The 57th session of the APO Governing Body Meeting in Bangkok in April 2015 approved the establishment of the APO COE on Public-sector Productivity (PSP) in the Philippines. Under the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), the center supports the APO in promoting and implementing PSP-related activities in the Asia-Pacific region. The COE on PSP has initiated projects to help member country governments improve their performance and productivity such as research, assessment of needs for future capacity-building initiatives, training of PSP practitioners so that they can lead capacity-building initiatives, introducing new knowledge, and continuing review of the APO PSP Framework. The COE was formally launched in November 2015 with the involvement of various stakeholders including those from the public sector. The launch highlighted the commitment of the Philippine government to supporting the APO COE on PSP under the auspices of the DAP.
The COE on PSP has the following key objectives:
- Promote the PSP movement in Asia and the Pacific;
- Help address common critical issues in PSP performance facing APO member countries;
- Foster cutting-edge research, facilitate training and knowledge sharing, and support outreach to APO member countries in raising the productivity of public-sector organizations (PSOs) in the region; and
- Serve as a hub of innovation and productivity.
Accomplishments and Outcomes
- Exploring new frontiers to enhance PSP: A research mission on Recent Trends in Public-sector Productivity and Performance in Europe was organized from 27 September to 2 October 2015 to look into new approaches, frameworks, and strategies of best-practice organizations in the public sector in that region. The research mission, including one chief expert from Australia and one expert from the COE, published its key findings to provide insights and information on recent trends in PSP that member countries could learn from.
- Undertaking need assessment in member countries: To ensure that projects are demand driven, a workshop on Need Assessment of Member Countries in Improving Public-sector Productivity and Performance was held from 8 to 10 December 2015 with 11 participants from eight member countries. The workshop was designed to assess the needs of member countries to enhance PSP so that appropriate interventions could be made and resources provided to develop and implement suitable programs and projects by the APO.
- Capacity-building initiatives: In order to achieve one of the objectives of the COE and in line with the results of the need assessment conducted, an expert meeting for the Development of a Course Manual on Developing Productivity Specialists in Public-sector Productivity was organized from 2 to 4 August 2016, with five experts from member countries and one chief expert from Canada attending. The meeting reviewed the key competencies of productivity practitioners for the public sector and designed a syllabus for a training course to develop productivity specialists for PSOs.
- Developing a training manual for capacity building in the public sector: The COE has developed a training manual on Developing Productivity Specialists in Public-sector Productivity, which is a foundation course for its capacity-building initiatives for the sector in APO member countries. The manual will be pilot tested and proposed as a regular training activity of the APO through the COE.
- Measurement of productivity in the public sector: The COE introduced the concepts of and approaches to measuring PSP through a workshop on Measurement of Productivity in the Public Sector held from 9 to 13 November 2015, attended by 24 participants from 15 member countries. The workshop also discussed different indicators for measuring productivity in the public sector.
- Review of the APO PSP Framework: A workshop on Performance Management for the Public Sector was held from 26 to 30 September 2016 with the aim of reexamining APO initiatives on PSP, especially under the PSP Framework developed. Twenty-four participants from 13 member countries shared best practices and success stories in terms of government policies that support performance management in the public sector.
- Hosting of high-level study missions from Thailand and Mongolia: The COE hosted a mission from Thailand from 20 to 22 June and one from Mongolia from 19 to 21 September 2016 to study PSP and related programs implemented by the DAP. The mission was appreciated by the delegates as an opportunity to understand the initiatives of the Philippine government to improve productivity at all levels, from national government agencies to local government units.