Voices from Eurasia

Public administration reform

Creating Islands of Integrity around the Black Sea

05 Sep 2017 by Magdalena Nowakowska, Communications specialist, UNDP Georgia

Islands have been emerging recently around Eastern and Central Europe. But they’re not common islands at all - they are actually cities. We see these cities standing out as “island” enclaves of accountability and transparency in not-so-crystal-clear waters: systems of governance polluted by corruption. Post-communist countries, like Ukraine and Moldova, still struggle to filter malicious practices out of their systems. It’s difficult to get rid of the infamous soviet legacy, where public servants were largely serving their own pockets, rather than public interest. Georgia, known as the Black Sea region’s top reformer, made a significant leap 10 years ago. It substantially decreased corruption levels in the public sector by conducting a thorough reform of administration and implementing institutional methods to ensure transparency. But has this change been sustainable? And what are the next steps in a journey to decreasing corruption throughout the region? … Read more

Prototyping the government of the future in Armenia

24 Jan 2017 by Marina Mkhitaryan, Max Perry-Wilson, Hasmik Soghomonyan

Innovation
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. … Read more

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