About the Centre

 An officer and rescue/recovery dog participate in a disaster preparedness and emergency response simulation exercise as part of UNDP Mongolia's programme on increasing disaster risk management capacity in local municipalities. (Photo: Eskender Debebe, UNDP)

The Global Centre for Public Service Excellence (GCPSE) was one of six UNDP Global Policy Centres and operated from 2012 until 2018 as a collaboration of the Government of Singapore and UNDP.  As a global leader in public service excellence – the driving force behind Singapore’s rapid economic and social successes – the city-state attracts the attention from many Governments wanting to learn more about its transformation journey. Its achievements provide inspiration for others seeking to build a professional public service with integrity, diversity and a focus on clients and results.

As part of its work, the GCPSE promoted an impartial and meritocratic public service able to build citizens’ trust by implementing incremental reform through continuous learning. Through its evidence building activities the Centre produced a series of publications building a body of knowledge on themes, such as public service innovation, strategic foresight, motivation of public officials and public sector reform.

The GCPSE convened numerous events bringing together officials, leaders, policy-makers and experts together to debate and collaborate on addressing the public challenges of the day. A wide range of partnerships and collaborations with academic, public and private sector institutions have resulted in joint initiatives in Singapore and at country-level, covering a wide range of developing country contexts on all continents.

Evidence Hub

As an evidence hub, the Centre looked at trends and innovation in the public service and shares new knowledge and relevant insights.  The Centre published 20 studies and discussion papers as well as several working papers and short notes on Public Service Excellence. Two of its booklets feature Singapore’s Development & Public Service Story. A regular e-newsletter called The Raffles Review featured interesting insights from academia and think tanks and GCPSE’s manuals and toolkit on Strategic Foresight were put together to inform practical application of the Centre’s work.

Convening Hub

As a convening hub, the Centre offered a forum for public service leaders, policy makers and development experts to come together and share ideas, knowledge and experience.  The Centre also provided a safe space a different kind of conversation through various capacity development workshops, dialogues and debates as well as peer-to-peer learning activities.  The Centre designed and delivered over 90 conferences, capacity building workshops, talks and workshops with more than 3,700 participants.

Closing Event

On the occasion of the project's successful completion, a Capstone Conference was organised to bring together passionate and like-minded practitioners and advocates of public service excellence and to review the key achievements of the Centre for the last six years.  The Centre convened over 25 both international and local speakers, development partners and advocates of public service excellence at the 2-day conference, to share insights on achieving 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, Public Service Reform and the changing landscape of Public Service Delivery.

The conference highlighted that UNDP and Singapore should build on the successes of GCPSE to continue contributing to global knowledge, advocacy and policy support to UNDP country offices partners to accelerate the progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development.

Our Activities

You can read more about our work in our Annual Reports (see side column) and under the: Evidence Hub and Convening Hub sections of this website.

Our Partners

The Centre forged numerous partnerships with other centres of excellence, universities, think-tanks, and civil society organisations. It reached out across the UN to create issue-based partnerships with other UNDP Global Centres, Regional Service Centres, and UN Centres for research and learning.

From 2015 until 2018 the Centre jointly managed the Secretariat of the Effective Institutions Platform (with the OECD). The platform is a partnership of more than 60 countries and organisations (multilateral and bilateral development agencies, civil society, think tanks) which aims to support countries in strengthening their public sector institutions through initiatives such as Peer-to-Peer Learning.


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