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The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) and Asian Productivity Organization (APO) organized a conference on Public-sector Productivity: Creating an Agile and Productive Public Sector in the New Era of Governance, 18 November. The conference explored new areas shaping the future of the public sector and its productivity while addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Forty-one participants from nine APO member economies attended, along with three resource persons, one from Japan and two from Spain, who discussed emerging technologies and innovations that could enhance public service delivery under the new normal.
Governments continue to manage crises as they respond to the socioeconomic consequences of COVID-19 and prepare for the transition to a postpandemic world. The concept of “doing more with less” is well known in the public sector, but COVID-19 has pushed this concept to a new extreme. With reduced tax revenues, emergency spending, the need to cut costs, and increasingly higher demand for services, public-sector entities must think fundamentally differently about how services are delivered and how to ensure that public-sector financing is resilient.
The conference included sessions on the utilization of new technologies, innovations, and tools under the new normal for the public sector; the nature of public services in the age of socioenvironmental extremes; designing and implementing productivity improvement initiatives; and reevaluating the effects of environmental regulations on innovation and productivity. Good practices and regulatory approaches were shared by the resource persons to assist APO members in setting policies on climate change mitigation, adaptation, and actions to ensure the resilience of their services and operations. They also shared the experiences of public-sector organizations in developing and implementing productivity improvement initiatives. The conference concluded with a panel discussion on New Challenges Faced by the Public Sector.