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Compendium of Innovative Practices in Public Governance and Administration for Sustainable Development

image of Compendium of Innovative Practices in Public Governance and Administration for Sustainable Development

In September 2015 the United Nations Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a vision for transforming the world by ending poverty, transforming societies and protecting the planet. At the heart of the 2030 Agenda are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets covering areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet - people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. From reaching social and economic equality to combating climate change, the SDGs cannot be achieved without determined and sustained efforts from public institutions. More than ever, continuous innovation and integrated approaches are needed. The critical role of public institutions in realizing the SDGs is highlighted in the Goal 16 which is calls for building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.This Compendium of Innovative Practices in Public Governance and Administration for Sustainable Development explores three shifts in government-society interactions that have had significant impact on public administration and public service. These are the (i) demand for more people-centered governance, (ii) greater use of ICT technologies in public sector, and (iii) demand for high-quality human resources in public sector to deal with increasingly more complex development imperatives. The Compendium contains both substantive analysis and case studies on these three important themes. It can function as a useful reference and illustrate that promoting innovative practices in public service delivery is vital for achieving the sustainable development goals and leaving no one behind.

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The human factor – changes in capacity needs and renewed demand for excellence

“What we need to develop is people, not things”, mentioned former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, echoing the words of president Kagame of Rwanda about people being “the key ingredient of [a] country’s social and economic transformation”. People shape development vision and create institutions to implement it. Human resources determine the quality, strength and performance of institutions and underpin good governance as a condition sine qua non of a supportive framework for the sustainable development goals (SDGs), of which SDG 16 specifically calls for building “effective, accountable and transparent institutions”. The goal also promotes responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making which require “human resources [in public institutions] equipped with skills and capacities to deliver sustainable development”, as underscored by the UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon.

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