The Russian Academy of Public Administration (RAPA) is the training and professional development arms of the Russian Presidential Administration. Since 2004, CIDA has funded a partnership between Carleton University and RAPA, the objective of which is to assist RAPA in the development of a more professional public service. This particular project is part of CIDA’s GAEP (Governance Advisory and Exchange Program) initiative.
Over the past three years, there have been study tours to Canada and several Carleton professors have traveled to Russia to teach selected segments of training programs. The partnership has resulted in the creation of a Joint Certificate in Municipal Management, a Joint Certificate in Regional Management, and a Joint Certificate in Good Governance, with a further joint certificate in Northern Management developing in 2008.

The most recent study tour by RAPA delegates centered on the issue of modernizing public administration and took place from 30 November – 12 December 2007, during which time nine delegates focused their learning on the following objectives:

I. The evolution and functions of the Canadian public service: specifically,

  • its functions, mandates, legal status and  impact of recent modernization
  • the legal (normative) framework of the public service, as well as the rights, duties and responsibilities of public servants
  • the public service staffing system
  • the public service recruitment system, with particular respect to certain functions such as military and food inspection
  • non-partisan nature of the public service and the rules which govern political activity on the part of public servants
  • financial security for public servants: how pay and benefits are earned
  • state and social safeguards for the public service

II. Canadian experiences with public service reform:

  • What factors contributed to Canada’s decision to modernize its public service
  • An overview of how the public service has been modernized
  • Mechanisms for drafting, developing and adopting legislation on public service reform
  • How are the code of values and ethics enforced for public servants
  • How is their performance measured and rewarded
  • The role of effective methods, innovation and best practices in optimizing the public service

III. Administrative/legal culture and professional ethics in the Canadian public service

  • How are various categories of work classified
  • Recruitment: processes of competition and selection
  • Retention: processes of competition, promotion, career building and rotation
  • Division of labour: processes of distribution of tasks among public servants, as well as the categorization of rights and responsibilities among public servants

Joint CGPM-AUCC University Governance Project in Botswana

The Centre was contracted by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) to help the Botswana Ministry of Education to establish a second National Technical University. A group of Carleton senior administrators and faculty are engaged in developing academic policies, student management and enrolment planning, and academic services. The University, which will start to enroll its first students in 2012, will be the flagship of Botswana’s growing economy and will enroll 12,000 students by 2016. The Centre will be working on this project until March 2009.

This project, under the Directorship of Prof. Leslie A. Pal, will examine the international public sector/public management reform policy community. It will analyse international governmental organizations, foundations, non-governmental organizations and others that have gradually emerged in a global policy community around modernizing government. A database will be made publicly available later this summer.

SSHRC Research Project on International Governance Reform (2007-10)

As Francis Fukuyama (2004) notes, weak or failed states are the source of many of the world’s most serious problems, and so state-building and the reconstruction of failed states is one of the major challenges of our time. This recent imperative towards public sector reform follows on the heels of the movement in the 1980s and 1990s among the OECD countries to introduce “new public management” (NPM – generally leaner public organizations coupled with a greater reliance on market mechanisms for service delivery), efforts to rebuild central and Eastern communism’s collapse, and the growing realization in the technical assistance community that institutions mattered, and that economic growth depended as much on competent public administration as it did on market liberalization.

Why and how did modernizing government through public sector reform become a global movement?
Four hypotheses will guide the research. The first is that the movement can be explained by the emergence of a global network of institutions and organizations, governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental, collectively dedicated to public sector reform. The network facilitates the flow of ideas, debates, models, and practices around the world. Second, while there are strong pressures towards developing standards or best practices, the network is marked by divergent and disparate views as well, depending on the interests of organizations and the nature of network collaboration and competition. Third, the flow of ideas is facilitated by a range of different instruments, from naming and shaming (e.g., Transparency International), to discussion fora and reports (e.g., OECD), to tied aid in technical assistance (e.g., World Bank). Fourth, actual public sector reform projects involve a dense interaction among members of the network in specific sites.

The research will make several contributions. It will help us better understand the dynamics of public sector reform efforts, the instruments used by different organizations, and the reasons why they do or do not work. To date, the focus has been on single country studies, or comparative analyses; the impact and effect of global networks dedicated to public sector modernization has been occasionally noted, but never explored in depth. The work should have strong practical implications for the development and technical assistance policy communities. Another contribution will be to the literature on policy transfer, learning and diffusion. As noted in the detailed description that follows, that general literature has only very recently begun to examine international governmental organizations and global policy networks. This would be among the first examinations of the global network around modernizing public management. The project will also closely examine the instruments used by different organizations to effect policy and governance change. Of particular interest is the emerging emphasis on governance indicators and standards of “good governance.”

As well, the research will draw an emerging literature on complexity and network theory, and use it as a heuristic to study the nature of the network as a network – to date, the work on global networks has used the term largely as a descriptor, without drawing out the implications of network dynamics as seen in complexity theory.

The project will emphasize research training at an advanced level for a number of doctoral students over the three year period: questionnaire design, supervised interviews, database development, and literature searches using advanced electronic tools. The strategy for the communication of results will involve a project web page, conference papers, refereed articles, and ultimately, the submission of a manuscript to a peer-reviewed publisher.