Members of the Office of the Public Service Commission represented Samoa at the 2019 United Nations Public Service Day, Awards Ceremony and Public Service Forum from the 24th – 26th June 2019, Baku, Azerbaijan.

The Public Service Day and Awards Ceremony is an annual event to commemorate creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to effective and responsive public administrations in countries worldwide.

Awards were divided into five categories; Delivery of inclusive and equitable services to leave no one behind; Ensuring integrated approaches in the public-sector institutions; Developing effective and accountable public institutions; Promoting digital transformation in public sector institutions and Promoting gender responsive public services to achieve the SDGs.

A total of 11 countries were successfully nominated based on the 5 categories as noted below;

  • Category 1 – Kenya, Brazil and Australia
  • Category 2 – Indonesia, Argentina and Portugal
  • Category 3 – Thailand
  • Category 4 – Costa Rica
  • Category 5 – Republic of Korea and Austria

The Public Service Day and Awards Ceremony was followed by the Public Service Forum from the 25th – 26th June 2019, under the theme “Achieving the SDGs through effective delivery of services, innovative transformation and accountable institutions.”

The Forum was organized into 9 parallel workshops consisting of the five categories noted for the Awards Ceremony in addition to the following: Innovation in Government for Social Inclusion of vulnerable groups to achieve the SDGs; Mobilizing and equipping public servants to realise the 2030 Agenda; Future of public services – linking government performance with the power of disruptive technologies in the context of 2030 Agenda and Effective model for the delivery of public services contributing to the realization of human rights and SDGs.

Overall, more than 500 individuals from over 130 countries including Presidents, Ministers, Heads of Public Administrations and Public Service Departments, Non-Government and International Organizations and Associations, Private Sector representatives and Experts from around the globe participated. A total of more than 300 presentations were delivered, discussed and debated during the Forum.

The lessons learnt from each workshop were captured and summarized into 10 Key Conclusions and Recommendations on the final day of the Forum;

  1. With less than 11 years remaining, Governments must work with an increased sense of urgency with more emphasis on implementation;
  2. Changing mindsets at the individual, organizational and societal level is essential;
  3. Building, encouraging and rewarding a culture of Innovation;
  4. Transformational leadership must be Omni-present;
  5. Disaggregated, timely, quality and frequent data is critical to evidence based policy making to leave no one behind – particularly the most vulnerable;
  6. Women to be at the centre of service design;
  7. The use of ICT to make public services more effective, accessible and responsive to people’s needs;
  8. Promoting innovative financing both for Local Governments and Civil Society organization;
  9. SDG 16 provides an opportunity to transform public institutions by building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels, preventing corruption and bribery, enhancing public participation and access to information;
  10. Targeting and engaging future generations is essential to fully change mindsets, values and beliefs with a future perspective towards the 2030 Agenda;