The United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) portal offers the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region an opportunity to share its information and knowledge with the rest of the world through a web-based portal.
The portal offers a repository of public administration content that is readily available. This portal has now become a valuable source of information for developing countries without an added responsibility of maintaining the portal.
The portal has assisted developing countries from being “downloaders” to “uploaders” of information, thus enhancing the culture of “telling our own stories” and sharing best practices with the rest of the world.
What is UNPAN
The UNPAN portal is a virtual electronic network that promotes the sharing of knowledge and exchange of innovative practices and lessons learned in public policies and management at local, national, sub-regional, regional and international level.
The ultimate objective of the UNPAN portal is to support the development of efficient and effective public administration systems and competency in the civil services, especially in developing countries.
The UNPAN portal is the only public administration web-based portal in the world today.
Benefits and services
The UNPAN portal provides the users with the following services:
• Online information services, such as information on UN programmes, projects on public policies and administration, information on good practices, lessons learned and relevant experiences at international, regional and national levels;
• Online training programmes, materials and facilities, free of charge;
• Online advisory services and the UNPAN portal help desk;
• Online conferences and workshops; and
• Online worldwide directories in public administration and finance.
The portal is managed from South Africa’s Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI).
The CPSI, a government component of the Department of Public Service and Administration, has been an UNPAN partner since 2004.
It is mandated to nurture, encourage, recognise and share innovative practices that improve service delivery.
The CPSI is one of the more than 35 UNPAN portals throughout the world.
As an online regional centre (ORC) for the UNPAN portal, the CPSI is tasked with content co-ordination in the SADC region.
The CPSI’s major function as an ORC is to identify and collect content on public administration and finance from the SADC region and upload the content on the UNPAN portal.
To strengthen co-ordination within the region, the CPSI holds annual regional SADC UNPAN portal workshops and conducts country visits.
Therefore the CPSI’s role is to:
• Co-ordinate the finding of suitable content providers and institutions.
• Enter into content partnership agreements with possible content providers.
• Market the portal within Southern Africa.
The content for the UNPAN portal covers these broad themes:
• Public policies;
• Constitutional and administrative laws;
• Public sector organizations and civil service development;
• Public sector management issues, such as human resource management, information technology management and financial management;
• Public –private sector relations and regulations;
• Participatory governance;
• E- government; and
• Knowledge management systems.
Invitation to provide content
We invite all spheres of government, public administration practitioners, academic institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGO), community-based organisations, media houses, government information officers and others from all corners of the SADC region to provide content for the portal covering the following types of information:
• Analytical reports
• Best practices on public administration
• Bibliography of public administration
• Public administration events
• Case studies
• Conference papers and related documents
• Country profiles
• Major development and trends
• Related websites
• Statistical databases
• Technical project highlights
• Training and related documents.
Users of the portal include public administration practitioners, academics, students, journalists, politicians, business leaders, NGO managers and members, political parties, donors, development practitioners, economists, embassy personnel, UN, AU, CAPAM and others.
This article forms part of a supplement paid for by the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI). Contents and photographs were supplied and signed off by CPSI