The conference “Partnership for Civil Service Excellence” was held April 4 at the city’s Regional Hub of Civil Service.
Hub steering committee chairman Alikhan Baimenov, United Nations (UN) resident coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative in Kazakhstan Norimasa Shimomura, Kazakh Minister for Civil Service Affairs Talgat Donakov and head of the European Union (EU) delegation to Kazakhstan Traian Hristea opened the conference with introductory remarks.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Director for Public Governance and Territorial Development Rolf Alter highlighted the hub’s essential role in promoting professional civil service.
“Since its establishment, the hub has become a recognised multi-institutional platform for the incessant exchange of experience and knowledge in the field of civil service, aimed at stimulating the transformation of civil service in the region through capacity building and dissemination of innovative approaches in the field of civil service,” he said.
The ambassadors from Canada, France and South Korea also noted the hub’s significance in strengthening bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the civil service field.
The participants exchanged views and experience on civil service excellence and discussed ways of strengthening regional partnerships and developing expert networks.
The conference was attended by representatives from more than 30 countries, including such well-known civil service experts as American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) Executive Director William P. Shields Jr., head of the OECD working group against bribery Drago Kos, UNDP Global Centre for Public Services Excellence in Singapore director Max Everest-Phillips and Chinese Academy of Governance distinguished professor of public administration Song Shiming.
The participants had an opportunity to consider new and innovative solutions and experiences from different countries, as well as suggest ideas to further develop partnerships in the hub’s framework and capacity as an effective institutional platform for continued exchange of experience and knowledge.
Representatives of the Kazakh President’s Executive Office, Ministry for Civil Service Affairs and other state bodies, UNDP, OECD, ASPA, the EU and diplomatic missions accredited in the country, also attended the conference.
The Kazakh Agency of Civil Service Affairs and UNDP in Kazakhstan jointly inspired the proposal establishing the regional hub. It was envisioned as a multilateral platform engaged in exchanging experience and knowledge and uniting efforts to reform and build civil service capacity in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Caucasus and beyond the region.
A number of excellent hubs have been established across countries and continents with the purpose of building innovative and flexible systems to strengthen regional networking and cooperation. The entities favour the exchange of existing experience, training programmes and best practices. The hubs play an important role in enhancing bilateral and multilateral cooperation between nations, enabling them to share accumulated experience in developing civil service systems while supporting regional cooperation. Creating a platform based on leading international experience may be the most practical and effective joint solution.
The Astana hub is based on several premises, beginning with regional cooperation networks which will help increase the effectiveness of civil service systems in their participating countries. As a structure for cooperation and regional information exchange, the hub aspires to become a joint virtual work platform for all participants supporting countries in the region in building their research capacities, according to the organisation website.
BY MALIKA ORAZGALIYEVA in NATION on 8 APRIL 2016