The Seal presented at the Public Administration Global Forum

A Global Forum on Public Administration was held at the World Bank headquarters from May 28-29 in Washington DC under the theme “Transforming Governments for a Livable Planet.” Co-hosted by UNDP, Transparency International, Apolitical, and several other organizations, the event brought together over 300 public administrators, policymakers, academics, civil society organizations, international organizations, and thought leaders from around the world. The Forum was organized in recognition of the key challenges facing public administrators, including the growing demand for increasingly complex government services, mounting fiscal pressures, and a widening trust deficit between citizens and the State. These challenges necessitate a paradigm shift in approaches to improving public administration performance.

Over two days, the Forum’s sessions addressed critical issues for good governance and effective public administration, such as restoring trust in public institutions, adopting new technologies, enhancing institutional capabilities for climate change, improving service delivery in education and health, and addressing gender imbalances in public administration. During the session on gender equality in public administration, the representation of women at all levels of the hierarchy was emphasized, alongside the importance of creating conditions that allow women to advance and prosper on an equal footing with men. Professor Müge Kökten Finkel of the University of Pittsburgh was a panelist in that session, highlighting the collaboration between UNDP and the University of Pittsburgh on the GEPA initiative—Gender Equality in Public Administration.

A detailed agenda, including recordings from key sessions, is accessible here. The capacities of public administrators to tackle some of these issues were highlighted throughout different sessions, emphasizing the importance for governments to implement and deliver tailored capacity development strategies and programs in the civil service.

On the first day, during a World Café session, representatives from various organizations presented initiatives aimed at promoting better and more responsive governance practices in public institutions. During this session, the Gender Equality Seal for Public Institutions was presented as UNDP’s flagship approach to ensuring that public institutions integrate gender equality perspectives into their work, promoting gender-responsive and inclusive governance aligned with Agenda 2030 and other international commitments. Furthermore, it was emphasized that gender equality is the hallmark of inclusive governance and that public institutions must do more to reduce gender inequalities in their concerned sectors and domains. This is indeed a critical challenge for public administrators everywhere, as progress towards gender equality is inadequate and significantly off track compared to the ambitions laid out in Agenda 2030.

World Bank headquarters, 28-29 May, 2024

Over 100 institutions worldwide, across various sectors, are using UNDP’s Gender Equality Seal to better align their work with gender equality, focusing efforts along the Seal’s five dimensions: (i) planning and managing for gender equality, (ii) capacities and institutional architecture for gender equality, (iii) working environment, (iv) accountability and partnerships for gender equality, and (v) results and impact of policies and services. Additionally, it was discussed how public institutions can leverage the Seal process to organize institutional reforms for gender equality and to better understand how gender equality connects with their policy and service delivery mandates.

Reach out to us if you would like to learn more about how the Gender Equality Seal can support public administration reforms.

From day 2 of the event, 29 May, Washington DC