Public Service Day celebrates everyone’s contribution for a better world
June 23 is Public Service Day. Established in 2002 by the United Nations, the day is designed to recognize the work of public servants, and encourage young people to pursue a career in the public sector.
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The 2019 United Nations Public Service Forum (UNPSF) will take place in the Republic of Azerbaijan from 24 to 26 June 2019, under the theme ‘Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through effective Delivery of Services, Innovative Transformation and Accountable Institutions’.
The Forum is organized by the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) through its Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) together with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). Several partners will also be engaged in organizing parallel workshops or side events.
Effective, inclusive and accountable public-sector institutions are critical for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs. They play a key role in achieving interlinkages and policy coherence; designing national development strategies and plans, developing infrastructure, mobilizing resources, monitoring and evaluating public programmes, projects and development activities, and equipping public servants with the capacities to implement the SDGs. They also have an important role to play in providing inclusive services to better serve citizens and leave no one behind, including through digital government.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for innovative transformation and puts forward values and principles such as ‘leaving no one behind’, integration, partnerships, and universality, which need to be translated into action. Both SDG 16 and SDG 10 are highly relevant to the focus of the 2019 United Nations Public Service Forum. Public institutions need to embrace innovation and transformation to deliver more effective, timely and responsive services, and embody the principles of transparency, accountability and inclusion.
The Forum will provide a platform for Ministers and other senior decision makers to reflect on how to advance progress in realizing the SDGs. Participants will also have the opportunity to debate emerging issues and trends, discuss good practices, strategies and innovative approaches for effective service delivery and innovative transformation in delivering on the SDGs and leaving no one behind, a cross cutting tenet of the 2030 Agenda. It will be a moment to reflect on common challenges and exchange lessons learned from the new approaches and innovations that are being experimented worldwide.
You can learn more about the forum and the Awards and access the draft programme, workshop concept notes and more information on the Forum’s website: unpsf2019baku.com
Who are the 2019 UN Public Service Award Winners?
AFrica Group: Water Sector Trust Fund
In low-income urban areas of Kenya, inadequate and unsustainable access to sanitation and water affected the hygiene and living conditions of residents. These issues most affected women, children and other vulnerable populations of the community. UBSUP ensured safe and sustainable emptying, transport and treatment of toilet sludge through the construction of the decentralized treatment facilities (DTFs). Further, UBSUP established a monitoring system for tracking access to safe water and basic sanitation facilities. It also developed a sanitation up-scaling concept in line with the sector reforms. According to evaluations provided, the initiative’s objectives and strategic approach make a significant contribution to ensuring access to adequate sanitation for those living in low-income urban areas. By December 2018, the initiative had provided 200,000 residents with safe access to water and sanitation.
Latin America and the Caribbean Group: Prefeitura do Jaboatão dos Guararapes
Waste collection in Jaboatão dos Guararapes was an informal activity that exposed the waste-collectors to ´Lixão da Muribeca´- an open-air dump yard. This made them vulnerable to diseases, toxic gases and fumes and compromised their social and economical growth. In 2009, the dump was closed and the municipality implemented a new scheme to formally employ some of the former waste and street cleaners. The programme offers training as well as technical and infrastructure support, aiming also at environmental benefits of waste collection. It prioritizes women and other groups in vulnerable situations, such as HIV-positive, former offenders, former drug addicts to encourage entrepreneurship and self-management of co-operatives.
Western Europe and Others Group: Agriculture Victoria
In the State of Victoria, the European Rabbit created unstable land use by burrowing and reproducing at high rates. The Victorian Rabbit Action Network (VRAN) forges communication and provides the opportunity for information exchange between the local community and local government on how to address the invasive rabbit species. VRAN records lessons learned to help adapt response mechanisms and future interventions to control the invasive species problem. It also includes an engagement with policymakers to help local government pass better policies. In four years, it has covered 2.4 million hectares of land that was affected. Surveyed responses and evaluations of the initiative have indicated a fundamental shift in invasive species management towards the community-led approach.
Asia and Pacific: Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana
As weather patterns intensify and become increasingly unpredictable, cities in Indonesia are regularly faced with the challenges of extreme weather events. A lack of access to verified, real-time data compromises the ability to make informed decisions for planning and response, resulting in ineffective resource management and conflict. By providing free real-time disaster information, and making it possible to safely and easily share it, PetaBencana.id leverages capacities for all residents to equally participate in decisionmaking.The platform is designed to operate smoothly with the other existing platforms such as instant messaging, social media, and SMS-based communications. The initiative is intended for underfunded communities, agencies with limited technical means, and individuals with modest means for data usage. Since the launch of PetaBencana.id website in December 2015, the platform has been accessed 737,102 times by 361,478 unique users.
Latin America: Laboratorio de Hemoderivados de la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
Many chronic illness patients in Argentina require expensive medications to survive, but do not have the economic resources or health coverage to pay for them. As such, there was a gap in access to expensive medicines for the poor and/or vulnerable, and particularly for drugs manufactured using blood products like plasma. The creation of the Blood Products Laboratory aims to transform pathogenic residue (plasma) into safe, effective and affordable medicines for the most poor and vulnerable while created a supply network that can access the affordable drugs for patients. The Laboratory further developed a Drug Donation Program that enables people without health coverage and/or economic resources to treat their illnesses with the donated medicines. Ultimately, the access to medication at a lower price in Argentina has improved and the Blood Products Laboratory has expanded its operation through plasma exchange agreements with Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Ecuador.
Latin America: Costa Rica. Implementation of the Single Digital Health Record in Primary Care
Institution: Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social
Medical records of the Costa Ricans were not easily accessible or transferable between different offices and regions. The Single Digital Health File (EDUS) consists of a set of applications and services that allows the automation of health processes. Using the EDUS, health professionals of the CCSS (Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social) can review patients’ health record from any medical establishment and throughout its network of services. It facilitates better clinical decision making and quality control. The access to clinical information available in real time and the implementation of clinical protocols for the medical care guarantee the standardization of the processes. The system also employs mobile messaging features to directly communicate with people using EDUS. As a result, it is used in 1,047 Basic Teams of Integral Health Care (Primary Care Establishments) of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund in the 7 provinces.