The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) held a webinar series on Public Workforce Futureproofing: Elevating Productivity in the New Normal on 28-29 June 2022. The series discussed the changing landscape of the public sector’s work environment and the strategies that can be applied to face the challenges.

Former CSI Executive Director, Mr. Arthur Florentin (upper right) and Mr. Edward Santiago of Lifekite (upper left) discussing the trends and challenges around future-proofing the public sector workforce.

The changing landscape of work in the the public sector

The series opened with the former executive director of the Civil Service Institute (CSI), Mr. Arthur Florentin, who provided an overview on the future of work and the new competencies that need to be developed in the public sector. He identified four characteristics that continue to be evident, despite modernization efforts in recent years:

  • Rigid practices
  • Attendance-driven without indicating the type of work
  • Manual processes for service delivery
  • Standardization of past success factors

To better prepare the public sector for future risks and opportunities, Mr. Florentin suggested applying more results-oriented performance measurement, flexible working arrangements, and a strategic and anticipatory mindset. He explained that these changes would help organizations continue their work regardless of the situation and build the digital skills of staff.

Asked by a participant if the work-from-home arrangement has ensured productivity, Mr. Florentin said that, from the recent studies, it has ensured continuity but its effectiveness still depends on how leaders guide their staff. He also told another participant that retooling and upskilling strategies should focus on flexibility, agility, and lifelong learning.

Resiliency and wellness in the new era of work

The second day of the webinar series featured an interactive session on mindfulness and resilience led by Mr. Edward Santiago of Lifekite, a transformational growth company.

At the beginning of his lecture, Mr. Santiago defined mindfulness as a therapeutic technique to achieve a “mental state that is focused and aware of the present moment with acknowledgment of one’s feelings and thoughts.” He explained that mindfulness can help improve social relationships, reduce stress, and enhance one’s resilience through positivity and gratefulness. Organizations also benefit from mindfulness because it helps individuals focus better, thus elevating productivity and performance.

Mr. Santiago outlined four steps in practicing mindfulness:

  1. Pause and look for a breather
  2. Identify things to be thankful for and to improve
  3. Take deep breaths to calm down
  4. Care for one’s self to be healthy

During the Q&A with the participants, Mr. Santiago promoted compassionate leadership, educating staff, facilitating communication among individuals, and creating a psychologically safe environment in offices.

In relation to reaching targets in the public sector, a participant asked, “how can our managers help staff mitigate the mental health risks of overwork?” Mr. Santiago responded by saying, “compassionate leadership is essential in that it thinks how its team can better accomplish the job, but are also being productive and efficient. Education, also, to teach people that there is a new way of doing it, and communication.” The second session ended with a question on what structure an office can observe to maintain psychological safety and productivity in the workplace. The speaker suggested for a team to meet at least one hour in a week where they’ll be able to have a space to discuss their thoughts and express support for each other.

Replay of this webinar series is accessible on Facebook and Youtube. Stay tuned for more upcoming webinar series in the coming months.

The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), in cooperation with the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), through the Center of Excellence on Public Sector Productivity (COE-PSP) Program Management Office conducted the Workshop on Digital Transformation for the Public Sector from 13 to 15 July 2022.

Forty-three (43) participants and twelve (12) observers from Fiji, Indonesia, Iran, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Türkiye, and Vietnam listened to lectures on digital transformation strategies, issues, and advances. They also conducted discussions on people-centered digital transformation and planning for possible risks.

Current trends, issues

Class photo of the participants with the resource persons and DAP SVP Magdalena L. Mendoza.

DAP Senior Vice President for Programs Ms. Magdalena L. Mendoza kicked off the activity by encouraging the participants to maximize technological advancements to deliver citizen-centered services and address challenges.

Ms. Hyejeong Lim sharing the Republic of Korea’s best practices on digital governance.

 

Dr. Toshio Obi, Professor Emeritus at Waseda University’s Institute of Digital Government, and Ms. Hyejeong Lim, Principal Manager of the National Information Society Agency, discussed current trends and issues in digital transformation. Dr. Obi shared examples of how technological advances have helped Japan respond to challenges like an aging population and natural disasters, while Ms. Lim explained the Republic of Korea’s open data policies and initiatives, its journey towards a digital government, and the plans to build on this progress. 

Dr. Jelena Dzakula discussing the different disruptive technologies and their ethical and social challenges

Dr. Jelena Dzakula, Lecturer at the King’s College London’s Department of Digital Humanities, recounted Europe’s digital transformation journey, including evaluations and case studies that contributed to current innovations. Presenting another view on disruptive technologies, she said automation, AI, and blockchain have encouraged democratization and improved organizational efficiency while introducing ethical challenges like the amplification of certain racial prejudices and threats to privacy. 


Practical considerations

The lectures and activities also tackled more practical strategies for digital transformation in the public sector.

Dr. Toshio Obi discussing different frameworks regarding digital transformation. 

Dr. Obi argued that certain policies and structures either promote or hinder digital transformation’s conceptualization, integration, and implementation. The public sector does not yet have an enabling environment because public-private partnerships are few, and there is little political will around digitalization. He called for greater cooperation on the matter and capacity building for the public sector.

Dr. William Torres presenting the digital transformation journey of Asia Pacific countries. 

Dr. William Torres, Distinguished Professor at Mapúa University’s School of Information Technology, focused on the lessons learned from the Philippines’ digital transformation experience. He reasoned that the Philippines, a developing country at the beginning of its digitalization journey, needs the same investment in infrastructure and skills development as its neighbors to see progress.

The European Union also experiences similar problems in the digital divide, according to Dr. Dzakula. She also echoed the calls for more genuine citizen involvement through co-production and co-creation, including models to fully account for human behavior. 

Dr. Jasper Tallada presenting the group discussion output of the Philippines on AI as used by the International Rice Research Institute.

Mr. Muhammad Yousif Shaikh discussing the Business Continuity Plan with digital technology in Pakistan.

Small group discussions complemented the lectures and allowed participants to share their respective countries’ experiences. In the activities facilitated by Dr. Dzakula and Dr. Obi, the participants talked about the extent to which governments’ digital services and processes involved constituents and proposed business continuity plans for digital technology.

Mr. Armand Tristan Suratos, the APO Liaison Officer for the Philippines, closed the program by encouraging the participants to find opportunities to innovate and continuously learn about digital transformation.

The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) held a webinar on Public Sector Productivity Concepts and Tools last 22-24 March 2022 as the first installment of this year’s of Public Sector Productivity (PSP) Webisodes, a year-long initiative to raise awareness on productivity and innovation topics in the public sector through the virtual space. Speakers for the three-day webinar were Director Samuel Rosal of DAP’s Technology Management Office, Director Mary Ann Vilchez of the Internal Audit Service of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Niña Marie Estudillo, an Asian Productivity Organization (APO) productivity practitioner, technical expert, and trainer.

Director Rosal opening the webinar series with his presentation.

Understanding the concept of productivity in the public sector

The webinar started with an overview of productivity, as Dir. Rosal aimed to provide the participants with a foundation of the concept. He defined productivity as a “formula between the quantity of output versus the quantity of input in the production process,” and it is seen as “a ratio between the goods and services produced versus the resources such as labor, materials, machinery, and energy.”

He then expanded the discussion from productivity to effectiveness, which looks at the ratio of outcomes to inputs, instead of looking at just the ratio of outputs and inputs (i.e., productivity). Crucially, he notes that outcomes are different from outputs in the sense that the dimension of outcomes is more significant.

Dir. Rosal also framed productivity in the public sector as the capacity of an organization to fulfill the desired societal outcomes as mandated in the most efficient, effective, and economical management of public goods and services provided. He pointed out that public servants work hard to achieve goals and desired outcomes to purposefully benefit their clients—the citizens—especially since the resources that make the public sector run actually come from them.

Productivity Improvement Project (PIP) as a tool for improving public sector productivity

On the second day of the webinar, Dir. Vilchez focused on the importance of a productivity improvement project (PIP) as a tool for improving public sector productivity. She introduced the PIP as the final output of trainees from the Developing Public Sector Productivity Specialist (DPSPS) course by the APO which focuses on drawing out from the trainees “practical and effective ways of utilizing the knowledge gained from the course.” She further explained that “a Productivity Improvement Project is an organized, comprehensive, and long term intervention that involves the use of innovation to enhance and sustain high productivity levels and performance of organizations or target systems.” The PIP can even be considered an innovative tool because it is something that has not yet been done, or at the very least, an improvement of what is already being done.

Dir. Vilchez discussing an actual project implementation document.

Competencies of a productivity specialist

To conclude the webinar series, Ms. Estudillo shared the competencies of a productivity specialist, which she defines as a highly skilled individual whose work concentrates primarily on applications of productivity-related solutions and activities in consultancy, training, promotion, and research assignments. Given this definition, a productivity specialist’s roles in productivity improvement initiatives are as a promoter, a consultant, a trainer, and a researcher.

Ms. Estudillo explaining the different roles of a productivity specialist.

A participant asked, “How is a PSP specialist placed in an organization—is it under HR, internal audit, or a separate team? What specifically is his or her role in an organization?” The speaker did not specify any level in the relative hierarchy or structure of an organization, but she did mention that while there is no widely accepted job description for one yet, a PSP specialist’s role is to encourage change to achieve a more effective and efficient system.

This webinar series is available for replay on Facebook and Youtube. Stay tuned for more upcoming webinar series in the coming months.

Times of crisis have emphasized the importance of the role of the public sector. Public sector employment and compensation are two fundamental government production functions that determine overall public sector productivity and service. With the government employing the majority of the workforce in most economies, it shapes the country’s fiscal sustainability, productivity, and labor market policies and standards.  

Quality data are most useful to evaluate the performance of the public sector and formulate evidence-based reforms.  On September 30, 2021, the World Bank launched the Worldwide Bureaucracy Indicators (WWBI) that covers 53 million high-quality microdata, 192 indicators, across 202 countries on demographic, size, compensation, and wage bill of the public sector to aid policy-making. Senior Public Sector Specialist of the World Bank, Mr. Zahid Hasnain, described the WWBI, its findings and potential applications. One of the WWBI findings across the globe determining that the public sector is the largest employer for most countries, especially for essential workers. He also shared how public sector workers have an average wage premium of 7.3% more than similar formal private-sector workers, however, this varies across gender, educational attainment, occupation, and industry. The public sector employs more women than the private sector with a concentration in select industries such as healthcare, education, and public administration. Women are also generally provided a higher wage premium in the public sector. This reflects a more gender-inclusive environment for women in the government although there is still a long way to go.

During the launch, Mari E. Pangetsu, World Bank Managing Director for Development Policy and Partnerships, expressed her excitement over the first unique cross-national dataset developed by World Bank Bureaucracy Lab to better understand the footprint of the public sector workforce. 

Senior Vice President Magdalena L. Mendoza of the Development Academy of the Philippines applauded the WWBI for providing an impressive wealth of analytics to better understand public sector employment and compensation. This database of indicators enables productivity assessment using the WWBI proxy indicators to create data-driven policies and reforms in the civil service. She expounded how information on the demographic, psychographic, and behavioral attributes of public servants can enable the government to understand internal and external motivations for work discipline so that it develops a more effective incentives system and more responsive civil service reforms to improve performance and maximize productivity. According to SVP Mendoza, the Philippine civil service has gone through reforms such as rationalization, salary standardization, result-based performance management, performance-based incentives, and the dataset may be useful to evaluate if these reforms have resulted in productivity gains.  

Other members of the panel shared their ideas on the potential of the WWBI in its application, growth, and expansion relative to pursuing public sector productivity. Tim Besley, W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics at London School of Economics, raised the value of looking into the bureaucracy as a whole system and not just through pockets of excellence whereby integrating different components of civil service can make waves of influence through global best practices. He also suggested collecting granular personnel data over career lifetimes to identify determinants in career progression, but a fundamental step needed today is to first work on proper codification and standardization of data to support analysis.

Ghana Head of Civil Service, Nana Kwasi Agyekum Dwamena, relayed how they put up systems in place to improve monitoring of human resource data analytics to develop more data-informed reforms in the public administration. Adil Zainulbhai, Chair of the Capacity Building Commission and the Chairman of the Quality Council of India, described how they have developed an Integrated Government Online Training (iGOT) Platform to provide access to learning materials from over 700 training institutions to all levels of civil servants. He continued to share their pursuit for more innovative ways in delivering these capability-building solutions amidst the heterogeneity of its 30 million public servants. He brings light to using data on what level of capability people are in, what they need to learn, what are they interested in, and letting the ecosystem work together to achieve the goal.

SVP Mendoza raised the value of the WWBI in relation to the work of DAP as the Center of Excellence on Public Sector Productivity and look forward to collaborating with the Bureaucracy Lab. In closing, Indermit S. Gill, Vice President of World Bank Equitable Growth and Finance Institutions, expressed gratitude to the Bureaucracy Lab team that has worked hard in the extensive process of data collection and its emphasis on delivering it through a transparent process. He thanked all speakers, panel members, and the audience for their active participation in the launch and looks forward to putting these datasets into the application for more innovative and responsive civil service reforms.

BACKGROUND

The Government Best Practice Recognition (GBPR) is an initiative of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) to promote and showcase outstanding and innovative practices demonstrated by the public sector organizations. It is one of the Academy’s strategy responses to the rising call for public sector organizations to further enhance the quality of service delivery.

The GBPR annually recognizes successful and validated practices demonstrated by public sector organizations. Government institutions at all levels of governance and all fields of practices are invited every year to submit their institutions’ best practice.

As one of the components of the Academy’s Business Excellence Program, which also include the Philippine Quality Award (PQA) and the Government Excellence Class (GEC), the GBPR supplements and complements the Academy’s efforts to improve organizational productivity and performance in the public sector by recognizing innovative best practices of government institutions and organizations.

The Academy has developed a set of criteria for evaluating remarkable government practices. Entries from government organizations are assessed based on these criteria to select the government institutions that will participate in the presentation and have the chance to be recognized for the year.

OBJECTIVES

The GBPR seeks to recognize successful and validated practices demonstrated by all public sector organizations. It provides a platform to showcase and promote best practices as a way to foster knowledge sharing and to contribute in sustaining performance results in the entire bureaucracy. Ultimately, this collaborative learning mechanism envisions improving the quality of service and competitiveness of government institutions.

The GBPR serves as a harmonizing strategy to attain the objective of the APO’s designation to the Philippines, with DAP as the implementing arm, as the Center of Excellence on Public Sector Productivity (PSP), “to advance the public sector productivity movement” among APO member countries.

The GBPR complements the Public Sector Innovation Laboratory under the Government Quality Management Program (GQMP). Through the GBPR, public sector organizations will be able to capture innovative and transformative ideas, approaches and solutions which have been proven effective and helpful by other government agencies in improving the quality and impact of their respective services to the public.

Working closely with the Academy’s Center of Excellence for Public Sector Productivity (COE-PSP), the GBPR fosters innovation and futures thinking in the public sector and widens access to quality by integrating the COE-PSP’s knowledge management. GBPR is a direct resource of COE-PSP Knowledge Bank for content.

Eligibility and Entrant Qualifications

  1. The competition is open to ALL public sector organizations:
    • National Government Agencies (NGAs) and their regional and provincial offices and attached agencies,
    • Interagency bodies including national councils, consortia, and task forces;
    • Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs),
    • Local Government Units (LGUs) – including provincial, municipal, city and barangay offices, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), LGU-led civic organizations such as Senior Citizens and Barangay Women’s groups, special committees such as municipal health committees, and similar bodies;
    • State Colleges and Universities (SUCs) and research institutions and laboratories, and,
    • Other government agencies.
  2. Each participating agency may submit a maximum of three (3) entries.
  3. The applicant needs to fill-out the Government Best Practice Recognition 2019 Entry Form and describe their best practice related to a managerial practice, a process, a system or an initiative within the organization (please refer to the detailed questions on the Entry Form).
  4. By joining this activity, it is understood that applicants signify their willingness to make the necessary travel arrangements in time for the scheduled presentation to the judges of the best practice entries.
  5. Winners are not allowed to join the competition again for the same or similar best practice for a period of 3 years.
  6. Please sign the attached Certification and Authorization of Release of Information.

NOTE: Avoid submitting an entire program or an end-product/service as best practice entry. As much as possible, focus only on a single aspect that has made that program or service delivery successful, for example, Leadership Commitment Scheme, Stakeholder Communication and Building of Relationship, Staff Meeting Policy, Using a Work Environment Survey Tool, and Core Values Reinforcement System, etc.

Round 1: Submission of Entries

  1. The entry form must not contain graphs or pictures, only TEXT. Graphs and pictures can be submitted as attachments to the Entry Form.
  2. Relevant documents that could show related results attributable to the implementation of the best practice entry must also be submitted together with the entry form. These may include but are not limited to the documentary requirements being submitted to oversight agencies (e.g. DBM, DILG, CHED, GCG, COA), as applicable.
  3. Submission of entries starts on July 15, 2019 and ends on August 30, 2019. Applicants may send entries to govbestpractices@dap.edu.ph and/or acostar@dap.edu.ph with Subject: GBPR2019_Name of Organization and Unit/Division/Department.
  4. You may download the Entry Form by clicking this link: DAP – GBPR 2019 entry form
  5. Submitted entries received after the deadline will no longer be accepted, unless extension of submission will be announced.
  6. Submitted entries will be subjected to initial screening and evaluation on September 2019.

Round 2: Presentation to the Panel of Judges

  1. Representatives of selected entries will be invited to deliver a video or a PowerPoint Presentation (minimum of 5 minutes and maximum of 8 minutes) to a panel of judges to any of the following schedule of regional legs of the Best Practice Forum for the Public Sector:
    • October 2019 for Visayas entries
    • 1st week of November for Mindanao entries
    • Last week of November for Luzon 2019 entries
  2. Entries will be screened by a panel to be formed by the Academy.
  3. Instructions on the presentation format will be provided separately, upon qualifying for the next round.
  4. At most two representatives (presenter and assistant staff) from each participating organization are allowed to attend the presentation to the judges.

Entry Fee

  1. There is no entry fee requirement.
  2. Submission of entries is completely free of charge.

Awarding and Prizes

  1. A Certificate of Participation will be issued to all participating organizations.
  2. Best Practice trophies will be awarded to the winners during the awarding ceremony.
  3. The awarding will be done at the end of the the Luzon leg of Best Practice Forum for the Public Sector on the last week of November 2019.
  4. Decisions of the panel of judges are final.

Summary of dates to remember

  • Submission of entries starts on July 15, 2019 and ends on August 30, 2019
  • Presentation to the Panel of Judges:
    • October 2019 in Visayas
    • 1st week of November in Mindanao
    • last week of November in Luzon

For the full details and information of the Government Best Practice Recognition 2019, you may refer to the pdf document below.

  1. Government Best Practice Recognition 2019 Mechanics
  2. DAP – GBPR 2019 entry form  

For clarifications, please get in touch with Mr. Richmond Q. Acosta, Project Manager, at (02) 631-0921 local 135/ (02) 631-2156 / 09065611861 or email at acostar@dap.edu.ph / govbestpractices@dap.edu.ph.

May 11, 2018 marks the end of the 2-week Development of Public Sector Productivity Specialists course. Twenty-six aspiring productivity specialists from different Philippine public sector agencies learned about the different productivity concepts, tools & techniques, and best practices in improving public sector productivity.

The participants of the DPSPS Local Run 2017.
The participants coming from 8 agencies – Food and Drug Administration PhilippinesLand Transportation OfficeDOST Regional Office No. IXDepartment of EducationLand Bank of the PhilippinesLGU Davao City, Business Permits Licensing Office Paranaque City, Department of Social Welfare and Development – are expected to implement their Innovation and Productivity Improvement Projects in their respective organizations in the succeeding months.