The Astana Civil Service Hub (ACSH) held a Panel session “Public Administration Transformation in Post-Soviet countries: Diversity in the New Reality” within the Annual Conference of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
Opening the Panel session, Chairman of the ACSH Steering Committee Mr. Alikhan Baimenov stated that “the post-Soviet countries have undergone a long journey of major social, economic and political reforms, and their public administration systems have been largely modernized”. He also mentioned that there is the lack of evidence-based research and analyses of transformation and modernization practices in this region, and thus, “one of the Hub’s priorities is to research these processes in partnership with both practitioners and scholars”.
ASPA’s Executive Director Mr. William Shields welcoming participants mentioned that “the events of the past three years really have created a great deal with complexity and challenges to a professional and personal lives, but at the same time it really has created a great sense of urgency around the importance of the work of such organisation like the Astana Civil Service Hub.” He noted that the ASPA is very fortunate to be one of the Hub’s partners and to see the remarkable growth in such short period of time and especially in a time of great challenges.
On the main part of the Panel, heads and representatives of government agencies, academics and practitioners from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Latvia presented their countries’ experiences and perspectives on public administration transformation and provide their recommendations on improving the capacity and efficiency of public administration.
The session was further continued by the open discussions, during which distinguished Professor Emeritus and Member of the National Academy of Public Administration Dr. Chester A. Newland, the founder of the theory of motivation of civil servants Prof. James L. Perry, Senior Advisor and co-founder of the Centre for Economics and Public Administration Dr. Christine Leitner, and President of the Coordination Council of the Association of the HR Managers in Kazakhstan Ms. Gulmira Raissova shared their reflections and views on the public administration development and transformation in the region from their professional perspective, expertise and knowledge .
Dr. Newland mentioned that the Hub “reflects the important understanding of the transition from authoritarian state to the ideals of the democracy and rule of law”. He also outlined that the democracy and rule of law is “the hope, it is differential searching.” Meanwhile Prof. Perry outlined that “creating a supportive environment is all about meritocracy, this is what civil service reform is all about.” He mentioned that “we not only need a good career system and a valuable set of institutions and rules for politicians, but we also need valuable set of rules that better establish career civil service”.
The Panel session has brought together representatives of the academic community and public administration practitioners to discuss the progress made in public service over the past thirty years, as well as the challenges transition countries faced, lessons learnt and good practices to enhance government agencies capacity.
The same day, ASPA’s prestigious International Public Service Award was presented to Mr. Alikhan Baimenov and the ACSH during the International Assembly of the ASPA Annual Conference. The Award was presented by Dr. Allan Rosenbaum, President of the ASPA, Prof. Pan Suk Kim, International Director of the ASPA, Prof. James Perry, Chairman of the ASPA Selecting Committee, and Mr. William Shields, Executive Director of the ASPA.
Presenting the award, Prof. Perry said that “the American Society for Public Administration is pleased to present an International Public Administration Award to Mr. Alikhan Baimenov and the Astana Civil Service Hub for a sustained commitment and service internationally to the research and practice of public administration”.
Receiving the award, Mr. Baimenov noted that he is honoured to receive this Award from the most prominent professional association in the field of public administration and it is a joint achievement of the cooperative work of all Hub’s stakeholders, partners and the Secretariat.
The Astana Civil Service Hub, initiated by the Government of Kazakhstan and UNDP in 2013, today comprises 42 participating countries and more than 80 institutional partners. The ACSH is a multilateral platform for the exchange of knowledge and in the field of civil service with a flexible agenda that meets the demands of the participating countries.