24 Jan 2017by Marina Mkhitaryan, Max Perry-Wilson, Hasmik Soghomonyan
No matter where you live, reforming how the public sector operates is a difficult task. How do we ensure that public services are designed to be as effective and accessible as possible? How do we make government agile and responsive in the face of black swans and wicked challenges? How do we develop a bureaucracy that handles a myriad of tasks as efficiently as possible? In post-Soviet contexts, this challenge is even greater. In the Soviet era, a top-down hierarchy rarely rewarded risk-taking and experimentation, a sentiment that is still too common today. Our own research in Armenia shows that experts fear “rocking the boat” with new ideas without say-so from a higher-up. This results in a channel of creativity that flows only from the top down, leading to services that do not account for citizens’ voices. After all, public sector innovation is not only about listening to citizens’ voices – it is also about optimising working process and getting your big bureaucracy to work effectively and efficiently. …
31 Mar 2016by Claire Medina, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Malawi
I cringe every time I think of my TEDx talk.
What those on stage in California make seem effortless is actually the result of months of work: an incredibly difficult process of condensing thousands of ideas into one simple message. For me, this was all the more difficult because I am a bureaucrat. Advocate, promote and represent are verbs in my job description but “give an inspiring talk without notes or slides on a difficult development topic in front of hundreds of people which will be posted online to be seen by many more” is not – at least not until now. …