Phnom Penh, 04 March 2019 – The Royal Government of Cambodia and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) hold a National Conference looking at how to advance innovation in governance, in an effort to improve services to its people.

The Ministry of Civil Service and the UNDP in Cambodia have teamed up to launch the National Conference on Public Sector in the Digital Era. The Conference brings together experts and civil servants from across the region to discuss public sector innovation.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution that is transforming Asia and the Pacific is raising expectations for more innovative and timely public services. The need for public sector innovation is no longer a luxury but a must for governments to stay equipped and competitive in the 21st Century. The Royal Government of Cambodia is one of a number of emerging economies in the region preparing to deal with these changes to ensure that citizens’ needs are satisfactorily met.

In the Fourth Rectangular Strategy (2019-2023), the Royal Government of Cambodia has clearly laid out the significance of improved human resource and technological innovation as key strengths for Cambodia to better deal with growing e-governance opportunities. Also in Cambodian National Program for Public Administration Reform, the Royal Government of Cambodia has clearly defined the vision for administrative reform as “to transform the public administration into an effective public service provider and a reliable partner towards serving people better”.

“These drivers are indispensable for Cambodia to become more responsive, efficient and effective in delivering its public services. They also help Cambodia stay regionally and globally competitive, and realize its goals of becoming a higher-middle income country and a developed country in 2030 and 2050 respectively,” said H.E. Ketebandith Pech Bunthin, Minister of Civil Service.

The Conference provides a platform for participants to explore possibilities to adapt digital technologies within the public sector to support the Royal Government to achieve Cambodia’s Sustainable Development Goals (CSDGs), strengthen citizens’ trust in the governance system, and deliver public services more efficiently.

Speaking on the importance of innovation, Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative, stressed that “when new ideas come from the civil servants themselves, they are much more likely to catch on and produce real change. Our job is not to dictate the best practice but to help ministries open up creative spaces so civil servants can get closer to the citizens they serve and test out their own solutions.”


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