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NUM – International Sustainable Development & Public Administration in Mongolia

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ASPA as an organization.

By Burmaa Natsag
December 4, 2017

Mongolia is undergoing great change economically, socially and environmentally. Local governments, with their provincial and national partners, are leading efforts to adapting to these changes. The rapid pace of change has created major challenges here as elsewhere, particularly in the area of effective and efficient public-sector management. In response to the challenge, the National University of Mongolia has sponsored annual conferences devoted to the enhancing the capacity of leadership.

The National University of Mongolia (NUM), School of International Relations and Public Administration held its sixth international “NUM Leadership Conference – Capacity development for transformation.” This year’s conference, focused on “Sustainable Development in Public Administration.” The conference was held at the Shangri-La Ballroom on October 18th 2017, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The annual conference is organized by the Department for Public Administration, NUM, with the support of the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ). This year it was co-hosted by the Civil Service Council of Mongolia, the Institute of Local Sustainable Development, German Research Institute for Public Administration, German University Administrative Sciences Speyer, and the University of Alaska, Anchorage, USA.

The conference, once again, provided participants with a wide range of international perspectives and presentations. Speakers and presentations included:

  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. JanZiekow, Director of the German Research Institute for Public Administration, Speyer, Germany “Institutional Arrangements for the Sustainable Development Goals”
  • Dr. А. Munkhbold, Head of research and analysis office, National Development Agency, Government of Mongolia “Mongolia’s Development Policy and its Planning for Sustainable Development –Status and Outlook”
  • Crispian Tan, Director University Alliances Asia Pacific Japan, SAP Asia Singapore “SAP´s contribution to the 17 UN SDG goals through digital applications”
  • Dr. Eunju Kim, Korean Institute of Public Administration, Seoul, Republic of Korea (TBC) “SDGs and the Role Of Local Government”
  • Prof. Dr. John Duffy, School of Business and Public Policy, University of Alaska, Anchorage, USA “Public Administration and Sustainability: “Translating Theory into Practice”
  • Prof. Dr. Burmaa Natsag, Head of DPA, School of International Relations and Public Administration “Sustainable Forest Management and Its Contribution to the SDGs”

Following the morning’s series of presentations, afternoon breakout sessions were held to allow conference participants and speakers to discuss topics in more detail through round-table discussions. The two break-out sessions were focused on two topics: “How may the public-sector lead towards sustainability?” and “Sustainability Performance of the public sector – Developing a coherent system for implementation”. Reports of each round table discussion were provided to all participants prior to the conference’s closing remarks.

The conference also included a number of academic posters addressing various aspects of public administration and sustainability.

The conference was a reflection of the changes in socio-economic development in Mongolia and the emergence of new public administration institutions. The international experts made valuable contributions to future public-sector reforms by focusing on public administration reforms and their practical implementation.

The meeting was attended by scholars and practitioners from various organizations and professions. Among those in attendance include the National University of Mongolia, Mongolian National Defense University, Law Enforcement University of Mongolia, the Office of the Parliament, the Civil Service Council of Mongolia, the National Development Agency, the Buyant-Ukhaa Customs Authority, the University of Science and Technology, the University of Law Enforcement, the University of Defense, Etugen University, and Mandakh University. Aimag and Capital City Governors (Selenge Aimag, Uvs Aimag, Bayankhongor Aimag, Chingeltei district, Songinokhairkhan district, Bayanzurkh district) as well as private sector representatives.

Immediately after the conference, planning began for next year’s event to be held October, 2018. The focus of next year’s conference will be Public Administration: “Translating Theory into Practice”.

Author: Prof. Dr. Burmaa Natsag, is Head of Department of Public Administration, School of International Relations and Public Administration, National University of Mongolia and a member of ASPA’s International Chapter. She may be reached at [email protected]

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