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Innovations in Governance
and Public Administration:
Replicating what works
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
United Nations
New York, 2006
The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat is a
vital interface between global policies in the economic, social and environmental spheres
and national action. The Departmentworks in three main interlinked areas: (i) it compiles,
generates and analyses a wide range of economic, social and environmental data
and information on which Member States of the United Nations draw to review common
problems and to take stock of policy options; (ii) it facilitates the negotiations of
Member States in many intergovernmental bodies on joint courses of action to address
ongoing oremerging global challenges; and (iii) it advises interested Governments on
the ways and means of translating policy frameworks developed in United Nations conferences
and summits into programmes at the country level and, through technical assistance,
helps build national capacities.
The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do
not imply theexpression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the
United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its
authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
The designations “developed” and “developing” economies are intended for statistical
convenience and do not necessarily imply a judgment about the stagereached by a particular
country or area in the development process. The term “country” as used in the
text of this publication also refers, as appropriate, to territories or areas. The term “dollar”
normally refers to the United States dollar ($).
The views expressed are those of the individual authors and do not imply any expression
of opinion on the part of the United Nations.
A UnitedNations Publication
Publication No.: ST/ESA/PAD/SER.E/72
Printed in the United States of America
March 2006
Copyright © United Nations, 2006
All rights reserved
As shown by the United Nations Public Service Awards and a number of other award
programmes in various regions of the world, there is great capacity in all corners of the
globe to reinvent government and tolaunch innovative practices in governance. Disseminating
information about innovations in government, and most importantly, transforming
this information into knowledge so that it may benefit countries looking for effective
solutions to governance problems, is a challenge that the United Nations has
taken up very seriously. Although there are no “one-size-fits-all” solutions to complex
issues,sharing successful experiences offers an opportunity for innovation in governance
and public administration. We strongly believe that sharing information and transferring
knowledge on innovations are important tools for stimulating and inspiring governments
in their reform efforts toward more inclusive development. In fact, learning
from other countries’ experiences in reinventing government cansave time, inspire new
reforms, and in some cases help countries to leapfrog stages of development. Moreover,
focusing on best practices rather than on failures is a way to provide positive incentives
for reform efforts and encourage a constructive outlook on development. It affords the
opportunity to shift our attention from what the State should do to how it should do it,
i.e., how itshould solve the many challenges it is presented with on a daily basis.
In light of the above, the United Nations General Assembly reiterated, in resolution
57/277, that particular emphasis should be given to the exchange of experiences related
to the role of public administration in the implementation of internationally agreed
goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration. In...
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