What is the Network of Innovators?
The Network of Innovators is a tool to inspire governments in their reform process of public administration, and to strengthen collaboration among public administration systems in the region.
The mission, structure, operational modalities and role of the network of innovators, as well as their expected contribution to enhancing the exchange of administrative innovation in the region was decided by UNDESA and Formez following consultations with the beneficiary countries. A Meeting on the Network of Innovators took place in order to discuss the modalities of implementation of the network itself and to agree on collaborative mechanisms.
The network of innovators is composed of a government offcial that acts as focal point within the Ministry of Public Administration as well as national and international experts dealing with governance issues in the Mediterranean region. Exchange of information among innovators is encouraged through meetings and through this portal. The Portal aims at facilitating networking among innovators, as well as the exchange of experiences and lessons learned through an interactive online forum.
Why was a Network of Innovators created?
Knowledge acquisition is very important in the era of Information Technology and rapid change. For that reason, it is not sufficient any longer to rely on one’s own local expertise, but knowledge may be acquired through exchange of information on successful practices, or even failures, and experiences in general that may facilitate reform in other countries. Learning from other developing countries or developed countries can save time, inspire new reforms, and in some cases help countries to leapfrog stages of development.
There is great expertise in the Mediterranean region, but links are necessary in order to maximize the returns in terms of guiding and inspiring innovative processes in governance institutions. A Network of Innovators at different levels – experts, government officials, private sector specialists can accelerate the sharing of information and can be a valuable tool in providing advisory services to governments in the region. All partner countries of the Programme can benefit from this initiative since pioneering initiatives in innovating public service delivery and in administrative innovation emerge both in developed and developing countries.
Uniqueness of the Network of Innovators in Governance in the Mediterranean Region
The Network of Innovators in Governance in the Mediterranean Region, established within the InnovMed framework, is the first network of its kind in the Middle East/North Africa region and the Western Balkans.
The Network of Innovators represents a milestone in Mediterranean regional cooperation, as this is the first time administrative trendsetters from the Arab world and the Western Balkans have resolved to work together to promote innovation for better governance and ultimately for economic and social development within the participating countries. The Network represents the culmination of more than three years of coordinated efforts to improve public administration in the region.
Conceived in 2003, the Network was launched in Marseille in June 2006 during a meeting organized by the Division for Public Administration and Development Management of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in collaboration with the World Bank Institute.
The Network of Innovators is intended to serve as a platform for promoting a culture of innovation in governance in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The aim is to create public value through the dissemination, exchange and adaptation of modern strategies for effective public administration. The Network constitutes a practical resource accessible to Arab and South-Eastern European Governments seeking concrete solutions to real problems in the realm of governance.
Every member of the Network of Innovators is committed to carrying out specified activities consistent with the provisions of the Constitutive Document, adopted at the first meeting of the Steering Committee of the Network in Morocco in March 2007.
The Steering Committee represents the Network and contributes to its visibility and extension. The individual members act as local coordinators in their countries, linking the major actors involved in administrative innovation to the activities of the Network.
Five working groups each focus on a particular area: public service delivery; human resource reform and integrity; decentralization and local governance; e-government; and innovative systems of participation. The working groups constitute the Network’s main driving force, identifying innovations in each thematic field and organizing activities that address the needs expressed by Governments in the region.
The working groups are responsible for implementing key activities identified in the Action Plan; within this framework, they have developed a communication strategy, established a system for the exchange of information between the members of the Network. They identify the needs of national Governments in the respective thematic fields (to facilitate the supply-and-demand matching and adaptation of innovations), identify successful innovations from the region and from around the world, set up pilot projects for the transfer of innovations, prepare case studies and training materials on innovation, and implement the Mediterranean public service award programme.