Authors: Gowher Rizvi
May 2005
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School
This paper consists of one of the keynote speeches in the sub-session on Tri-sectoral Governance: Government, Civil Society and Private Sector Partnerships, which was part of the Open and Responsive Government session of the capacity-building workshop on Governance-Oriented Innovations to Enhance State Capacity. This workshop took place at the Sixth Global Forum on Reinventing Government: Toward Participatory and Transparent Governance held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on May 24 - 27, 2005. Dr. Rizvi is the director of the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. The workshop, Governance-Oriented Innovations to Enhance State Capacity, was a collaborative effort between the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Ash Institute.
As a result of globalization, the context for most governments has been transformed so radically that their traditional structures and modes of operation are no longer relevant. Flexible structures and processes are increasingly favored over the more traditional and bureaucratic patterns. There are also growing demands to make the state more competent, cohesive, and connected to the citizenry. Moreover, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are not likely to be realized without significant investment in the strengthening of public administration capacities at national and local levels. Governance-Oriented Innovations to Enhance State Capacity brought together senior decision makers and civil servants, policy advisers, local government officials, and others involved in public sector strengthening to discuss new approaches, tools, and methodologies aimed at improving the capacity of governments to: formulate and coordinate policy-making, develop the human capital, reform structures and functions, deliver services more responsively and transparently, foster the participation of civil society through partnerships, and exercise leadership in public sector transformation.


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