Manila – Philippines, 25-28 November 2018
The 2018 AGPA Conference, was organized in Manila, Philippines under the theme, "Resilience and Strong Institutions: Responses and Solutions of Public Administration to Disruptions, Stresses and Shocks," by the UP-NCPAG (University of the Philippines-National College for Public Administration and Governance). A total of 229 participants registered for the event with 67 participants presenting papers tackling various sub-themes: political and administrative resilience; risks, crises and disasters; and sustainable development goals and strong institutions. The event was graced by six members of the steering committee of the Asian Group of Public Administration (AGPA), as well as high-profile officials, including the Vice-President of the Republic of the Philippines, policymakers and leaders at the forefront of policy implementation and service delivery.
AGPA conference topic about resilience in public administration, was discussed at length at the IIAS congress in Tunis last summer. We are in the process of setting up a permanent study group on the topic. Moreover, an edited book on the topic led by Professor Stavros Zouridis, from Tillburg University is also being prepared. AGPA members were invited to propose a panel or track on the topic in response to the call for panel abstracts at the IIAS-Lien conference, which will be held in Singapore, on June 2019.
On the eve of the conference, I had the pleasure of chairing the steering committee of AGPA and was pleased with the interest of member countries. Countries that were represented included China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Korea and all actively participated in the discussions and ensuing decisions. However, and though I understand that it is not always possible to be at all meetings, there is an urgent need to enlarge the membership base of AGPA. Countries like India, Pakistan, Iran, and countries of Central Asia among others should become regular contributors to AGPA and to IIAS. Even in Southeast Asia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia could be great additions to the group. AGPA new President-nominee, Prof. Eko Prasojo, from Indonesia, committed to promote both IIAS and AGPA membership and activities to prospective members. An opportunity could be a regional IIAS seminar that the State Management Institute of Iran is organizing at the end of the year. Another IIAS regional seminar organized in Kaunas, Lithuania, in late April, and that targets the participation of central Asian countries could also provide another opportunity.
The objective should be not only to ascertain the scientific leadership of our community in the public administration sphere but also to grow our activities and make of AGPA and IIAS influential players regionally and globally.
The social program of the conference included a trip to Subic Bay, to witness its transformation from an American military base to a green economic development zone. Overall the organization of the AGPA conference by UP-NCPAG was impeccable end to end. The professionalism and friendliness of the local organizers under the leadership of Dean Maria Mendoza ensured a memorable experience for all participants.
Conference of the Group on Supranational Administration
International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C., 9-11 May, 2018
Caption: From Left top right: Christine Lagarde, IMF Chief; San Hagan, IMF General Council; Pierre Panchaud, Chair of the IISA Supranational Group; Sofiane Sahraoui, IIAS DG
The supranational administration working group met at its annual conference at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC, May 9-11, 2018. The conference was opened by Christine LAGARDE, Executive Director of the IMF followed by speeches by the Director General of IIAS, Sofiane SAHRAOUI, IMF General Counsel Sean HAGAN and the President of the supranational group, Pierre PANCHAUD. Ms. Lagarde dwelt on the importance of the subject of the conference, namely ethics in the management of human resources in international financial institutions and the importance of discussing subjects that go beyond the strict operational framework of organizations such as the IMF. To this end, she thanked IIAS, represented by its Director General, for enabling the network formed within the supranational group to discuss topics of major importance such as ethics in the management of human resources. The Director General of IIAS, welcomed the large number of participants in the conference (more than 80), and lauded the quality of the program and the good organizational conditions within the IMF and encouraged the group to have greater consistency in its intellectual production and dissemination of its works through the IIAS network.
The "supranational group" was originally created as a group on international administration and civil service and later became a project group on supranational administration. It organizes an annual meeting and has already produced four publications on topics related to the legal aspects of supranational administration. The majority of participants at the group's annual meeting are not members of IIAS. The group also does not have the obligations of the other study groups of IIAS but benefits from the resources of the IIAS. To this end, the DG of IIAS discussed with the leaders of the group a new model to maintain the group within IIAS and allow it to continue to benefit from its resources. One of the solutions advocated is to make it a closed group which will require the adaptation of the regulations of IIAS concerning project groups. As a result, the group would have to put in place a transparent governance structure. Members would have the choice to be members of IIAS and hence benefit from preferential rates including for the group meeting; otherwise pay the non-member rates for the meeting. In return, IIAS would provide marketing and logistical support to the group including the organization of the annual meeting on IIAS 'new event platform with access privileges to the group leaders and organizers. Web sites for the group and the annual meeting would also be established with a dedicated contact person in the IISA Secretariat. As in the past, IIAS will support the publication of books and other intellectual products from the group.
The annual meeting of the supranational group is an illustration of the breadth of the IISA network throughout the world and across institutions. This is why it becomes even more imperative to strengthen the vision and values of IIAS while leaving flexibility for the various operators to evolve in an autonomous way.