World Public Sector Report 2019


Institutions for the sustainable development goals: progress on the institutional dimensions of SDG 16

The World Public Sector Report 2019 will aim to provide an empirical analysis of approaches to foster progress on critical dimensions of institutions for the sustainable development goals (SDGs), highlighting challenges, progress made, lessons learned from different SDG areas in various contexts, including different groups of countries. The focus of the report will be on public institutions to deliver the SDGs. The report will examine key challenges and opportunities for enhancing the performance of institutions in terms of seven principles put forward by SDG 16 (effectiveness, transparency, accountability, anti-corruption, inclusiveness of decision-making processes, access to information, non-discriminatory laws and policies), highlighting experiences from past decades both at the sectoral and cross-sectoral levels. The report will consider the interplay among broad societal goals and strategies to achieve them, the principles for institutions highlighted in SDG 16, and tools and instruments that support institution building and functioning, such as planning, budgeting, and risk management, and its implications for public administration and public institutions. The report thus aims to illustrate progress made on various dimensions of institutions for the SDGs, drawing lessons on how current trends and innovative experiments might support the realisation of the SDGs, at the international level as well as at the national level in different developmental and governance contexts.

Call for Contributions

Preparations for the 2019 edition of the World Public Sector Report (WPSR 2019), to be published by July 2019, are underway. This call for contributions invites researchers and experts to contribute to the report through inputs that highlight trends, issues, research findings or solutions. All contributions that meet the requirements of this call will be acknowledged, and their content will inform relevant chapters of the Report.

You are invited to contribute to the World Public Sector Report 2019 by submitting a targeted contribution to one of the chapters. Contributions should address some of the guiding questions for the report (see below).  

Contributions should be submitted to dpidg@un.org in .doc or .docx format, using email subject WPSR 2019 Chapter Contribution [indicate the chapter number, title of the contribution].

The deadline for submission is 15 September 2018.

Chapter 1: Trends in implementation of institutional principles highlighted in SDG 16

Description

This chapter will introduce the rest of the report. Its main goals will be to define the scope of the report, present the analytical framework, introduce the main research questions, and present the outline and focus of the rest of the report.

The chapter will start with a presentation of the analytical framework will follow the introductory part of the present document, adding relevant detail and references from the literature. It will describe in more detail the concepts in each of the three “boxes” of Figure 1, and their relationships – including synergies and tensions. For example, a wide literature has focused on the relations among principles for institutions such as participation, transparency and accountability.

The next section of the chapter will aim to summarily illustrate the status of various institution-related components of SDG 16, seen from a global perspective. This section will stay at the meta level, not focusing on the value of SDG 16-related indicators, but trying to synthesize ongoing efforts, both in terms of development of institutions at different levels (international and national) that aim to address the dimensions that define the scope of the report (effectiveness, transparency, accountability, anti-corruption, inclusiveness of decision-making processes, access to information, non-discrimination), and in term of efforts to measure progress on these dimensions.

The last section of the chapter will introduce the rest of the report.

Research questions:

  1. What have been major international, regional and national instruments put in place over the past 30 years to address SDG 16 principles relative to institutions such as transparency, accountability, anti-corruption, inclusiveness of decision-making processes, access to information, and non-discrimination?
  2. Where are current efforts to measure progress on institutional aspects of the SDG focusing?
  3. What are theoretical and methodological issues related to measuring SDG 16, and how do they impact efforts to monitor SDG 16?
  4. Where are gaps in coverage? Where do available indicators provide an incomplete picture of relevant dimensions or trends?

Chapter 2: Addressing corruption

The chapter will focus on concrete ways in which countries have identified corruption risks and addressed corrupt practices at the systemic level and in different sectors. All SDG areas will be used to illustrate the chapter. In addition, the chapter will focus more specifically on SDG3 (health), SDG 4 (education), SDG 6(water), SDG 9 and 11 (infrastructure), and SDG 12 (natural resources management).

The chapter will consider both preventive and punitive anti-corruption strategies and measures, with a focus on public administration and the public sector. The chapter will highlight obstacles to and opportunities for effective anti-corruption reform and implementation of anti-corruption strategies. Commonalities and differences in approaches to fighting corruption in various sectors will be highlighted in order to illustrate the sector-specificity of institutional arrangements. The chapter will also consider how countries are monitoring and measuring progress on anti-corruption and the effectiveness of anti-corruption strategies.

Research questions:

  1. How does anti-corruption relate to other institutional principles highlighted by SDG 16?
  2. What are current efforts to identify and assess corruption risks? How are countries addressing corruption risks in different sectors and at the systemic level?
  3. What international (both global and regional) instruments have been put in place to address corruption in different SDG areas (considering all relevant levels)? How have they performed?
  4. What national instruments have been put in place to address corruption (both prevention and sanction) in the public service at the national level (including local). Are these efforts aligned to initiatives to advance SDG16?
  5. Is there a need for more integration across initiatives that aim to address corruption in different sectors and at different levels?
  6. As a whole, are current efforts to curb corruption well aligned with the “needs” that stem from the available evidence across SDG areas? What areas for improvement can be identified?
  7. How are countries monitoring and measuring progress and assessing the effectiveness of anti-corruption reforms?

Chapter 3: Budget and planning processes as enablers of SDG implementation

This chapter would focus on how planning and budget processes can support institutions that foster SDG implementation. The interface between the international and national levels (through development aid, but also international law) would be examined in much more detail than was done in the WPSR 2018.

Research questions:

  1. How can planning and budget processes support institutional features such as transparency, accountability, anti-corruption, inclusiveness of decision-making processes, access to information, and non-discrimination?
  2. What have been innovative experiences in using planning and budgeting processes in different SDG areas?
  3. What information systems need to be associated with planning and budget processes in order to enable integrated approaches to sustainable development?
  4. How does the interface between national and supra-national planning and budgeting processes perform? How well is it aligned with the SDGs, and what may be directions for improvement?

Chapter 4: Risk management in public administration and the SDGs

The chapter will focus on the importance for public management of adopting uncertainty- and risk-informed perspectives across the whole set of SDGs. While this has been advanced as an important tenet of public management in areas such as health pandemics, financial crises, economic shocks, natural disasters and climate change, less attention perhaps has been put on area such as food and agriculture, ecosystem conservation, and others; and the implications for public institutions and public administration have likely not been fleshed out in a systematic way. Strategies put in place by public administration to address risk in various areas also have impacts on vulnerability and the most vulnerable groups in society.

The chapter will investigate the extent to which the incorporation of a risk perspective in public administration has changed or could change strategies, plans and policies in different areas. It will illustrate mechanisms and tools that exist today in public administration at different levels to identify and manage risk in different SDG areas; how countries are using them in different combinations, and point to relevant literature assessing the performance of such instruments (in a sense that will have to be defined), individually and as systems, in different contexts and circumstances; and collect expert advice on possible gaps and areas for progress.

All SDG areas will be used to illustrate the chapter. In addition, the chapter will focus more specifically on some among the following areas: SDG 2 (agriculture and food); SDG 3 (health); SDG 8 (economic shocks); SDG 6(water); SDG 14 (oceans); SDG 17 (financial crises); and the climate-land-energy-water nexus at the national level.

Research questions:

  1. Why is it important to incorporate uncertainty and risk management in public administration for the SDGs? How does it change strategies, plans and policies?
  2. What are major uncertainties and risks across SDG areas? Are there correlations among them? Do some of them warrant joint management?
  3. What is the status of development of risk-informed perspectives in public administration in different SDG areas at the national level?
  4. How do alternative strategies for managing risk affect vulnerable groups, and what are good practices in terms of including vulnerable groups in risk management processes?
  5. How can risk perspectives inform the management of nexus areas (e.g. climate, land, energy and water) and the associated synergies and trade-offs?

Chapter 5: Institutions for food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture (SDG 2)

This chapter would start from a basic map of institutions in a broad sense (including laws, norms, standards, etc.) at three levels (global/regional, national, sub-national), classified by their contribution to the set of institutional principles studied in the report. It would then synthesize the literature on the performance of such institutions, individually and as a system, recognizing that performance itself can be defined in multiple, sometimes conflicting ways. Based on examples, it would also illustrate the tensions that arise from the adoption of combinations of institutions pertaining to different regimes, including gaps, duplications, overlaps, incoherence, etc. The choice of SDG 2 (food and agriculture) is based on the following criteria: Importance of all three levels and their interplay for outcomes, from international trade law to local food assistance programmes; Contrasts in outcomes across countries and regions; Centrality and universality of this issue across the ages.

Research questions:

  1. What are the different types of institutions that have been put in place at different levels and in different contexts to enhance effectiveness, transparency, information -sharing, accountability, and other institutional principles in the area of food and agriculture?
  2. What is the existing evidence in terms of effectiveness / performance of those institutions?
  3. How do alternative institutional arrangements in relation to food and nutrition affect vulnerable groups, and what are good institutional practices in terms of enhancing outcomes for vulnerable groups in relation to food security and nutrition?
  4. Based on available evidence, are existing institutional systems for food and nutrition conducive to delivering the SDGs?
  5. What are perceptible gaps in the system of institutions and incoherence in the way they work? What are tensions that exist among instruments and institutions that emanate from different regimes? What could be perspectives for resolving the current issues?

Chapter 6: Institutions for gender equality (SDG 5)

Description

As a cross-cutting issue, gender equality has been the focus of much attention well before the adoption of the SDGs. In particular, institutional aspects of gender equality have been studied from multiple angles and disciplines. The array of instruments that are used to foster gender equality is vast, and ranges from constitutional and legal approaches, to regulatory approaches, to work within organizations, to attempts at shifting social norms, to the use of instruments such as gender-based planning and budgeting. Also, due to the cross-cutting nature of gender equality, actions in specific goal areas (e.g. access to water and sanitation, education, access to energy, poverty eradication, economic empowerment) also have important impacts on progress towards gender equality.

The chapter will take stock of the various instruments that have been used in different contexts, and map the literature from different disciplines that has examined how different types of institutions have performed, both individually and in combinations. This will be done both for core SDG 5 targets, and also for selected SDG targets that have a strong gender component.

Research questions:

  1. What are typical instruments used to promote gender equality in a systemic way at the national level, and how do they map to different principles highlighted in SDG 16?
  2. Based on the literature, what has been the effectiveness of various types of such institutions in different contexts?
  3. What are typical instruments used to promote gender equality in SDG target areas that have a strong gender component, and how do they relate to public administration?
  4. Based on available evidence, how have institutions in specific sectors been conducive to progress towards gender equality, individually and as a system?
  5. How broadly are cross-cutting gender tools (e.g. gender-based budgeting) used in different sectors, and how successful has their use been in terms of changing outcomes for women and girls?
  6. Are there common opportunities or challenges that can inform national efforts to empower women and achieve gender equality? How does context influence the effectiveness of institutional approaches in this regard?
  7. What specific recommendations could be put forward in order for public administration to effectively support gender equality?

Chapter 7: Institutions for the SDGs in countries in special situations (SIDS, LDCs and LLDCs)

Description

The objective of this chapter would be to illustrate the variety of national situations with respect to the topics examined in the report, and to highlight specific challenges that countries in special situation (small island developing States, least developed countries and landlocked developing countries) face. Evidence gathered in other chapters will be mobilised to highlight commonalities, differences and contrasts among the different groups of countries, in relation to their sustainable development priorities.

Research questions:

  1. What are major challenges with respect to the topics examined in the report in SIDS, in LDCs, in LLDCs?
  2. How can public institutions, public service and public administration be strengthened to address specific challenges, and what are relevant successful examples in each group of countries?
  3. How could the international community support these countries’ efforts to enhance their institutions in support of the SDGs?

World Public Sector Report 2018


Working Together: Integration, Institutions and the Sustainable Development Goals

The World Public Sector Report 2018 (WPSR 2018) examines how governments, public institutions and public administration can foster integrated approaches to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. The report examines key challenges and opportunities for integrated approaches from the perspective of public administration, highlighting experiences from past decades both at the sectoral and cross-sectoral levels. It also examines how governments across the world have chosen to address existing interlinkages among the SDGs, and the implications of this for public administration and public institutions. The report thus aims to produce a comprehensive empirical analysis of policy integration for the SDGs at the national level, with a view to drawing lessons on how emerging initiatives aiming to policy and institutional integration might lead to long-term success in achieving the SDGs, in different developmental and governance contexts. Arguments made in the report are illustrated by concrete examples in relation to SDG goals, targets or clusters thereof. The report is built around two structuring dimensions: first, the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals as an integrated and indivisible set of goals and targets; and second, the role of the government and public service, including the institutional aspect, in fostering sustainable development.



Public administration experts comment on the World Public Sector Report 2018



World Public Sector Report 2015

Responsive and Accountable Public Governance

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World Public Sector Report 2010

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People Matter: Civic Engagement in Public Governance

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World Public Sector Report 2005

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World Public Sector Report 2001

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