UNDP’s Democratic Governance Work Catalyses Knowledge Sharing in Government

Nov 20, 2014

A new trend is being set by many government ministries and departments which benefitted from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) training programmes. They are adapting, enriching and replicating these training programmes with their own resources to benefit a greater number of employees. UNDP’s Democratic Governance Programme is supported by the governments of Australia, Denmark, Finland and Japan.

Partners have replicated UNDP training using their own budgets, helped design new training around specific work tasks, and participated actively in knowledge sharing and exchanges with representatives from their own, and other countries and governments.

Justice sector partners replicated UNDP training using their own budgets. UNDP and the International Development Law Organization provided a three week training on fair trial principles and active learning methods to 25 staff in the Union Attorney General’s Office in November last year. The participants then replicated the training, using their own regional budgets, to more than 150 law offices in three regions, without UNDP support.

‘We are proud that our law officers have used the advanced skills set provided by UNDP’s initial training to share their knowledge with other colleagues’, said U Kyaw San, Director General of the Union Attorney General’s Office.

The Executive has taken up recommendations to enhance inter-ministry information sharing. At a retreat on Public Administration Reform in Bagan on 13th and 14th February 2014, hosted by the General Administration Department with support from UNDP and the European Union, representatives from five different Ministries made presentations and held discussions on the reforms ongoing in their institutions. Their recommendation to strengthen inter-ministerial cooperation and communication on public administration reform prompted the President’s Office to form regular government coordination structures for the third wave of reforms- which have since met three times (on 22nd May, 16th September and 30th September).

The Ministry of Planning has also seized on opportunities for learning. After the completion of Ministry of Planning’s Report on the Business Census, produced jointly with UNDP, the Ministry requested additional training on socio-economic data analysis, to help staff understand how to better analyse data, including the survey findings. On 23rd September, 12 staff attended the first of a series of follow-up workshops in Nay Pyi Taw, and commented that the chance to go through their questions about the data analysis process will help in their future survey work.

The parliament has partnered with UNDP and its donors to help take forward the development of their strategic plan. The Clerk of the House of Representatives in the Australian Parliament visited Nay Pyi Taw in May, and shared experience in strategic planning and parliamentary development. “When donor countries share their own experiences, it not only helps learning, but also strengthens partnerships,” says Warren Cahill, himself a former Clerk of Committees in the New South Wales Parliament, Australia, who is a UNDP advisor to the Union Parliament in Nay Pyi Taw.

“These initiatives are only one sign of a broader change that is happening in government, but it is an important one for UNDP and for its donors, as they show confidence in the quality and relevance of UNDP’s contributions to ongoing reforms,” said UNDP Country Director, Toily Kurbanov.

UNDP’s Democratic Governance Programme works with government, civil society and the private sector to promote democratic governance, the rule of law, and the advancement of human rights in Myanmar.

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