Foresight and innovation for #NextGenGov champions in Sri Lanka

Similar to other countries in the region, Sri Lanka has experienced rising urbanisation, technological innovation, deepening inequality, vulnerability to disasters and dramatic environmental risks. A new generation of government leaders is imperative in ensuring Sri Lanka can effectively respond to the challenges of our time.

The ‘Foresight & Innovation for #NextGenGov Champions’ program responds to this need by equipping a new generation of public sector officials with the tools necessary to implement creative solutions to complex challenges in our country. Following the success of the pilot program conducted in 2018, two capacity-building workshops for two more cohorts were launched this week with participants from over 35 public institutions in Sri Lanka along with international participants from Maldives, Bhutan, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Turkey, Gambia and Tanzania.

The program is co-developed as a joint initiative between Citra Social Innovation Lab, the Presidential Secretariat, the Ministry of Public Administration, and the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA).

Speaking on the added value of the program Minister of Public Administration and Disaster Management Ranjith Madduma Bandara stated, “A strong and efficient public service is a crucial segment of the enforcement of policies for an effective nation. The Ministry of Public Administration and Disaster Management is pleased to have worked with Citra Social Innovation Lab and the Presidential Secretariat and SLIDA to co-develop a comprehensive program on ‘Foresight and Innovation for Public Sector Excellence’, being conducted for the second time, having had a very successful pilot run. Building on the conversations around improving the efficiency of the public sector, this workshop will equip the selected officials with the tools required to approach challenges in an innovative way. We look forward to continuing our engagement with Citra to further strengthen the public sector of Sri Lanka.”

As Sri Lanka’s first social innovation lab, Citra is a proven leader in using foresight and innovation tools in prototyping and testing development solutions to ensure they are agile and holistic. As a joint initiative between the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Citra facilitates creating an environment that is conducive to looking at problems from different perspectives, building capacities, and strengthening institutions.

Speaking on the program, Minister of Science, Technology and Research Sujeewa Senasinghe stated, “Public sector officials are the backbone of any government and have a crucial role to play in ensuring countries achieve the targets they set for themselves. This year we’re happy to welcome over 55 public sector officials from Sri Lanka along with their counterparts from several other countries for the #NextGenGov program. The 2019 cohort of this workshop is a testament to the global significance of these tools for public sector excellence.”

The five-day residential workshops require participants to implement these tools in their offices and departments within a three-month mentorship period and report back on their experiences. The continued engagement of the ‘#NextGenGov Champions’ will contribute towards a sustained, long-term integration of foresight and innovation for public sector excellence in Sri Lanka.

Source: Daily FT

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