September 24, 2015
The objective of this thematic area is on one side, proactive and modern communications serving the citizens and on the other improved work of the organisations through knowledge capitalisation
Improved Communications in Public Administration Serving the Citizens
Improved communications in public institutions is one of the objectives of the public administration reform, and the Revised Action Plan 1 dedicates one of the six reform areas to this issue (Institutional Communication). Goals set in this strategic action plan serve as a basis for work in the thematic area of Communications and Knowledge Management. Strategic positioning of communications within public institutions, improvement of the profession, capacity development, change in approach to communications (e.g., from mere informing to two-way communication with citizens) and introduction of new methods, ideas, and tools is what is seen as the basis for activities of the Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions in the area of communications.
Knowledge management is a new topic for the beneficiary institutions, and introduction of knowledge management practice in public institutions aims at better use of the existing knowledge in decision making, communications, and in improvement of public service delivery.
Key institutions for activities in this particular area are the Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office as the main partner of the Programme and as a coordinating body for the reform area of institutional communication, and Information Service of the Council of Ministers of BiH, as a body that coordinates communication efforts of state level institutions. Needs assessment, development of initiatives, plans, and measures in the field of communications and knowledge management occur within the inter-institutional group that gathers, as fulltime members, communication experts from the four beneficiary institutions (PARCO, Directorate for European Integration, Statistics Agency, and the Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance), as well as adjoined members from other institutions.
Besides the Public Administration Reform Strategy and the Revised Action Plan 1, activities in this area will be based in the Communication Strategy of the Council of Ministers of BiH and international initiatives and best practices, such as the Open Government Partnership.
Key expected changes in the area of communications primarily refer to the approach to communications, particularly, establishing of the environment in public institution that fosters strategic approach and higher and more concrete expectations from communications. Civil servants managing communications should also be provided with sufficient capacities and decision-making influence, as well as resources for achieving goals of communications. These basic changes lead towards changes in the service offer of institutions – through the use of new technology, modern tools and methodologies, as well as by involving civil society in communication processes. In this way, citizens would be provided with timely, reliable information, and direct communication channels to public institutions. Special focus has been put on improving proactive communication for the purpose of increased transparency, as in line with the principle of publicity of the work according to which public institution have to operate.
Changes concerning knowledge management primarily include development of capacities for knowledge management within beneficiary institutions, clearly defined current situation and assessed needs for knowledge management, raised awareness of the management about the significance of knowledge management and established procedures, standards, and practices for knowledge management within institutions.
Main results: Results of efforts in the thematic area of communication and knowledge management expected in this stage of implementation (by the end of 2016) are: