Through partnerships with leading think-tanks, universities, experts and practitioners, the Centre explored trends and innovation in public service and brought to light new knowledge relevant to countries at the development frontline.
UNDP works in close partnership with Governments, making public service an essential part of all our activities and key in achieving our objectives. The Global Centre for Public Service Excellence (GCPSE) aimed to both enrich the wide-ranging development debate and at the same time focus on core issues to offer a cohesive theory of change.
Building an effective interface between the administrative, political and societal spheres is only possible when trust and accountability permeate this space. Drivers of integrity and service orientation will then propel public service towards excellence.
Achieving “excellence” in public service requires effective political economy dynamics, a strong sense of purpose, a clear vision and pragmatic flexibility. These four essential determinants are fundamental to successful sustained development and were the cornerstones of the GCPSE agenda as a catalyst of change:
- Cooperation between political and administrative leadership;
- Motivation of public service officials;
- Adaptive Governance - long-term planning, foresight & complexity;
- Innovation in Public Service.
From September 2013 to August 2018, GCPSE acted as a evidence hub on these issues and published a broad set of knowledge products (available on the library pages). The project concluded with a capstone event at which its final publication was released:
This book features 17 stories of Public Service Excellence from around the globe and encapsulates the message of the GCPSE project - that an effective and inclusive public service is essential to the success of the 2030 Agenda.
A series of Discussion Papers were produced to inform the events of the Centre and to build up evidence on what works in Public Service. The following papers are available in short and long versions:
- Foresight as a Strategic Long-Term Planning Tool for Developing Countries
- Complexity in Small Island Developing States
- Social Innovation for Public Service Excellence
- Design Thinking for Public Service Excellence
- Motivation of Public Service Officials
- Collaborative Capacity in Public Service Delivery
- From Old Public Administration to the New Public Service
- Stewardship of the Future - Using Foresight in 21st Century Governance
- The SDGs and New Public Passion
- Meritocracy for Public Service Excellence
- Is the Private Sector more Efficient?
- Citizen Engagement in Service Delivery
- New Public Passion - Reflections from New Zealand on Public Service Reform
- Foresight Manual - Empowered Futures for the 2030 Agenda
- Framing Policies for the Digital Economy - Towards Policy Frameworks in the Asia-Pacific
The Centre also published a series of Notes on Public Service Excellence as well as Working Papers for which it invited development experts and practitioners to put forward ideas and approaches that should inform the debate on achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The papers are available here:
- From New Public Management to New Public Passion (Notes on Public Service Excellence - Issue 1)
- Public Service Motivation and the SDGs - An unacknowledged crisis? (Notes on Public Service Excellence - Issue 2)
- Work in the Public Service of the Future
- Integrating Civil Service Reform with Decentralisation (Case Study: Pakistan)
- Africa and Foresight: Better Futures in Development
Horizon Scanning Papers: In an effort to scope out global trends, challenges and opportunities in the public service and public administration reform, an eminent academic and a well-respected senior civil servant were asked to write horizon scanning papers. The papers informed the deliberations at the Centre’s first Public Service Dialogue, organised on 5th March 2013 at Singapore.
- Public Service Management and the Post-2015 Agenda
- Public Service Reforms - Trends, Challenges and Opportunities
The Centre drew on UNDP’s global network of: country offices, policy advisers and partnerships with governments, civil society, the private sector and academia. It also involved other UNDP global centres that focus on themes such as governance, sustainable development, and private sector development.
From 2015 to 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).
The EIP aims to support countries in strengthening their public sector institutions through initiatives such as Peer-to-Peer Learning. Please visit the EIP website for more information, including the its EIP Peer-to-Peer Learning Guide.