ASPA Promotes Good Governance Worldwide

By Warren Master

Over the last few years, ASPA has been expanding its reach internationally. We created an international chapter and ASPA established several Memorandum of Understanding with international organizations that are focused on public administration in other countries. The association also has a number of sections who focus on global issues such as comparative governance, international administration as well as area specific interests in the Middle East, Korea and China.

The newest effort by ASPA’s International Chapter and Section on Certified Public Management is the launch of the Good Governance Worldwide website. The new site, just launched this week, is aimed at building connections between scholars and practitioners in the U.S. and across the globe.  Its goal: to “promote good governance worldwide, particularly in modernizing and emerging democracies.”

We hope that the web presence over time, will offer a wide array of best practice content – through e-articles, commentaries, book reviews, interviews, blogs, podcasts, videos, topical forums, wikis, etc. – and open up networking opportunities for practitioners, applied researchers, PA students, trainers, and technical consultants, among others. Also, we believe many of ASPA’s sections and chapters have additional content relevant to this worldwide community of practice – proven tools, techniques, strategies and field-tested experience that can be shared through such a global online vehicle.

This work is already in progress. For example, ASPA’s South Florida Chapter has been looking critically at the work that continues in response to the many challenges facing Haiti. Similarly, the Section on Emergency & Crisis Management has been very active in response to such events overseas as well as its continuing involvement in natural disasters here at home. While the budgeting and financial management community is looking at how accounting innovations can and should have a positive impact in emerging democracies.

Meanwhile, others both in ASPA and beyond are working on such professional public management challenges as:

  •     Building Border Control Capacity between the U.S. & Mexico (drugs, guns & money-laundering)
  •     Raising the Bar on E-Governance in Central & Eastern Europe
  •     Standing up a Judiciary Branch in Indonesia
  •     Entrepreneurial Bureaucracy in Slovenia
  •     Public Sector Reform in Liberia
  •     Citizen Engagement of Ethnic & Religious Minorities in Kosovo

Navigating the Site

You will find the site easy to navigate. On the “About” page, you‘ll find the usual suspects that explain and describe the site’s purpose, affiliates, structure, steering group and editorial board.

The “Interact” page is devoted to many of the networking vehicles we’re looking to put in play; and the “Contact” page lets you weigh in singularly – by submitting article ideas, questions and responding to calls for content and our editorial guidance.

What I suspect is the pull-down that will get the most action is the “Content” tab, which even at this nascent stage includes all sorts of hidden treasures from near and far. For example, in addition to original, featured works, we have lots of “must read or watch” contributions from The Public Manager’s 40+ years of archival material, Harvard Kennedy School’s Kokkalis Program on Southeastern and East-Central Europe (rich in videos of interviews and seminars), The Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange (one of our many links to the world of international exchange programs), Global Connections TV, The International Monetary Fund (IMF), The United Nations, Washington International, The World Bank, among others.

Featured Content

Not only is our focus worldwide, but it aims to move laterally across the many bureaucratic silos that impede efforts to operate collaboratively. Some of the featured works include:

Curbing Health Care Fraud in the US Medicare Program – article by Linda Min that emphasizes collaboration within the federal government and with state and local officials as well

Diplomacy & Genocide in Burundi – video-interview by Warren Master of former U.S. Senator & Ambassador Robert Krueger and his wife, Kathleen Tobin Krueger

Mexico’s Perfect Storm: Using the Narcotrafico Threat to Build Governance Capacity in the U.S. and Mexico – commentary by Don Klingner emphasizing the critically collaborative nature of this highly-charged challenge

Managing Effectively in a Networked World – article by Muhittin Acar, Chao Guo & Gregory D. Saxton, with new insight into 21st century collaboration

Promoting Minority Rights in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina – article by Sarah Ringler that examines collaborative techniques in the still-dicey Balkans

Engaging the Global Community through Exchange Programs – article by David Simpson that shares a tapestry of efforts underway requiring broad, international collaboration and cooperation

The UN’s Response on Behalf of Children in Armed Conflict – video-interview by Bill Miller of Radhika Coomaraswamy, U.N. Under-Secretary-General, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict

Entrepreneurial Municipal Governance in Slovenia – article by Miro Hacek on the challenges and innovations of inter-governmental and public-private collaboration in the former Yugoslav republic

Better Government, Better Services in Liberia – article by Oblayon B. Nyemah on a road map to reduce poverty and place the country on a path of positive socio-economic growth and development

Looking Ahead

We expect to refresh the online site regularly and anticipate that as it becomes better known – within ASPA’s Sections and Chapters and other globally-oriented circles – we’ll be well on our way to building a robust, searchable collection that users can tap and contribute to for some time to come. Moreover, as the International Chapter begins reaching out and generates more interaction, we anticipate site visitors will weigh in through forums and other tools to open up dialogues on a wide variety of topics. For example, the first forum posted at present concerns “Governance Challenges in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) Region” – a dialogue already underway within ASPA generated by an internal survey (See recent PA Times article). Four questions posed by the forum moderator focus on lessons learned from the world of practice, applied research and training, education & development.

Please contact me directly at wciwmaster@aol.com if you have practice-oriented content to propose or other questions or suggestions to help make the new site a success.

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2 thoughts on “ASPA Promotes Good Governance Worldwide

  1. I echo Erik’s comments – who along with Meredith Newman, provided much of the impetus and leadership for this breakthrough over the past two years. Now we need all those whose Section, Chapter and/or personal experience and passion offers lessons learned that can be shared with others. It’s time to weigh in!

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