Local public administrations across all countries and regions face complex environments. These environments demand high levels of capacity and knowledge in public institutions. On the one hand, politicians and public employees alike need to deal with challenges such as climate change, digitisation, or demographic change. On the other hand, successful policy making requires meaningful interactions with further stakeholders such as civic society. At the same time, local authorities are clostest to the citizens. Thereby, local administrations have a great impact on people’s trust in public authorities.
Cities, municipalities and city associations across Europe developed useful guidelines and implemented good practices of sound public management. With this in mind, Priority Area 10 “Institutional Capacity and Cooperation” tried to answer the following questions:
- How can cities and municipalities in the Danube Region make good use of these guidelines, frameworks and good practices?
- Which factors of sound public management should local authorities in the Danube Region focus on?
- How can we present the most relevant strategic frameworks and good practices to our local stakeholders in a useful way?
As a result, Priority Area 10 “Institutional Capacity and Cooperation” drafted a policy paper on “Sound Public Management in the Danube Region”. The policy paper narrows down essential values and areas in public management on which local politicians, civil servants and policy makers should focus on in order to achieve sound local public management. The recommendations in this paper provide guidance for local authorities in the Danube Region. Furthermore, the policy paper highlights areas of activity for institutional capacity building. In doing so, the policy paper serves as a starting point for local authorities to assess their performance. Furthermore, it provides a framework for future capacity building initiatives within Priority Area 10 “Institutional Capacity and Cooperation”.
What is sound public management, actually…?
When we talk about sound public management, we tend to stumble across different views. For instance, citizens tend to experience the quality of public management through the accessibility, scope, and user-friendliness of public services. Civil society organisations or businesses might have a stronger focus on accessible and transparent processes in policy-making. Finally, politicians and public employees are likely to look at their capacities to handle policy challenges. In any case, all these views are linked with each other and they have one thing in common: They are outcomes of public management.
Hence, the policy paper addresses necessary factors for a high-quality public management that produces desired outcomes such as:
- ensuring higher trust and transparency levels,
- improving public services based on the needs and expectations of their residents and
- achieving sustainable development.
In the following, the paper shows how values of good governance can be applied in various focus areas in public administration. Furthermore, the paper defines policy areas or drivers for change towards sound public administration.
The policy paper on “Sound Public Management in the Danube Region” is available for download.
The policy paper is based on the research by KDZ – Centre for Public Administration Research and the results from the EUSDR Priority Area 10 Workshop on Sound Local Public Management in Vienna on 5 November 2019.
- Policy Paper on “Sound Public Management in the Danube Region” (PDF, 1,9 MB)
- Article: PA 10 Workshop on Sound Public Management | Vienna | 5 November 2019