This article asks (1) what megatrends are likely to significantly influence public sector roles and in what ways and (2) how might higher education institutions better…
This article asks (1) what megatrends are likely to significantly influence public sector roles and in what ways and (2) how might higher education institutions better prepare public sector leaders for the future shaped by these trends. While public sector leadership in every region, country and locality is unique, they are exposed to the same set of global megatrends. Therefore, this article teases out general insights, observations and implications for public sector leaders and educators by focusing on the effects of these trends.
The article is informed by a review and synthesis of relevant academic and practitioner sources and is complemented by the authors' survey (n = 64) of public affairs practitioners and educators. The survey is not representative and is used to supplement other inferences from the literature.
The key megatrends reshaping public sector jobs include demographic and climate changes, technological advances and deepening social fragmentation. The confluence of such trends has increasingly strained the public sector's capacity to respond to present challenges, let alone prepare for the future. The future public sector leaders can benefit from new competencies, including ability to think systematically, see the big picture and ability to solve complex problems. Ideally, they would also have a strong capacity to foster collaboration and cohesion among diverse stakeholders, to model ethical and inclusive behavior, to accommodate, facilitate and bridge competing and conflicting viewpoints and become creative innovators and doers who can operate in increasingly complex environments, while navigating and reshaping their governments' outdated institutional structures.
The key trends reshaping public sector jobs include environmental, demographic and technological factors and deepening social fragmentation. The confluence of such factors has increasingly strained the public sector's capacity to respond to present challenges, let alone prepare for the future. The authors observe that the future of public sector practitioners may benefit from new competencies including digital and data fluency, high emotional intelligence, who are also big picture thinkers who understand global megatrends and their impacts locally. Ideally, they would have a strong capacity to foster cohesion among fragmented and polarized communities, to model ethical and inclusive behavior, to accommodate, facilitate and bridge diverse viewpoints and become creative innovators and doers who can operate in increasingly complex environments, while navigating and reshaping their governments' outdated institutional structures.
The megatrends listed above have significant implications for public sector leaders and educators who train them.
There is a new awareness about the need to train public sector workers on diversity and inclusion issues. This paper discusses global trends through this lens.
This synthesis of the literature from academic and practitioner sources, supplemented with the original survey of educators and professionals, intends to open up a conversation about the future of public affairs leadership and education.
Mahabat Baimyrzaeva is an assistant professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, a graduate school of Middlebury College. She holds a doctoral degree in comparative public administration and international development from the School of Policy, Planning, and Development at the University of Southern California, an MA degree in public administration from the University of Hawaii, and a diploma in international law from International University of Kyrgyzstan. She also holds Certificate in Leadership and Culture from East-West Center, Honolulu, and Certificate in International Management from Pacific Asian Management Institute, College of Business Administration, University of Hawaii. Her research and teaching interests include institutional reform and development, public sector/governance reform, civil service reform, corruption, organizational management and capacity building, policy analysis, innovations in participatory policy processes, international development, international organizations, as well as innovative teaching and learning methods. While she primarily focuses on Kyrgyzstan's governance reforms, her research interests also include other countries in Central Asia and former Soviet Union. Prior to joining the Monterey Institute, Mahabat held various positions in nonprofit organizations in Kyrgyzstan working on development, humanitarian assistance, and institutional capacity building and also worked as a teaching associate at the University of Southern California.
The requirements for preparation and adoption of laws are elaborated in the Law on Legislative Acts, last amended in 2011. Preparation of bills, according to this law, generally follows the yearly plan of legislative activities, prepared by the cabinet. The plan should be informed by the president's policy statements, proposals from the members of parliament, other government agencies, and representatives of research and civil-society organizations (Article 18 of the law). The bills are prepared, as mentioned above, primarily by relevant ministries and agencies. The law stipulates that the legislative drafts pertaining to certain issues must be subjected to legal, rights, gender, environmental, anticorruption, and other types of scientific expert analysis, depending on the nature of the subject at hand (Article 20). These issues include: constitutional rights and freedoms and responsibilities of citizens, legal status of nonprofit organizations and the mass media, state budget, taxes, environmental security, and regulation of criminal and entrepreneurial activities. The purpose of the analysis is to ensure the draft's quality, effectiveness, reasonableness, timeliness, and compliance with other higher-order legislative documents, as well as its potential negative side effects. To ensure such expertise, the governmental body drafting the bill can invite scientists and specialists from other countries or request international organizations to conduct analysis; individuals who are not involved in the drafting of the bill should conduct such expert analysis (Article 20, emphasis added). The findings of the analysis should be included in the supporting justification to the bill. The bills that directly affect the interests of citizens and entities, including those regulating entrepreneurial activities, must go through a public hearing. The hearing is accomplished by posting a set of documents including (1) the bill, (2) the rationale for the bill/policy, (3) calculations and statistical information, (4) projections, (5) the list of individuals and entities involved in drafting it, and (6) other relevant information that is displayed on the web site of the drafting entity (or in the mass media if it has no web site) for at least one month. The input gathered as a result of this “public hearing” process is then summarized and integrated, and/or the reasons for not integrating the input are elaborated on in the supporting justification document to the bill (Articles 22–23).
How can we design and redesign more effective, fair, and enforceable government institutions? By government institutions, I mean the entire set of rules and organizations that enables governments to perform their functions. In government, the political machinery, such as the electoral system, tends to get the spotlight, but, in reality, this constitutes only small portion. Meanwhile, the largest portion of government machinery – the public-administration system – has been given short shrift. It has not been sufficiently researched, and reformers do not clearly understand how to improve it. This book is concerned with the reform of public-administration institutions and deals with political institutions only to the extent the latter shape the former.
The first part of the book relies on the data collected by the author from leading donors’ official documents, combined with independent accounts of relevant events and ideas from other scholars, experts, and practitioners. The study employed a combination of coding (the main categorizing strategy in qualitative research) and contextualizing strategies to analyze this data. In qualitative design the goal of coding is not to produce counts of items, but “to ‘fracture’ the data and rearrange it into categories that facilitate comparison between items in the same category and between categories” (Fankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 2000, p. 89). Such categorization of the data helps to organize, analyze, and retrieve the data, and identify themes that assist in the understanding of the subject of study (ibid.).
Kyrgyzstan's government policies are reflected in its national programs, strategies, and concept papers (conceptcii), which are supposed to inform various government…
Kyrgyzstan's government policies are reflected in its national programs, strategies, and concept papers (conceptcii), which are supposed to inform various government bodies’ work. In most cases, these documents are implemented through drafting and adoption of laws and other legislative documents, including by laws of the cabinet, ministries, and other government entities. There are no formal requirements for the content and process of creating programs, strategies, and concept papers. They often have national scope, although they can be either generic or focused on specific policy areas. Generic policy documents include several national development strategies, such as the National Poverty Reduction Strategy 2003–2005 promoted by Akaev and the 2009 National Development Strategy adopted during Bakiev's term. The current government is working on a new medium-term development strategy. Examples of policy documents focused on specific policy areas include “Health,” a national program for 2012–2016, which the Ministry of Health is currently drafting. Another example is Kyrgyzstan's Youth Policy – drafted by the Youth Ministry with contributions from local experts – which was released for public discussion through media and round tables. The next section reviews how such policies are made, implemented, and assessed.
The conceptual framework of institutions proposed here is not entirely new. While it shares common features with the early institutionalists’ frameworks, it also…
The conceptual framework of institutions proposed here is not entirely new. While it shares common features with the early institutionalists’ frameworks, it also introduces some original insights. What is new is that this framework identifies the key components of institutions and approaches as an open organic system with complex dynamics among its components rather than a static mechanism operating in a vacuum. The two additional models presented in the next section will help us better understand how these components of institutions are linked, how they interact, and how institutions are enforced. The framework brings together and builds on empirical evidence and theoretical scholarship from the different disciplines discussed in the previous and current chapters.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan found itself cut out from Moscow's subsidies that constituted 10% of its GDP at that time (World Bank, 2003)…
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan found itself cut out from Moscow's subsidies that constituted 10% of its GDP at that time (World Bank, 2003). Kyrgyzstan's economy went into severe crisis as it was interwoven into the economic infrastructure of the other republics of the former Soviet Union, which were also disintegrating. Hence, the most urgent issue on the agenda of the government and donors was economic recovery and stabilization. Partly because of this excessive external economic dependency, the new government was forced to seek out funds from donors in exchange for a commitment to a series of institutional reforms.
During this wave of reforms, the United States emerged as the leading nation shaping reforms in developing countries. All other economically advanced nations were…
During this wave of reforms, the United States emerged as the leading nation shaping reforms in developing countries. All other economically advanced nations were preoccupied with their postwar reconstruction, while the United States was bound to fulfill its promises to free the colonies of both its enemies at that time (Germany, Japan, and Italy) and its allies (Great Britain, France, Holland, and Belgium). The United States sent technical and professional advisers to countries that requested its help to replace their colonial administrations with locally designed arrangements. The United States was also particularly well placed to advise less-developed countries, considering the successful institutional reforms and recovery it had led in postwar Germany and Japan. While conditions in underdeveloped countries – as discussed below – were very different from those in Germany and Japan, the United States saw their postwar successes as evidence that such reforms might also help less-developed nations. Finally, the advent of the Cold War that launched a global competition for spheres of influence also contributed to the fact that the United States became the leading promoter of reforms in developing countries. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ford Foundation were the key donors funding and designing development programs abroad in this period.