July 09, 2017

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Welcoming the Civil Service Reform Strategic Action Plan

  • Dr. Khine Khine Win

With support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Myanmar, the Union Civil Service Board (UCSB) will host the launching ceremony of the Civil Service Reform (CSR) Strategic Action Plan and the Knowledge Forum on Public Service Motivation from 10 to 12 July 2017 at the Myanmar National Convention Center -2 ( MICC2).
The CSR Strategic Action Plan aims at supporting the Government of Myanmar in formalizing a holistic vision for CSR in Myanmar and determining a result-oriented plan of action serving as a strategy document to establish a modern and competent Civil Service.
In developing and drafting the CSR Strategic Action plan, UCSB and UNDP have conducted four rounds of consultative workshops in Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay, Yangon and Taunggyi; these took place from August 2016 to February 2017. The specific outcomes of the aforementioned workshops allowed UCSB to draft the Action Plan, which was later submitted for review to the public. UCSB is today ready to launch the CSR Strategic Action Plan, a plan well rooted in the principles of transparency and performance. The CSR Strategic Action Plan is a true milestone for all civil servants of Myanmar – No doubt!
Following the launching ceremony, the UCSB is organizing the 2017 Knowledge Forum on Public Service Motivation and will also launch the “Global Study on Intrinsic Motivation in Developing Countries”. Many international and national experts will lead the discussions and exchange of thoughts, views and ideas on topic related to civil service reform and motivation.
The State Counsellor H.E. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will deliver the Key Note Address at this event. H.E. Vice President U Myint Swe, The Speakers of the Union Parliament, Members of Parliament and Staff, Union Ministers and Officials from Governmental Institutions/ Agencies, the Chairman of Nay Pyi Taw Council, Chief Ministers, States and Regions Governments representatives, Chairmen from Self-Administrated Zones, Senior Officials, Academia and Think Tanks, civil society organizations, media Institutions, donors and development partners, ASEAN member states representatives, representatives of countries partaking in the Global Survey on Intrinsic Motivation, international experts and practitioners will participate in these events. Approximately 650 persons will attend the launch event. Being a civil servant myself, I feel proud that such a distinguished group of people is attending this event and I believe it would be a super day for all civil servants of Myanmar.
Since the civil service in Myanmar remains largely supply-driven and lacks a client-oriented and service culture, this is the time to promote the principles of meritocracy, fairness and accountability. The CSR Strategic Action Plan intends to do this. Moreover, the upcoming launch event and knowledge forum would present a great opportunity for civil servants of Myanmar to learn from the international experiences and best practices, to gain knowledge from experts, and to exchange views and ideas related to civil service transformation. This is not only the success of UCSB but also the success of all civil servants of Myanmar. Such kind of event is rare to host and it would be a valuable chance not only for civil servants but also for all those who are interested in Myanmar’s Civil Service Transformation and Public Service Motivation.
Myanmar is in the midst of a democratic transition in which the civil service plays a profound role. If the civil servant is good, the nation will be in good shape. As we are on the way towards a democratic society, we need to promote better delivery of public goods and services with increased accountability. It is a required action and a direct contributor to strengthening the democratic character of the civil service. Indeed, as the pace of change increases with the civilian government, the civil service should be upgraded and empowered to perform the statutory duties imparted. The civil service is a key platform between the public and the state, we need to have a stronger platform that would be the basis for delivering services quickly and smoothly.
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said that “civil servants must strive to win the trust of public by being reliant and carried out their jobs in the interest of the people”. In order to assist the people effectively, civil servants need to understand the needs of the people and constantly strive to improve the services they provide and also need to understand what is required in their role and how this contributes to departmental priorities.
According to the UCSB-UNDP perception survey on Ethics, Meritocracy and Equal Opportunities in the Myanmar Civil Service, Myanmar’s civil service today remains largely supply-driven and lacking a clear people-centered service culture. Despite an overall promotion of the principles of meritocracy, fairness and accountability through existing rules and regulations, these principles remain relatively limited in their practical application. Today, thanks to the efforts of UCSB, we have a CSR Strategic Action Plan which upholds the principles of merit, transparency, accountability, people-centered development, inclusivity and responsiveness.
If the civil servant is good enough, the nation will be in good shape. Civil servants have the heavy responsibility to build a good Nation, they must demonstrate the required skill and knowledge as well as the right values, spirit of public service.
The CSR Strategic Action Plan already engaged in identifying ways to transform and modernize the civil service, allowing it to embrace a new paradigm, dynamics and priorities. Bearing in mind that Civil Servants are the bedrock of the public administration, they need to assume a more important role in democratic development.
The CSR Strategic Action Plan is the plan that will help establish an efficient government which would work for the benefit of the people and strengthen rule of law and establish a society free of corruption.
I personally wish that civil servants in Myanmar would all work together to implement the CSR Strategic Action Plan successfully. I deeply appreciate the USCB and UNDP for their tireless efforts and for making such an event a huge success.

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