Challenges of Public Administration are debated at conference to mark 50th anniversary of RAP journal

Experts discussed the challenges of teaching, learning and innovating amidst a scenario of uncertainty.
Administration
29 June 2017
Main challenges of Public Administration are debated at conference to mark 50th anniversary of RAP journalChallenges of Public Administration are debated at conference to mark 50th anniversary of RAP journal

FGV hosted a wide-ranging debate on the challenges of public administration on June 20 and 21. Held in partnership with the National School of Public Administration (ENAP) on June 20 and 21, the seminar gathered representatives from public schools, researchers, scholars and public administrators to discuss the challenges of teaching, learning and innovating amidst a scenario of uncertainty.

During the opening ceremony, the president of FGV, Professor Carlos Ivan Simonsen Leal, pointed out the need to professionalize civil service once again, while maintaining an unbiased approach towards the private sector – promoting transparency and preventing public education from being influenced by private initiative. The professor also stated that the main long-term challenges include investing in infrastructure and education, in addition to actually implementing public planning initiatives.

“We must turn to the country’s main problems in order to determine how public administration can help solve them. We must prioritize issues and assess our strengths and weaknesses, identifying in which points we can improve,” he said.

The dean of Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (EBAPE), Professor Flavio Vasconcelos, recalled two major events that took place in 1967: the first publication of the Journal of Public Administration (RAP) – the oldest and most important Public Administration journal in Brazil –, and the inauguration of the first Public Administration graduate program (Master’s) in Brazil.

After the opening ceremony, the Opening Lecture featured Francisco Longo, professor and associate dean of Escola Superior d'Administració i Direcció d'Empreses/ESADE, Universitat Ramon Llull (Barcelona, Spain), who spoke about the trends, challenges and capabilities of public administration in the age of innovation.

Another international guest was Debra Iles, Senior Associate Dean of Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), who introduced the school’s executive and master’s programs, and also spoke about some of the challenges of professional development in the public sector. Iles pointed out its unique needs, the impact of fast-paced technological changes, the challenges of developing leaders, and the management demographic changes.

The event also marked the 2017 Public School Network Meeting and the celebration of the 50th anniversary of EBAPE’s Revista de Administração Pública (RAP - Brazilian Journal of Public Administration). The journal’s editor-in-chief, professor Alketa Peci, stated that the event represents the work of many people who helped make the journal become what it is today.

"A journal does not publish itself. It relies on the work of researchers, reviewers and its community of readers, and RAP has a long history of cooperation. The best contribution that an academic journal can offer the public sector, Brazilian or international, is quality research. The academic community of public administration is guided by the same public ethos that field professionals share. It is up to the journal to consolidate this bridge, contributing to the consolidation of an academic community that aligns rigor and relevance", he concluded.

Publishers of internationally prestigious journals in the area of ​​public administration and renowned researchers participated in the event, highlighting the challenges of public administration research, emerging issues and the role of journals. The Public Administration Review was represented by Professors James Perry and Richard Stillmann, the Journal of Public Administration Theory and Research by Professor Donald Moynihan and the Public Administration, by Professor Salvador Parrado.

The seminar titled “Challenges in the Field of Public Administration: Education, Professionalization and Research” was held by ENAP and FGV, supported by the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), Flacso, Instituto República, and the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).