Foresight & Innovation for Public Service Excellence
Project Status: On-going
Given the highly globalized, interconnected, and unpredictable environment the world is currently in, a future-ready Sri Lanka is imperative when envisioning a sustainable country working towards achieving the 2030 Agenda. In this process, it is vital to identify and acknowledge the role of an effective and forward-thinking public sector.
Towards this end, Citra has partnered with the Ministry of Public Administration and the Presidential Secretariat to co-develop a comprehensive programme aimed at equipping select public sector officials with skills and tools necessary to become catalytic in Sri Lanka’s development efforts. Additionally, this programme will also highlight and further empower innovative champions already working within the public sector. The programme will also be enriched with technical expertise from the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA), along with Nesta, an innovation facility in the UK, who are pioneers in public sector innovation globally.
UNDP and Nesta Partnership
UNDP is a leading development agency of the United Nations system that partners with countries in strengthening their institutions and supporting democratic governance. Since 1967, UNDP has worked in Sri Lanka as a key development partner, working to achieve sustainable human development in economic, social and environmental fronts, as well as playing a key role in boosting public sector performance.
It supported the Government of Sri Lanka’s efforts to improve its monitoring of aid flows (as identified in the Paris agenda) through the establishment of the Integrated National Data Information System (INDIS), which strengthens accountability of fund utilization and ultimately, the management of aid. In supporting governance structures, UNDP has been building the capacities of the central and de-concentrated arms of government, as well as the locally elected bodies. These are now in a strengthened position to plan and coordinate their development activities, using multiple sources of information, and adopting best practices for building design and land use. Overall, UNDP has also built a close relationship with Government agencies and other concerned institutions on collaborative work carried out under the different thematic areas of interest to both.
In working towards assisting public service delivery, the Sri Lanka office takes successful experiences from the UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence in Singapore. Operational since December 2012, this unique collaboration between UNDP and the Government of Singapore is a global leader in its field, and has been a driving force behind the nation’s rapid economic and social successes. Singapore’s achievements provide inspiration for others seeking to build a professional public service with integrity, diversity and a focus on clients and results.
In addition to seeking the global expertise within the UNDP networks, it will also bring in a global leader in innovation work, Nesta. It supports new ideas to take-on current challenges in the world by empowering people to have the right tools to find solutions to these issues and shape a better future for the next generation
Nesta works with a combination of partners in over 40 countries around the world, bringing together national governments, global technology firms, community groups and grass root level organizations all under one goal. They focus on practical projects to promote innovation for the public benefit, and has extensive successes in introducing innovation techniques to governments around the world.
The programme will follow an independent and rigorous selection programme where 5 officials from each of the 6 All Island Services under the purview of the Ministry will be selected at a time. These 6 Services include: Administrative, Accountancy, Architectural, Planning, Engineering and Scientific services. The programme will also be open only to mid-level managerial officers with 10 to 15 years of professional experience in the public sector. Selection will be based on a written assessment, and an interview.
The programme will follow a 5-day residential training model where resource personnel from Nesta will facilitate a tailor-made and customized programme that is specifically targeting the needs of the public sector of our country. The components will include global leadership, problem solving methodologies, innovation in development, integrated solutions, understanding user journey, and design-thinking strategies, and other such tools to strengthen the officials.
After the completion of the programme, the officials will be convened for a 2-day recap session after 3 months to share their experiences in using these techniques and tools in their everyday processes. This will be guarantee the participants utilizing the skills they gain through the initial programme, and in so doing contribute towards the larger objective of this programme itself.
The officials successfully completing the residential training and participating in the recap session subsequently will be duly recognized at an awards ceremony with the participation of high-level government officials.
Additionally, these officials will have the opportunity to engage closely with Citra and its initiatives in the future and continue to be exposed to new and innovative learnings facilitated through Citra’s partner network.
Stay tuned for more updates on this as we near the start of the programme in October!