ECOSOC urges governments to address structural and procedural weaknesses in institutions that hinder implementation of the SDGs
ECOSOC took up the latest report of CEPA on 21 July 2020 and adopted the Committee’s expert recommendations on a range of institutional issues relating a timely implementation of the 2030 Agenda and recovering better from the COVID-19 pandemic. Through its resolution 2020/21, the Council expresses its appreciation for the work done by the Committee and urges Governments to pursue bold policy reforms to accelerate achievement of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development. “Many countries may not be prepared to implement the SDGs at the desired scale and speed due to an undervaluing of the public sector in past decades and a general disregard for the contribution that it can make to addressing society’s needs when equipped with appropriate capacity, skills and mind sets,” said Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Chair of CEPA. In briefing the Council on the outcome of the nineteenth session, she underscored that the pandemic presents a unique opportunity to reimagine the role of institutions and policymaking, promote new governance norms and shift from past practices to transformative pathways that strengthen resilience and accelerate action to achieve the SDGs. The principles of effective governance for sustainable development, endorsed by the Council in July 2018, have proven useful as a guide to analysing complex governance challenges and building strong institutions to these ends. The report and resolution also encourage accelerated action on institution-building in conflict affected countries, budgeting for the SDGs and strengthening public sector workforce capabilities at all levels. More information is available here
2020 Annual UNPAN Meeting Report
2020 Annual UNPAN Meeting Report has been online. Click here to see the report.
CEPA 19th session considers Covid-19 pandemic and building strong institutions for the SDGs
The report of the 19th session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA), held in May 2020, is now available in the six official UN languages. A key message of the Committee is that many countries may not be prepared to implement the SDGs at the desired scale and speed because of a general undervaluing of the public sector in economic theories of the past decades and disregard of its public value when equipped with adequate capacity and the appropriate skills and mind sets. Combatting corruption also remains a crucial precondition of effective governance for the acceleration of implementation of the 2030 Agenda. These and other matters are reflected in a draft resolution and decision for review and adoption by the Economic and Social Council at its Management Segment, taking place on 21 July 2020, as well as in the Committee’s input to the 2020 High-Level Political Forum. More information is available here
Virtual Capacity Building Workshop on Capacities for Resilience and Effectiveness in Service Delivery amidst a crisis
DPIDG/UNDESA and the Africa Public Service Human Resource Managers Network (APS-HRMnet), in collaboration with the Africa Local Governance Academy (ALGA), will conduct a virtual capacity-building workshop that will take place on 24 July 2020. The overall objective of the workshop is to build the capacity of Human Resource Managers in the Public Service to be able to develop public servants’ competences in managing the delivery of public services during the times of crises and uncertainty. The target group of the virtual workshop is government officials drawn from line ministries, Human Resource Managers in the Public Service in African countries from central, regional and municipal governments, and those responsible for public servants training. The workshop will identify and address the capacity deficit in the public service and the need for specific skills necessary for improved delivery of public services in pursuit of the 2030 Agenda, during and in the aftermath of the pandemic. Click here for more information.
Redesigned UNPAN website launched
Version one of the newly redesigned United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) website is now live at https://unpan.un.org. We invite you to provide comments for UNPAN's version two, which will include a dynamic platform. UNPAN is a global network that connects relevant international, regional, subregional and national institutions and experts worldwide working on effective governance and public administration for sustainable development in line with Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UNPAN was established in 1999 and it is the only network of its type in the world today. UNPAN is composed of 28 Members from across the world. UNPAN's mission is to promote the global sharing of knowledge, experiences and innovative practices on governance and public administration issues. UNPAN is designed to help countries, particularly developing countries and countries in special situations, to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It facilitates capacity-development, including through training, and cooperation among UN Member States, with an emphasis on South-South cooperation. We invite you to provide comments for UNPAN's version two, which will include a dynamic platform by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Access UNPAN here.
2020 UN E-Government Survey: Thematic Webinars
Following the launch of the 2020 edition of the United Nations E-Government Survey , a series of thematic webinars will delve deeper into the global and regional trends that have emerged in the Survey results, an exploration of digital government and the COVID-19 pandemic, a review the Survey’s ongoing study of e-government assessments at the local level, and the development trends and impacts of e-participation, data and capacities for digital transformation. The schedule of these six webinars is as follows:
• Webinar 1: Global and regional e-government development 14 July 10:00 – 11:00 hrs. EDT
• Webinar 2: COVID-19 and e-government 15 July 10:00 – 11:00 hrs. EDT
• Webinar 3: Local e-government 16 July 10:00 – 11:00 hrs. EDT
• Webinar 4: E-participation 21 July 10:00 – 11:00 hrs. EDT
• Webinar 5: Data governance for digital government 22 July 10:00 – 11:00 hrs. EDT
• Webinar 6: Capacities for digital transformation 23 July 10:00 – 11:00 hrs. EDT
Participants may join the distinguished panelists for an interactive discussion via WebEx or Facebook Live (UN DESA). All event details are available here
2020 UN E-Government Survey now available
The 2020 UN E-Government Survey has been launched. The Survey found that progress in digital government has been made across all regions, including the least developed countries. 42 countries moved to higher levels of e-government development. Yet, despite the gains and major investments in e-government by many countries, the digital divide persists. Alongside these trends, the COVID-19 pandemic has not only reinvigorated the role of digital government in its conventional delivery of public services and in ensuring business continuity, it has also brought about innovative ways in managing the crisis. The Survey looks at how digital government can facilitate integrated policies and services across 193 UN Member States. The Survey supports countries’ efforts to provide effective, accountable and inclusive digital services to all and to bridge the digital divide and leave no one behind. The Survey is available here
Global Launch of the 2020 UN E-Government Survey
The virtual launch event of the 2020 UN E-Governent Survey will take place on 10 July from 11 to 12 am EST. The event will be opened by Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General of UN DESA. By surveying and studying broad patterns of digital government around the world, the UN E-Government Survey assesses the digital government development of the 193 UN Member States in identifying their strengths, challenges and opportunities, as well as informing policies and strategies. The Survey supports countries’ efforts to provide effective, accountable and inclusive digital services to all and to bridge the digital divides in fulfilling the principle of leaving no one behind. More information is available here
Virtual VNR Lab: What should institutions look like to support SDG implementation and how best to reflect it in VNR reporting?
UNDESA is organizing the virtual VNR Lab on "What should institutions look like to support SDG implementation and how best to reflect it in VNR reporting?" on the margins of 2020 HLPF. The VNR lab will take place on Friday, 10 July, 12:30 - 14:00 (Eastern Time, New York). This lab will focus on what institutions should look like to support accelerated implementation of all the SDGs, including at the sub-national level, and how to reflect progress in achieving more effective governance for sustainable development in VNR reporting. It will offer participating governments the opportunity to share good practices as well as to discuss concrete challenges in strengthening institutional capabilities for SDG implementation. For more information, click here.
Webinar on Leveraging ICTs & Digital Government for Innovative Solutions to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic – Responses in Africa
A webinar on Leveraging ICTs & Digital Government for Innovative Solutions to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic – Responses in Africa will be held on 1 July, 8-9:30 am EDT via WebEx Events and Facebook Live. The second installment of the webinar series focusing on Africa will provide an interactive platform for sharing different country experiences in responding to the COVID-19 through use of technology and digital government. Lessons learned will be shared from China, Ethiopia, Republic of Korea, ECA, African Union Development Agency, ITU Regional Office for Africa, African Association for Public Administration and Management. Following the webinar, an Online Discussion Board will facilitate continued discussion among the participants. The webinar is part of the series of Capacity Development Webinar series organized by DESA/DPIDG, Programme Management and Capacity Development Unit, and DESA/DPIDG's Project Office on Governance (UNPOG). More information and registration is available here.
Webinar on Leveraging Public Governance and Spearheading Innovative Solutions to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Arab Region: Structural challenges, gaps, weaknesses and resilience
DESA/DPIDG in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Western Asia (UN ESCWA) is organizing a webinar on Leveraging Public Governance and Spearheading Innovative Solutions to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Arab Region: Structural challenges, gaps, weaknesses and resilience. It aims to strengthen effective governance by enhancing integration, collaboration and cooperation among stakeholders through whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches as well as national to local coordination to fight COVID-19. The Webinar will take place on 24 June at 8am EST. More information here.
On the frontlines: honouring public servants in the COVID-19 pandemic response | 23 June 2020, 9:00-11:00am (EST)
On 23 June the United Nations will celebrate UN Public Service Day by focusing on the critical role public servants have played in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and the Ministry of the Interior and Safety of the Republic of Korea are organizing a virtual event to pay homage to public servants who have been working on the frontlines and to recognize the lifesaving work they have undertaken during the pandemic. The event will bring together public servants and leaders to discuss the importance of the continuation of public service provision during times of pandemic. In doing so, it will examine the various approaches countries have taken during the crisis while looking at what measures they are undertaking to better mitigate such challenges in the future. The event will also include an original orchestral piece performed by the UN Orchestra and feature a video showcasing public servants in action developed from over 80 submissions received from public servants at national and local levels world wide. For more information, click here.
19th Session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration
The Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) held its nineteenth session through a combination of written consultations and informal meetings convened on 13, 15, 18, 21, 27 and 28 May 2020, using a virtual platform. The overall theme was “Promoting effective governance and institutional reform to accelerate delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals”. with particular reference to the Covid-19 pandemic response and recovery. Click here for a draft summary of the CEPA 19th session.
COVID-19 Policy Briefs on Governance and Institutions
As part of UN DESA's Policy Brief series on COVID-19, the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government has published three Policy Briefs. The Policy Brief on Embracing Digital Government during the Pandemic and Beyond addresses how digital government has played a central role as a key tool of communication and collaboration between policymakers and society during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Policy Brief on Resilient institutions in times of crisis: transparency, accountability and participation at the national level key to effective response to COVID-19 discusses the challenges of the COVID-19 emergency along key dimensions of national institutions highlighted in SDG 16.The Policy Brief on Reaffirming State-People Governance Relationships discusses the role of effective governance, and in particular the relationship between the state and people, in building countries' resiliency and in responding to and managing nation-wide crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The Policy Brief on the Role of Public Service and Public Servants during the COVID-19 Pandemic outlines nine key roles public servants have been and must continue to play to ensure an effective response to the pandemic.
All UN DESA COVID-19 Policy Briefs can be accessed here
19th Session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration
The 19th Session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administrations (CEPA) took place in a virtual format from 13 to 28 May 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis. It focused on how to promote effective governance and institutional reform to accelerate delivery of the SDGs, with particular reference to the COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery. The Committee noted that the 11 Principles of Effective Governance for Sustainable Development had been put to test in the pandemic and proven useful to improving future public governance. The Committee also underscored the ability of governments to take steps in response to the pandemic, underlining their renewed commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030. The Committee further stressed the importance of strengthening the capacity of State institutions and re-establishing credible governance and public administration institutions in countries affected by conflict. Several Members also stressed the important role of sub-national and local governments in delivering the SDGs. The Committee drew attention to the negative impact of unbalanced budgeting on delivery of the SDGs. The Committee has adopted an input to the High-level Political Forum, a draft resolution to be endorsed by ECOSOC, and a proposed agenda for its 20th session. The Committee also had a preliminary discussion on its inter-sessional work. More information and on-demand video are available here.
Call for contributions – World Public Sector Report 2021
The World Public Sector Report (WPSR) has been published by the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) of UNDESA since 2001. The forthcoming edition will focus on national institutional arrangements of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and their effectiveness. This call for contributions invites individual researchers and experts as well as policy research institutions to submit inputs and policy briefs highlighting issues, trends, research findings or solutions in relation to the research questions that the report seeks to address. Click here for more information.
Webinar on Leveraging Public Governance & Spearheading Innovative Solutions to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic – Responses in Africa
A webinar on Leveraging Public Governance & Spearheading Innovative Solutions to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic – Responses in Africa will be held on 12 May, 8-10 am EDT via WebEx and Facebook Live. The event will provide an interactive platform for sharing different country experiences in responding to the COVID-19, especially for Africa by highlighting effective strategies, successes, and challenges from government officials, experts, private and civil society including from China, Ethiopia, Italy, the Republic of Korea, Kenya and the USA. Following the webinar, an Online Discussion Board will facilitate continued discussion among the participants. The webinar is first in the series of Capacity Development Webinar series organized by DESA/DPIDG through Project Office on Governance (UNPOG) and other relevant partners, including the SIDS Unit of of DESA/DSDG, the Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union Development Agency and the African Association for Public Administration. More info here http://www.unpog.org/page/sub3_1_view.asp?sn=368&BoardID=0002
Compendium of national institutional arrangements for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – 2019 VNR update
In the four years since the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development came into effect, countries across the world have made significant efforts to establish the institutional arrangements necessary for the successful implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). This compendium aims to document these institutional arrangements in a simple and standardized way, with a view to facilitating exchanges on institutional practices and lessons learned among governments and other stakeholders. It covers the 47 countries that presented Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) at the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July 2019. This new volume complements similar volumes published in 2017 and 2018, which covered earlier rounds of VNRs. The compendium is available here.
Accelerating SDG16 implementation through transformative governance: Building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions to sustain peace and development
UNDESA and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), with the Government of Italy are organizing a conference that follows the 2019 Rome conference on “Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: Sustainable Development Goal 16 implementation and the path towards leaving no one behind”. It is the first of a series of conferences to be co-organized by UNDESA and IDLO with the Italian Government during the forthcoming decade of action and delivery for sustainable development on different themes related to SDG 16. The initiative responds to the SDG Summit’s call to accelerate progress towards SDG 16 and the 2030 Agenda as a whole, and is intended to provide a platform to mobilize a broad spectrum of SDG 16 policy makers, champions and practitioners. The conference will address ways to develop effective institutions, ensure equal access to justice, and enhance service delivery. It will focus on national and local implementation supported by broad national coalitions as well as regional and international partnerships, and on ways of scaling up progress through innovation and enhanced financing. The conference will take place in Rome, Italy, from 8-10 June 2020.
Briefing Session on the 2020 United Nations Public Service Forum
The 2020 United Nations Public Service Forum (UNPSF) will take place in Busan, Republic of Korea from 23 to 26 June 2020, under the theme "Action Today, Impact Tomorrow: Innovating and Transforming Public Services and Institutions to Realize the Sustainable Development Goals". The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea's Ministry of Interior and Safety and UN DESA will organize a briefing session to Member States on the 2020 Forum on 11 February at the UN Secretariat. The briefing will draw together current and past UN Public Service Forum hosts and substantive experts to discuss the role of innovating and transforming public services and institutions to realize the SDGs. Click here for more information.