2018 KRI-OPDC Syposium and Regional Workshop

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The KRI-OPDC Symposium and Regional Workshop in 2018 on “State Capacity for Public Sector Reform and National Development in Southeast Asia and Korea” was held on 26 April in Ha Noi.

  The 2018 KRI-OPDC Symposium and Regional workshop (hereafter called in brief the Symposium) waass jointly chaired by the Institute for State Organizational Sciences of the Ministry of Home Affairs of Vietnam (ISOS-MOHA), the Korea Research Institute of the University of New South Wales – Australia (KRI@UNSW) and the Office of Public Sector Development Commission (OPDC).

Vice Minister of Ministry of Home Affairs of Vietnam,
Professor Associate, Dr. Trieu Van Cuong on his opening remark at the Symposium

The 2018 KRI-OPDC Reform Policy Symposium and Regional Workshop  is one in the series of Symposiums, which devotes to share the valuable experiences ofthe Southeast Asian countries and Korea, and to bring these experiences into practice during the process of public sector reform and state capacity improvements under the sponsorship of the Academy of Korean Studies of the Republic of Korea.

Participation to the Symposium included policy-makers, experts and researchers from Vietnam and ASEAN country members (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand) and Australia, the Republic of Korean.

The goal of this Regional Workshop, as said by Ms. Areepan Charoensuk, Deputy Secretary-General of the Office of Public Sector Development Commission (OPDC) of Thailand, was to establish the active and fruitful dialogue of how design thinking and system thinking approaches can help to enhance public service delivery and safeguard sustainable and inclusive growth for nations in the long run.

“The ultimate purpose of this Symposium is to alert and highlight the importance of a comprehensive framework for service design and co-creation methods. It is as an essential part of good governance … to enhance the quality of the government activities”, said Ms. Areepan Charoensuk.

According to Dr Seung-Ho Kwon, Executive Director of the Korea Research Insitute in the University of New South Wales, Australia, this Symposium was to address the vital issue of comparative public policy as key drivers of national development. This event would also strengthen the research network and partnership, and promote future collaboration and friendship among governments, public institutions and researchers in Southeast Asia and Korea. 

In his chairman speech, Dr. Tran Van Ngoi, Director – General of the Institute for State Organizational Sciences under the Ministry of Home Affairs (ISOS-MOHA) of Vietnam affirmed that State capacity was one among crucial factors that contributes to the success and development of a country. The governments of the Southeast Asian countries have, so far, conducted various initiatives and efforts on reforms in response to the rapid economic, political changes in the region and in the world.

In the 3 main sessions of the Symposium, experts and managers discussed on state capacity for public sector reform and national development; expand the strategic research network among governments, public institutions, researchers of Southeast Asia countries and Korea. Participants also shared experiences on the practices of policy execution towards reforms in the future that were committed by the reformers in the Southeast Asia countries and Korea.

Professor Associate, Dr. Trieu Van Cuong, the MOHA Vice Minister said that in 2017, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published its Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, most Southeast Asia countries have made progress with high rankings. Vietnam has its ranking increased 5 level in global competitiveness. In order to achieve such results, governments of Southeast Asia countries have taken appropriate initiatives and solutions in the reform of the public sector to ỉmprove capacity.

However, as pointed out by the MOHA Vice Minister, public administration reform in Vietnam, beside its achievements, was encountering a number of implied challenges, the causes of which derived from the instability in international economic environment and internal challenges faced by each country. This require each country to continue conducting new initiatives for reforming the public administration, building and enhancing the state capacity in response to the international situations.

From the practices of Vietnam, as said by the MOHA Vice Minister Trieu Van Cuong, the Public Administration Reform Master Program has been implemented and achieved positive results, contributing to the improvement of State capacity. Nevertheless, public adminstration reform in Vietnam also faced a number of challenges, i.e., the cumbersome of State administrative apparatus, ineffective operation and proliferation of intermediate levels; overlapping in functions and tasks; the number of cadres and civil servants is both redundant and lacking. Salaary system reform was seen as an ineffienct procvees and salary was not seen as a motivational factor to promote cadres and civil servants to devote their best capabilities in performing their duties. The situations where cadres, civil servants were cumbersome in the process of solving public administrative procedures were slowly solved …

Tthe Secretariat Member of the Party Committee’s 6th plenum (Term XII) has issued the Resolution number 18/NQ-TW in awareness of these challenges, which included a number of targets, i.e., to continue renovating and re-arranging the whole political system in a streamlined, effective and efficient manner and in conformity with the socialist-oriented market economy; improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the State Management; restructuring and improving the quality of cadres, civil servants, public employees; salary reform …

Overall view of the Symposium

In the view of the public sector, Professor Mark Turner from the Korea Research Institute judged that from the first development decade of the 1960s, public sector reform has been a constant pursuit of Asian governments. Public sector reform enhanced national competitiveness, saved money and addressed public service demands for services. New Public Management – NPM is an efficient method to administrate the public administration and public sector; yet it required more initiatives reflecting the regional typical values to guarantee successful reform.

Source : ISOS – MOHA, TV News

Translated by ISF/QG