On May 9, 2022, the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and the Singapore Civil Service College (CSC) held a virtual conference on ” Sharing international experience in leadership training on public policy formulation, implementation & evaluation and implications for Viet Nam”.
Dr. Nguyen Dang Que, NAPA Executive Vice President chaired the conference from NAPA Headquarter in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.
Attending the conference were Mr. Roger Tan, Assistant Chief Executive/ International, CSC; Mr. Wu Wei Neng, Executive Director of Chandler Institute of Governance (CIG), Associate Trainer at CSC; Mr. Duc Hoang, Director of Temasek International Foundation.
On the side of NAPA, there were Dr. Nguyen Dang Que, NAPA Executive Vice President; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Luong Thanh Cuong, NAPA Vice President; NAPA lecturers and public employees.
Delivering the opening speech of the conference, Dr. Nguyen Dang Que emphasized one of the most important contents of administrative reform in Viet Nam today is to build a contingent of qualified cadres and civil servants to directly participate in the process of policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation. In order to accomplish this goal and contribute to the development of high-quality training programs according to international standards and associated with Vietnamese practices, NAPA has been receiving support from CSC and the International Temasek Foundation, helping NAPA develop a leadership training program on policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation. This support is very timely and very meaningful for NAPA, especially in the context that NAPA is carrying out a comprehensive renovation of training programs, in which public policy is one of the core contents among many key programs at NAPA. After more than two years of implementing the cooperation program to overcome the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the “Sharing international experience in leadership training on public policy formulation, implementation & evaluation and implications for Viet Nam” conference is one of the last activities in the bilateral cooperation program.
Speaking at the opening of the conference, Mr. Roger Tan, Assistant Chief Executive, CSC stated that the project had started in July 2019 with the Executive Seminar on the “Future of Governance: Trends and Challenges in Policymaking” held in Singapore, and a series of 4 workshops conducted by Mr. Wu Wei Neng. The workshops covered various aspects of the public policy development process, including sharing Singapore’s experience. Mr. Roger Tan expressed his special thanks to the NAPA Board of Directors and the Department of International Cooperation for their partnership and commitment to ensuring the smooth implementation of the project. He also looks forward to more exchanges and closer collaboration with NAPA in the future.
Speaking at the conference about Singapore’s experiences in leadership training on public policy, Mr. Wu Wei Neng, CIG Executive Director, CSC Associate Trainer shared a public policy training program for leaders in Singapore, including policy cycle, policy cycle tools and frameworks, and case studies, design and provision of learning activities on public policy for leaders and managers. From the practice of leadership and management training in Singapore, it is recommended that apart from what is being taught, NAPA should pay attention to how it is being taught; leaders need to learn about policymaking, but they learn best through practical exercises and projects, peer sharing, and small group facilitated sessions; network building is a critical element of leadership training; it is necessary to have exposure to other countries’ experiences to enrich perspectives of leaders.
At the conference, NAPA lecturers presented 4 main topics:
(1) The presentation of group 1 on “Public policy formulation” was presented by Ms. Le Thi Hong Hanh, Faculty of Administrative Sciences and Organization – Personnel Management and Ms. Nguyen Thi Quyen, Faculty of Document and Administrative Technology. The presentation included an overview of the public policy formulation module, steps for effective public policy design, and the use of some teaching aids. Effective public policy design includes 5 steps, namely (a) identifying challenges in the context of policy formulation, (b) data collection, needed information and methods of collection, (c) conducting research to decide on policy problems, policy objectives, policy options and consult on related issues, (d) methods for effective public policy selection through analysis and selection of policy solutions; (e) resource identification and policy feasibility assessment from human, financial and physical resources, all of which have covered the basic skills of managers in policy formulation.
(2) The presentation of group 2 on “Public policy implementation” was presented by Mr. Le Van Mao, Section Head of Law – Administration and Organization, NAPA Branch Campus in Hue City. The presentation includes three main contents, which are public policy implementation in Viet Nam, effective policy implementation, and effective policy communication. With these contents, students can understand the policy implementation process in Viet Nam, get an overview of the policy implementation stages, acquire the necessary skills for effective policy implementation/ communication, and apply what they have learned to work practice.
(3) The presentation of group 3 on “Public policy evaluation” was presented by Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong Lan from the Faculty of Administrative Sciences & Organization – Personnel Management, with the following contents on concepts, roles and requirements of public policy evaluation, public policy evaluation process, and public policy evaluation methods. The goals of the model are equipping students with basic knowledge about public policy evaluation (e.g. evaluation process, evaluation requirements, evaluation methods, and writing evaluation reports), developing students’ skills in implementing evaluation methods in practice, and reinforcing students’ right attitude, honesty, and seriousness in public policy evaluation activities.
(4) The presentation of group 4 on “Sharing experience in researching and using case study” presented by Ms. Le Thi Hong Hanh with four main contents: a summary of case study development; experiences and things learned in how to develop and implement case studies; expected application in researching and using case study; expectations of the group of lecturers participating in the project.
In addition to the introduction of general policy theory, all modules will have an analysis of Viet Nam’s reality and compare it with the practices of Singapore, helping students acquire basic knowledge and a multi-dimensional view and understand the reality of Viet Nam, thereby effectively applying the learned contents to the practices of effective policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation in Viet Nam.
The representative of Temasek Foundation, Mr. Duc Hoang was pleased to share useful experiences and case studies in leadership training on policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation. He shared his honor of supporting countries including Viet Nam for a better Asia and wished to cooperate with NAPA in the future.
Speaking at the closing of the conference, Dr. Nguyen Dang Que affirmed that the contents presented and discussed during the conference were really useful for NAPA in the process of innovating programs, curricula and methods to improve the quality and effectiveness of NAPA’s current training activities. Based on the results of the conference, it is suggested that the NAPA program innovation groups continue to exchange and work with other group members to receive and transfer suitable contents into the NAPA upcoming training program. Dr. Nguyen Dang Que also requested the Department of Refresher Training Management, the Institute of Administrative Studies, and NAPA branch campuses to research the possibility of using the program and the lecturers participating in the program to develop proposals for organizing the training courses on policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation skills according to the needs of ministries, sectors and agencies on the basis of the NAPA – CSC cooperation program with Temasek Foundation sponsorship. Dr. Nguyen Dang Que suggested lecturers participating in the program continue to improve the program contents and lectures, as well as research the possibility of publishing monographs on “Developing skills of policy formulation, implementation and evaluation for leaders and managers”.