Dear Members of the IIAS family,
Dear Partners, Dear all,
Welcome to our new Web home! A new virtual display and presence that hopefully will convey to you the new dynamic of IIAS and its affiliate organizations. By redeveloping all of our Web sites, our objective is not only to enhance their graphical display and navigation but to create a powerful tool for communicating with our members, our partners and all parties interested in what we do. In time, these sites will be integrated with our back-office systems (conference & event management, finance, marketing, etc.) to create a seamless infrastructure that streamlines our operations, enables better access to our services, and enhances our reach to relevant parties.
Our sites will be gradually enriched with images and graphics to make them both intuitive and attractive. You will find already images of our new headquarters and offices, courtesy of the Belgian Treasury, whom we thank again for accommodating us in these modern premises within the European quarters. You are welcome to come by and pay us a visit!
To the core of our business….almost a year has gone by since I took over as DG and if there is something that characterizes this period; it is change; most of it driven by the imperative of palliating the financial difficulties faced by IIAS and its sub-organizations. Changes were also driven by the need to revive and implement the vision of IIAS; premised on improving administrative sciences and setting the governance agenda worldwide. The Secretariat is restructuring to ensure full commitment to the IIAS vision and mission. A strategy is being developed in support; some of its elements have already been inserted in different parts of this site.
2017 has been a year of transition with a significant improvement compared to the year before. The results of changes decided and implemented in the second half of 2017 and throughout 2018 will be fully visible in 2019 when IIAS should recover fully from its financial slump and implement many strategic initiatives that have already been planned. The improvement in the financial results in 2017 compared to 2016 came as a result of the additional revenue from the EGPA conference in Milan, a rationalization of expenses especially travel expenses, the Secretariat restructuring following the departure of a key member of staff and a renegotiation of all outsourcing contracts of the Institute. The latter will better reflect next year.
In conclusion, while the crisis put a strain on IIAS and its affiliate organizations; it also created opportunities to rethink everything and reorganize to better achieve our objectives. In a world scene where competition by learned societies is getting fierce, and the discourses on governance are becoming confusing, we pledge at IIAS to keep a degree of freedom and the necessary open mindedness not to get bogged into any particular agenda and to work towards a diversity of viewpoints that reflect the diversity of our membership and the worldwide reach of our mission. We owe it to our long and prestigious history since 1930 and that of IRAS since 1927 to reclaim the leadership of administrative thought in the World!
The three main conferences organized by the Secretariat in collaboration with local organizing committees were all successful, with varying degrees.
The IIAS congress in Aix-en-Provence co-organized with the IMPGT of Aix-Marseille University tackled the hot topic of migration and generated debates of the highest quality. A follow-up to this topic will take place in this year’s IIAS congress in Tunis.
The IASIA-MENAPAR conference in Ramallah co-organized with the General Personnel Council of Palestine, was a success on all counts attended by more than 250 delegates despite restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities regarding the entry of a large number of delegates. It met its financial targets, nonetheless.
Finally the EGPA conference co-organized with the Politecnico di Milano was the most successful ever with more than 550 participants and a scientific program that strengthens its stature as the leading academic PA conference in Europe.
Our reputed scientific journal, IRAS, has seen a significant increase in its impact factor last year, the highest ever in a single year and continues to attract high quality contributions.
Our close cooperation with our editors Sage, Palgrave and Bryulant was boosted by the signing of new contracts improving contractual conditions for IIAS.
IGPDE, a research institute depending on the French Ministry of Finance has accepted to subsidize the translation of one issue of IRAS from English to French.
Accreditation services from ICAPA and EAPPA continue to grow and position the IIAS family as key player in the field of PA training. We expect to double the number of accredited institutions in 2018. Accreditation by ICAPA especially is emerging as a strategic offering of the IIAS group; its full potential will be further realized as we review the governance of the organization of accreditation between IASIA and the Secretariat. This is done to safeguard its integrity and secure its continuity and development, after the successful establishment era under the leadership of Allan Rosenbaum.
As we continue to restructure, we expect even greater achievements and a turnaround year for IIAS and its affiliate organizations in 2018. The fundamentals of a new strategy was proposed to the Boards of all affiliate entities, with a clear focus on delivering higher value added to our members. Our ambitious agenda and mission is to provide the leadership of all IIAS-affiliate organizations, with a tool to reposition the group at the heart of the global governance agenda.
The 3 main conferences will have significant additions this year:
- The IIAS congress to be held in Tunis, Tunisia, 25-29 June has seen a significant change in format with 30 calls addressing the 4 sub-themes of the overall resilience theme of the congress. It will also have pre-congress events and workshops about best practices in member countries as well as other capacity building initiatives. Early signs are positive with more than 350 submissions. The Director of ENA in Tunisia, Abdellatif Hamam, our organizing partner attended the IIAS Council of Administration and gave an overview of the preparations.
- The IASIA conference to be held in Lima, Peru, 23-26 July will have a doctoral consortium to further establish its research as well as teaching & learning orientation. In addition to the already existing 10 working groups, calls have been developed for 4 additional working groups, one deriving from the theme of the IASIA-MENAPAR conference in Palestine, and the other three from the LAGPA conference held in September 2017 in Lima. The number of submissions has reached 275. Luis Solari, IASIA Board member and principal partner for the organization is coordinating preparations on the ground.
- The EGPA conference to be held in Lausanne, Switzerland, 5-7 September will have an EPPA pre-conference event (European Perspectives on Public Administration) to chart the path for future public administration development in Europe, along with the very rich program offered by the 22 working groups and the French seminar. We expect it to be as successful as the previous one in Milan and intensive interactions are in course with IDHEAP Lausanne to ensure it lives up to its promises.
Knowledge production will be the core of our new strategy. Our scientific plan for 2018 consists of:
- Increasing the number of books published through our book series with Palgrave and Bruylant;
- Publishing an edited manuscript based on the theme and proceedings of the IIAS conference. Professor Stavros Zouridis from Tillburg University in the Netherlands, General Rapporteur for the IIAS conference in Tunis, will be supported by the scientific team from the Secretariat, to edit the manuscript.
- Develop in-house research with external collaborations. The scientific team at IIAS will be strengthened to lead collaborative research efforts on timely governance issues. This should come at a later stage as an off-shoot of the research academy.
- The Secretariat is contemplating to start a research academy to be held annually in the fall in Brussels. The one-week course will bring young researchers to develop their capacity to publish, write proposals to seek research grants, establish contact with Brussels-based institutions and start collaborations with other participants. The first such seminar is expected to take place in the fall of 2018 (tentatively first week of December).
- The statutory meetings which are regularly held in the Spring in Brussels will be combined with a world-class event on public governance bringing together leading thinkers in the field to delve into latest developments in public governance. The first such event shall take place in the spring of 2019.
IIAS is currently pursuing a policy of proactive diversity in its Secretariat by welcoming students/trainees at the IIAS Headquarters in Brussels for short and long-term periods. This diversity drive is hindered however by the restrictions of Belgian law over the import of foreign labor.
IIAS is also contemplating the establishment of an exchange network for public servants worldwide to enhance exchange and mutual benefits between its members. We hope to have something to offer in this respect in 2019.
New dialogues between different regions will be established: After the TED (Trans-European), the TAD (trans-Atlantic), the EUROMENA (Europe & Middle East), the EURASIAN (AGPA-EGPA) will be rolled gradually from its experimental start last year, and a new dialogue is planned to start this year: an AGPA-AAPAM-MENAPAR-LAGPA dialogue (South-South Dialogue) that should be launched during the IIAS congress in Tunis.
As we rebuild our Web presence and communication infrastructure, we will be more able to reach our members and serve them better. We intend to increase our visibility with our members first by offering them more value-added services, and with institutional partners like the UN, OECD, and ETF through joint projects and foremost harness our presence in Brussels, the capital of Europe.
The above will be possible through shifting resources from operations to research and development. This is reflected in the new recruitments that IIAS is making or contemplating. Some administrative posts have been made redundant and replaced with value-added functions. Recruitments will only be considered when returns are assured.