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www.theage.com.au - Whitehall's advice from Canberra

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This article talks about the effort by British's Government in reforming the upper echelons of the civil service by readjusting the balance between independence and responsiveness. The article focuses on four issues: the appointment process for senior officials; the level of support provided to ministers; internal accountability and performance management; and external accountability to the legislature, media and public. All the four issues include practices in a range of jurisdicitions  such as United States, France and Singapore. 

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1. Meeting the challenge of change - Capabilities Plan

1. Meeting the challenge of change - Capabilities Plan | Public Service Leadership | Scoop.it
A capabilities plan for the Civil Service
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The UK Civil Service’s “Meeting the Challenge of Change: A Capabilities Plan for the Civil Service” sets out its approach to filling “significant gaps in organisational capability and individual’s skills if the Civil Service is to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges”. Centred on people and skills, organisational structures and management processes, it identifies 4 priority areas follows: A)Leading and Managing Change B)Commercial Skills and Behaviours C)Delivering Successful Projects and Programmes D)Redesigning Services and Delivering them Digitally. The plan sets out a whole-of-organisation approach to grow capabilities across leadership, corporate (organisational), departmental and individual levels under its 4 priority areas. Additionally, it also outlines a threefold strategy to build, buy and borrow capabilities to address pressing skills gaps. The plan will be refreshed annually based on how it is being delivered. This will allow new future capabilities and requirements to be spotted early. Lastly, a range of quantitative and qualitative data, tracking specific indicators like overall staff engagement, skills, learning and development, diversity, leadership and management of change, workforce planning, recruitment and retention, departmental aggregations of individual competencies as well information on the levels of professional skills will be used to measure the success of the plan. A range of new tools, such as an annual skills review and Departmental Improvement Planning are also being developed to evaluate the progress of the plan and help identify emerging capabilities requirements. An external assessment of how much has been achieved against the plan is to be conducted in 2015.
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kalil-participation.pdf

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This is a powerpoint slide by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. It mentions about the advantages of informed participation as well as the challenges that might result. And lastly, it mentions the roles of different stakeholders such as policy-makers and funders in participation. 

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Politics in crisis?

Traditional politics in western countries have been facing growing challenges for many years.
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This article discusses on the new challenges faced by the traditional politics in the Western countries which are caused by a combination of economic circumstances and austerity measures plus new technology that give rise to very different political realities, new parties and new approaches; but also disenchantment and loss of faith. 

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XEy5Wt

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Control Shift is the final output of a Demos project which was designed to reach some consensus over what ‘responsibility’ means in terms of policy – based on a series of expert roundtables, analysis of public polling and attitudinal research. It looks at what levels of personal and civic responsibility people yearn for, where such reciprocity throws up political discomfort and what might be achievable in terms of rebalancing the individual’s relationship with the state.This report makes the case for embracing so-called ‘nudge-plus’ proposals, incentivising healthy behaviour and making it easier for people to make informed decisions and take greater responsibility. By implementing ideas such as creating an independent Risk Commission, making better use of data and rewarding proactive local authorities with a community cashback scheme, the report argues that the UK Government can support individuals, families and communities in making better choices without being heavy-handed. 

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OP-3-2010-NetworkingDistributedPublicExpertise-v2.pdf

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This paper challenges conventional notions of the wisdom of crowds, arguing that distributed intelligence must be well structured by technical platforms and management strategies. The paper also explains how collaborative networking can be used to harness the distributed expertise of citizens, as distinguished from citizen consultation, which seeks to engage citizens – each on an equal footing. This paper goes on to explain why the governments should use this networking strategy as a means to inform policy and decision-making. Lastly, the paper brings in a set of nine strategies for fostering the bottom-up development of government initiatives aimed at harnessing distributed public expertise.

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The Digital Government

The Digital Government | Public Service Leadership | Scoop.it
How government agencies can use information and communications technology to increase efficiency—and better people’s lives.
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This article discusses how and why the government should use information and  communications technology (ICT) to strengthen connections among various government agencies and enable governments to improve their services, increase efficiency, boost economic growth and eliminate red tape. Various benefits of digitization that the government can reap from it are mentioned. The article continues to discuss about the government being a digital broker. The rest of the article discusses about five enablers of a successful digital strategy that many governments around the world are focusing on are mentioned. These five enablers are mainly: 1. Common, sustainable ICT platforms, 2. Shared software, 3. Telecommunications infrastructure, 4. Strategic sourcing and partnerships, 5. A flexible workplace. 

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Who Even Needs the Nation-State in the 21st Century?

Who Even Needs the Nation-State in the 21st Century? | Public Service Leadership | Scoop.it
From Facebook to private schools to security guards, citizens are replacing traditional government functions with a "virtual state."
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The article pointed out the bizarre similarities between politics and business, how both compete with their opponents by delivering the highest value for whatever they charge, in an environment where people increasingly have more say as to whether they're willing to buy it at all. Governments in fact have been facing non-virtual commercial competition for quite some time and losing. Examples include the fact that there are more private security guards than police nationwide, as well as the provision of education by the private sector. We are now living in a world of "government" that people can opt in or out of as they choose, as commercial alternatives are becoming more and more attractive. This emergence of “virtual states” threatens the rule of the government, and governments are now forced to join them in the competition and develop their own strategies.

 

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How wealth of Silicon Valley's tech elite created a world apart

How wealth of Silicon Valley's tech elite created a world apart | Public Service Leadership | Scoop.it
Private shuttles taking workers to and from Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter in San Francisco are becoming symbols for alienation and division as residents struggle with crowded municipal bus services and poor facilities...
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The article introduced the different lifestyle that technology elites from Silicon Valley lead, which caused locals to express their unhappiness over the alienation and division. It was claimed that techies, price locals out of the housing market, twist rules and regulations to suit themselves, and spend outrageously. However, it is defended that the privileges that these techies enjoy helped workers reach the "flow state" of optimal concentration, which is essential  to creating better products and technologies, which will eventually empower individuals and make the world a better place.

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IBM Smarter Cities - Overview - United States

IBM Smarter Cities - Overview - United States | Public Service Leadership | Scoop.it
Smarter cities leaders have the tools to analyze data for better decisions, anticipate problems to resolve them proactively and coordinate resources to operate effectively.
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A city is made up of: Infrastructure, operations (planning and management) and people. Operations means building and carrying out ways for a city to realize its full potential for while maintaining efficient day-to-day operations, infrastructure services make a city "livable" while human services support the needs of the citizen as an individual, both as developmental foundations and as social assistance. A city that relies on support for and among these three elements will become a smart city. Smarter cities drive sustainable economic growth and prosperity for their citizens. Their leaders have the tools to analyze data for better decisions, anticipate problems to resolve them proactively and coordinate resources to operate effectively. 

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Public service wants to up its game

Public service wants to up its game | Public Service Leadership | Scoop.it
Civil Service Head Peter Ong invites Singaporeans to join hands with civil servants to take Singapore forward, discusses public sector talent and salaries and government transparency. -Singapolitics
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This is an interview with Civil Service Head Peter Ong to mark the Public Service Week and it discussed mainly on public sector challenges, talent, salaries and government transparency.

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Shift all gears, not just some

Shift all gears, not just some | Public Service Leadership | Scoop.it
Hitherto, the pronouncements by the Government on its economic plans, and what it will take to realise those goals, have been addressed to private sector firms and to private sector labour.
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This article brings out the importance for the Government and  not only the private companies to increase productivity and efficiency. Topics like "Productivity in Government", "A problematic dichotomy", "Right-sized and smarter public sector" and "Rethink sector champions" are being discussed. The article then concludes that there is a need to ensure that bureaucratic and policy inertia is held in check. Thus the Government needs to cooperate with the private economy to increase economic growth, rather than just dependig on the private economy. 

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OP-1-2010-ExpandingOpportunitiesForInformedParticipationInPublicPolicy-v2.pdf

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The purpose of this paper is to improve the usefulness and timeliness of ideas from the public by explaining the following: 1).who are the right government officials, 2).what the internal workflows of the executive branch are, 3).why it is important to situate ideas into the right policy implementation tools. 1). The first step to ensure that a policy idea is given real consideration by the executive branch is to identify and target the right policy stakeholders. Understanding what these entities do, and the extent of their authority, is key to a policy proposal’s prospects. As this is a case study based on US, examples of different US councils such as the Council of Economic Advisors are reviewed. 2). Once you have identified the right policy stakeholder, step two is knowing when it is best to approach them with your proposal. One of the biggest barriers to opening the halls of power up to ideas from the outside is timing. Most days their attention is reserved for the day-to-day responsibilities of governing, such as implementing existing laws and programs, negotiating with other agencies and offices. Those periods when policy staffs in the executive branch do focus on idea development are centered on a few key processes, the timing of which is different depending on whether the entity is in the EOP or a cabinet agency. Understanding when these periods occur is vital for policymakers outside the Federal Government. Two of these processes are annual occurrences. The first is the President’s State of the Union (SOTU). The SOTU is an annual address presented by the President of the United States to the United States Congress. The second is “The Budget of the United States” (colloquially referred to as “the President’s budget”) is also used a as tool for the administration to outline its policy and legislative agenda for the upcoming year. It is important to note that the President’s budget is not a law, but rather a recommendation to the Congress. Besides annual events like the SOTU and the President’s budget, there are also unscheduled windows for putting forward new policy ideas, like emergencies (such as military conflicts) or unexpected events (like a dramatic decline in the stock market). These periods are unpredictable, so outside policymakers cannot fully prepare for them. Nevertheless, when such events happened, the demand for new ideas inside the Federal Government is very high and presents a great opportunity for those policymakers who can develop well-thought out ideas quickly but thoroughly, or for “on the shelf” policies that can be modified to fit immediate circumstances. 3). If those outside the government want to maximize the likelihood that their work will be acted upon by government, they need to make sure they are not only talking to the right people at the right time, but also recommending policy in a format that can actually be implemented by government. That requires understanding policy process and the implementation tools available to policy makers. Things to consider: a).Action Forcing Event b).Budget Impact c).Projected Impact of Policy in Real Terms d).Recommending the Right Policy Tool

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