Foreword by ReSPA Director

Ms Ratka SekulovicReSPA Director

The year behind us will remain as one of the most challenging but also most successful ones since ReSPA has been founded. The Covid-19 global pandemic largely determined the change of the way we live and operate.

To quickly adapt to the changing landscape, we have shifted most of our activities online and have continued to realize them with the same commitment, devotion and energy.

ReSPA has established a unique COVID-19 Western Balkans Digital Collaborative Platform to help the Western Balkans governments cope better amid the pandemic. Affinity mapping of the needs and critical challenges among the Western Balkans showed that digital transformation is essential for governments to recover fast and make visible progress in the upcoming years, which also guided us in ReSPA to upgrade our planned activities to meet the changing needs of the WB governances promptly and effectively. 

This year will also remain remembered for the most significant achievement – for getting the Effective CAF-USER" Label, which proves ReSPA's overall excellent institutional performance. After more than two years of CAF implementation, we have confirmed our devotion and readiness to become the Regional Quality Management Centre in the area of public administration and to position ourselves as the regional CAF Resource Centre.

One of the novelties I am proudest of is the unique Western Balkans Public Administration Awards system which we have initiated jointly with the OECD/SIGMA. An outstanding number of applications showed us so many innovative approaches in the WB public administrations and proved that their prompt reaction to the crisis means the WB public administrations are ready for the giant step ahead in digitalization and innovation.

For the first time, we have initiated preparation of the ReSPA Monitoring system and developed Monitoring and Evaluation Toolkit, which, in the years ahead of us, will allow us to measure the usage of support from ReSPA and to set of defined indicators at individual and institutional level in a systemic and comprehensive manner.

At the Ministerial dialogue in September this year, we presented the Analysis of Economic and Social Consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Western Balkans administrations as well as Declaration on Digital transformation of the WBs Ministries for public administration including coordinated response on emergency situation.

We in ReSPA will stay devoted to the support of the WB governments, especially in the area of e-Government and digitalization with fresh ideas and new initiatives. In that sense, we initiated very intensive communication with Directorate-General for Informatics (DG DIGIT) to support us with some novelties.

ReSPA continues to be a reliable partner to other international organizations with whom we share the same challenges but also the values in these unprecedented times.

We are thankful to our Governance structures, administration representatives and our main partner EC for their understanding, commitment and support to the fulfillment of our mission.

Ms Ratka Sekulović

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