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Responsive Public Management

Responsive public management
International monitoring in public management is one of the constituent activities of the IGPDE since its creation. Several publications have been produced by a dedicated unit, published on the website and accessible to everyone. They deal with subjects present in the current trends of the reforms in France and describe the European and foreign experiences, their effectiveness and / or the inflexions brought to the reforms.
The second part of the publication "Responsive Public Management", translation of "Note réactive", is a two-page insert presenting one on-going reform in a specific country. It is written by one of our research analysts and is sent to subscribers along with the "Monthly Notices on Public Management".


With its population of 5.5 million and internationally-recognised education system,  Finland ranks in the top 20 for its standard of living (with per capita GDP of €39,065 in 2016) and was elected the “happiest country in the world” in the World Happiness Report 2018.  It enjoyed steady economic growth from 2001 to 2008, thanks to Nokia’s excellent economic performance. The Finnish economy was hit hard by the downturn in international trade. It began its recovery in 2015,  and growth in 2018 is expected in a range of 2.5-2.9%.



Already the world’s second-largest economy, China now wants to become the global No. 1 in the key sectors of the digital economy and technological innovation. It aims to be the world leader in artificial intelligence (AI) . As the largest investor in AI in 2017 , China also produces substantial scientific research on this topic. It is a country with immense potential: a population of 1.38 billion, including 800 million smartphone users, sizeable investments and very dynamic companies.

  • Responsive Management n°103 - June 2018 -South Korea: striving for good human resources management and training performance levels

    Like both China and Japan, South Korea has a powerful bureaucracy that has had a major decision-making role in the country’s management since it became independent in 1948.  From the rollout of national development planning in the 1960s to the sweeping public sector reforms in the wake of the 1998 Asian economic crisis, the government has played a predominant role in controlling the country’s social and economic development. Concurrent with these changes, the civil service has expanded considerably, in particular in terms of training as witnessed by the 617 public administration programmes offered in 2010 by the Korean higher education system.  Human resources management and training in the public sector also stand out due to their performance levels. This is confirmed by the International Civil Service Effectiveness (InCiSE) Index,  that is published by the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, and which ranks South Korea ninth out of 31 countries.


 With a population of 206 million people and the world’s ninth largest GDP, at $1.8 trillion, Brazil has considerable economic potential. The country has emerged from its recession and sustained growth is expected in 2018. According to the OECD, recent reforms have put Brazil on the right track but must be pursued, particularly when it comes to reining in public spending, to allow for optimisation of the country’s capabilities. Technology has already made impressive headway there: 58% of the population uses the internet and over 100 million Brazilians use smartphones. Brazil appears extremely well suited for e-government, as evidenced by the proliferation of IT projects and the launch of a brand new digital transformation strategy.

Over the past 15 years, Morocco has enjoyed strong economic growth (3.3% p.a. between 2000 and 2015). Its social situation has also improved significantly, with an increase in the population’s average standard of living and the eradication of extreme poverty. Many public-sector reforms, praised by the IMF, have been carried out to provide better access to public services, to develop public infrastructures and substantially lift Morocco’s rankings in terms of its business climate (it currently ranks 69th worldwide, out of 190 countries). However, many projects remain incomplete, as noted by King Mohammed VI during his Throne Day address on 29 July 2017. This speech was an opportunity to usher in a far-reaching reform programme for the Moroccan government.


The publication of the Monthly Notices on Public Management and of the Responsive Public Management has been suspended for the edition of March. Thank you for following us and see you for April’s edition!

Ireland, which was nicknamed the “Celtic Tiger” from 1994 to 2008 (thanks to an average annual growth rate of 5.9%), is set to post growth of 3.5% in 2018.  Between 2008 and 2015, however, the country had to cope with a complicated economic situation. This period coincided with a strong determination within the administration that gave rise to two successive public service reform plans (2011-13 and 2014-16).  The second plan received a very positive assessment from the OECD.  The recommendations in the OECD’s report have laid the groundwork for launching “Our Public Service 2020”, a bold and innovative new project.

After the 2003 Rose Revolution, in order to shore up its authority, the new Georgian government launched major reforms. These reforms notably involved public administration, which suffered from numerous difficulties that had fuelled the political crisis: corruption, a bloated public sector, unmotivated and poorly paid civil servants, a lack of transparency, etc.  The measures implemented led to a considerable improvement in this small country of 3.7 million inhabitants, which now ranks No. 1 in the region for governance.  They also transformed the business climate, with Georgia ranking a very good 16th in the World Bank's 2017 Ease of Doing Business report (vs. a rank of 112th in 2005).  In addition to a fierce anti-corruption drive, these reforms included the creation of “Public Service Halls” (PSHs). In 2012, the United Nations Public Service Award (UNPSA) was given to the Public Service Halls of Georgia.


  • Responsive Public Management n° 98 - November 2017 - Bulgaria: vital choices for the country's future

    On 1 January 2018 – six months earlier than initially planned, as the role has been shifted half a year ahead due to Brexit – the Balkan Republic will assume the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, which it joined together with Romania in 2007. With solid backing from Germany and France, Bulgaria is looking to use this occasion to take action at both European and domestic levels. The government is undertaking a number of reforms with an eye to restoring citizens’ trust in the administration and its institutions.

  • This island of 330,000 inhabitants experienced the full brunt of the 2008 economic and financial crisis. However, since then, it has witnessed a spectacular recovery with 6% GDP growth forecast for 2017, general government debt reined in at 35% of GDP, a slight fiscal surplus of 1.7% and almost full employment. One of the initiatives to address the crisis was the rollout of gender responsive budgeting (GRB).

  •  Responsive Public Management n° 96 - September 2017 - Belgium: recasting the work organisation of civil servants
    The dawn of the 21st century has brought about wide-reaching changes to the working environment. The modern public sector is driven by the expansion of digital technology and fiscal performance levels. The Belgian federal government is constantly innovating and rolling out new organisation methods which, whilst upending certain practices, are geared towards adjusting to society’s new requirements. To ensure optimum take-up, these changes are designed with a strong human element.
  •  Responsive Public Management n° 95 -  July / August 2017 - United Arab Emirates: A Ministry of State for Happiness to move society forward and guide public policy
    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the only federation in the Arab world, grouping together seven emirates for a population of 9.8 million, of which around 12% are UAE nationals. The country is dynamic (GDP growth of 2.7% in 2016) and prosperous (GDP per capita of US$ 38,032 in 2016). Among OPEC Member Countries, it ranks fourth in terms of oil production (2.8-3 million barrels per day) and seventh for oil reserves worldwide (98 billion barrels). The UAE boasts a multicultural society and a diversified economy (notably in the tourism, finance, services, real estate, air transport and international trade sectors), and has shown resilience in the wake of lower oil prices.
  •  Responsive Public Management n° 94 -  June 2017 - Malta: matching public service with service to the public

    Thirteen years after acceding to the EU, Malta – the smallest Member State – will assume the presidency of the Council of the EU for the first six months of the year. Since it gained independence in 1964, Malta, a crossroads of cultures and influences (including Arab, British, French and Italian), has built a robust civil service. The government is constantly changing and adapting to both the needs of its citizens and budget constraints.

  •  Responsive Public Management n° 92 -  April 2017 - Slovakia: the initiative "Value for Money".

    One week after the Brexit vote, Slovakia assumed the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time since its accession in 2004. This was an additional challenge for Bratislava, which continues to rely on steady growth that is tightly linked to trade with other Member States. Recently, in order to streamline public spending in several sectors, it embarked on an innovative reform programme.

  •  Responsive Public Management n° 91 -  March 2017 - United Kingdom: "What Works Centres" contributing to government action.

    For many years, the UK has been pushing impact assessment and evidence-based policies. As early as 1999, the labour government published a report aimed at expanding the latter. Subsequently, the notion of setting up agencies for knowledge transfers began to make headway. What Works Centres (WWCs) were created with the support of David Halpern, Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team and Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive Officer of the Nesta innovation foundation. The goal of these structures is to inform government decision-making by highlighting “what works”.

  •  Responsive Public Management n° 90 -  February 2017 - Netherlands: scientific research supporting the public sector. 
    The National Research Programme presented by the Dutch government in September 2016 was prepared by a “knowledge coalition” consisting in representatives of all the stakeholder groups involved in, as well as affected by, research activities. This innovative process based on participation and collaboration gave rise to a roadmap for the next four years that reflects the interactions between the scientific community, the public sector, the corporate world and civil society.


  •  Responsive Public Management n° 88 -  November 2016 - Slovenia: innovative public-sector experiments. 
    This year, the former Yugoslavian republic of Slovenia celebrated 25 years of independence. It joined the euro area in 2007 and, five years later, weathered a severe crisis in its banking sector. Refusing a bailout, the government stepped up reform efforts, particularly by curtailing the government involvement in the country's economy in order to not jeopardise public finances. The country's administration is resolutely turned towards the future, and offers new types of partnerships.
  •   Responsive Public Management n° 86 -  September 2016 - Denmark: a digital strategy to foster inclusion
    In terms of digital public services, Denmark ranks second in the EU, right behind Estonia. For the past two decades, Denmark has had a very proactive – even interventionist – policy with respect to e-government. In May 2016, the Danish government presented its Digital Strategy 2016–2020, entitled "A Stronger and More Secure Digital Denmark". The goal is to create an inclusive society in which everyone can participate.
  •  Responsive Public Management n° 84 - June 2016 - Latvia: citizen participation in budget drafting
    On 16 June, after a three-year long accession process and following ratification by its Parliament, Latvia became the 35th Member of the OECD. Latvia has often been held up as an example within the EU for the manner in which it recovered from the economic and financial crisis. The OECD is strongly recommending that the country continues its ongoing reform programme by involving its citizens in public action.
  •   Responsive Public Management n° 83 - May 2016 - Cyprus: crisis exit and fresh hope for reunification
    As the fifth and final euro area country to receive a bailout package, the Mediterranean island Republic has followed in the footsteps of Ireland and Portugal by successfully exiting the three-year rescue programme that was agreed in March 2013. An ambitious reform agenda has been implemented, there is renewed growth and the island’s reunification is again taking centre stage, with the possibility of an agreement that would bring an end to 42 years of division.
  •   Responsive Public Management n° 82 - April 2016 - Sweden: a "Ministry of the Future" to think about tomorrow's public policy
    As early as 1973, Sweden, in a ground-breaking move for future planning, appointed a Minister of State to review the role of future studies. A Commission on the Future of Sweden, set up in 2011, which was tasked with identifying the challenges facing Sweden in the longer term, up to 2020 and 2050, submitted its report in March 2013. Created in November 2014, Sweden’s “Ministry of the Future” makes it, along with South Korea, one of the few countries to have such a body. Headed up by Kristina Persson, it has a mandate to think about public policy in the very long term.


  •  Responsive Public Management n° 77 - October 2015 -  Italy: does the Madia Act herald the advent of an efficient and effective government?
    The Italian civil service, which employs 3.2 million people, has a poor image, supposedly mired in red tape and susceptible to corruption. In the World Bank’s 2013 Worldwide Governance Indicators, it ranked 25 out of 28 EU member states for government effectiveness. The World Bank’s Doing Business 2015 survey ranked it 22nd for dealing with construction permits and registering property; liquidating a company takes eight years, while it takes eight months to obtain a construction permit. This is why EU institutions are strongly urging Italy to modernize its public administration.
  •  Responsive Public Management n° 76 - September 2015 - eGovernment in the European Union
    The Ministerial Declaration on eGovernment approved in Malmo, Sweden on 18 November 2009 established the policy priorities for European eGovernment, with the goal of making European governments more open, flexible and collaborative. The subsequent 2011-2015 Action Plan, which has just expired, outlined four main political priorities: empowering citizens and businesses through the provision of eGovernment services, enhancing mobility in the Single Market, greater streamlining of administrative processes and improving organizational processes. As part of the strategy to create a Digital Single Market for Europe unveiled on 6 May 2015, the European Commission began drawing up a new 2016-2020 Action Plan in July 2015.


  •  Responsive Public Management n° 65 - July / August 2014 - United Kingdom: the pension scheme revolution continues
    After the introduction of Automatic Enrolment into Workplace Pensions in October 2012, which required employers to set up a pension scheme for all their employees, followed by the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 which reformed civil service pensions, the Pensions Act  2014 introduced on 14 May of this year has revolutionised the basic pension scheme. One of the most striking provisions of the Act is one which allows people to withdraw their entire pension in the form of a lump sum.


  •  Responsive Public Management n° 59 - November 2013 - United States: the government shutdown
    On October 16th 2013, a few hours before falling into default, the americain House (Democrat) and Senate (Republican) finally found a (temporary) agreement on the 2014 budget and the raising of the debt ceiling. These two factors are distinct from one another, but the fact that they occurred at the same time explains their considerable impact on public opinion.  


  •  Responsive Public Management n° 43 - March 2012 - Iceland: a new people's constitution
    Hard hit by the crisis in 2008, Iceland has begun to revise its constitution, in order to restructure its legislative and executive powers as well as its administration. Unusually, citizens were invited to participate actively in this process, with a Citizens' Forum to ask upstream principles, election of candidates proposed by the people to draft the project and amendments via the internet ('crowdsourcing').

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International Public Management


"Responsive Public Management" highlights reforms in the four main areas of public management, as shown by the few examples chosen from the latest issues:
1 - Budget performance:
2 - Governance:
3 - User relations:
4 - Civil service:
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