On 17, 2020, the National Academy of Public Administration in collaboration with the Chandler Institute of Governance, Singapore organized the international workshop on building competency of working in the international environment for civil servants and public employees. The workshop is live streamed to NAPA Branches in Hue City and Ho Chi Minh City, conducted online with participation of scholars from Vietnam and other countries including Singapore and the United States. Assoc.Prof.Dr. Luong Thanh Cuong, NAPA Vice President chaired the Workshop.
Attending the seminar, on the of international participants, there were Mr. Wu Wei Neng, Executive Director, Chandler Institute of Governance, Singapore; Assoc.Prof.Dr. Vu Minh Khuong, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore; Prof. Tran Ngoc Anh, Indiana University, the United States, President of Vietnam Initiative;
On the side of domestic participants, there were Assoc.Prof.Dr. Duong Van Quang, former President of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, Ambassador, former Head of the Vietnamese Permanent Delegation to UNESCO; Dr. Huynh The Du, Fullbright University Vietnam, visiting lecturer of Indianna University, the United States; Dr. Lai Thai Binh – Deputy Director of the East Sea Institute, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, former Vice Consul General, the Consulate General of Vietnam in Houston, the United States; Ms. Nguyen Ta Ha My, Head of Division for General Affairs, Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, former Secretary to the Head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
On the side of NAPA, there were Ms. Pham Thi Quynh Hoa, Director, Department of International Cooperation; Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Van Hau, Chief of Office of NAPA; Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Thi Hong Hai, Dean, Faculty of Administrative Science and Organization – Personnel Management; Dr. Bui Huy Tung, Director, Department of Refresher Training Management; Dr. Nguyen Quang Vinh, Editor-in-Chief, State Management Review; Dr. Dang Thanh Le, Director, Institute of Administrative Studies; Dr. Nguyen Tien Hiep – Director, Center for Foreign Languages – Informatics and Information – Library; Mr. Tran Dai Hai, Deputy Director, Department of International Cooperation; Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Hoang Hien, Deputy General Director, NAPA Branch Campus in Hue city; Assoc.Prof.Dr. Huynh Van Thoi, Deputy General Director, NAPA Branch Campus in Ho Chi Minh city; leaders, representatives of NAPA’s faculties and departments, NAPA’s lecturers, researchers, administrators and staff.
Addressing at the workshop, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Luong Thanh Cuong appreciated the cooperation between the National Academy of Public Administration and Chandler Institute of Governance in organizing the the international workshop. He emphasized that Vietnam is deeper and wider participating in international integration, which requires cadres, civil servants and public employees to have international integration capacity, first of all, the competency of working in the international environment. Resolution No. 26/NQ-TW dated May 19, 2018 of the Seventh Plenum of the Twelfth Party Central Committee identified specific goals, requirements and roadmaps for the competency of working in the international environment for the contingent of cadres and civil servants. Therefore, all public agencies and organizations at all evels have to develop plans to build competency of working in the international environment for their officials.
As a national center for management and leadership training for cadres, civil servants and public employees, the National Academy of Public Administration has an important role in building capacity to work in an international environment for public managers and leaders. for this purpose, first of all, NAPA has to build competency of working in the international environment for its staff.
With the participation of international scholars, experts, practitioners, the workshop focused on four issues: (1) Context of international integration and requirements for cadres, civil servants, and public employees in general and NAPA’s staff in particular; (2) Opportunities, challenges and lessons learned in working in the international environment in general and in the international training environment in particular; (3) Competencies for working in the international environment for cadres, civil servants, and public employees in general and NAPA’s staff in particular; (4) Cooperation in building capacity for officials, civil servants and public employees and exchanging possibilities of cooperation between NAPA and Chandler Institute of Governance.
Speaking at the workshop, Mr. Wu Wei Neng, Executive Director, Chandler Institute of Governance (CIG) expressed his pleasure to cooperate with the National Academy of Public Administration to organize this workshop. CIG is an independent international organization, based in Singapore, that partners with governments around the world to support government leaders, policymakers and civil servants with research, training programmes, and advisory work.
CIG signed an MOU with NAPA in January 2020, to collaborate on areas such as a new training programme for senior leaders, developing case studies on Vietnam for research and teaching purposes, skills development programmes for NAPA faculty, as well as joint research on topics related to public governance and public policy. This Workshop is a very positive sign that despite the challenges and constraints imposed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, NAPA and CIG will continue working closely to bring distinguished experts and practitioners together, to discuss relevant governance and public policy issues.
The workshop consisted 03 sessions:
Session 1 focused on the context of international integration and requirements for building competency of working in an international environment for cadres, civil servants and public employees. Session 2 aimed to share experience in working in the international environment. Session 3 discussed orientations for cooperation in building competency of working in an international environment for cadres, civil servants and public employees.
In the presentation “International integration, the 4.0 industrial revolution, and requirements for Vietnam’s government officials and public employees” Assoc.Prof.Dr. Vu Minh Khuong summarized big global trends and urgent requirements for Vietnam’s government officials such as three top qualities including national ambition and devotion, global vision and strategic thinking, leaning and cooperation in action.
Assoc.Prof.Dr. Duong Van Quang in the presentation “Working in the international environment” stated it is necessary to identify the international environment in the process of integration which is globalization and “global village” to build competency of working in the international environment for Vietnam officials. Assoc. Duong Van Quang stated “to work effectively in the international environment Vietnamese officials must understand very well what the country needs in the international integration and expects from them.
Prof. Tran Ngoc Anh from the United States delivered the online presentation: “Mobilizing contributions of overseas Vietnamese scholars to the country’s international integration and development – A channel for working in the international environment“. He mentioned the new context of global unpredictable changes which set a new game requiring players to be equipped with methods and skills to work effectively in international environments. Not only those public officials who have direct contact or working relations with foreigners but also other officials should develop competency of working in international environment. A lesson in working in international environment could be learnt from Singapore.
Sharing the experience in building competency of working in international environment for public servants, in the presentation “Experience in building capacity of working in an international environment in the field of education and training” Dr. Huynh The Du highlighted the mindset of “global thinking, acting locally”.
In the presentation on “Sharing experiences in working in an international/multicultural education environment: Opportunities, challenges and lessons learned’” Dr. Lai Thai Binh emphasized public employees in the educational institutions should develop soft skills, open thinking, and research skills to do joint research with foreign scholars.
According to Ms. Nguyen Ta Ha My in the presentation on “sharing experience in working in an international environment”, understanding other languages and cultures and professionalism are necessary for working in the international environment. Opportunities of working in international environments are personal development, enhancement of professional skills, and contribution to the organization. For working effectively in international environment, a person should read more, acquire more information of the environment where she/he is to work, identify clearly the objectives, self-study, carry on-the-job training.
Mr. Wu Wei Neng from Singapore, in the online presentation “proposed competency framework for working in international environments” stated global and international factors are increasingly important to government work and shared the proposed competency framework for working in international environments for civil servants and public employees: global consciousness and mindset; designing effective public policies for the international context; understanding international trends and developments; building partnerships; working with overseas partners; international negotiation; innovation and creativity; foreign language proficiency.
Regarding building competency for NAPA’s employees, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Thi Hong Hai delivered the presentation on “Building competency of working in the international environment for NAPA’s lecturers to meet the requirements of international integration and the implementation of NAPA’s Development Strategy for the period of 2020 – 2030, vision to 2045”. The competency requirements include profession competency, teaching competency, research competency, professional ethics, professionalism, open-minded and critical thinking. Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Thi Hong Hai stated, for realization of the development strategy for the period 2020-2030, vision toward 2045, NAPA should develop a competency framework for lecturers, make policies to attract talents, train and standardize lecturers, encourage staff to do research, expand international cooperation, and improve physical infrastructure.
Workshop participants shared their own experience in working in the international environment and provided valuable comments and ideas relating the competencies of working in an international environment for cadres, civil servants and public employees.
In the closing speech, from NAPA Campus in Hue City, Ms. Pham Thi Quynh Hoa appreciated presence and contribution of workshop participants, especially presenters whose ideas, opinions, comments, suggesiton are very valuable and important inputs for NAPA and CIG to improve the propose competency framework for working in international environments. She expected their further cooperation and collaboration with NAPA in building competency of working in an international environment for cadres, civil servants and public employees in general, and for NAPA’s employees in particular, contributing to the development of high-quality administrative human resources, promoting the integration and innovation process of Vietnam./.