutual understanding between the governance system and the civil servants in upholding integrity and working towards building an integrity-empowered culture. This equation draws out integrity as an integral key in delivering not just good, but exemplary governance.
Why is integrity important in governance? Integrity is the foundation of GOOD governance. Fostering this value in the public sector supports a level playing field for the business sector and the citizenry and is essential in maintaining trust in the administration. By definition, “integrity”‖ is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. It is the strong frames of the structure of good governance, without which, can easily trigger the downfall of public service and administration.
Essentially, integrity represents the wholeness of a state. It is how a governance system upholds moral uprightness and adheres to transparency, honesty and entails accountability in delivering public service. This sub-theme embraces the values required from public service as it plays an integral role in delivering good governance.
Possible topics under this Sub-Theme are:
Patriotism, Integrity, Excellence and Spirituality in the Public Service
Integrity in Public Life
Ethics and Values: The Paradox of Theory and Practice
Strong Leader vs. Ethical Leader
EASTERN REGIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION National College of Public Administration and Governance University of the Philippines, Diliman 1101 Quezon City Philippines Telefax: (+632) 8 929 7789