Failed state 2030 : Nigeria : a case study

Christopher J. Kinnan, Daniel B. Gordon, Mark D. Delong, Douglas W. Jaquish, Robert S. McAllum
The quest for innovations in the public sector has been on-going for quite sometime, but with the need for the world to achieve the commitments made by its leaders in the Millennium Declaration, the 2005 World Summit and many other global and regional conferences, it has attained a level of urgency. The global consensus on the urgency of reinventing government is not only manifested in the research efforts that are focusing on how to improve the performance of governance and public administration institutions. It is also seen in the innovators’ readiness to come together to share information and knowledge about their innovations to minimize wastage of resources and time in re-inventing the wheel. It has dawned on most people concerned with the improvement of performance in the public sector that although innovations
in government are circumscribed in scope, they have the potential to trigger a bigger process of transformation of the State and produce general positive benefits for citizens through improved service delivery. There are networks of innovators being formed for purposes of sharing and adapting successful practices in innovation. There are also awards programmes at the national, regional and international level to recognize and further promote innovative practices in the public sector. The most prestigious international recognition of excellence in the public service is the United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA), which is managed by DPADM/UNDESA. It was launched in 2003 to search for innovations in the public sector, reward and motivate civil servants, as well as disseminate knowledge about successful practices in good governance in order to provide the opportunity for peer-to-peer learning among Member States. In order to sustain efforts towards a better public administration, it is paramount to support each initiative of this kind, to encourage innovation in each public institution, to motivate public servants to help bridge the gap between governments’ actions and citizens’ expectations. There is no shortcut to effective delivery of services except to have the best talent in the public sector. Ultimately, the ability of government to provide services effectively and efficiently depends upon a competent cadre of civil servants as good governance requires good people. The men and women who have received the prestigious United Nations Public Service Awards are testimony to this. They represent the best in the public service. One way to encourage them to continue in their quest for more efficient, participatory and equitable public services is to recognize their efforts at the highest level possible through Awards programmes such as the UNPSA. This publication is intended for policy makers, scholars and practitioners who have a keen interest in concrete solutions to governance challenges. Its purpose is to encourage more women and men in the public sector who are working hard to improve citizens’ lives, to share with the world their innovations by applying to the United Nations Public Service Awards Programme, which is held annually; to recognize the efforts of those who have already won this prestigious Awards by showcasing their successful practices; and to provide United Nations Member States interested in innovation in governance with useful information and knowledge about good practices for possible replication. In light of the above, Part One gives an overview of what the UNPSA is, who is eligible and how to apply, and highlights key aspects of the selection process. Part Two of this publication provides a description and brief analysis of the successful practices of the UNPSA Winners from 2003 to 2009. Finally, Part Three presents key findings on the positive impact that the UNPSA has on further promoting and sustaining innovation in government among its winners, as well as lessons learned on what makes innovation successful.
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