Continuity as Raison d’être
My fellow colleagues of the IIAS community,
I am writing this message, nearly three weeks after the first signals of exit from confinement in many European countries, and a first issue which is on top of our agenda is how to approach the post-COVID-19 strategies for Public Administration, worldwide and on each continent. Of course, we must underline many positive responses coming out of our whole of IIAS community, such those initiatives are taken by our learned societies and entities, by our institutional members – universities, faculties, institutes and schools of Public Administration – to continue teaching and researching during the crisis, by means of e-learning, e-teaching, e-conferencing. They participate of a wider endeavour from our Governments, Public Administration and Public Services to continue working in the General Interest for our citizens and societies thanks to innovative solutions (telework, digital procedures, etc.).
Nevertheless, there is still a lot of uncertainty swirling around, especially for our colleagues – practitioners, scholars and their students – in the countries where the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging.
Therefore, we express our gratitude, esteem and support to all the public servants and employees who are still mobilised in the front-line to save lives and to continue day-to-day crisis management. We also express our solidarity and great compassion to people of our IIAS community who suffer the loss of family members, relatives, friends and colleagues during this dreadful period.
The three Cs: Continuity, Coordination, Comparison
Although it remains premature to relax the attention from the daily management of the pandemic, now comes the time to start wondering about the resilience of our States and public institutions of government and administration throughout and after the crisis, as well as reflecting upon the new forms of joined-up action, coordination of efforts and partnership that have emerged from the pressure of events.
We, scholars and practitioners with reflexive capacities, we can start questioning the capacity of our Public Administrations and their servants to resist such an unprecedented shock. How did our officials succeed in ensuring the continuity of Public Service delivery during the crisis? What are the first lessons learned from this terrible episode that could be helpful for the future? What are the subsequent necessary transformations or improvements of PA practice and education to be better able to anticipate the next crises?
As a worldwide community, we support the comparative efforts of addressing these first questions… and the other to come.
The IIAS Special Report on the COVID-19 pandemic and Public Governance is one of these initiatives, in combination with the various special issues of our PA scientific journals which are currently being produced, which also support this effort.
The IIAS 2020 e-Conference due to take place in the forthcoming weeks will soon contribute to have a full overview of the worldwide agenda, especially addressing the key topics of Climate Action, COVID-19 and Public Governance, SDGs Governance, in English language but also with a French-Speaking Panel.
The IASIA e-Learning platform is another one of your important initiatives that will bring a lot to the community. I know that our colleagues of LAGPA, AGPA and MENAPAR are also very committed to developing their respective strategies for maintaining our whole community as active as possible.
At EGPA in particular, my Steering Committee and I, we have made used all of our goodwill to ensure the continuity of our activities. Our annual event dedicated to young researchers, the future of our community, which usually takes place during our Annual Conference, will take place as an EGPA Virtual Tutorial for Doctoral Students and Junior Researchers, on September 1st, 2020.
Many of our EGPA Permanent Study Groups co-Chairs – whom I want to thank warmly for their enthusiasm – are also working very hard to set-up and coordinate virtual events and panels which will take place simultaneously in September 2-4, 2020 and the program is under preparation.
Three other Cs: Continuity, Community and Creativity
In this so painful, difficult, yet challenging context, the ‘strength of (weak) ties’, the importance of global professional networks, and the shared belief that we belong to a scholarly community across borders are more important than ever. During the COVID-19 crisis, it was for many of us somehow strange to experiment compulsory and frustrating ‘social distancing’ with our nearest neighbors, while daily practicing more and more e-meetings and teleworking with our fellow colleagues and counterparts from all over the world.
Systematizing and capitalizing on such an experience, one major objective of IIAS and its entities is to be creative and make the necessary innovations allowing us to offer you, our regular and loyal members and our more occasional participants, the best possible structure and support to continue dialoguing remotely on current major PA challenges. This is fundamental!
At the same time – since life is always made of dialectics –, we are fully committed to preparing our future activities with great hopes that, thanks to the measures taken by our governments and to the citizens’ respect and engagement, our EGPA community members, and our guests, will all meet again and interact in face-to-face and warm presence, on the occasion of our next EGPA Conference, in September 2021, in the beautiful city of Budapest that will be welcoming us.
Our very best wishes to all, and see you soon!
Prof. Jean-Michel EYMERI-DOUZANS
Dear fellow IIAS members and partners,
After 3 months of diligent work replanning its business model, operations and services, IIAS is ready to break through with new events, new services and a new approach to communicating and sustaining its network. While we express our most sincere empathy with those who suffered losses as a result of the crisis, we also rejoice at the wake-up call that the crisis has provoked worldwide bringing back public services to the preeminence they deserve and they once held. This goes into making IIAS mission of “setting the governance agenda worldwide” all the more critical. We have started reflecting this in our new offerings:
- The first-ever IIAS e-Conference will be held next week and the IASIA e-Conference is being planned as well. We chose to keep the IIAS e-Conference at the originally scheduled dates of June 23-26, 2020 to create an opportunity for our networks to rally together virtually at a time where they used to get together face-to-face. The virtual experience is no replacement for the real one but can attenuate feelings of isolation that some might have endured. The program of the IIAS e-Conference is presented in detail below with direct links to our conference management system and the online brochure. We have tried to recreate the look and feel of a real conference in our virtual environment. We are not just offering webinars but a full array of sessions and meetings as in a regular conference. Programming has been done to suit different time zones as our network extends globally.
- We are in a race to deliver the conference on our new virtual platform which we are currently testing. We will do our utmost best to do so. Irrespective, we have planned for a back-up solution in case our platform is not ready.
- The COVID-19 report will also come out at the end of this month and will document the experience of 42 different countries in managing the coronavirus crisis and how public administration coped.
- Another significant service that we will start delivering this month along with the IIAS e-Conference is Open Access publishing services. We have already set-up a review board for papers that will be channeled for possible publication into Open Access journals which we have signed agreements with. In a second phase, we will start developing an altogether Open access platform not just with academic journal presence but with a full array of other resources that will be accessible to our members.
This is for June and we will be back with more for the coming months. We need your support and participation. Please share our events in your networks.
IIAS Director General
The IIAS 2020 e-Conference focuses on Public Governance for Climate Action after COVID-19. It takes place on June 23-26 through plenary webinars, held at 12:00-14:00 (Brussels time) on the themes of Climate Action, COVID-19, Sustainable Development Goals, and French-speaking seminars. It also features workshops with scientific contributions submitted to eight tracks of the IIAS 2020 Conference.
Full Papers submitted following the e-Conference will be considered for inclusion in Open Access Partners Journals. More information here
Participation in the e-Conference is free, upon registration in each session of the full program which is available here.
The COVID-19 crisis demonstrates the importance of e-learning and e-teaching platforms. At IASIA and in the IIAS community, we are planning ahead and invite you to contribute to our initiative in building the platform.
Please fill the form and become a leading institution in this project!
Dr. Fabienne Maron, IIAS Scientific Director, and IIAS Academy coordinator
MSc. Cesar Alfonzo, IASIA Executive Secretary.
IASIA Board of Management Elections
- 2 seats for the Asia region following the election of Ms. DONG Qing, from China, as IASIA President and another seat not filled during IASIA elections last summer.
- 1 seat for the MENA region following the resignation of Mr. Ishaq AMIN from BIPA.
- 1 seat for Australasia following the relocation of Prof. Roberta RYAN to the University of Newcastle.
To apply for the vacant positions, please submit your candidacy
The EGPA Permanent Study Groups co-Chairs are working to set-up and coordinate virtual events and panels which will take place on September 2-4, 2020.
More information to be published on the Conference Webpage – Section EGPA Virtual.
The IIAS Special Report on COVID-19 pandemic: Early Lessons for Public Governance will come out at the end of this month and will document the experience of many different countries in managing the coronavirus crisis and how public administration coped. Some points of attention were already pointed out in the national report as: the institutional and organizational arrangements, preparedness of the system, priorities addressed by governments, health care system, resources management, measures taken during the different phases of the pandemic, the agility of government to adapt, the role of experts as well as key domains of public action (such as education, behavioral expertise, etc.).
We will be pleased to share the first results and the first readings during the different sessions organised at IIAS 2020 e-Conference and EGPA virtual events.
Dr. Fabienne Maron, IIAS Scientific Director and IIAS Academy coordinator