The three pillars of public service: Meritocracy. Integrity. Innovation.

May 17, 2023
Photo: Astana Civil Service Hub

Representatives of 30 countries will discuss problems and the prospects of civil service development at the annual conference of the Astana Civil Service Hub on "Meritocracy from 17-19 May 2023. Integrity. Innovation". The conference will also present the results of the Hub's last ten studies on topical issues of public administration.

Alikhan Baimenov, Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Astana Public Service Hub, Larbi Djaсta, UN Under-Secretary-General, Chair of the UN International Civil Service Commission, Darkhan Zhazykbaev, Chair of the Agency for Civil Service Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Askhat Zhumagali, Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Katarzyna Wawiernia, UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan, Elsa Pilichowski, Director of the OECD Public Governance Directorate, Pan Suk Kim, former Minister of Personnel Management of the Republic of Korea and International Director of the American Society for Public Administration, addressed the opening ceremony of the conference. 

Welcoming remarks to the participants were also made by the heads of authorized bodies in the field of state and anti-corruption services of Azerbaijan, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, the Philippines, the Secretaries General of the Eastern Regional and African Public Administration Associations and others.

Photo: Astana Civil Service Hub

In his speech, Alikhan Baimenov stated that "the pandemic showed that, at critical moments, the eyes of citizens are rightly turned towards the state, waiting for timely and effective solutions. The latter, in turn, is governed by both professionalism and openness, as well as by the application of the best international practices for the benefit of their country. This also determines the relevance of the Hub's work.

The keynote speeches at the plenary session, entitled "Ideas and Reflections from Professionals", were delivered by Drago Kos, former chairperson of the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions, and Pan Suk Kim, Rex Facer (USA), and Victor Guzun (Estonia).

At the first panel session "Meritocracy in Action: Best Practices and Experience of the Hub Member Countries", heads and representatives of authorized bodies from Belgium, Canada, Kazakhstan  and Republic of Korea, spoke about their achievements in this area. In his speech the founder of the theory of motivation of civil servants, J. Perry (USA), emphasized the connection between meritocracy and government efficiency. According to him, appointment and promotion on merit, impartiality in the civil service system not only reduce corruption and government spending, but are also an important lever of economic growth of the country.

At a separate session, ten new Hub studies were presented covering such important areas of the civil service as talent management, remuneration, debureaucratization and others. In total, the Hub has undertaken more than 70 studies on public administration and civil service, which were presented at the appropriate exposition.

The conference also included a session on anti-corruption and strengthening ethics, where Slovenia's Chief Commissioner for the Prevention of Corruption, Robert Schumi, Philippine Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, Benjamin Abalos, Zhu Lingjun, head of the Anti-Corruption Research Center of the Chinese National Academy of Administration, and representatives from several other countries will share their experiences and perspectives.

For the first time in the framework of the conference there will be a round table, "Cultural and civilizational aspects of public administration development: from Lagash and Al-Farabi to the present day", where experts from Kazakhstan, Turkey and Uzbekistan will talk about the works of Al-Farabi, Tamerlane, Alikhan Bokeikhan and Mustafa Shokai in the context of the development of public administration.

Another special session will present the results of a unique study: an analysis of 15 channels of communication with the public, as well as a presentation by Ani Sirbiladze, a digital media expert from Georgia.

On the third day of the conference, participants will learn how the digitalization of the HR civil service in the Republic of Korea and Central Asian countries is proceeding apace. 

A regional seminar on change management for digital transformation of public administration will be held in parallel for two days. Leading practitioners and international experts from the Republic of Korea, the World Bank and the OECD will share change management tools and methodologies with civil servants from seven countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. The seminar is held within the framework of a joint project of the Government of the Republic of Korea, the Astana Civil Service Hub and UNDP.

In the final session, representatives from academies and schools of government will discuss current issues in teaching public administration and conducting research.

Photo: Astana Civil Service Hub

About 300 participants from over 100 organizations and 30 countries are taking part in the conference. The conference organizers are: the Astana Civil Service Hub, UNDP in Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan Civil Service Agency and Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The Astana Civil Service Hub, established at the initiative of the Government of Kazakhstan and UNDP in 2013, currently includes 43 participating countries and over 80 institutional partners. In 10 years, the Hub has established itself as a global platform for building the institutional and human capacity of the civil service, and today it is the driver of discussions on strengthening meritocracy, digitalization of personnel management, prevention of corruption, strengthening ethics, building effective interaction with society, on the role of cultural and civilizational aspects and public administration teaching in enhancing the effectiveness of civil service. 

For more information, visit the website of the Astana Civil Service Hub: