10th ReSPA Annual Conference: Innovation in Public Administration - Navigating in Times of Change
The emphasis of the 10th ReSPA Annual Conference held in Budva, Montenegro, on 12-13 October 2017, was on innovation in public administration. The Conference was attended by more than 120 specialists and experts from public administration institutions of the Western Balkans' countries, and more than 30 speakers, moderators and facilitators from all over the world.
The Conference was officially opened by Ratka Sekulović, ReSPA Director, Herman Spitz, from the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Suzana Pribilović, Minister of Public Administration of Montenegro, and Josip Grubeša, Minister of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In her opening speech, ReSPA Director Ratka Sekulović pointed out that she is „delighted that we enthusiastically focus on exploring new ways of thinking, creative ways of resolving problems, and identifying the most applicable and desirable solutions for significantly improving our public service.”
Herman Spitz from the EU Delegation to Montenegro followed her lead and said: „Our societies are changing more rapidly than ever before. So public administration cannot sit idle and watch. It has to take up the challenge and change by adapting more effective business models and improve its service delivery for the benefit of the citizens. In this regard, the ReSPA Annual Conference can contribute to the debate by sharing experiences, lessons from the past, new tools and approaches.”
„Changes were never easy in this part of the World. Managing them, is probably even more difficult. And changes through embracing new ideas and innovations, are the only way towards higher level of openness and transparency of public institutions,” said Suzana Pribilović, Minister of Public Administration of Montenegro.
Josip Grubeša, Minister of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina underlined the importance of adequate human resources. “Modernisation and improvement of public administration is the priority for all of us. However, such progress cannot be achieved without new ideas, and the ideas are created by the people. Consequently, people are the most valuable resource of public administrations,” Grubeša said.
The first day of the 10th ReSPA Annual Conference set the stage for integrating innovation in public administration. The views of young people and special client groups were presented, the value of innovation in practice examined, various dimensions of innovation (social, technological, organisational) discussed. New systems for creative problem solving were taken into consideration as well. The participants shared their views on the major innovation challenges in public administration in Western Balkans.
During the second day of the 10th ReSPA Annual Conference, within the ReSPA Café, an open discussion on the structure, culture and personal change was organised in order to promote innovation in public administration. This discussion was followed by a session dedicated to culture. Recognising, measuring and awarding innovation outcomes were also explored. The exchange of regional and international experiences in an open debate brought benefits to all participants and made the Conference very successful.