Successful Self-Assessment of the PAR Coordinator's Office as Part of the CAF Process

— Over the last three months, the Public Administration Reform Coordinator's Office has been actively engaged in self-assessment, which is an activity under the CAF model implementation dedicated to quality management in public administration. In cooperation with experts from the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), self-assessment steps are being successfully implemented, and over the following week the first training of future CAF trainers is planned to take place, and is expected to be attended by representatives of PARCO, but also of the Civil Service Agency of BiH.

At the priorities-defining seminar held on the 8th, 9th, and 12th of December 2015 in Sarajevo, Dragan Ćuzulan, the Public Administration Reform Coordinator pointed out the importance of self-assessment: “I find the CAF public administration quality management model extremely important to any institution. Self-assessment, as an integral part of the CAF, represents an opportunity for objective reconsideration of all processes used in an institution, as well as opportunity to set priorities and strategic goals. The model as such is compatible with all strategic goals of a reformed public administration. Inclusion of the staff and the management through forming of a self-assessment working group is something that gives the entire process a special dimension of dedication, and successful implementation of such activities should result in identified measures for improving of the institution’s operations”.

According to the experts of EIPA, Patrick Staest and Nick Thijs, the self-assessment group produced a high quality report, while the group and the PARCO management were regarded as truly dedicated to introducing quality management in PARCO.

As a part of systematic introduction of quality management in public administration, the Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office has translated and published CAF Guidelines 2013 which thoroughly explain the entire process of self-assessment. The Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions provides technical support in this process. As a result, previous activities of the Programme included translation of the CAF guidelines “Improving Public Organisations through Self-Assessment”.

The document in Bosnian is available here, in Croatian here, and in Serbian here. The original document in English is available here.

Source: Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office

Communication of the Public Administration is Effective Only When It is Proactive and Strategic

The managers and communications officers of the four beneficiary institutions of the Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions in BiH have attended 21-24 April 2015 a training on strategic communications. One of the messages from these workshops is that the communications of public administration with its various audiences can be seen as football game where the public plays continuously and thus creates the situation where the same is expected from the administration itself. Constant communications, imminent to the democratic socities, in today's information society is facilitated by the social media, mobile devices and apps so that there is no reason for public institutions not to use these communication tools that – beside their many other advantages – also can help save up on the constantly scarce budget resources.

The public and especially the media are able to find the way to the information of public significance and hence the proactive communication of the administration is a must. It is up to the institutions whether or not this information will the authentic and on-time and whether as such will help strengthen the public trust in their work. This implies the conclusion that effective communication of public bodies beside being proactive also needs to be strategic.

During the training an overview of main communication challenges of the public institutions was made; such challenges often are common to many administrations across the world. Among these challenges is the current positioning of communications within the organisations, limited human and financial resources and resistance to the use of new communication channels in everday practice. The participants also had the opportunity to jointly develop a public campaign adjusted to the everday conditions and environment of institutions in BiH.

Experiences and recommendations for improvement of strategic communication was transferred by Marguerite Sullivan, one of leading experts in communications who has extensive work experience in the U.S. public administration.

Training was developed and implemented within the thematic area of Communications and Knowledge Management of the Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions, implemented by GIZ on behalf of German governement. Beneficiries in this thematic area are four public institutions in BiH: Agency for Statistics of BiH, Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance, Directorate for European Integration and Public Administration Reform Coordinator's Office.

Source: Directorate for European Integration

Workshop on Freedom of Information Held

Workshop on freedom of access to information for the members of the inter-institutional group for communication and knowledge management of the Programme for Strengthening of Public institutions was held on December, 2 2013 in Doboj. This workshop gathered representatives of the Civil Service Agency of BiH, Statistics Agency, Public Procurement Agency, Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance of BiH, Directorate for European Integration, Information Office of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and Public Administration Reform Coordinator's Office. Jasminka Džumhur, the Human rights Ombudsperson of BiH and Maja Branković, representative of the Transparency International in BiH took part in the workshop.

The workshop objective was related to exchange of experiences between respective institutions but also with civil society organisations active in this area, such as the Transparency International. Motivation of the beneficiary institutions of the Programme for the implementation of joint activities in order to increase transparency and make concrete recommendations for the future work in this area, were a part of the workshop objectives as well.

The experiences of Civil Service Agency in terms of access to information, key aspects of the Law on Free Access to Information in BiH, planned changes, experiences and problems in its application from the perspective of the Office of the Ombudsmen in BiH, were presented too. Transparency International presented the findings and researches that are regularly conducted with regard to the Law on Free Access to Information and some of the key features of that process.

The organisation of this workshop is one of the common activities defined according to the needs of beneficiary institutions of the Programme and it was preceded by a workshop on the preparation of a communication plan and programme budgeting of institutions involved in the Programme. The participants rated the event as beneficial for further work, but also as the initial impulse for closer future cooperation and defining joint activities in terms of better functioning, effective implementation of the Law and distribution and availability of information to the citizens.

WORKSHOP ON COMMUNICATION PLANNING HELD IN TESLIĆ

Public servants in charge of communication/public relations from seven institutions of BiH attended the workshop on communication planning organised 4-5 July 2013 in Teslic. During the workshop participants enhanced their theoretical knowledge on integrated strategic communication and gained new insights into what should be included in the communication strategy and communication plans and into what kind of campaign is to be use depending on the desired outcome. The workshop also provided an insight into how to measure the impact of communication activities and return on investment of resources in relation to the achieved results.

In the practical part of the workshop participants have created a communication plan based on a case study, defined communication goals through segmentation of publics and formulation of key messages, discussed and selected appropriate communication tools and made an implementation schedule. Special focus was on how to develop communication plans with a limited budget and on public relations in public administration without the use of advertising tools and communication resources available to corporate enterprises. The workshop was within organised within the Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions, implemented the GIZ. Representatives of the Programme and following seven institutions participated in the two-day workshop: Directorate for European Integration, Agency for Statistics, Public Procurement Agency, Civil Service Agency, Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance, Agency for Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary Education and Public Administration Reform Coordinator's Office in BiH.

Source: DEI.GOV.BA