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Making public sectors in APO member economies future ready

7 Nov 2017

A workshop in Manila aims to instill forward-looking approaches to planning and performance management in public-sector organizations.

The Asian Productivity Organization (APO) is reexamining steps to improve government performance in member countries by aligning individual, team, and organizational objectives and results to reflect the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of the changing world order. As part of its initiatives to strengthen performance management frameworks and related measurement elements to create the public-sector organizations of the future, the APO is organizing a workshop on Performance Management for the Public Sector in Manila, 6–10 November 2017.

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The five-day workshop conducted in collaboration with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) is attended by 22 participants from 12 APO member economies, including mid- to senior-level professionals and government officials as well as policymakers involved in performance management and organizational planning in central and local government units. It aims to show how to incorporate strategic, longer-term perspectives when designing performance management systems for government organizations, including the use of IT and emerging technologies, for making informed decisions, implementing projects, and monitoring results.

One reason why performance management remains relevant as a tool to enhance public-sector efficiency is that it aligns stakeholder aspirations and organizational culture with the ever-changing nature of government services and resources available to deliver them to citizens. Success in meeting citizens’ needs depends on sufficient organizational flexibility to remain relevant in the face of changes affecting their demands. This is becoming more important with the unprecedented changes in the external environment faced by the public sector. Instilling a longer-term perspective, for example, particularly at the planning and design stage, can increase the durability of strategies and reduce uncertainty in the future.

Delivering the opening remarks at the workshop, DAP President and CEO Dr. Elba S. Cruz emphasized the need for government institutions and officials to anticipate the unprecedented levels of change the world must now adapt to by prioritizing new approaches to performing their duties to serve citizens. Stressing that there was an urgent need to instill foresight capabilities in policymaking processes, she pointed out that reliance on technologies like big data in designing public policies aligned with citizens’ needs and challenges was now inevitable, while managing talent to nurture leaders, ensure innovation, and manage change successfully.

The workshop is being facilitated by APO Secretariat Industry Department Program Officer Arsyoni Buana and three international experts: Certified Balanced Scorecard Trainer Dr. Archana Upadhyay, India; Performance Management Consultant Raluca Vintila, KPI Institute, Australia; and Professor of Public Policy Dr. Leslie A. Pal, Carleton University, Canada. In his presentation, Buana outlined the latest developments in performance management for the public sector and the new APO approach to strategic planning for 21st-century organizations, while emphasizing the need to integrate foresight when designing performance management systems for government units.

During the workshop, participants will discuss how to align available information, measures, goals, priorities, and activities with the objectives and functions of government to ensure citizens’ well-being. They will also examine approaches to sustain performance management practices when transforming organizations and their management and policy-making processes.

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